back to article What a time for a TITSUP*: Santander down and out on pre-Bank Holiday payday

It's Friday at month's end just before a Bank Holiday – Pay and Bills Day – and users of Santander's UK arm have been unable to use online banking and apps since 9:49 AM BST. Thousands of companies use the bank to process UK payroll. More than 2,000 reported having issues at publication on third-party downtime monitor …

  1. trevorde

    SNAFU

    Upgrading a critical system. On a Friday. Which is payday. At the end of the month. Before a Bank Holiday long weekend. What could possibly go wrong?

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Re: SNAFU

      I'm sure there is no way at all that the manager who made those decisions is called Murphy?!?

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: SNAFU

        No matter the boss's name, I bet he has the attitude even if he may not have pointy hair.

        I love it when essential institutions bleat about their customer service call systems being overwhelmed with high call rates when there are problems, that's what the system is there for you idiots! Make it more functional.

      2. Anon

        Re: SNAFU

        The bank could have made a few tens of millions on the money that was delayed in transit, so bonuses and trebles all round (no, not for us).

      3. NeilPost Bronze badge

        Re: SNAFU

        TITSUP accusation by Murphy deemed acceptable.

        TITSUP accusation by Raj or Diego obviously be racist.

    2. Ian K

      Re: SNAFU

      While I hesitate to say anything that could be construed as defending Santander, in the interests of fairness the article doesn't say that this outage was down to any sort of upgrade, let alone one to a critical system.

      It does mention a fairly generic promise to upgrade systems, made in the last financial report, but there's nothing to say when that actually happened/will happen.

      1. Flywheel Silver badge

        Re: SNAFU

        nothing to say when that actually happened/will happen

        Manager: "how about just before bank holiday? Everyone will be out sitting in traffic jams"...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mobile app is working for me, just not the online banking website

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't know why people are whining

      Quicken hasn't been able to download mutual fund data on time for most of the summer. Can only download it a day late. Quicken just says they are working on it. Now that's a real outage.

  3. katrinab Silver badge
    Meh

    I can log onto my business account, but not my personal account.

    Though I can access my personal accounts from the business account login, and a transfer between business and personal worked.

  4. NickyD

    Can confirm

    App on android phone works for me too.

  5. Bertieboy

    Fridays!

    I recall a colleague of mind whose main task was to maintain and "continuously improve" a DEC based real time 24/7/365 control system. Above his desk was a large notice reading "NEVER NEVER NEVER update this system on a Friday" Over the years I have come to learn the wisdom of this advice.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I thought that was akin to religious practice in IT circles.

      Obviously, religion has not been passed on to the new generation.

      So, be Agile Monday through Thursday, but be wary on Fridays. Always.

    2. TheProf Silver badge

      "24/7/365"

      Would you like to think about that for a moment?

      1. Steve K Silver badge

        Update it in Leap Years only?

        "24/7/365"

        Would you like to think about that for a moment?

        Update it in Leap Years only?

        1. Bill 21

          Re: Update it in Leap Years only?

          And the days with 23 or 25 wallclock hours.

    3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Monday is often a good day to avoid also. Hangovers can mess with one's concentration.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think I know what happened

    This part is true - I contacted them the other day and asked them to close my account.

    I assume an employee then hit Close All instead of just Close, and went on to click Yes in the 'Are you sure?' dialog. I mean, who hasn't accidentally deleted millions of customer accounts at least once in their career?

    I asked for any money remaining in my account as a cheque. With any luck, one for £eleventy-billion is on its way

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think I know what happened

      Considering how much Santander have annoyed me over the past few years it won't be long before I close my account too. Maybe you already got them to do it, and save me the hassle. Thanks. Can you pass part of the elevnty billion on to me, please.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I think I know what happened

        Sure. I'll make the cheque out to Anonymous Coward.

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Dick Turpin wore a mask .....

    Banks are for using, not trusting.

    Once upon a time, there was a business account with Barclays which was closed while it was still in credit to the tune of a very small sum. Rather than transfer the funds into another working account digitally, an authorised signatory for and on behalf of Barclays Bank PLC Sundry Persons thought it best to send by post a crossed cheque payable only to the closed account. That is tantamount, children, to being wilfully crooked, so take care and beware, and they are all tarred with the same brush.

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Somebody's bonus depended on getting some change in before month end?

    1. Reg Reader 1

      and like in any big business it doesn't have to be positive change, just change. Makes me wonder about their solvency, what if they didn't want large moving around until after the end of the month?

  9. renke

    make up your mind

    "some customers are currently experiencing difficulties"

    vs

    "we are experiencing extremely high volumes of calls"

    It is totally possible that a smallish percentage of customers can flood the help desk - but the way they worded it is stupid.

    I very much dislike those weasel words. Is it so hard to be a little bit more honest and direct in public statements?

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: make up your mind

      > I very much dislike those weasel words. Is it so hard to be a little bit more honest and direct in public statements?

      Sometimes I wonder whether it's worth buying a single share in order to get the right to ask the management: Please list the dates, times and durations for when the customer support line was NOT automatically answering all calls with the message "We're sorry but we're experiencing unusually high volumes of calls at the moment"?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone tweeting a supplier to get something resolved is an idiot.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Sometimes that, getting it in the media or emailing CEO* is the only way to get things done. With automated systems - including those with call centre drones in the loop - things aretoo often handled by repeatedly retrying what's failed. Surprise, surprise, the same thing happens again. Publicity is a way of breaking out of that loop to get the problem escalated.

      * Yes, it can work, been on both ends of that although it might only apply to some companies.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I will admit that (after spending a weekend waiting for email transfers) the credit card Fraud division was reasonably rapid and responsive

  11. BostonEddie

    You actually got Santander Main Office to ANSWER THEIR PHONES??? More than I've ever gotten them to do. Usually I end up sending EMail and waiting a day for the reply.

  12. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
    Coat

    Yeah, sure.

    I note the use of the old "...some of our customers..." routine.

    Good job it was only some, then, or it could have been a big problem.

    Oh, wait.

    Muppets.

    Where's my old wallet of cash?

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