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To think more notice for online banking maintenance should be given?

(21 Posts)
graphista Sun 30-Oct-16 01:21:03

My daughter and I have had a bad week with being ill. So I'm shopping at a weird time (online grocery shop). Anyway, completed my shop, it's a bit more than usual as needed to get more than a few items of the kind I rarely order, just one of those things. Went to check balance online - site down for maintenance! Now annoying as that is I get its sometimes necessary BUT I was only online a few hours earlier checking if a particular dd had gone out and there was NO NOTIFICATION this was happening tonight!

So I phone the helpline, call handler says they do this twice a year (clock change confused), and that all banks do this, so now I'm thinking

A if it's such a regular thing why isn't it more widely publicised, I've NEVER heard this mentioned

B do all banks do this?

C why don't they develop their software to cope with the clock change?

No not a big deal I suppose except I'm probably going to lose the (free) delivery slot I'd managed to get.

I just think it should be more widely publicised.

Paulat2112 Sun 30-Oct-16 01:41:45

Who do you bank with? I'm with RBS and every time I've logged on this week it has come up with the notice that it will be unavailable between something like 1am-4am. You think with all the technology there is they would be able to cope with the clocks changing though

graphista Sun 30-Oct-16 01:44:58

I'm with BOS I am glad you've replied that RBS are on it so no excuse for BOS. i've been online most days this week because of the direct debit I was checking on didn't go out when it should have and I was keeping an eye.

Yes clock changes twice a year, seriously should be able to cope with that.

MsMims Sun 30-Oct-16 01:40:03

YANBU. Surprised they can't find a work around for something that happens twice a year.

By coincidence I also logged into my online banking a few hours ago, no warning of loss of service, but just checked and sure enough it's down too. Although there is the option to see the balance from the last time I logged on.

graphista Sun 30-Oct-16 01:49:56

Nope can't even get balance which is all I wanted to do, apparently also affects ATM's so anyone unaware, out for night, when they try n get home if they need eg cash for taxi they're gubbed!

SillySongsWithLarry Sun 30-Oct-16 06:46:04

I'm with Nat West and all week they have advised that banking will be down this morning for maintenance. I suppose if you don't use online banking regularly you would have missed the notification.

ClopySow Sun 30-Oct-16 08:02:37

There were notifications on BOS online all last week. It reminded me a couple of times.

So sorry, but YABU.

graphista Sun 30-Oct-16 08:03:59

I'm housebound I'm online with bank daily generally and certainly was this week! Even the call handlers comments suggested notifications were only given later yesterday.

graphista Sun 30-Oct-16 08:05:08

Clopysow I was online sometimes more than once in a day, no notifications.

ClopySow Sun 30-Oct-16 09:06:46

Did you not get a reminder thing when you logged in?
You had to actually click to say you had read it before you could actually access your account.

Sorry about my last post, it sounded really arsey. It wasn't meant to be.

Discobabe Sun 30-Oct-16 09:22:53

I logged into my online banking yesterday morning - no warning. I logged into dh's a few days ago and there was a warning and y ou cannot access any info until you click to acknowledge it. Yanbu.

ny20005 Sun 30-Oct-16 09:30:04

Notifications on website all week & on facebook. Surely if you logged in hours earlier, your balance hasn't changed that much hmm

graphista Mon 31-Oct-16 00:44:16

The message I had to tick it had been read didn't appear until I tried to check my balance at the point the actual maintenance was taking place. As far as the balance not changing no it wouldn't have but I hadn't made a note of what it was except it was enough to cover my usual grocery cost but as that was a bit higher than usual I wanted to check before ordering.

As for there being notification on Facebook I think that's not really good enough, not everyone uses fb nor uses it regularly. I'm on it but not a big user and wouldn't be on my banks page as wouldn't want my real name and which bank I use easily accessible information.

Also not all banks did this so clearly it's possible to have a system that means it's not necessary twice a year every year.

graphista Mon 31-Oct-16 00:45:01

Clopy thanks for the apology.

Toolateagain Mon 31-Oct-16 01:01:29

My bank has had a notice about this for a couple of weeks, and I also got an email. But they also said that telephone banking would be working as normal, so anything could be done by phoning them while the Internet system was down.

graphista Mon 31-Oct-16 02:55:33

They couldn't even give me the balance on the phone.

Quietwhenreading Mon 31-Oct-16 03:12:44

Banking IT systems are notoriously a huge lumbering spaghetti of legacy systems that have grown up over many years. Sometimes stuff goes wrong that just has to be fixed.

They do try to alert customers to outages and IT departments are all heavily measured and tracked on down time so they'll be working to get them back up as fast as possible.

Clearing out legacy systems and starting again would be ideal but it would be unbelievably expensive (billions). And as soon as they'd finished they need to start upgrading again.

Aibohphobia Mon 31-Oct-16 03:24:14

You think with all the technology there is they would be able to cope with the clocks changing though

<geek mode>

Not really and especially not within banking.

The storage of data can be either consistent, available or tolerant of partitions. Whilst the first two are fairly obvious, the 'tolerant of partitions' refers to the system functioning as a whole despite parts of the system being offline or unreachable.

One can only ever really have two of the three mentioned. We can't really have partitions for banking information as your account details are centrally held. The data isn't stored at individual cash points or shops.

As the data needs to be very consistent ie. you shouldn't be able to go over an agreed overdraft and any purchases must be reflected in your account balance, availability must be the one out of CAP to take a hit.

The central system must be the one to go off line occasionally to ensure that major problems aren't caused.

Also see ACID Theorem.

</geek mode>

@OP - yes, they should have warned you. Are you sure they didn't have something on the site before hand? There probably wasn't any reasonable way around it

graphista Mon 31-Oct-16 04:11:38

I honestly was on the site a lot this week, doing different things and entering different parts of the site for a variety of reasons. No notification until the site was down.

graphista Mon 31-Oct-16 04:14:18

Interesting to get the information on the technical aspects. It's such a huge industry but surely what one bank can do others can do.

Aibohphobia Mon 31-Oct-16 04:34:23

but surely what one bank can do others can do

You mean warning of downtime. Of course.

As quietWhenReading said, banking IT systems tend to be a mess where it would be best to start from scratch but are really just solutions and work-arounds piled on top of each other.

Departments don't cooperate as they should and responsibility for the downtime may have not been the explicit responsibility of any department ie. ignored by all but with the IT dept. gearing up for whatever was necessary in the 2 hours they had.

To address c) in your first post. It isn't as simple as that although I obviously don't know the specifics of the system. I suspect that there were also a whole host of changes as well as whatever needed to be done for the clock change. Down time is excusable and unavoidable. They should have let customers know though.

I was involved in the geeky aspect of databases before a career change and don't miss it. IT work is a thankless career.

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