by Mark Johnston
Banking system glitches.
Nationwide are the latest lender to upset customers with payment debacle this year.
Customers of the building society found recently that their accounts had been debited twice. Most customers only became aware of this blunder when they found their cards being rejected when they tried to make a purchase.
Britain’s biggest building society firstly suggested that a ‘technical cock up’ had led to current account holders being charged double for purchases they had made on their cards.
However later they admitted the error was a human one that had occurred when copying payment files.
Jenny Groves, divisional director for customer experience at Nationwide building society, said “all charges will be refunded in full and any costs associated with this error will be reimbursed in full. None of our customers will suffer financial loss as a result of this on off error”.
Although, this particular blunder will come as a blow to the building society that has been seen as a popular destination for those switching away from the big banks, after successfully marked itself out as offering something different from the scandal hit big banks.
Nationwide said earlier this month that it had seen a 45% increase in people transferring their main account to the society.
Just last month, Natwest suffered a major systems collapse when millions of customers were unable to check their balances, withdraw cash or make payments.
It has not yet been fully revealed what exactly caused the problem, but a spokesman said “online banking is now fully operational and debit card transactions are processing normally”.
These banks are not however the only ones to suffer ‘errors’, Santander customers have also recently complained about the online banking website being “up and down”, they reported that they were ‘booted off’ the online service shortly after logging in to their accounts. This then forced many customers to hotfoot it to bricks and mortar branches.
Santander now claims that the issue has been resolved, but they did not explain why the outage occurred. In a statement the bank said “we are aware that an isolated group of personal banking customers had intermittent problems for a short time. We are sorry for any inconvenience this caused and we can confirm that this has been resolved”.
Experts have suggested that as the banks merged over the past few decades, their different computer systems have been largely patched together, leaving them more and more vulnerable to potential failures.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of consumer body Which?, said “this again raises wider questions about how robust banks systems and safeguards are as consumers bear the brunt of yet another banking glitch”.
In conclusion, after the Natwest fiasco andSantander’s online banking suffering outages along with the latest error from Nationwide, couple this with high levels of fury over the global recession, it is no wonder that banks will no longer be on anyone’s Christmas card list!
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