Chase online failure – after effects

The comments and Twitter are quiet about new problems so I think we can assume that the full (Monday, Tuesday) and partial (Wednesday) outages of Chase’s online banking are over for now.

The Wall Street Journal has a good article on the problems worth reading.

Chase’s biggest failure throughout this mess, and in its aftermath, is the failure to inform its customers what is going on.  First of all, they tried to pass it off as scheduled maintenance, in the middle of the day.  Then they didn’t officially acknowledge the problem, other than the notice on their site.  When problems reappeared on Wednesday, they were very slow to acknowledge them.

During the outage the very limited information they released did not indicate anything about the nature of the problem, how people might be ultimately affected, and how long the problem might last.  They failed to use the best possible channel to get any information to their customers, their website, to release information.

Lastly, since the problem was fixed, they have not come out with a clear explanation of the cause of the problem and what, if any, customer data or worse, funds, might be at risk, or have indicated that such a statement will be forthcoming.  The only information they provided to customers after the fact was a short apology and an incomplete description of what would happen to one type of transaction scheduled during the outage.

In short, this outage has been a complete communication failure for Chase as they left their customers completely in the dark.

We are getting a limited number of reports from people who are finding fraudulent activity in their accounts.  It is unclear at this time whether this might be a more widespread problem, whether this is normal fraud that is incorrectly being associated with the outage, or whether what appears to be fraudulent activity was caused by data corruption.

A short while ago they updated the message available from their main page from the previous short apology to a longer message similar to that which was available to customers once they logged in.  Here is the message:

We are sorry for the difficulties that recently affected, and we apologize for not communicating better with you during this issue. Giving you 24-hour access to your banking is of the utmost importance to us. This was not the level of service we know you expect, and we will work hard to serve you better in the future and to communicate with you better if a situation like this should arise again.

Online Bill Payments scheduled for September 13, 14 or 15 were processed by Wednesday night, September 15. It is not necessary to reschedule these payments. If you scheduled a payment during those dates, but do not see it reflected in your payment activity by September 16, please contact us.

We will refund any late fees that you may have incurred as a result of our delay in processing your payment.

Thank you for your patience and for the opportunity to work harder to serve you in the future.

They are now additionally apologizing for the lack of communication and claiming to do better in the future.

This site ( was created in the hopes of helping convince Chase that they needed to do better at serving customers (more service, less shenanigans).  I can only hope that the black-eye this outage, and their response to it, has given Chase will truly convince them to do better for their customers.

Update Thursday 9/16/10:  Chase has not change the top banner on their main page to duplicate the apology link, as if saying it twice makes it carry more weight.  The apology text itself has not changed.

Update Saturday 9/18/10:  Here is a report from a customer saying their debit card stopped working as a results of the Chase outage:

I tried to use my debit card for an online transaction today and it was declined.  This immediately worried me given the problems they’ve been having, so I tried to withdraw money at an ATM.  An error message came up at the ATM saying that my card information was “incomplete.”  Whatever happened to their system has clearly scrambled their databases.  I live overseas and rely on my ATM card to access my money.  No working debit card=no way for me to get money, except for an expensive credit card advance.  The best part?  They are saying that they need four or five days to even get back to me on this.


  • By Seattlenerd, September 17, 2010 @ 7:21 am

    One additional data point: Quicken was unable to retrieve any information from my Chase account for a full day after the website came back up. It was able to do so this (Friday) morning for the first time this week (after trying twice each day).

    So, for Quicken users, Chase was down likely four of five business days this week.

  • By Seattlenerd, September 18, 2010 @ 6:43 am

    Friday night, I received this email to the email address tied to my Chase account, from Chase:

    “We recently experienced a service interruption that affected the website and mobile services, and we apologize if this created any difficulties for you. We have resolved the problem, and want to assure you that your account information was not compromised as a result of this outage.

    “We know that our customers rely upon the 24 hour access to their account information provided by This was not the level of service we know you expect, and we will work hard to better serve and communicate with you.

    “Your accounts and confidential information remain secure and we want to remind you that Chase will never ask for your personal information or login credentials via email.

    “Please accept our apology for any inconvenience this may have caused. We’re continuing to work hard to maintain your trust and confidence.

    “We’re always here to assist you.”

  • By CousinEddy, September 19, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

    I received the same (or similar) apology e-mail from Chase, but mine didn’t show up until this afternoon (Sunday 9-19-2010) — almost a full 6 days AFTER Chase first experienced their outage!

    Seems this e-mail should have gone out to all of Chase’s Online Banking customers as soon as Chase realized they were swimming in deep doo-doo with their “third party software issues”.

    Any word on what the government regulators that were so closely watching Chase during this outage have to say about this whole cluster-f*ck?

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Financial Brand » Chase blows it after screwing everything up — September 20, 2010 @ 1:22 am

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