Nerdliness of the day
"essentially"

U.S. Bank technology go boom

U.S. Bank's online banking site has been down for 24 hours or so now. The login page shows a generic "we're having technical difficulties" message with a slew of phone numbers for contacting their phone-based banking system.

Which is all well and good, but the phone system's hosed up too.

When I called just now, what normally takes well under a minute—dial in, choose options, enter account number and PIN, get balance, hang up—took almost 7 minutes, with frequent "One moment please" interjections by the Friendly But Insane-Sounding Automated Telephone System Woman. You know the type, like the computer's voice in Aliens that intones "You now have 6 minutes to reach minimum safe distance" as the terraform plant gets inexorably closer to nuclear annihilation.

My timeline for a typical call to the U.S. Bank phone system (1-800-US-BANKS):

  1. Dial number
  2. FBI-SATSW answers and begins the "Thank you for calling blah blah blah" message

  3. I immediately press 1, 1, 1 because I know that's the sequence to get to account-balance information for my checking account

  4. FBI-SATSW asks for account number, which I never hear because I'm already entering the number on the keypad

  5. PIN number entry

  6. FBI voice intones "current and available balance" and begins rattling off the extensive choice of menu items for transaction history, funds transfer, etc., but I've long since cut it off by hanging up

Typical time: 30-45 seconds.

The last time U.S. Bank's online and phone systems had trouble like this for an extended period, it was after they'd instituted a web-site redesign that went horribly awry. I'm wondering if they've done that this time, although they'd started warning customers of pending site changes and I've received nothing along those lines.

Ah well.