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back to article Barclays online banking borked

Barclays Bank customers have had to manage without online banking today after the institution unveiled its innovative "brand new look". We've had dozens of emails from unhappy customers today and some dating back to Friday. The bank doesn't have much luck with its technology - the ATM network went down last month and the …

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Pah

For me Barclays online banking has never worked right... Using FF I can only log in to view the balances; Clicking any link after that always sends me back to the login page... Doubly annoying when they stick an interim ad page in there and clicking the continue link logs me out!

Also still waiting for an updated security code type thing though I suppose 4 weeks isn't too long to wait ;)

P.S. Yes I have cleared all the cache and cookies from FF before anyone asks ;)

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FAIL

Reason?

"The bank has been laying off IT workers as well as foisting a ten per cent pay cut on contractors." - "No connection inferred, my Lud"...

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RW
Coat

"Newly tweaked"?

So it works even better than ever with IE6?

Firefox? Opera? Camino? Safari? Chrome? Whazzat?

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Worked fine last night

Firefox/Ubuntu... doesn't appear to be doing much now, though...

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@Chrome - Pah

Dunno why you have probs with FF; I've been using the Barclays online banking for years (ish) with FF - currently 3.5.1 - and haven't had any issues...

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Is it still 1999?

What does it take to run a decent online banking service. This isn't 1999 we all know how to do this by now surely. There is no excuse for this, Barclays are running a service for millions of individuals and businesses and they roll out a solution that doesn't work. They must have had a contingency plan in place, mustn't they?

My small contribution twitpic.com/btcqn

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PINsentry

I think the new website is ok - at least they are making an effort unlike some other banks. However, it's the PINsentry device annoys me about Barclays. You need it just to log in which is frustrating as most of the time I just want to check payments have gone in. None of my other banks with PIN devices make me enter a security code just to log in. It's security gone over the top imo.

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FAIL

So slow it logged me off :-)

Managed to logon, started a transaction, but it took so long to complete, it logged me off before it finished. Now I cant log back in to see if the transaction finished.

From what I could briefly see before it failed, it has exactly the same functionality as the previous service, it just looks different. Rounded buttons instead of links, some sets of functions with a funky border round them instead of just a dull list, that sort of thing.

Massive FAIL.

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Unhappy

Final straw

This new look to their online banking is the final straw for me - even before it failed today (still not working here), it was showing me a bloody great advert slap bang in the middle of the screen. The area that, preferably, I'd like devoted to showing me real information. I'm funny like that.

A couple of months ago I 'upgraded' to their Premier service, with the naive idea that I'd get professional service. Instead they've regularly called me to try to sell me irrelevant products. They also - unbelievably - moved a large amount of my funds into a new account, without authorisation!

I'm taking my business elsewhere. Any suggestions for a competent bank? Please?!

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FAIL

Still down

Still down (@16:25 BST) though this time I got to type my PINsentry code in before it said it didn't know who I was and threw me out again.

Generally speaking, FF works just fine for me with the site.

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@@Chrome

It's always been intermittent for me on multiple machines/connections (in that it will mess about for months then suddenly work for a week)... Maybe it just doesn't like me...

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So that email was genuine!

I had assumed the "Welcome to the new-look Barclays Online Banking" was some obscure form of phishing and subject to closer examination had intended to pass it on to Barclay's fraud department. The recipient address was an address AFAIR last used when I participated in the first online banking trials i.e. not seen the light of day for years! Given the ongoing emphasis that banks do not send unsolicited emails to their customers I suggest that sending that email was a serious misjudgement from a security point of view.

On a different issue, apart from the current problem of course, I can normally access all the facilities on the Barclays site with either Opera or Firefox (latest production versions).

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These things happen

Basically, get over it.

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FAIL

@Darius

There is a 'forgotten PINSentry device' link on the login page that should get you in without needing the huge play school calculator.

There are other problems with the lame PInSentry system, of course, but unfortunately this box is too small to contain them. Find the group on FaceBook instead.

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@Chrome

Works fine for me with FF, well Iceweasel anyway. Maybe you need to install Debian?

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FAIL

You mean it's been working

Since they foisted the stupid card reader thingy onto me I have never been able to log in properly anyway - always rejects the code and I have to use the override mechanism (and what is the point in the stupid plastic calculator where the numbers were off showing the 4 digits in your PIN when you can override it anyway)

Much quicker to walk to the new fangled ATM's that are finally able to do what the TSB ones could do back in the 1990s (i.e. print statements) and which can also transfer money between accounts (can't give you cash mind).

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FAIL

argh

It just keeps telling me I've used the browser back button. I haven't used the browser back button.

I hate that stupid error message; it always appears when they've screwed something up. I hate that they blame me for their own problems. I might be taking it too personally, but out of all of the Barclays screw-ups I have ever encountered over the 10ish years of being a customer, the "browser back button" error message annoys me the most.

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@ Various people

@TFA:

Worked for me yesterday, and the only new things are that they've moved the menu from the left to the right (bad idea imho), merged "change payment" and "change transfers" into the same option (I never knew the difference anyway!), and slapped on a new style sheet. Hardly worth writing to your customers about imo.

@Pah:

It's most likely you're either clicking on a link before the page finishes loading, or one of your plugins is messing it up. I've been using Barclays on-line banking for years in Firefox with Adblock, XMarks & Firebug plugins loaded and never had trouble (except when I use the back button or am too impatient)

@PINsentry:

You don't need to use PINsentry to check your balances (or transfer money between your own accounts), just click the "I forgot my PINsentry" link and it'll ask you extra questions and request you to create a password. The next time you log in, use the normal login button and it'll ask you if you want to use PINsentry or not, if not it'll ask you for two letters out of your password, just like the good ol' days!

@Final straw:

There's no such thing as a "competent bank", you do realise that we are/were in a bank-induced recession?

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FAIL

And this is why..

...I've ignored all their 'Oh why aren't you using our online banking?' whining emails for the past year.

I don't really trust them with my normal details let alone online ones.

Bad Barclays! Go to your room!

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@TempestX3

"I'm taking my business elsewhere. Any suggestions for a competent bank? Please?!"

Hmm. Can't say you'd be any better off elsewhere. Experience (and a quick poll round the office) suggests they're all a pain in the bum in various ways. Consider that all the banks seem to be busily cutting IT staff, then ask yourself what that's going to do to service delivery. For a hint, check the headlines!

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Happy

Back?

Seems to be backup for me. Can login and check balance, etc fairly quickly. Only 3 days of downtime, good going!

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WTF?

Five o'clock and all's not well

Jolly good.

17:05 - Using Firefox 3.0.12 under Ubuntu, there's a big fat blank page. It's got the title, "Barclays Online Banking - Login Step 1 or 2 - Mozilla Firefox", but there's nothing else there at all.

17:11 - A-ha! The rest of the login screen slowly assembles itself. I click Continue, and the Step 2 of 2 screen turns up within a minute. (What speed!) Bang in the PinSentry code, and...

17:17 - "1100 - Sorry - we are unable to log you into Online Banking as your details do not match our records. Please carefully re-enter your details. If you've forgotten any of your login details, select the 'Forgotten your login details?' link on the screen to get a membership number reminder or to re-set your passcode/memorable word if you login with a passcode/memorable word.

"Your Online Banking service

"We're currently experiencing technical problems in Online Banking that mean some of you may not be able to log in to the service. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and suggest you try logging in again later.

"Message updated 27 July 2009."

- = -

No, there was no chance that I'd given the wrong login information.

Out-bloody-standing.

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Anonymous Coward

maybe . . .

you double-clicked at some point. Happens to me frequently and I am returned to the log-in page. Otherwise it works well for me with IE/FF and Opera.

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Speedy

When I logged into Barclays online banking over the weekend I got the new interface and it was faster at page loading than the old version, I barely had time to make my cuppa tea!. Which is nice. No problems using it on IE6, IE7, FF3 & FF3.5.

If you want to talk bank problems, try using a Lloyds debit card in a non-Lloyds ATM - doesn't bloody work! yet the Lloyds cashpoint card I used to have worked in every ATM, but they forced debit cards on everyone with a cashpoint-only card. Yet another explanation as to why "bankers" is one letter away from "wankers".

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Anonymous Coward

HSBC isn't much better

Their site is slow and as feature rich as David Hoon's face.

Complete nightmare to get any useful information out if it.

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PINsentry

@Tom Chiverton 1 and Vitani

Valid point re logging in without PINsentry but I use an account aggregator which automatically logs in to all my accounts and updates all my balances - except for Barclays. Grrr!

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PLEASE GET RID OF THE CISCO POPUP ADVERT!!!! NOW!!!

Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Typical Labour

Barclay's online banking worked before the Labour bailout. OK we still have a bank but I'd rather have a bankrupt bank with a working website which showed my savings were worth nothing.

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Annoying ads

Seems to be working now, Adblock Plus essential to remove the new and highly intrusive mid-page adverts.

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Nev
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Still better than their Barclaycard service in France...

They just cancelled all tge cards and pulled out leaving

all their customers in the lurch.

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WTF?

Someone at Barcalays doesn't seem to know...

I've been having trouble accessing my Barclays online CC account for a while. For the last few days, nothing at all.

Which hasn't stopped them emailing me twice in the last week, extolling me to try their exciting new online experience....

Only wish I could....

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FAIL

Pause for web stats

Part of the slow page loading seems to be attributable to a lack of response from http://statse.webtrendslive.com/

Would it kill them to disable the web stats lookups when technical issues arise?

At least the BBC have a slimmed down version of their page for BBC News when traffic levels spike... Barclays ought to consider a slimmed down version for basic functionality in times like these.

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@Vitani

"There's no such thing as a "competent bank", you do realise that we are/were in a bank-induced recession?"

If you believe politicians. OTOH if you're capable of looking at what actually happened and drawing your own conclusions you will see that policiticians are the real cause of the recession. Banks were encouraged by politicians to lend money in order to increase the amount of money in circulation and thus keep economies growing artificially. It was obvious to any reasonably intelegent observer that this was unsustainable, but politicians continued to encourage the banks to lend more money.

And then of course when the collapse came the politicians did everything they could to bail out the banks and make them restart lending. Why? Because they have no more ideas (particularly in the UK and US) than that lending makes an economy grow. Evidence of course that they don't learn by their own or anybody else's for that matter. The banks, however, do seem to have learned a valuable lesson and so the politicians are having one hell of a hard time convincing them to start taking risks again.

The end result? The politicians are spending even more time blaming the banks for the recession and of course threatening to regulate them. You can, if you choose, infer from this that the politicos will stop blaming the banks and stop threatening to regulate them should they choose to start lending again.

The trouble is we live in a world where most of the media and most people fall for political spin. You certainly do.

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Anonymous Coward

@kevjs

"Since they foisted the stupid card reader thingy onto me I have never been able to log in properly anyway - always rejects the code and I have to use the override mechanism"

I've found it works fine if you put your card in after the screen appears. So my sequence is enter the five digit code on the screen, put the card in, type in my pin, then type in the 8 digit code given.

It appears to me that if you put your card in before the page has finished loading then the 8 digit code fails. Might be wrong but thats my observation.

It also tends to fail if the site is running slowly.

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@Grease Monkey

Do not take this the wrong way, but surely if the banks had employed any "reasonably intelligent observers" then this wouldn't have happened?

I can accept that there are no intelligent people in politics (if they were intelligent, they wouldn't be in politics), but the banks should be employing the smartest people it can find at the top (but alas, I know this is not how it works).

Both parties are to blame as they both acted irresponsibly.

If what you say is true (and it sounds reasonable, although you don't give any sources) then I would blame the politicians over the banks as it is their job to look out for us, the voting public, where as the banks are in it to satisfy shareholders - i.e. make money.

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Oh dear

Barclays. It's awful. No, no, no, no, no.

Got it? No?

Let's try again ...

No, no, no, no, no, no, no. It's really really awful. Please put it back to how it was.

Got it now? Good!

It's difficult to put my finger on why it's so bad, but it just looks cluttered and untidy. The big font, the large spacing, the whole thing reminds me of a really basic HTML only website. I found it difficult to pick out the pertinent information. The old UI was so much better IMO. It just felt right. The new interface is hard work.

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Paris Hilton

A Better Bank

I'm a Barclays customer because I get lots of small standing orders and it would be a nightmare to get them transferred to another bank.

I have abandoned Barclays for stockbroking and international transfers because their service was unsatisfactory. I use a client account at the Bank of Scotland for serious stuff and an account at the Nationwide Building Society for day to day transactions. Nationwide offers all the ordinary current account services, but in no other way resembles a high street bank. Highly recommended.

Online banking? Not bloody likely. Trojans, keystroke loggers, heaven knows what else. Not for me thanks.

Even she could do better.

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Anonymous Coward

@ anonymous 27th July 2009 23:17 GMT

"It appears to me that if you put your card in before the page has finished loading then the 8 digit code fails. Might be wrong but thats my observation."

Totally wrong. In the days before they gave you the option to use a memorable word ("for a limited time") I would generate around 50 codes at a time, then email them to my gmail account. As long as I used them in the order they were generated, they worked fine. Saved having to carry the GIANT CALCULATOR about, and was behind my gmail login (so not exactly secure, but better than having them written down on paper next to my card).

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Anonymous Coward

@Anonymous Coward 28th July 2009 10:29 GMT

I can see your point as I have heard of a lot of people who do produce them up front.

BUT I have often had failures when I've clearly typed in everything correctly (and double checked it).

I've found if I stick to the procedure described it always works, I know not why and it makes no real sense but it works. Since someone else is claiming they always have issues logging on it might be worth trying. God knows perhaps there is some flaw/bug in the system that causes this - nothing is perfect is it?

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FAIL

@ various

Managed to log in on Sunday - found the same old functionality, but considerably slower to load and with lots of marketing b*ll*cks.

Another example of a marketing-driven "improvement" rather than looking at what customers really want.

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Coffee/keyboard

Taking the wee-wee?

So they're trying to flog a new "contactless" type of card, and arranged for the filming of their advert in the United States, involved CGI and location shooting....

Then they want to lay off IT staff, to people who keep their systems running, to save money.

Irony? Taking the piss? Flat-out stupidity?

Oh, they're a bank... no explanation required.

Esc button, as that's what Fred Goodwin used.

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Still borked for me...

Still not working for me... Means I'm going to have to go to the branch and do it the old fashioned way.

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One other thing...

Their "email us" link goes to an html page, which is also on the faulty server, so that doesn't work either.

Brilliant.

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Downtime’s domino effect

Outages like this highlight just how many of us now rely on online services on a daily basis. And social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook mean it doesn’t take long for the world to know about it. While downtime can’t always be planned for, big organisations like Barclays should be taking steps to ensure online services are designed to scale and cope with hardware failures without impacting their customers’ experience. Web traffic management software is a cost-effective option, for example, that can detect and route traffic around failed servers and, if necessary, politely queue customers when a service is overloaded. What’s most important here is a dent in customer loyalty – a real threat no matter how established the brand.

Owen Garrett, cloud computing specialist, Zeus Technology

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Paris Hilton

Wow!

I'm not sure what year Barclay's started their internet banking, but I'm thinking it was after Natwest - am i right?

I've been using Natwest banking since day-1 and I cant say I've ever seen a failure! (Ok it could have failed on a day I didn't sign in, but.....) Natwest FTW!

That said I had a Northern rock savings account (yes I did experience heightened heart-rate a year ago) a Santander credit card, cahoot and maybe 1 more I cant remember, and never experienced any real failure (aside from cahoot having regular maintenance, and Northen rock using Java which is sloth-like!)

If the competition can do it better and for longer, Barclays are clearly kak and their customers who rely on internet banking should just move on!

(after all, whats the incentive to stay with a high-street bank when they all pay similar amounts of interest and offer similar products - its all about service isnt it?)

Paris, cos she can do it better and for longer since the first video. I know these things.

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