* Posts by BoringOldSod

7 posts • joined 28 May 2017

'Major incident' at Capita data centre: Multiple services still knackered

BoringOldSod
Happy

Capita just keep giving...

So now I get an e-mail from Capita's Chief Executive Andy Parker - who in March announced he was leaving Capita:

"I am very sorry for the service experience and difficulties you have had in accessing the Teachers Pensions website. The system issues that recently impacted Teachers Pensions were caused by a failure of the power to re-instate cleanly back from our emergency generator which had been operating as required in one of our data centres following a power outage in the local area, this then caused damage across connectivity and other elements requiring replacement and recovery of systems. Our IT team have worked continuously since the incident with full support from Capita’s senior management to fix the issue and restore all Teacher Pensions services as safely as possible. Our number one priority was to ensure payment systems were enabled to process payments to teachers and this was successfully restored to ensure all payments due to members were made as expected. Our attention then moved to ensure that the website and other services were restored. All services are now restored and functioning satisfactorally [sic].

Please rest assured that all personal data and records were safe and secure at all times throughout this incident. We are undertaking a full investigation of the incident and its root cause, and we will identify any further remedial actions that need to be taken to mitigate any re-occurance [sic].

I have passed on your comments regarding the customer service you experienced and I have asked the business to ensure that lessons are learnt from this and remedial actions taken to ensure customer service is delivered to the highest level at all times.

Kind regards,

Andy Parker

Chief Executive"

Now this would be reassuring but for one minor detail (and a few typos) - I'm not a member of the Teachers Pension scheme!! Just a lowly member of one of the other lesser pension schemes "managed" by Capita. Perhaps Mr Parker was distracted by a bee in his garden?

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BoringOldSod
Facepalm

Teachers Pensions still affected 6 days later

Teachers Pensions Facebook message posted about 09:30 today (31 May 2017)

"While our systems continue to return to normal, we are still unfortunately experiencing delays. Please accept our apologies. We are working hard to try and get the systems working as normal and appreciate your patience at this time."

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BoringOldSod
FAIL

Pension scheme issues still not resolved 6 days later

So today the online access website reappears. I type in my login credentials and the website accepts the credentials but when the website tries to communicate with the backend the session fails with the message "There has been a problem logging you in as <username>. Please contact us and confirm as much information as possible to help us find your account (e.g. name, date of birth, national insurance number, login name).". So I follow the instructions on screen only to be told by the poor front line staff that they are aware of the problem and the IT team are still working to resolve the problem. I ask how I will know when the service has been restored - I'm told I will receive an e-mail but probing this a little further the poor front line staff tell me that a communication will be sent to all members who have had problems accessing their pension account in ... er... "a few weeks". When I question this timescale I'm politely told that my "concerns" will be passed on - who to I wonder - some distant black hole in some far away galaxy?. I'm also told that those members who have not had problems will NOT receive ANY communication about the problem - despite them paying the Capita annual management charge for the scheme. Communicating with all members would seem to me the "treating the customer fairly" approach - much vaunted in the Financial Services industry - but this would cost Capita money so there's no chance of Capita going anywhere near this suggestion.

I suspect the only reason that the website has been made available is to avoid the poor front line staff having to e-mail all the scheme forms and documents to disgruntled members - access to these doesn't require a successful login. But perhaps I'm growing cynical in my old age? (as you can see my username here was chosen wisely).

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BoringOldSod
FAIL

Access to pension scheme still not possible Tuesday 30 May 2017

So the website was restored on Sunday. Unfortunately the website failed when it tried to communicate with the system backend and members were asked to call the operational team - but of course the operational team were not working on Sunday and Monday due to the bank holiday weekend.

So I try again on Tuesday at 10am. The website is down again. I call the operational team; they ask for my National Insurance number - they are not aware that the website is down again. I ask to speak to a supervisor - supervisor tells me that the IT team are dealing with an incident caused by a major power failure. Supervisor tells me that the IT team are working to restore the website as the last step in the recovery process. However the supervisor has no timescales for when service will restart. She can only offer an apology.

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BoringOldSod
Thumb Down

Still can't access my pension record

So access to my pension scheme website restored on Sunday 28 May. Sadly it seems that none of the security login credentials have been restored in the backend system: "There has been a problem logging you in as xxxxxxxx. Please contact us and confirm as much information as possible to help us find your account (e.g. name, date of birth, national insurance number, login name)". So now I have to wait until Tuesday 08:30 to contact Capita - because obviously they haven't provided any emergency operational cover over the bank holiday weekend to deal with customer concerns. And what are the chances that come Tuesday I'll be able to get through on the telephone?? Have Capita provided any press statement? Have Capita made any attempt to contact scheme members? Of course not. Appalling (but not surprised).

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BoringOldSod
FAIL

Still down on Sunday 28 May 2017 06:45

My pension scheme still has no online service. So that's an outage of 72 hours (at least). Perhaps they'll refund the annual management charge?

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BoringOldSod
FAIL

Lots of Pension Schemes affected

Not just my pension scheme is affected... some other small schemes also affected: Teachers Pensions, NHS Pensions

(https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/employer-hub/pensions-online: "Service disruption. We are sorry for the continuing disruption to our services and for any inconvenience this may be causing. We are hoping to have our systems available by noon on Friday so please try again at this time. Until then contact centre staff will, regrettably, be unable to assist with requests that require system access. Thank you for your patience.")... it's Sunday 28 May now...

good thing it's a long bank holiday weekend... an extra day to get the rubber bands and sticking plasters in place.

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