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Thursday, 29 October 2009



I ESPECIALLY love the part where you publish Erik Larsen's details! Well done!

Darren Smith

"Pres (sic) Relations"

You'd think that Standard Bank would be able to spell Press!

Itumeleng Monale

Good Morning Clive,
Firstly I would like to apologise for the unbelievable frustration we have caused you. We truly regret your experiences yesterday and the day before, which are unfortunately a result of a series of consecutive mishaps – that we acknowledge we played a significant part in.

On Wednesday afternoon, we experienced a firewall failure. The planned response then kicked in, which meant that our ports were shut down, while we transferred service to our back-up production site.
Among the client services impacted were the Standard Bank homepage (which is the gateway to our internet banking) as well as some of our messaging such as One Time Passwords.

While we were bringing up services on our back-up site, customers were unable to access the site between 14:40 and 15:45. From 16:00 all services were reinstated from our side.
Unbeknown to us, Vodacom made some changes with their exchange service providers on Wednesday afternoon, which meant that the routing to some services for Vodacom 3G users was impacted. An example is that our business online banking customers could access our ports correctly from Vodacom 3G, but users wanting to transact on internet banking were mis-routed. This was brought to our attention mid-morning Thursday 29 October and our collective teams from Standard Bank, Vodacom and SAIX sat in conference to get to the bottom of the issue till early afternoon when it was rectified.

It is imperative for us that we not only protect the integrity of our systems and our customers’ information, but also ensure that we keep our users abreast of issues when we are aware of them. Due to the fact that the outage on Wednesday afternoon was unplanned, we could not be proactive in our communication, but we constantly briefed our call centre staff about the latest developments.

I apologise if you were given incorrect information on calling our help desk and we will ensure that we get to any root causes of communication breakdowns in future!

I personally communicated with the media throughout the morning yesterday, including going live on air with John Robbie on 702 just after 8:00, as well as conducting interviews with Moneyweb and ITWeb. It is unclear to us why you would have received the response you did when you called 702 in the afternoon, when they had my contact details from the morning session.

An apology from Standard Bank will also be sent to our user base during the course of today.

Again, we apologise unreservedly for your frustrations. To quote your words, it is indeed an “embarrassment of deep concern”. The management team of Customer Channels commits to use this as a case study of how not to provide service in the future and we will certainly take your suggestions into consideration.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have any further issues with our online services
Regards Itumeleng Monale
Director: Self Service Banking
Tel: +27 11 636 6287

Clive Simpkins

Gotta give Ms. Itumeleng Monale a 10 for her response. Non defensive, honest, apologetic. The guys are totally pathetic by comparison. All they ever start asking is 'What operating system are you using?' or 'Have you downloaded new software recently?' Implying of course that the fault lies with you, the customer. That's Vodacom's data centre speciality.;-(

I hope Ms. Monale will include her excellent response in the case study of which she speaks. It's a darned good lesson and example for any PR student to follow. Standard Bank should look after her.

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