B of A's Online Banking Woes

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B of A's Online Banking Woes by Robin Clewley

2:00 a.m. Feb. 15, 2001 PST People looking to check their balances before hitting the town with their sweethearts on Valentine's Day were stopped short if they went to Bank of America's online banking system.

That's because the entire system was down Tuesday and Wednesday.

"Yesterday and today, as a result of telecommunications and network connectivity difficulties, customers have experienced sporadic and unintended problems accessing online banking services in California," said Harvey Radin, vice president of corporate affairs for Bank of America.

Customers in the other 20 states where Bank of America has branches were not affected.

"Yesterday I checked the website, and it was down," said William Chung, who on Tuesday evening was visiting a branch in San Francisco. "I couldn't get through but I thought it was a network problem with my company."

"I didn't see a message saying they were having technical difficulties," he said. "I work at a Web company, and if the site is down, they should put up a message."

Bank of America's online banking allows customers to check their checking and savings balances, transfer money between accounts, monitor checks that have or have not cleared, pay bills and e-mail Bank of America customer service people. Bank of America's online investing site was not affected.

Bank of America is not the only bank that has had problems with its online service. Last August, some of Wells Fargo's customers who use its online bill-payment system thought the bank had paid their bills twice due to an error in their online statements.

Radin said he did not know when the site would be available but that the bank's technicians were "working as quickly as possible to restore service."


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), February 15, 2001

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