Technology faults have caused serious disruptions for potentially millions of Aussies in recent days, with three prominent organisations hit by problems leaving businesses and customers angry and out of pocket.
On Saturday, the Sydney and NSW public transport system was thrown into chaos as technical works carried out on Friday night were not completed before daybreak, leading to widespread delays on train services.
Reports suggested the delays caused hundreds of people to be late for work or appointments.
“Technicians were conducting an IT upgrade to increase the speed and capacity across the network on Friday evening. However, an issue was discovered early Saturday and resulted in some operational systems taking time to come back online,” the government organisation said in a statement that day.
“The systems affected included passenger information display screens and app updates, network control and crew allocation.
“While IT system upgrades are common and rarely result in disruption, Transport for NSW will investigate the cause to prevent similar instances in the future.”
The following day, Coles supermarkets across the country were forced to remain closed until around midday after an “unforeseen technical issue” affected the ability for stores to process sales.
“Earlier this morning, due to an unforeseen technical issue we had to close some stores around the country,” Coles said in a statement to customers on its Facebook page that day.
“We understand this has put customers out and apologise for the inconvenience this has caused. We’d also like to thank team members who helped manage the situation in stores.”
Then as if to prove the point that bad things come in threes, on Monday Commonwealth Bank users were hit by a glitch that froze online accounts and apps and seized payment terminals nationally.
That problem was not rectified until Tuesday morning.
“Services have now been fully restored for NetBank and the CommBank app,” CBA said in a statement posted on its social media channels.
“We know our customers rely on these services and we apologise for letting them down yesterday.”
The problems serve as a timely reminder for businesses of all size to retain back-ups of sensitive information, while they also highlight the importance of having contingency plans in place to ensure minimal disruptions in the event of a technical problem.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.