Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard about the successful attacks on major American banks. They reportedly included Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and PNC. The Middle Eastern group responsible is upset about the now infamous anti-Islam video that mocks the prophet Muhammad. So of course they attack banks as the visible emblem of America. In this crazed world, perhaps that makes perfect sense.
As we all know, news like this is so commonplace that we hardly notice it - until it impacts us. Guilty as charged. Two of my banks were affected by the denial of service attacks. Considering the relative lack of sophistication of these attacks, they did a lot of damage.
I was unable to make online payments or to adjust automatic payments. I got polite notices that "we are aware of the problem and attempting to fix it as soon as possible." Great, thanks very much. I tried to call, but millions of my closest friends were having the same problem.
And did the banks clearly explain to customers what was going on? Heck no. They drew the wagons in a circle and acknowledged only that they were "aware of a problem." As one small-business owner said, "It was probably the least impressive corporate presentation of bad news I've ever seen."
The banks have been busy telling the press that everything is fine. To no one's surprise, they lie. I had two accounts still malfunctioning over the weekend. As the New York Times reported, the attacks showed a real disconnect between what customers were experiencing and what the banks were telling their customers. Public relations grade? F.
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