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Yesterday Italian ING Direct website started showing this message to the customer that tried to enter the reserved area: “Attenzione: se sei un cliente di Investimenti Arancio, ti informiamo che l’accesso al prodotto e’ momentaneamente non disponibile. Ci scusiamo per il disagio. Grazie” [“Warning: if you are an Investimenti Arancio client, we inform you that access to the product area is temporarily unavaiable. We apologize for this incovenience”].
I’m quite sure that in a few hours everething will be ok, but this fact gives me the cue for a consideration.

Technical difficulties can happen, obviously, and they will always happen. But as we all aim to have “the best”, I have to say that I would had take more care of communication. Especially who isn’t so familiar with computers and information technology (and, in Italy, they aren’t exactly a few), surely feels quite uneasy when he can’t gain access to his money. Technical difficulties also can happen in a “physical” bank branch, as a consequence of a black-out, or a malfunction, fore example, but in this case there is probably a clerk that will explain you that your money isn’t lost, and that the problem will be solved, and what you can do in the while. A company offering services online should take care of all this communication, to offer at least a service equivalent to “physical” one.

Therefore, I think it would have been better if ING added a few informations in the notice: for example, that you could still access your data and order transaction by phone (if this was the case), or an estimation of when the service will be fully functional again, and maybe some indication on the problem. In these cases, admit a problem is not weakness but transparency, that clients always appreciate.

Italian translation of this post: La gestione dei problemi tecnici.

Banche e Risparmio [http://www.banknoise.com]