Cahoot customer service failure

I tried to sign up to Cahoot yesterday for an online savings account, and I was receiving errors and just couldn’t complete the process.

So I called the customer helpline to find out what was going wrong and see if they could finish the process. Why did I bother?


I was surprised to be greated by a nervous customer representative who couldn’t really help at all and was giving generic advice like “try later tonight”. I really felt he was skirting round the issue with comments like “a lot of customers have been having this problem”.

Well, I pointed out, I’m not a customer. I’m looking for a high rate, reliable online savings account, and if you’re telling me that I have to wait to sign up to your account when we’re talking about online, instant access, then I’ll just go to another site and join up.

Welcome Richard Brunton to Northern Rock.

However it was with interest (get it?) that I heard today from the BBC news of Cahoot’s actual problems. They’ve had such a security failure that they’ve shut down the site for most of the day – so that was why!

It appears they had a flaw in some upgraded code some twelve days before, and despite testing internally before upgrade, and externally by a hacking team, it still failed.

Not enough testing either in quantity or thoroughness. Remembering again back to the Base Stack days, we had a couple of Servers in a simulated Branch running multiple clients using hardware automated testing tools. We ran these for weeks and poured over the logs.

Nowadays? Well, let’s say that projects I’ve seen have been extremely lax on testing. Almost to the point of being ridiculous and a paper exercise. However, once more I shall stop there to protect my career!

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