If it was an April fool's joke, surely many people didn't find it amusing. While the stock market was rocketing up today, Citibank's online banking site was down and out, stranding thousands of their customers.
We're not talking about a short outage, this was an all day near blackout. What astounds me is that there was no admission and no warnings on the site indicating the problem. It was as if everything was running smoothly. Could it be that the people in charge didn't even know about the problem for hours, or perhaps they were too arrogant or too cowardly to admit the issue and warn their customers? Meanwhile many people who have come to rely on Citibank's online banking, no less at the encouragement of the bank itself, were shut out without any means of conducting their businesses.
I can understand that computers and Web sites go on the fritz sometimes. That's what redundancy and failover is for. Short of poor planning, Citibank could have at least had the decency to notify its customers of the outage and suggest alternatives. Instead it decided to bury its head in the sand and not even promptly respond to customer inquiries.
Online banking should no longer be considered a luxury, it's a necessity to many people. This is not a site about the latest escapades of Paris Hilton or Britney Spears. It's an integral part of many people's daily lives. With all the problems that's facing financial institutions these days, this is a sure way for a bank to send its customers rushing for the exit doors.