Crisis PR: Bank of America Website Down. Again.

Bank of America PR Crisis

Apparently, Bank of America has some issues with its website every January – many of you probably still remember that last year BofA’s corporate site made headlines for a similar issue. Last year, however, the issue had larger proportions, but because “size” doesn’t really matter when it comes to customer support, it is really interesting to observe the bank’s PR dep. at work, giving some answers that resemble so much what we heard before.

We are experiencing some sporadic issues for a small population of customers,” spokeswoman Tara Burke said Friday afternoon. “The majority of our customers can bank online.

Last year, a similar answer was published on Twitter:

Our website is available. However, some customers are having intermittent issues with access. We are working to determine the root cause.

Sure thing, the issue caused a torrent of Tweets from worried customers this year as well, and @BofA_Help tweeted candidly:

We are aware of the issue and are working to resolve it as fast as possible. Please accept our apologies. ^tb

At least this time they had the courtesy to apologize – a lesson learned from last year’s episode, when the bank’s tweets were only counting on people’s patience. While last year’s problem was long unexplained, this time the bank knows exactly what happened:

“This was the result of a routine system change made last night,” spokeswoman Tara Burke said. “This is not a form of malware, or any attack or anything related to WikiLeaks.”

The mention of a possible attack related to WikiLeaks makes sense if you consider that defenders of the controversial site are suspected to be behind the hacking of Visa and MasterCard’s websites. From all forms of outage related to banks, Chase’s, last September, was the worst. It lasted three days and affected over 16 million customers.

As far as Bank of America is concerned, if you look back at last year’s similar issue and compare to this one, you will be prepared next January. (!)

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