Private vs public sector software glitches


  • Consumers unable to access accounts;
  • Banks demanding mortgage customers make up repayment shortfalls caused by a computer error;
  • Debit card system grinds to a halt. Consumers had their cards declined at tills, while business clients were unable to accept payment; and
  • Card payments taken from accounts twice, affecting more than 700,000 consumers 


  • New iPad, which retails from £399 – ?659, offered at one online retailer for £49.99;
  • Christmas food shopping delivery slots cancelled by retailer;
  • Pregnant mum orders £44 worth of toys, but £225 taken from her account, leaving her unable to buy children’s lunches or pay for transport to her antenatal appointment; and
  • Leading retailer seeks permanent staff in return for jobseekers allowance and expenses due to IT error in job ad.


  • Bugs in the operating system of a best-selling phone from leading US manufacturer reduced battery life;
  • New maps application failure – a map reader looking for Crewe will arrive at the new destination of “Wrexham, Crewe”;
  • One of the biggest breakdowns in service suffered left millions of smartphone owners across Europe, the Middle East and Africa unable to send or receive emails, browse the internet or use messaging services; and
  • Telecoms operator forced to apologise to almost 8m customers after an “embarrassing” network failure led to a 24-hour blackout of its service across the UK and Ireland.


  • Ukrainian Mariia Pomazan’s Discus gold medal was downgraded to a silver due to a computer error;
  • A Dereham grandfather travelled five and a half hours to carry the Olympic Flame after a computer confused his Lancashire address for one in Norfolk;
  • The official Olympic countdown clock stopped only a day after being unveiled in Trafalgar Square; and
  • Computer glitches led to poor television coverage of the men’s cycling road race as BBC presenters struggled to work out who was leading because GPS data containing the competitors’ progress was delayed.

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