September 14, 2010

Perhaps They Should Have Tested More - J.P. Morgan Chase

Millions of customers who bank online with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. lost electronic access to their accounts as the company's website suffered a severe outage starting Monday at 11:00 PM ET.

At one time today the Chase site reportedly indicated it was undergoing "scheduled system maintenance". But as of 8:30 PM ET Tuesday, the site now says "Our website is temporarily unavailable. We're working quickly to restore access. Please log on later."

There's no indication yet when this outage is expected to end.
  • The result of a flaw in a software program tailored for J.P. Morgan.
  • More than 16 million computer and iPhone users impacted
  • The Chase outage "appeared to be unusually lengthy"
  • People can't check their balances or pay their bills online
  • Affects both businesses and consumers
  • Affects all online transactions
Perhaps Chase should have tested more.

See also:

Update: Wednesday, September 15.

When I checked around 6:30 AM ET this morning, the Chase site was back up and running, although there still doesn't seem to be an official explanation for the more than one day outage.
  • down for more than a day
  • "It's an eternity in the online world"
  • speculation as to the cause appears on Twitter and online message boards
See also:

Update: Thursday, September 16.

And the fun continued through Wednesday.  Wow...
  • Site failed again on Wednesday
  • Customers reported new problems accessing the site for much of Wednesday
  • Throughout Wednesday, many customers were unable to log in
  • According to JP Morgan, a third party vendor's database software corrupted the log-in process
  • The length of the online blackout suggests "something is significantly wrong"
  • "It raises serious questions about the technology of the bank"
See also:

And here's what the Chase site shows now:

My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at


  1. Joe,
    Well at least we know where the TARP money went, and it wasn't into testing.


  2. During my recent customer/prospect meeting/technical session at OOW, I asked the prospect what drives the purchase: quality goals or fear that the application would fail. The answer was: it is <> fear.

    Chase web site went down and people are getting concerned about Chase technology, but did Chase actually lost any business? Did someone calculate the impact? Of course if the incident starts repeating itself, serious consequences will follow. But if they invest into testing, it will be still because of "fear" and not because of "quality goals." And as such there will be no meaningful ROI expectations.

    I wonder if there is a tool which calculates ROI on testing of an application, someone knows?