Vodafone UK web titsup blamed on 'holiday maintenance'
Nothing to see here, it's August
The entire Vodafone.co.uk website was down for 60 minutes this afternoon and online account access was out of action for 24 hours - but the blackouts were due to planned maintenance, Voda said.
Between 3pm and 5pm today, the telco displayed the message: "We are making some changes to the site."
A Reg reader told us he had not been able to access the account section of the Vodafone UK site since Monday lunchtime. Vodafone would not confirm how long the services had been down, saying only that they were "aware" of it and that services would be back "as soon as possible". A spokesman said:
We are aware that some of our online services are currently unavailable. This is due to maintenance work and services will be up and running as soon as possible
When we put it to the Vodafone spinner that the middle of the day was an unusual time for planned maintenance, we were told that August was considered a good time for fiddling with systems:
We have carried out this work during what is traditionally the quietest time of the year (as many people are on holiday).
Vodafone refused to provide us with more detail about their systems or whether this glitch with their online services was related to an incident two weeks ago when internal IT fell over and customers were unable to access their accounts for half a day. ®
"Making some changes" to the site: Vodafone site down
Updated to add
A Voda spokesman has been in touch again to say: "There have been intermittent issues with My Account since yesterday evening. This planned maintenance involved us needing to load test new systems. While traditionally maintenance is done very early in the morning, we needed to carry out this work in a ‘live’ environment. We apologise for any inconvenience caused."
Re: Usual performance
Downloading bills from the Vodafone website is the most tortuous and unreliable process at the best of times. If they just had a pdf link you could right-click/Save-As that'd be great, but no, there's numerous redirects then eventually it loads the bill using some ghastly not-quite-pdf plug-in for which the 'save' option doesn't work properly, and the email-it-to-me only works part-time, and involves choosing in a pop-up window whether I want "original bill" "pages 1-4" or "full bill" or somesuch (some of these give more itemisation than others). Furthermore, usually the pop-up needs expanding just to reveal the OK button.
I'd far rather they just emailed me the bill as a pdf attachment, with no fuss.
The odds of that happening are precisely zero.
Orange's bill-download is similarly tortuous and broken (and possibly sensitive to what browser/security-settings are in use). Why-oh-why can't they just simplify and sort out the mess?
Is it not fairly common practice to have your corporate site display a "we are down for maintenance" message when you run out of head end capacity?
I thought everybody did this?
Holidays quietest time?
Surely holiday times are when people are most likely to want to look at the website. If they are going on holiday they want to know whether they can leave the phone on without their phone bill matching the GDP of a small country within a few seconds of arriving in the country or whether they should take the battery and sim card out of the phone, wrap everything in separate pieces of tin-foil and use it only for extreme emergencies.