When tech goes wrong: 5 of the biggest fails in tech history

October 15, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Computing

When tech Goes wrong

Technology has become a significant part of our everyday lives, a system we rely heavily on in order to assist in our day-to-day activities.

But sometimes technology turns and bites us on the input socket. After all we do heavily use technology, get angry when it takes more than a second to please us with our endless requests and bin it whenever it gets more than a year old. No wonder it occasionally gets a bit tetchy.

This year technology has seen some great advances but has also witnessed some major failures, especially in the software department.

  • NEST thermostat leaves users in the cold

In January the “NEST smart thermostat” owned by Google was hit with a software glitch which left users literally out in the cold. The software update had a few kinks forcing the device’s batteries to drain heavily and unable to control temperature. So in the coldest month of the year customers were unable to heat their home or use hot water.

Googe Nest fail on Biz-find UK

Google in the cold

NEST claimed the fault occurred due to the 4.0 firmware update plus issues such as cold air in the filter. NEST has since rolled out a further update. Hopefully allows customers to feel warm in winter.

  • HSBC suffers IT Crisis

This year HSBC became the first bank to suffer major IT outrage. Due to the result in failure in servers, millions of HSBC customers were unable to access online accounts for two days. Report states 275,000 individual payments failed to be processed by HSBC, which left many potentially without pay.

The bank resulted in loss of transactions and very unhappy customers. The bank’s chief operating officer Jack Hackett blamed a “complex technical issue” with its internal systems.

  • Prison releases US prisoners early

In 2002 a new software was introduced into US prisons to determine and calculate the release dates of inmates. The software was used to calculate good and bad behaviour to allow prisoners to request an early release date. Unfortunately, the system has a continuous glitch allowing requests to be push forward. Reports claim there had been ongoing problems for 14 years leading to 3,200 US prisoners being released early.

  • Amazon Christmas Glitch

Everyone would like to purchase Christmas gifts for their loved ones at a reasonable price. For some customers it was their lucky date when vendors saw their products on sale for just one penny in Amazon marketplace. It was a fantastic event for shoppers and many picked up items such as expensive mobile phones for just 1 penny. The glitch was attributed to a big in Amazon price comparison software and results in a £1 million total loss for vendors and Amazon.

  • UK Border and immigration system fail

One of the costliest software failures known to date which is estimated to cost up to £1 billion is the UK border and immigration software fail. The system was incapable of dealing with backlog cases and resulted in 29,000 applications back logged. The department failed to located 50,000 people when asked to find out about them. The system did not have features to cope with big data.

Immigration Issues on Biz-find

UK border Tech Glitch


60% of IT software failures are a result of software coding errors or out-of-date systems.

For your website or software development requirements from outsourcing to hiring in house niche technical expertise, visit our website or contact me directly.

Sam on 0161 883 1935. Email:  sam@wenso.co.uk

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