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Top software failures of 2015/2016

Christina Mercer | June 28, 2016
Missing payments, double-charged customers and delayed stealth fighter jets all resulted from software glitches this year

The government's online calculator for calculating spouses' financial worth was hit with a Form E fault meaning that those calculations were wrong for thousands of couples that have been divorced in the past 20 months. 

According to reports this error has been inflating spouses' finances since April 2014 but was only brought to like in December 2015. 

According to the Office of National Statistics there were 114,720 divorces in England and Wales in 2013 so the damage that this fault has caused is yet to be fully revealed. 

6. Bloomberg cancels debt issue

Top software failures 2015: Bloomberg cancels debt issue
© iStock/Anson

In April this year, Bloomberg's London office suffered a software glitch resulting in their trading terminals going down for two hours. 

This came at a very bad time as the UK's Debt Management Office (DMO) was set to auction a series of short-term Treasury bills (these bills are short-term Government borrowing).

In a statement Bloomberg said: "Service has been fully restored. We experienced a combination of hardware and software failures in the network, which caused an excessive volume of network traffic."

7. 600,000 RBS payments go missing

Top software failures 2015: 600,000 RBS payments go missing
© iStock

In June 2015 about 600,000 payments failed to enter the accounts of RBS overnight - including wages and benefit payments. Many took several days to come through. The bank's chief admin officer said a "technology fault meant we could not ingest a file from a third-party provider" but did not provide much further detail on the root cause. In 2012 6.5 million RBS customers experienced an outage due to batch scheduling software, a glitch for which the bank was subsequently fined £56 million.

8. Nissan's airbag glitch

Top software failures 2015: Nissan's airbag glitch
© Vertu Motors

Over the past two years Nissan has been recalling airbags adding up to over 1 million cars. The software failure was due to a glitch in the airbag's sensory detectors.

In short, the affected cars could not detect whether an adult was sat in the car's passenger seat and as a result the airbags would not inflate. There has been a reported two accidents due to this software failure. 

9. Starbuck's software bug

Top software failures 2015: Starbuck's software bug
© iStock/John Scott

Back in April Starbucks witnessed a register malfunction which according to Starbucks, was caused by an 'internal failure' during its routine refresh. This resulted in 60 percent of stores in the US and Canada being forced to close. The affected stores were unable to process payment transactions and at one point many stores were giving the coffee away for free.

 

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