Database problem causes Autopage hiccup
Altech Autopage Cellular experienced a database error on Monday that resulted in some of its customers’ future-dated transactions being processed prematurely and some of them without service. By Craig Wilson.
A number of Altech Autopage Cellular customers experienced service problems with their mobile devices on Monday after a system error resulted in future-dated transactions, including package changes, contract cancellations and service add-ons, being triggered on Monday morning rather than at their allotted time.
Autopage MD Boyd Chislett says Autopage has “node-to-node” links to each of the mobile networks and that these are used to provide future-dated services.
“There appear to have been future-dated transactions that went through Vodacom and MTN first thing Monday morning,” Chislett says. He says about 6 000 Autopage customers had future-dated transactions in place, but that it seems only some of these clients were affected.
“The error was on our side, not on the networks’ side,” says Chislett.
He explains the company experienced a problem with its Oracle database on Sunday night, which sent through requests for future-dated services for Vodacom and MTN customers, including those moving to prepaid, cancelling their contracts, removing existing add-on services or requesting new ones.
“The networks have been very good,” Chislett says. “Vodacom reinstated all services in 30 minutes. MTN took slightly longer because its Rica [customer registration] databases needed to be appropriately fixed.”
Autopage spent three hours on Monday night making outbound calls to customers to check if they had experienced any service interruptions and, if so, whether their services had been restored.
“We’re now sending out SMS messages to notify customers of the issue and to tell them that it has been resolved,” Chislett says. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media