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I Hate Poorly Implemented Automation :

If you’re going to set up a customer facing automated system, at least ensure it is reliable.

This website, along with about a dozen other websites I host on this server all went off-line for about 10 hours due to an automated billing system unable to process the credit card that was on file with the hosting provider. Because the credit card processing failed due to a communications error, and everything with the card information was fine, this card had been working fine for months, the automated system decided that access to the server should shut down immediately until the bill was paid. Now how screwed up is that!?

This is the third time in the past twelve months that various automated systems with different businesses have failed to process a credit card on a recurring basis. Even though the card information was correct, even though the card had been billed multiple times before, the automated transaction didn’t process and no notification was sent to either the card holder, i.e. me, or the billing department at the business that there had been a failure.

How long until the average person in the street has automated systems so intertwined that a failure in one area causes a huge cascade failure with a group of other systems?

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