Just days after completing one of the industry’s biggest system integrations, the $4.9 billion First Tech FCU, the product of a celebrated California/Oregon mega merger, hit a buzz saw of negative publicity this week with members complaining in person and online about an electronic breakdown.
A spokeswoman for First Tech acknowledged the account complaints but said the CU with administrative offices in Palo Alto, Calif., and suburban Portland had recovered from the computer snafu though “any integration of this magnitude is bound to run into problems and we were not 100% perfect.”
At its website, First Tech said the integration of its systems, accounts and services is complete but added, “We’re still experiencing some hiccups that we’re diligently working to fix as soon as possible. We continue to appreciate your patience as we work through some remaining issues.”
The website notice also said longer than normal on-hold telephone and email response times also are occurring.
The website notice went on to say that on June 4 it “loaded an Online Banking update to address the username, password and security certificate errors that some members were experiencing. To ensure this change takes effect on your system, please clear your browser cache and then try to login again.
“After that, if you still experience username, password or security certificate errors, please email” the CU.
First Tech “is moving ahead with business as usual,” the spokeswoman said TUesday, as it fields scores of gripes from members who could not gain access to their accounts during and after a three-day period during the Memorial Day holiday as First Tech and the old Addison Avenue FCU in California integrated account and service systems.
The local media in Portland, hearing from First Tech members, pounced on the breakdown noting, as the The Oregonian put it, that such a computer problem “is not good for a credit union that caters to Oregon's savvy, demanding technology workers. First Tech customers have flocked to a Facebook page to share their issues and grouse about the company's response.”
“First Tech's technology issues were initially much worse,” suggested the Oregonian article appearing online Monday, including one member unable to access accounts for a reported nine days. “When the credit union's newly merged computer back-shop went active over Memorial Day weekend, heavier-than-expected traffic crashed the system.”
The spokeswoman declined to confirm that description but said there 104,000 “logins the first day.”
Just weeks ago, similar complaints were heard when the $1.5 billion Kern Schools Federal Credit Union in Bakersfield, Calif., underwent a computer conversion. That conversion was from one company’s core processing platform to another.
First Tech and Addison Avenue were both on Open Solutions Inc. platforms.