RBC client wants to sue over computer glitch
CTV.ca News Staff
A Royal Bank client wants to launch a class action lawsuit over the "trouble and stress" she suffered as a result of last week's computer problems.
Millions of customers were unable to access payroll deposits and other money in their bank accounts after a computer glitch prevented their account information from being updated. The problem occurred Monday, May 31, and took a week to fix.
The bank has promised to refund any overdraft charges or fees that customers incurred because of the disruption and to reimburse other Canadian financial institutions for certain costs their clients incurred, but Normand Painchaud, the lawyer for one RBC client, says that doesn't go far enough.
Painchaud filed a request Monday to be allowed to proceed with a class action lawsuit seeking $500 in compensation for each individual RBC client.
"(The client) was concerned that although the Royal Bank offered to compensate for fees incurred, the Royal Bank did not offer to compensate for her trouble and her stress," he said.
"We think her case is pretty representative of a lot of people."
Meanwhile, RBC officials are now admitting the glitch was caused by a single worker who entered "a relatively small number" of incorrect pieces of code during a routine software update.
"It was a program change," Martin Lappert, the bank's chief information officer and vice-chairman, told The Globe and Mail. "The guy made some mistakes ... with respect to how he went through the testing process with respect to it. It appears, as we're going through this, that it didn't get tested as fully as it should have been and, as a result, it created the problem.
"So essentially what you have is a piece of code that ends up having a character in a field that it shouldn't be in. That change ends up upsetting a sequence of events."
And that's not the least of the bank's woes. Royal Bank said Wednesday a fraudulent email was circulating to customers asking them for personal information and account passwords.
The message states that if they don't click on the link and key in their client card number and passcode, access to the account will be blocked.
While both the link and the e-mail -- which uses the address firstname.lastname@example.org
-- look as though they're official and legitimate, they did not originate from Royal.
The bank is reminding clients never to share online passwords or personal information with anyone.
A spokeswoman said she wasn't aware of any Royal clients who had fallen prey to the e-mail fraud, but feared some customers might believe that it was necessary for them to provide the information given the bank's recent computer problems.