Stupid QA tricks: Colossal testing oversights

The trick to nipping IT miscues is testing, testing, testing, as these hard-luck lessons in boneheaded quality assurance attest

Busted big-time -- by the bank

Testing oversight: Contact fields transposed during financial database migration

Consequence: Financial services firm sends detailed "secret" savings and charge card records made for mistresses to customers' wives.

It's hard to get away with an affair when the bank won't play along. That's what some high-roller clients of an unnamed financial services firm learned when the firm sent statements containing full details of account holders' assets to their home addresses.

Although that might not sound like a recipe for disaster, this particular firm -- which requires a $10 million minimum deposit to open an account -- is in the business of providing, shall we say, a financial masquerade for those who wish to sock away cash they don't want certain members of their marriage to know about.

Customers who desire this kind of service typically had one (somewhat abridged) statement mailed home, and another, more detailed (read: incriminating) statement mailed to another address.

When the firm instituted a major upgrade to its customer-facing portal, however, a database migration error slipped through the cracks. The customer's home address was used for the full, unabridged account statements. The nature and character of the discussions between account holder and spouse regarding charges for hotel rooms, expensive jewelry, flowers, and dinners are left as an exercise for the imagination.

According to a source inside the company, the firm lost a number of wealthy clients and nearly US$450 million in managed assets as a result of the flub. But the real winners in this case, apparently, were the divorce lawyers.

Testing tip: In this case, it seems like the engineers who designed the upgrade didn't fully understand the ramifications of what they were doing. The bank executives who maintain this house of cards were ultimately at fault. Communicate the intricacies of your customers' business relationships to your site designers and follow through with continuous oversight to ensure clients' dirty laundry, err, sensitive data out of public view.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags corporate issuesIT management

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Andrew Brandt

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?