In dog-bites-man news, Bank of America Web site fails again

UPDATED (7): Latest BoA problems come on top of mid-January fiasco

Stop me if you've heard this one before ... and if you do any business online with Bank of America I can already hear you yelling, "Stop! Stop! Stop!"

Unfortunately for BoA and its customers, these outages just won't stop.

(2011's 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries)

Today, not six weeks after its last headline-grabbing online debacle, Bank of America is once again dealing with irate customers pounding their fists against virtual doors that simply refuse to open. How long this has been ongoing is not clear, although there are reports that the site has been up and down this morning; the first irate customer comment left of this blog appeared just before 8 p.m. last night.

Those who have managed to get through to BoA's Web site today have been greeted with this message: "We are currently experiencing problems that may cause Online Banking to operate more slowly than normal, or to otherwise interfere with your Online Banking session. We apologize for this inconvenience and are working to restore full Online Banking service as quickly as possible."

Slowness is in the eye of the beholder, I guess, since I've been trying to get into my BoA account for 30 minutes now without success.

The bank's customer-service representatives on Twitter, perhaps the most beleaguered crew in all of social networking, has been pumping out this reply to tweet after tweet: "Some Online Banking users may be experiencing slowness. We apologize & are working to resolve as quickly as possible."

A sample taken from the Twitter stream:

Wow bank of America, great day for your site to be down when I need to pay my rent #fail

Love it when the Bank of America website goes down - especially on the 1st of the month. Grrrr!!!

Oh, and by the way: Bank of America appears to be totally broken. Could someone get over to their website w/ some duct tape or something?

Duct tape can't be any less effective than whatever the bank has been using to date.

Chronic doesn't begin to describe the problem here. In 2006, the bank earned the dubious distinction of being ranked No. 1 in terms of downtime, according to Web site performance monitoring company Pingdom.

More recently, there was this major outage from 2010. This one from a few months prior. And this one. And this one. And this one. And those are only from the Buzzblog archives, not a comprehensive accounting.

(Update: An hour later and still no dice for me getting into my account. And based on the comments being left here it's safe to assume that I am not alone.)

(Update 2, 2 p.m.: Still can't get through, but I'm enjoying the high-quality expressions of outrage in the comments below.)

(Update 3, 2:35 p.m.: While a couple of the comments below have suggested that Bank of America may be the victim of a DDoS attack, a bank spokeswoman tells the Wall Street Journal that such is not the case. Make of that what you what you will. Also, the same spokeswoman continues to maintain the fiction that the site isn't actually down, saying patient customers "can still bank." This has not been my experience.)

(Update 4, 3:00: After waiting a full three minutes for the Bank of America log-in page to load, I see this message: "Online Banking is temporarily unavailable for MA customers. We apologize for the inconvenience." So perhaps the bank's spokeswoman should call back that Wall Street Journal reporter and let him know that even the most patient customer in Massachusetts is unable to bank.)

(Update 5, 4:05: Still getting the "temporarily unavailable" message here in Massachusetts. Comments continue to pile up, including this one that points a finger of blame at IBM hardware.)

(Update 6, 4:15: Funniest comment so far: "Isn't there a number in China they can call to get this fixed?")

(Update 7, 4:45: I'm in! Full access to my account has been restored. ... Now if only someone can do something to fix the paltry balances in my accounts.)

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