Re: Year 2k

Harvey Newstrom (
Sun, 29 Mar 1998 12:45:32 -0500

My credit cards and drivers license do not yet have the ability to issue
cards beyond the year 2000. Both keep giving me cards that expire
12/31/99. I used to get some cards that lasted 5 years. If they don't get
the systems fixed by the year 2000, they won't be able to use the computers
to issue new cards.

Have you ever been in a bank when the computer was down? I have. They
absolutely refused to give me my money. Legal threats were of no use.
They really have no mechanism to issue cash or record transactions without
the computer. Even if they did have a method, they would probably be too
scared to use it. If their computer goes down on January 2, 2000, I doubt
they could handle it. Even if they had paper transactions, it would be
much slower and there would be more mistakes.

Businesses that are not ready will fail. Not because alternatives aren't
available, but because customers will simply switch to other businesses
that are functional. Would any customer go to a gas station that can't
accept your pay-at-the-pump card, when the one across the street can?
Would any customer go to a grocery store where they can't use their debit
card, when the store down the street can? The first trip to a business
where the customer is sent away empty-handed because the business can't
handle the transaction, would be enough to turn off most customers. I
think this perception of poor business practices will kill most businesses
that are not ready.

Harvey Newstrom   <mailto:>
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