millions of shoppers became the first real victims of the millennuim bug yesterday. shop terminals refuse over 20,000. credit cards all major cards are affected including debit cards due to the fact that shop terminals send information to a central computer which involves transactions over a four day time span this takes them into the crucial date changeover. this is todays front page headlines in the Daily Mail 29/12/99. so much for one hundred percent bank compliance.


-- bob (, December 29, 1999


Is there a link for this story?

-- Bob (bob@bob.bob), December 29, 1999.

Found it!

-- cmd0903 (, December 29, 1999.

Don't know if there is an on-line 'Daily Mail' and my search failed to find it. Found this in 'newswatch':

"The Daily Mail leads on a story which will develop today that shoppers have already been hit by the Millennium Bug. The problem is affecting 20,000 credit card swipe machines as computers fail to recognise the switch from 1999 to 2000."

Link (newswatch)

-- Risteard Mac Thomais (, December 29, 1999.

This is from the BBC. Hope the formatting works out.


The millennium bug has struck early, with many retailers' card machines refusing to process credit and debit card transactions.

But HSBC, which has issued 10,000 card swipe machines to retailers, says the machines will be working by 1 January.

A software problem has meant that since Tuesday many credit card terminals have not accepted transactions from credit and debit cards, such as Switch, Mastercard and Visa.

Credit card transactions are stored on a central computer which covers a four day period. Hence any transactions which took place since Tuesday have covered the 1 January date.

Since the problem emerged, many retailers have resorted to pen and paper to complete credit and debit transactions.

"Customers can still pay," the HSBC spokeswoman added. The problem is a minor one and can be fixed by pressing a series of keys."

She added that the problem would disappear on 1 January.

Racal, which makes the terminals, apologised to customers for the "short-term minor technical difficulty".

"We are sorry for the temporary glitch. We can only apologise to customers for any inconvenience," a spokesman said.

But many shops and restaurants, who are having one of their busiest periods, are furious at the software problems and wonder why they were not anticipated.

One Welsh restaurateur said: It's astonishing at this late stage that nobody has picked his up."

Warnings Action 2000, the government the body set up to warn about millennium computer problems, said: "Many people think the milennium bug will strike as soon as the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve.

"The truth is that it could happen any time a computer uses the date 2000."

The so-called millennium bug may strike computers which recognise the year by just two digits. The fear is that when 1999 becomes 2000, the computer will read the switch from '99 to '00 and think it is 1900 rather than 2000.

The fault will renew worries that the Y2K bug will bring the UK grinding to a halt, despite persistent claims by business and government that key computer systems are compliant.

-- cmd0903 (, December 29, 1999.

Good thing we kept all those manual machines for credit cards that were used in the '70's and '80's, huh?

Or maybe longer. I usually end up shopping at stores that use the manual machines several times a year anyway. Damn carbons.

-- Simpleminded (nope@wont.never), December 29, 1999.

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