US consumer groups have criticised Washington Mutual (WaMu) for refusing to refund late payment fees incurred by customers when a glitch knocked out the bank's online bill payment system.
The glitch occured following a technical upgrade of the bank's Web site and prevented customers from using electronic bill payment services.
The outage went on for about two weeks - from late July to early August - and appears to be one of the longest-lasting Web site glitches that a bank has suffered.
The bank apologised to customers for the glitch but has so far refused to pay any late fees customers may have incurred as a result of late bill payments, a move that has been criticised by the Consumer Federation of America and the Federal Office of Thrift Supervision.
Seattle-based WaMU argues that it provided a free-phone backup services to affected customers during the outage.