A technical “glitch” is being blamed for petrol pumps across New Zealand becoming inoperable due to an inability to process the Leap Day of February 29.  Impacting Allied Petroleum, Gull, Z Energy, Waitomo, NPD, BP and countless other operators the 10+ daytime hour outage caused customer frustration and aggression, as well as a few laughs.

Petrol stations around the country are up and running again following a day-long leap-year glitch which saw card payment machines go down for more than 10 hours.

Customers struggled to articulate their frustration in some cases, in others the Leap Day IT failure was a source of humour, with one Dunedin resident commenting “guess it was time to roll off to BP.  Who knew the leap year could cause so much carnage?”

Waitomo Group owner Jimmy Ormsby said, during the height of the outage, if a fuel brand has an in-house solution like their app, then this was an alternative form of payment.

Waitomo Group Manager Greta Shirley elaborated that ”This is not affecting app payments or where stores have an indoor payment terminal.  A lot has been directed at Worldline, and it is not a Worldline issue – it’s the outdoor payment, so that’s why a lot of the unmanned sites are being impacted.”

“I just want people to know if they need fuel they can use the app.”

Gull spokesperson Julien Leys said all fuel brands’ card payment terminals were impacted by the leap year glitch.He said the provider in question was Invenco payment solutions – which from his understanding specialised in fuel payments.

Invenco Group Ltd Chief Executive John Scott confirmed there had been a leap year glitch – “and we’ve fixed it. We just need to roll it out to the network now, which is our immediate focus. We are [also] talking to Worldline on the rollout process”.

“I know the question is timing; it’s as soon as possible. Expect this afternoon.”

A spokeswoman for Z Energy and Caltex confirmed their systems were working as of about 7pm.

Waitomo chief executive Simon Parham said there was no clear confirmation yet whether the leap year date was the root cause, and they were waiting for a full incident report from the software provider.

Gull said: “An industry-wide fault is causing some Gull payment terminals not to work. We’re working hard to fix this as quickly as possible.

“We understand the frustration our customers are feeling and will have a Discount Day next week to make up for the inconvenience.”

All outdoor terminals are now functioning as usual.

Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)