When the Housing and Development Board (HDB) launched a slew of new Build-To-Order (BTO) flats on Tuesday (17 Nov), Singaporeans flocked eagerly to the HDB website.
The release was a rare opportunity to snag units in popular estates like Bishan, Toa Payoh (Bidadari) and Tampines.
Unfortunately, HDB’s website might not have been able to withstand the flood of applications, with many users complaining of glitches.
On Tuesday (17 Nov) night, HDB acknowledged and apologised for the issues in a Facebook post.
HDB then updated the post to say their e-Services were temporarily unavailable.
Some users who tried to log into the HDB website on Tuesday (17 Nov) took to the HDB’s Facebook page, complaining that they received a frustrating message saying there was no response from the server.
Various other error messages were posted by users, including one that said an application had already been submitted.
Even the SingPass website returned an error.
A frustrated user said HDB should’ve ensured its server could handle a large number of applications at the same time.
After all, previous BTO sales exercises would have caused high website traffic too, he pointed out.
Some users who managed to make an application and pay the administrative fee of $10, said that there was no confirmation.
However, despite the lack of confirmation or a seemingly unsuccessful transaction, $10 was still deducted from their account.
Many users were unsure whether the deduction of their cash meant their application had gone through or not.
To the users affected, HDB initially said on Facebook that it was working to resolve the issues.
They also apologised for the inconvenience caused.
They advised applicants who were unsuccessful in paying the application fee, or did not receive any confirmation email, to try again later, pointing out that they had a week to submit their applications.
The application deadline is 23 Nov, 11.59pm, and successful applicants will chosen via ballot.
Later, in an update to the original post, HDB said its e-Services were “temporarily unavailable” and they were again working to resolve the issue.
They also addressed the users who didn’t receive any confirmation email after making payment.
They assured applicants that any duplicate payments would be refunded.
The board also asked users for their patience and understanding.
It can be disconcerting when you’ve paid for something online and don’t receive any confirmation and worse still, get an error message.
Thus, we can understand the frustration of users who’re trying to get their dream home in a good location.
On Wednesday (18 Nov) morning, some users said that the website was running normally and they could make their BTO applications without errors.
Hopefully, no more server problems will resurface.
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