Updated The Post Office's computer system has crashed, crippling services at branches nationwide, Royal Mail has admitted. It is understood that all of the UK's 11,800 post offices are affected.
The fault, which started just after midday and is ongoing, walloped all post office services that rely on computers. Cash machines and Paystation Terminals are still working.
A Post Office spokesperson said:
The Post Office apologises to its customers for the inconvenience caused by a computer problem currently affecting the service at branches across the UK. We are very sorry for any difficulties this has caused our customers. We are doing everything we can to fix the problem as quickly as possible and restore a full service to all branches.
Branches are making special cash payments to Post Office Card Account customers. Post Office ATMs and Post & Go services in branch are unaffected. Bill payments and E-topups for mobile phones can be made at Paystation terminals in Post Office branches.
The Post Office is issuing updates to customers and angry staff about the outage over Twitter. Tweets from customers suggest that, ATM transactions aside, it was impossible to do much more than buying stamps, with some post offices even unable to process cash transactions. We'll keep you posted when the glitch has been addressed. ®
Updated to add
An apologetic Post Office spinner got in touch to say the system was fixed by 4.30pm after several hours of downtime. The spokesperson added: "We are continuing to monitor the situation closely to make sure our services remain available as normal.”