because of a computer system failure.
The system that regulates government issued debit cards that people use to pay for
food went down in 17 states, including Pennsylvania, Saturday morning.
Jose Rivera of Wilkes-Barre heard about the electronic benefit system failure at the Quinn’s
Market checkout counter in Pittston. He complained, "She scanned my whole
order and then she's like, 'Oh just so you know, EBT is down.' After. Like let
me know before, I could have put stuff back."
Rivera left his order inside. He’s not alone. Grocery stores across America were
littered with carts full of food. Quinn’s closing manager Joey Pollicare said, "There's
a lot of carts that we had to take back. People are getting mad at us."
Pollicare explained why Quinn’s Market employees told people about the when they arrived
at the register. He said, "We didn't want people to turn around and go
away and lose business so we kinda just let them come in and once they got to the register we explained to
Schiel’s Family market in Wilkes-Barre did put up warning signs. They didn’t seem to
help. Assistant Manager Stephen Morrissey said, "We're kinda getting every
body coming in. They're getting mad, frustrated. They'll probably have a
shopping cart full and not realize it because we posted notes up but no one
ever takes note of that."
Some people thought the government shutdown caused the problems but that was not the
case. The company that runs the computer system, Xerox, had a problem during a
routine system check Saturday.
Some store manager said they would have liked some warning that the company would b
e running tests. Morrissey said, "For me and our company it makes me feel like we're not sort
of cared about by the bigger system in the scheme of things."
A Xerox spokesperson said the system is now up and running but there are still
some connectivity issues. The spokesperson also said the company appreciates
customers’ patience while employees work through the problems.