Saturday, Aug 20, 2022

EPFO Web Portal Shows Multiple Glitches: Users Take To Twitter To Complain

While EPFO has been encouraging its users to complete e-nominations or transfer EPF online, users have been facing repeated glitches on the portal, and many have aired their grievances on Twitter.

Employees' Provident Fund Organisation

The retirement fund organisation, Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), tweeted in January 2022 asking account holders to add nominees to their accounts online. But account holders have been facing repeated glitches and have failed to complete the nomination process online. Many users expressed their grievances on Twitter.   

Although EPFO has not mentioned any deadline to complete the nomination process, it is advisable to update details at the soonest. But users who have tried to add or update nominee details have not been able to do so due to repeated glitches. As mentioned in the many tweets, while some users failed to update the nominee details on the EPFO portal, many could not login at all. 

On its website, EPFO took out a notification saying that due to maintenance work, the website might be down for a couple of days.  “EPFO’s website having URL will be under maintenance from 22-01-2022, 00:00 Hrs. to 24-01-2022, 06:00 Hrs. However, employers’ & employees’ services will be working through the unified portal. Inconvenience caused is regretted,” reads a ticker on the website.   

However, even after the mentioned date (January 24), users continued to get problems. Some even mentioned through tweets that they have been trying to add nominees for the past few weeks but have not been able to do so due to repeated problems. 

“The portal has introduced filing of e-nomination, without which you cannot view your account balance, etc. I did file my nomination, but it still doesn’t show the balance sheet. Moreover, I faced many errors even while filing my nomination,” says Preeti Raghunath, a researcher and teacher by profession. She believes that despite having a well-designed website, it will be more efficient to have some sort of offline help, as problems persist on the website.

Users took to Twitter to vent their anger, when EPFO again tweeted on Monday, “Employees can now update their Date of Exit on their own.” To this, a user replied, “Best Website in the World. Let me thanks in reply” (sic) with a screenshot of the server being down.   

“It (website) takes a lot of time to load and often we get the message that the server is timed out. Even when I tried to access the portal using the Umang app, I got the message that the app is unable to fetch data. So, I tried to login at odd hours, when the traffic is less. It works better at such times,” says a user requesting anonymity. 

“After adding the nomination, we need to verify using virtual Aadhaar. So, every time I tried entering my virtual Aadhaar, an error popped up saying ‘Unknown Error’. I have not been able to verify my nomination using Aadhaar on the EPFO website,” says Mandira Chatterjee, a software development engineer.

Some of those who have successfully updated their nominations agree that trying at odd hours may be helpful. Apart from accessing the website at low-usage time, such as late night, with strong internet connectivity, they said they kept all the details such as address, Aadhaar number, PAN etc. ready, and kept photos of size less than 100 KB ready so that all the information could be uploaded at the soonest. 

"You can avail EPFO services through the Umang app, too. Moreover, since the glitch is at the end of the authority and they haven't put any deadline to complete the nomination process, it is better to wait until they fix the problem," says Arijit Sen, a financial planner from Merrymind, a financial planning firm.

Why Nomination Is Important 

Nomination is important in all financial products, be it your EPF account or your bank account. The e-filing of nomination is mandatory for an EPF account so that should the account holder die, the dependents mentioned as nominees can claim the funds. 

Earlier, the deadline for e-nomination was December 31, 2021, but EPFO extended it. No deadline has been announced yet. People have been tweeting their grievances since January, tagging EPFO. To all those tweets, EPFO replied, “We are taking the matter with the concerned IT Desk to check the same.”