Alliance & Leicester has come under fire after its online system is believed to have stopped working just hours before it changed one of its product rates.Tony Rich, sole trader at Yellow Financial, says he was left having to produce a new Key Facts Illustration for his client after he could not submit the case online, and A&L would not accept the case the next day at the original rate. Rich was trying to submit a two-year fixed product which was priced at 4.19% on October 3 but changed to 4.29% at midnight. He says: “This highlights how reliant mortgage lenders are on technology. I was unable to submit the case before the rate changed because the online system would not allow me to. “I then had to produce new documents for the case, which also meant a travelling time of three hours which was costly as I wasn’t charging the customer for submitting the case.” Rich says it is a remarkable coincidence that A&L’s online system stopped working the day before the rate was to go up. He adds: “Often when big lenders bring out a good rate they cannot cope with demand and withdraw the product. What a coincidence the online system stopped working just before the rate was set to change. I don’t believe anything is a coincidence with these big companies.” A&L admits that when it withdraws a fixed rate product it experiences a surge in applications. Sally Lauder, spokeswoman for A&L, says: “Whenever we withdraw a fixed rate product we see a surge in applications and sometimes this surge makes our systems slower than usual.” A&L has contacted Rich and is working to resolve the problem.