Friday, January 5, 2007

Something I just discovered today

And I don't particularly like it.

I was perusing my account earlier today and I noticed a discrepancy in the numbers - kinda glaring and easy to spot - see for yourself. (Go ahead, click on the omage for a larger image, I've figured out how to make it link to its full-size replica.)

The two amounts for loans pending review doesn't agree. What's worse, the $200 figure is correct.

Not expecting much, I composed and sent off a note to Prosper's Customer support. I was fully expecting to wait for a week or so before I heard anything from them.

Great then was my surprise when this afternoon, I got a response. I was less delighted with the contents of the response.

For performance reasons, we don’t display bids on listings which funded more than 15 days ago. Therefore, your bid is still active, and the loan may or may not be funded, but at this time you just don’t have visibility to the listing that you bid on.

Listings which have ended with 100% funding from lenders go into a status called "pending review", which typically lasts 3-7 days. During this time, Prosper verifies the identity, address, and income of the borrower.

In some cases, listings pending review are held for longer than 7 days. This typically happens when we have been in contact with a borrower and expect documentation to be sent shortly but simply haven’t received it, or when documentation is received, but not legible (which requires the borrower to re-send documentation).

In any event, it is our goal to get loans originated as quickly as possible and put lenders' money to work with as little delay as possible. As a result, sometimes listings are held for longer than 7 days, but rarely more than 14 days.

So, from this I've got to understand you've developed your database so poorly that there is a performance hit if you trawl the bids made by a specific lender? And worse, you don't mind showing me conflicting information? How much does a CPU second cost versus the time it takes for your support staff to answer my (and every other lender that gets this problem) email to Customer Support?

I'm projecting that with great growth, the CPU problem will magnify itself, even for the bids made less than 15 days ago as the database and the total number of bids per day increase. That means you're looking down the barrel of a gun anyways. With sufficient growth, you'll be bottlenecked to provide lenders with the information you provide them with today by doing the 15-day trawl through your bid records. So quo vadis Prosper?

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