Posted On: Friday - December 11th 2020 12:54PM MST
In Topics:   Curmudgeonry  Artificial Stupidity  Big-Biz Stupidity
You're in luck today, Peak Stupidity readers, as this will be two rants in one! While writing up that latest customer
The reason I needed a password in the first place is the first rant. Listen, I get the reason for needing to log in with a PW for making banking transactions (I don't even do this), and, well, you already must have an account to need this service. Stock trading, email accounts, company intranet services/requirements, yeah, I! GET! THAT! [/Tucker].
How about needing to register, then log in, to shop though? I checked on 3 different vendors for something recently for the same type of product. The website of one of them had a home page telling me to register. Say what? OK, there were 5 links up top. One said "SHOP". That's good, so I clicked it. That page told me to call up or register. No items were even displayed on there. OK, no sale. Well, that was easy! (Luckily the other 2 sites were normal.)
Everybody wants you to sign up for something now. They've gatta have a website for you to sign up on. In that case you've got to REGISTER first, then use that username and PW that you hopefully wrote down (more on this in rant #2) to log in. Then you can finally do whatever the hell it is you wanted to do. Solution #1: Don't join SHIT! If they want your business so bad they can just let operate on the website and do it, shop, read news, whatever.
Some of the time you are at least allowed to "sign in as a guest". That is so, so nice of them. Amazon.com was smart enough to do that long ago. Sure, they do want lots of information on you, to sell you more stuff easily or to sell that very information. First, they need you to not give up in frustration though.
My recent customer care story had me trying to log in to a site that also had no reason to require me register. The information was all known by my company, and I had already logged in there. This service could have just let me enter in 2 or 3 identifying pieces of info. to get done what I wanted to. No, but every department of anything likes to have their own niche website and their own "customers". That's obviously very cool for them. I explained already though, that this was worth something like 300 bucks to me, so even a half day's worth of frustration would have been worth it. Luckily, the frustration was only for an hour.
Oh, but now [smooth segue-way into Rant #2] how in hell is one supposed to remember the username and PW that are needed only once a year? "Use your name, your birthday, the name of a kid or pet." We all know that those aren't the best passwords unless it's just something that a hacker wouldn't get any use out of. In those cases, yeah, I'll just use the username again for the password. [NOTE: That's not the way Peak Stupidity works. I promise, but you're welcome to try. Good luck! - Peak Stupidity IT department]
Oh, keep the same more difficult password, you say"? I don't think that's the very best idea. If one does join up to various things on-line, then all it takes is one good hack (doesn't mean the password was too easy - there are other ways, of course) for all kinds of havoc, even full-out ID theft, to be made easy.
Next idea: Have a core very difficult to crack part and put easy-to-remember letters that match the website before or after or both. That's pretty good... till you are told you must change the password every 3 months. No, you can't toggle back and forth. I had a system in place for that. Good. Oh, except then I have to update about 10 other passwords each time, and that's just for some of this corporate stuff. They don't all make it easy to do this, and for some, such as the yearly one discussed here, I'm not logging on 3 times in between just to do this. I'd really rather call the Philippines. It's easy, just dial 00. That worked last time, at some point ...
Another problem was that these helpful IT people wanted more kinds of characters after a while. I get the reason, but it messed up my system. With the new pattern, I could not keep straight which iterations of which pattern were required. "Hello, Philippines?"
I've been trying my damndest not to succumb to the biggest mistake regarding passwords, which is NOT TO WRITE THEM ALL IN A LITTLE NOTEBOOK!* They are making this very hard for me. That's what I told the nice Filipina girl on the phone recently: "Should I just put these passwords in a little notebook, so I don't have to call you all so much?"
"I don't mind, Sir, to help you. Could you answer just one of the two security questions?" If I could have, I wouldn't have had to call nice girl. "Nah, tried that, I don't know what I put down for the name of our cat. I make all this stuff up for a reason. Maybe I should buy a little spiral note pad ..."
I guess if you're single, this may be a good way to eventually meet a nice chick - call it "customer care dating". It's easier to use than those dating sites, it's free, and you don't need a password!
* I do know about these password consolidation programs that keep all of them together as your remember just one. That's pretty close to good, but it has the flaws of one losing, or having crash, one's device that has all this, and the general vulnerability again of having all the eggs in one basket.