Friday, May 31, 2013

More American Regrets (expressly!)

Got this large packet from American Express (the 8-1/2 x 11 paper in the middle is just for reference). The 4-page leaflet on the right says that they are changing their website to make it easier on surfers and for added security. Everything that the user had entered - - passwords, account alerts, etc - - have to be re-entered. Direct deposit and similar remains the same (they had to do that, or people would have gone berserk from having to fill-out new forms with their employers, et al., especially those who have social security checks sent to the bank, as is now required by law (don't know how they deal with poor people and those who can't get a bank account, but, that's for another discussion)).

The worst part about the changes is that, instead of having a user-selected photo as "proof" that the user is on their website, as opposed to being on a phishing/hijack/fraudulent site, they now require you to get a confirmation ID via e-mail or phone EVERY TIME YOU LOGON TO THE ACCOUNT ONLINE!!! I've been doing this with Chase, and hate it (you'd think they'd simply allow you to register your computer ID(s), just as Facebook does, and "challenge" you via phone or e-mail, only if they don't recognize the computer you're using (i.e., you're using a friend's or relative's computer)).

For the record, another, local, bank is doing the same thing.

It's incredible that they make the users go through such a rigamarole to cover their own non-secure butts, per the recent spate of personal identity and information thefts from systems that were supposed to be secure (as if this new system is going to be "burglar proof"; all it takes is one lax or turncoat employee!).

My biggest complaint is that these banks don't seem to have enough money to give customers adequate interest, yet, somehow, they can afford to send out these huge notices at no inconsiderable cost, when an e-mail would have sufficed (all online accounts must have e-mail addresses, but, I suppose, it's possible that some people forgot to update their now-defunct e-mail addresses, so they were obliged to send a snail-mail). Having said that, the aforementioned, local bank DID send just an e-mail about their updates and "improvements" (uh-huh; yeah; right; sure), but there was nothing of consequence in the e-mail, and both the source and the "if you can't see this message" link were non-bank domains, which any savvy websurfer will avoid clicking, as it may be bogus and/or a virus.

Since the customers aren't given a choice in these matters, why bother informing us? When the changes occur, let us logon, and we'll figure it out for ourselves, if not via the, presumably, obvious appearance changes, and the subsequent, "please change your password, security questions, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc".

Clearly, the phrases "judicious spending", "seamless transition", and "customer satisfaction" mean nothing to these big companies (and that includes the likes of Facebook, which, annoyingly, changes something nearly every month without notice).

Thus endeth the rant.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Oh, the humanity!

I don't know what everyone's so happy about, today!