I hate banks! I hate all banks. I hate some more and I hate some less, but I hate all banks. Most recently I’ve had problems with Bank Direct. Starting a few weeks ago some pages would accept my password, while others would not. If I wanted to check my accounts online I’d go to an URL with a login area then learned to click the link to call up a different login page (with the same URL!!!!) because one page would allow me to login while the other would reject my password.
A couple of weeks ago I had to ring the helpdesk and change my password because the web page rejected me once too often.
Today I filled in all the details for a virtual cheque and entered my password to confirm. It was rejected. Of course I then double and triple checked my password, typed it with extreme caution, double checked the Caps Lock and Num Lock. This, the same password which had allowed me in a few minutes before.
Finally I called the helpdesk again and ran through the thirty maddening questions: my birthmonth is this, the first letters of my phone password are these, no I don’t know when we joined up with this bank, no I don’t know my overdraft limit, yes a payment for this amount went out on that date. I understand the need for security — heck, there’s little enough money in the darn account I don’t want others spending it for me! But they ask questions no sane person would know the answer to. Can you name the date you signed up with your bank? Crikey, I can’t even tell you the date I bought this Powerbook and I’m a million times more interested in my Mac than in my banking service.
Anyway, the helpdesk person was finally convinced to help me with my password. I complained that the website sometimes accepts the password and sometimes doesn’t. She asked me how many characters long it is and a quick count led me to say “Twelve”. Well, it seems a bank password must be eight characters long. I can see, that’s what it says on the site. Of course, in my skim reading I’d skipped that and assumed it said “at least eight characters”. So, my fault. But why the heck did the website / phone system allow me to create a password longer than eight characters then? I’m no programmer, but even I could write something to count the characters and say “no more than eight, pal”. So, my new password is exactly eight characters. We’ll see.