Making a working website is too easy

I’m trying to shift what few periodic bills I have, off my old bank account and onto my new one. This should be very easy, logically. Thus, it should come as no surprise that it’s in most cases impossible to do.

First up, there’s those websites you haven’t signed into for six months, so you have to go through the whole process of finding out what your username and password were. Especially combined with all the systems I access at work, along with the various stupid but varying requirements many websites enforce on passwords, I estimate that at any given time I have around 20 unique passwords “in use”. I can remember at best half those, so, at any given moment I am unable to login to roughly half my accounts. Very useful. (that doesn’t include PINs for banks and whatnot… yay for another half a dozen there)

Once you get beyond that, you have to deal with the stupidity of the websites themselves. Like AT&T’s, which actually diverts you to a second website, which when you actually try to change anything diverts you to a third. I swear if I wasn’t already familiar with this retardedness, I’d be certain it was some phishing site.

And when you do change your account details, it turns out it makes no difference because your account details in that particular place don’t affect your payment options. Yes, it’s true, I often use random untrustworthy websites to simply store my credit card details. No no, I don’t want to actually use those, don’t be silly.

Furthermore, someone, somewhere, when they wrote that ridiculous system, must have burst their sides laughing when they realised that in addition to all this so far, they could even make it so when you do find the second place to enter your details, it won’t let you just use what’s already in the system, from the first place.

Lastly, they’ll ensure after doing all this, it won’t work anyway. Yay! At this point I really don’t care; if they go to charge my old account after it’s closed, that’s their problem.

Then of course there’s those websites which just don’t work outright. Safeco, how I loathe you. Their JavaScript is horribly, horribly broken. Which is really sad, because Safari’s JavaScriptCore is a sweet-as JavaScript implementation, faster and more powerful than pretty much all the others out there. You’d almost have to go out of your way to break it. Especially so well; as soon as any JavaScript on their site executes, it blocks all input to that page. So you can’t even click on a link. Yay.

Of course, when you disable JavaScript, 99% of the site works perfectly fine (well… aside from other non-script related issues), showcasing the fact that they not only used broken JavaScript, but they used it gratuitously. Nice one.

And in that particular case, even once I did get through the aforementioned hoops, the act of actually adding my insurance account (it appears anyone in the world can sign up for a free account; actually having an insurance policy with them is entirely optional!) appears to have crashed their server; it no longer responds to any requests, just timing out. Or at least, not my requests. Good-o.

Oh, and then there’s those websites which cleverly avoid all this frustration by simply not letting you login at all. IdentityMonitor (via Citibank) is just such an example. Can’t remember username (my Mail archives show every single time I’ve ever logged in, because every time I’ve gone through this process). They send me an email after half an hour – thanks for being prompt – which takes me to the “answer your secret questions” crap. I answer it, correctly – I’ve done this many times, remember – but it claims I’m wrong. I repeated the whole process, giving exactly the same answer, and this time it throws up a VBScript error. Nice. VBScript. For an identity monitoring website. I feel safer already.

Reload the page, again it claims the answer is wrong. Back to square one. I guess these guys also will pick up the changes to my accounts when they try to bill one that doesn’t exist anymore. Good luck, dumbarses.

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