I tried to log onto one of my credit card accounts today to check the balance. I rarely use the site as it was a 0% balance transfer, never use the card – don’t even know where it is. So, no surprise that I can’t remember my login details and password. I have a couple of goes recalling all my stock passwords (yes I know it’s bad practice and I’m encouraging identity fraud, but we all do it. Don’t we?). Anyway, no problem, I call up the number on the website and the guy on the phone is really helpful. Some basic security questions, one of which I get wrong so he asks me another and bingo, this time I’m right and he gives me my balance and offers me another 0% balance transfer. Nice touch…but I decline. Towards the end of the call I ask him to reset my login details so that I wouldn’t have to call in future. Strangely, bearing in mind he’d established that I was the real Tony Weimer and that he’d just given me my balance and some other details, he tells me my login name but says he can’t reset my password and that I have to do that on the website. OK, a bit of a pain and more effort required on my part but, he’s been helpful and I’m sure it’ll be straightforward. Wrong. Will I ever learn? I login using the name that he’s given me. Fine. I’m prompted for the password that I don’t know, so I hit the “forgotten password” link that takes me to another page to enter my credit card number (remember I don’t have the card but cunningly I find a way of getting the card number). I refuse to let them grind me down. Brilliant, plain sailing now. Wrong again. I now need to enter the 3 digit security code (that I don’t have). Scuppered. Unfortunately, I wasn’t cunning enough to record that anywhere.
Given that I had established who I was on the call, wouldn’t it have been easier for the guy to have reset the password for me? Not only for me but for them too. Next time I want a balance I have no option but to give them a call. And yes I can hear you all saying, “If you weren’t so dumb and had your card there wouldn’t be a problem”. I can’t argue with that and customers do do dumb things from time to time but that’s no excuse for companies using dumb processes that just doesn’t make sense, are counterproductive and leave me feeling frustrated.