It’s possibly my biggest gripe with online accounts, and the simple thing that can make the whole process that much less frustrating seems soooooo obvious, that I am forced to believe that those who set up this system, have never even used their own creation. Either that, or they just want to waste my time and frustrate me – to decisively distract me from all of the real things I have to get done. Hard to say exactly.
It all begins with that moment you’re logging into an account that you rarely use, or somehow were logged out of, and cannot remember what password you used. Of course, you start with one of your (probably three) password variations. Then there’s that annoying message:
“The username or password entered is incorrect”.
“OR?” First off, what gives them the right to say ‘or’ here anyway? If the username is correct, it should be on file, and they should be able to let me know that just the password is incorrect (*I’ll save my rant about when the box says “username” and they really want your email address for another day). So, you continue to put in another variation of your password. Again with the message:
“The username or password entered is incorrect”
…Okay, third attempt, and the message:
“Login attempt failed. The username or password entered is incorrect. For your protection, account has been locked. If you do not remember your password, please press the ‘forgot password’ button.”
Now here’s where it gets fun, right? So, you press the all powerful ‘forgot password’ button, and are prompted to enter the email address used. You receive the email with the temporary password assigned. You log on to the site again, through the link provided, you enter the temp password, and kaboom, you’re FINALLY in your account. Now, you’re asked to create a new personal password. So, you start with your original password variation. Then, that side note message…you know, the one with the PASSWORD RULES:
“Your password must be 8-12 digits long, include at lease 1 capital letter, 2 numeric digits, and one symbol (limited to !$&%*). Please do not use 3 repeating digits in a row…etc…etc.”
Meh. Now, you try another variation of your ideal password, based on their rules, and then you get this message:
“You have already used this password, please choose a new password to access your account. Duplicate passwords are not allowed.”
If, on my VERY FIRST FAILED ATTEMPT to login, they had provided their password rules, I could have avoided 15-30 minutes of runaround, and not be forced to create a brand new password variation that I will fail to remember the next time I try to log on.
I mean, it’s like they never even used it!