Friday, May 28, 2010

It's Not That I Object to Security

It all started when Orkin got a new payment address.

I pay Orkin via an electronic check from my bank account.  So I needed to log in to my bank account, and change Orkin's payment address.

Yeah, they don't have an option for that.  I need to add Orkin all over again as a new payee.

I did that.

But it wouldn't "activate" Orkin as a new payee until I confirmed my identity.  It asked for my ATM card number and my birthdate.

I gave it both numbers.

It said there was a problem, and for me to check the numbers and try again.

I did (and did).  Rejected again.

I called online customer service for assistance.  I got India.

Normally I don't mind costumer service in India.  They're generally competent and helpful and I don't really care that they speak English heavily-accented.

This guy, however, was treating me like I was four.  You know, asking if I was, in fact, doing my birthdate in the mm/dd/yyyy format they ask me to use.  Yes, you moron, I can read.  And follow directions.

It got worse.  He then asked me my birthday.  I told him.  He told me that they had a different birthdate on file.  I'm sorry dude, I know what my birthdate is.  It has, in fact, been my birthdate since, well, since that actual date.

He puts me on hold for two minutes, comes back on the line, thanks me for my patience, and asks if he can put me on hold.  (Didn't we just do this?)  He then says, "You said your birthday was January, right?"  "No, I said June."  

He goes away.  He comes back.  Tells me that I'll have to go to my nearest branch with two forms of ID in order to prove my birthdate is what I say it is.

It is around this time that I ask for his supervisor.

She tells me we can fake out the system.  Apparently, the system asks different security questions every time.  So we can keep trying until it gives me a security question that isn't my birthdate.  The problem is, every time it asks for my birthdate, I get it "wrong," and it locks me out of my account completely.  Supervisor lady can override that and re-approve my account access, because my identification has been "fully verified" over the phone.  (Then why can't you change my damn birthdate in there?  Oh no, you need to go into a branch to do that.)  

So, to review, the system locks me out (for reasons of security) when I get the security question wrong.  The people in India believe that I am me enough to keep letting me back in, but, apparently, not enough to change my (incorrect) personal information on file.

This is either a tragic lapse in security or just monumental stupidity.

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