Internet banking, static IP addresses & corporate service

Look around for a few minutes on the net and you’re sure to find some lame websites.

Some of them are only partly so, but punish their customers more so than anyone else.

Today’s inane examples are Chase and American Express.

This afternoon, I logged into Chase to pay my bill. I login, and it says “hey, you’re using a new computer, I must authorize you.”

Well, that’s all fine and dandy but I’m not using a new computer. It’s the same laptop I’ve had for the last year or 2. What they really mean is that my IP address has changed, but they can’t say that or the majority of their clientele would experience jaw pain and psoriasis. Or something.

Unless you have a static IP address, this is going to happen every time. Funny thing is, I’m paying for a static IP address here at the office, but I routinely find the IP changing because CenturyTel is well, incompetent. Every time I call about it, I get apologies and “we’ll fix it” and sure enough it gets fixed for a week or a month….but then it starts changing again.

But I digress.

So, just like the last time I logged into Chase (yes, this is a regular thing), I tell it I want a new code, it lets me pick how to get it, I do so, it sends it, I check my email, I click on the “I have my activation code” button and I get “Sorry, our activation system isnt working right now.”

I guess that’s why they detected the new computer, forced me through the activation process and issued a code to me, right?

Grrrrr.

I wonder how many thousands of phone calls that generates per week. The site is supposed to save them money and me time. Right now, it’s doing neither.

Grrrr.

Next, Amex.

Every time I login to their website, it tells me that they couldnt reach me via email. The window that tells me this pops up and interrupts what I’m trying to do… and does so every single time.

Of course, I’ve gotten 7 emails from them since the last login (payment due, payment received, travel stuff, Membership Rewards news, and so on), but whatever. It could mean that ONE of them bounced. Who knows.

The little popup window asks me to click to find out what the deal is. For the last several months, after I click on the little popup window, I am taken to a page that says “Sorry, our system is currently unavailable”. This has been the case, morning noon and night, all year long.
This is the state of corporate internet-based customer service and billing in 2007?

Makes it all that much harder to swallow when small business owners tell me that the big box stores, franchises and corporates are beating them to pieces. Those same businesses have become professionals at annoying the squirt out of their customers. And you STILL can’t take their customers away from them?

Try harder. Try smarter.