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Why is everything getting so complicated when the Internet is supposed to make things simpler?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Duke of York, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    The car windscreen got a crack when I left it to be cleaned a couple of days ago. That's not a big deal, but I had to get it sorted asap, because we're going on holiday tomorrow.

    The cleaning company promised they'd either get the windscreen replaced or if I have it covered by my car insurance, they'd pay thge excess. I decided that the latter would be the best option as I would have more control over the timing.

    The first thing was to find where the insurance policy was. It turned out I had to download it from the insurers website, but to do so, I had to register an account on the website. Not that difficult to do, you'd imagine, but part of the process involves getting a text message with a code to enter that verifies the individual accessing the account is bone fide. OK, a slight inconvenience if during the process of purchasing the insurance, it had been necessary to provide a mobile number.

    So I had to find out how to speak to someone at the insurance company who could sort this out. It took ages to locate the contact number for this on the insurers website. Virtually every promising link led to a dead end or returned me back to where I began. Fortunately I got there in the end managed to get the only windscreen company the insurers use to get their act together and as I type, the fitter is replacing the windscreen. How somebody who isn't computer literate manages this stuff is beyond me.

    When I checked my bank account this morning, it demanded I request a one-time access code, which it sent by text. Thankfully the bank has my mobile number, but if I change to a different phone and don't retain the same number, I'd be stuffed.

    How will I ever be able to remember which corporations require my current mobile number so I can access their services? It's security gone mad. It was all supposed to be simpler doing stuff online, wasn't it?
     
    Mermaid7 likes this.
  2. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    Why is everything getting so complicated when the Internet is supposed to make things simpler?

    Where ever did you get this idea from?


    I get annoyed by all this extra work. I particularly get annoyed by the insistence on mobile numbers. The problem is that the people who set these things up are geeks and they do not seem to take the obvious step of consulting non-geeks before inflicting things on us.
     
    Mermaid7 likes this.
  3. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    Why do companies insist on making you set up an account when you want to buy something online, even if you have no intention of using them again? It is supposed to make things easier if you want to buy from them again but in practice often makes it more complicated.

    Some years ago I ordered some groceries online from Sainsbury's. Around a year later I tried to order again but couldn't remember my password. No problem, you provide an email address and they'll send a link so you can log in. I entered my email address, a message said the address had not been recognised. OK so in that case, I thought, I can set up a new account. I tried to do this but I was not allowed to as the email address had already been used. I gave up. I had a similar experience more recently trying to buy rail tickets online.
     
    Mermaid7 likes this.
  4. Nellyfuf2

    Nellyfuf2 Occasional commenter

    Everyone is controlled by their mobile phone.
    Except me. I have one but I don't know where it is just now.
    Banks are going to do security via mobile phones. I think this is going to cause me a problem. I suppose there will eventually be a solution to this...
    The main problem for me is phone calls where they give a menu. Press one for red socks. Press two for wheetabix. And so on.
    Meanwhile, my landline is totally dedicated to the use of some poor soul in another country trying to pretend they are going to cut off my internet.
     
  5. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    A few months ago I helped one of my residents apply for a blue badge. She's all but blind and unable to use a computer. I tried to download the application form, but to do so, it's necessary to enter her details and the council where she's registered blind. The website didn't recognise the council.

    The blue badges are managed by the social services dept of the county council, so I found the number and gave them a call. I had to hang on for the best part of an hour before the call was answered, listening to messages trying to get me access services via the website.

    The messages also said they are very busy, like everyone else isn't, but if the call is for a safeguarding matter, to wait for the call to be answered. Eventually I was put through to the relevant dept, who kindly put a form in the post.

    An hour to report a safeguarding issue?

    I questioned the delay, and was told they were very busy. I said I understood that and recognised that social services staff are specialised, but any idiot can pick up a phone, take a message and a contact number.

    It's easy to forget that the world turned before the Internet. All this stuff was usually sorted out in a few minutes by a phone call that got answered straight away and didn't require the nonsense of punching in numbers to direct the call to the right dept.
     
    Mermaid7 likes this.
  6. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    The internet increases the level of complexity... it links us in new and varied ways. An idea/meme from Jakarta can now spread across the globe in mere minutes ... a news story can flash to our phones and urgently update us... negotiations between nations become like the most tedious prolonged football matches ever... we have a new level of communication... social media directing our thoughts and directing society... New sub groups created... gamers... flurries (!!!)... dead political ideas given new life ... worn out idea reborn (flat earth)...

    And it's only going to get worse.
     
  7. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Things are always far more complex than they need to be.

    Son was borrowing my wife's car a couple of years ago for a week and so it fell to me to add him to the insurance. The dopey girl at the insurance company pressed the "send" button 3 times in rapid succession to make the extra payment. My bank shut down my account as a precaution and the transaction didn't go through. I had to phone the bank and go through all sorts of security to get my account going again and then start again with the insurance company, another 45 mins and all for about £15.
     
  8. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I wonder if people bemoaned complexity when telegrams started up.

    - Oh Fortesque! Pennyworth has sent yet another missive from the colonies and I'm all adither in my thoughts. Oh for the passing of the letter in it's simplicity

    Indeed Sir-
     
  9. primarycat

    primarycat Star commenter

    I had a summer job that included sending telexes to America as part of my duties. It was already completely outdated and I found it more complicated than necessary.
     
  10. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Telexes?

    Fax machines will be next! Oh for the simplicity of the fax and pager!

    (Never owned either)
     
    primarycat likes this.
  11. sadscientist

    sadscientist Established commenter

    No no no - it’s not there to make things simpler, it’s there to make things more profitable.

    Employ a few programmers to create your interactive customer interface.

    Most customers can now interact online. Customers do it using their smartphone.

    That’s two, three, four more human beings you didn’t need to interact with today.

    Ker-ching....
     
  12. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    Its all the identity stuff that bothers me, for piffling things. Yet if you are a Russian oligarch with 3 billion quid to slip through UK banks to a safe UK tax haven it will all be sorted. Likewise buying up Chelsea for all those bent rich barstewards from countries that exploit their own people, or are rolling in drug money. No problems for them! They don't seem to need any "witnesses" to prove who they are.
     
  13. sadscientist

    sadscientist Established commenter

    On the other hand...

    I think the GOV.UK website is beautifully designed, clear and uncluttered presentation and easy to navigate. I know we’ve had some fiascos with IT systems in this country, but I think congratulations are in order for this one.
     
  14. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    I got an email from my bank requiring me to supply a mobile number so that they can send a code to me when I want to buy stuff online. I challenged the logic of this with my bank who referred me to the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). They told me it was the province of the PSR (Payment Systems Regulator ) who work in the same building. They said it was nothing to do with them : All decisions about payment security are made by MASTERCARD in the USA !!!. In that case they have two choices: give me some money to buy one or: the right way: They source a supply of purpose-specific mobile phones that use biometric id and only receive calls on a number only known by the bank. If they use hybrid technology and do not allow any apps/redirect/'backdoors' then I would be happy to use it. Any bogstandard smartphone with Android is a fraudsters dream for redirecting to code to a different phone or loading an app that pretends to supply a code from the bank etc.
     
  15. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    I preferred the card reader thingy. It worked fine, mostly. It even allowed someone to buy something off me when they had forgotten their own.
     
  16. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I would agree with that, it is now so much easier to get vehicle tax sorted art a time of your choice rather then trying to get to a Post Office before they closed.

    But as for other things I'm not so sure. Internet shopping is good because you can buy your item again at a time of your choice. But sometimes you need to be in when it is delivered which is rarely at a time of your choice so you might as well gone directly to the shop instead. Except there are so few left now because everyone uses the internet, I'm not convinced this is progress.

    And as for getting vehicle insurance, it was so much easier when I used a local broker on my high street. He even had my renewal docs waiting for me when I remembered and called in the shop to get a quote every year, cheaper too.
     
    Mermaid7 and Duke of York like this.
  17. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Indeed. My broker always made a point of finding me cheaper insurance every year to retain my custom. I know you can do the same yourself if you have the time to sod around obtaining quotes and avoid the likes of Go Compare, but why would anyone want to do that, if you had a good broker who was on the ball and presented you with a cheaper quote when the renewal became due?
     
  18. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Lead commenter

    If you don't have a high street, click-click-click-click-click and a few more clicks once a year is easier with no need to leave your house.
     
  19. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    The one that grates on me is when you know and the computer knows you are obviously in the UK but still asks you to complete the country name from a drop down menu.

    So off you go looking for Britain...England...Great Britain....Isle of Wight......come on help me out here ..scroll ....scroll.....and then there is no United Kingdom either.

    No, someone in their wisdom has thought it would make sense when setting out an otherwise alphabetically ordered list to have the United Kingdom as the first option....
     
  20. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I was told a few years ago, that although there are thousands of insurance companies, the insurance business has remarkably few underwriters. It used to be possible to get a 25% introductory discount on my insurance premiums, but in recent years that hasn't been possible.

    I wouldn't mind betting that when I try to shop around online, a cookie gets put on my computer, that any other insurance company has access to when I visit their websites to see what I have previously been quoted, before giving me their similar quote.

    Online is so easy to rig.
     

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