Things we don’t understand

Twice lately we have encountered boneheaded customer service reps who asked us for information most companies insist they’ll never, as a point of policy, ask for: our username and password. Late last week, we had a billing question for Macromedia Breeze, and after a long dialog attempting to convey what we needed (we’re not sure if the problem was language and stupidity on the other end of the phone, but “we need a detailed billing report” was apparently beyond her), the rep insisted that in order to get the data, they’d need both our site username and password. Um, no.

Then yesterday, whilst travelling, we discovered we had lots of voicemail. We weren’t sure what the PIN was for the manual dial-in number (usually we just use the web page), so we called Vonage — only to be told that they only way they could reset the password for us would be for us to provide them with our username and password.

Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot? It’s never a good idea to give up passwords to anything — even game companies know this; Blizzard makes a point of making sure all its players know that no Blizz employee will ever ask for your password. We wonder what the hell made Adobe and Vonage miss this day of Security 101.

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