Happy Friday, everyone. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, and I’m a bit cranky. I feel this way, even though it’s Friday, and we’re leaving town. Eh… I’ll get over it eventually… perhaps even after I’m finished writing this post. It’s another one of my venting posts, so brace yourself for negativity, inappropriateness, and bitterness. Here goes.
Recently, USAA has decided to employ an annoying new security feature on its Web site. It wasn’t enough for USAA to force its customers to answer their two security questions with every log in. Now, you must have them send a code by text or email. This is supposed to help thwart hackers.
One would think I’d be all for thwarting thieves from plundering my bank account, and of course I do want my accounts to be secure. However, this new system is really annoying to me, because they send a different code with every log in. The codes are usually on a time limit and sometimes they don’t come immediately. Sometimes, I’m not in a place where it’s possible to access private email accounts. For instance, Bill can’t get on his Gmail account when he’s at work, neither is he allowed to have his cell phone with him. I don’t want to have to go to my email account every time, just so I can access my banking information. Then, there are people who are low or no Internet users, like my mom. This new level of security could be onerous for a person like her.
Bill and I have a few joint accounts which are accessible from my account, but every once in awhile, I need to get into his USAA account. With this new system, they would be sending the code to his email instead of mine, which would not be helpful. That’s annoying, too, especially since we didn’t ask for this new level of security. By the way, Bill is fine with me accessing his account when I need to. Sometimes, he goes to places where he can’t get to it himself, so it’s good that I can. We’re married, and he trusts me.
So anyway, I have endured this new system for just under two weeks. Yesterday, I decided to make my displeasure known to USAA. I know… what nerve! But how to do it? I started with the obvious.
I went on their Web site and looked for a way to leave a general comment. I searched for several minutes for a simple email link or comment form. The only way I could leave a comment, though, was by using a form that restricted the subjects only to comments about investments or insurance. I could find no way to offer general feedback using a form; I would have had to engage in a chat, which is not what I felt like doing yesterday. Oh, I guess I could have also called them– or Skyped– but I didn’t feel the need to engage with a human over this. I just wanted to make my voice heard without a big “to do”. It seemed an impossible feat, which I’m sure is entirely by design.
Frustrated that I couldn’t send a simple, private comment to USAA, I went to their Facebook page. I left the following comment, which was answered by a USAA customer service rep, and then rebutted by another customer…
All I wanted to do was leave a simple comment about the new system. I would have preferred to be able to do it privately, but since that wasn’t an option that I could find within a few minutes of looking, I posted on Facebook. I got what I wanted when the rep said he would forward my feedback to the right people. Whether or not he actually does it, I will never know. But it made me feel better to make my voice heard. This is how systems improve. If no one ever raises issues or complains, the system stays the way it is– inconvenient, annoying, and not functional for everyone. Speaking up is a very useful American value. It’s how things evolve.
But then, I get a comment from a total stranger, who feels the need to invalidate my comment with her praise. The new system doesn’t bother her; ergo, I should shut up and color, or… since I don’t like the new security measures, I obviously don’t understand them and need her to explain them to me. At least that’s how it seemed to me in my cranky, pre-caffeinated state of mind this morning. I was tempted to leave a response that matched my crabby mood, but decided to simply be blunt. Hopefully, she’ll get the message that I wasn’t talking to her and don’t necessarily value her input. She can always leave her own positive comment to USAA, which I guess would nullify mine.
I’m sure the lady who left her comment thought she was being helpful. I guess she thinks USAA needs someone to defend them from little ol’ me. She apparently assumed that I don’t know about two party security systems. She has no way of knowing that my husband has an advanced degree in cybersecurity and has already told me all about it, plus I can Google with the best of them. I get that. However, I find it very irritating when someone basically tries to tell another person to “shut up” by contradicting them, trying to school them, or both. I do understand that this is the way of the Internet. People are always going to “chime in” on these things and meddle in other people’s business. I can’t change that, and I know it. It’s still exasperating. Mind if I vent?
This probably wouldn’t have bothered me so much if it hadn’t been a running theme my whole life. People have been trying to shut me up since birth, even when I’m being polite. It only makes me more determined to communicate.
I’m sick and tired of people trying to silence other people whose opinions they either don’t appreciate or haven’t considered. And, maybe it’s childish of me, but I’m especially tired of people telling me how I should respond, what tone I should be using, and what my feelings should be. As a fellow member of USAA, I have as much right to be heard as anyone else does. Most of the time, I don’t even leave a lot of comments or complaints. When I do speak up, I’d simply like to be heard and acknowledged. To USAA’s credit, they did hear and respond to me, and quickly, too. Responses from the peanut gallery are not required.
Yeah, I know this rant probably makes me sound like a nut. Fortunately, I don’t go out unsupervised very often.
Sigh… ah well. I need to pack my bags and get ready to blow out of here for a much needed respite. With any luck, my Scottish friends will make me laugh with repeated and unapologetic utterances of random swear words as we walk down the street. Maybe I’ll find time to write. Maybe I won’t. Bless my sweet husband for putting up with his sourpussed wife.