It's more than a house. It's an adventure.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Frictionless commerce

I read a blog entry somewhere this week about "frictionless commerce" - basically the idea that a website shouldn't require users to jump through hoops just to purchase a product or perform a transaction. Most online commerce sites require that you create an account on their website before you can make a purchase. This just adds extra garbage in the way of you making the purchase and pushes people away. I really need to find that article.

Anyway, my point. I signed up last night for my employee stock purchase plan's website so that I could check my holdings out online and hopefully pull them right into Quicken. Initial signup wasn't too bad - I just needed my investor ID from my paper statement. Easy. Then I had to establish a password. Except it wasn't a regular password. 6 to 20 digits. Not characters - digits. Who can memorize that, especially if you're avoiding using easily-guessed things like your SSN or phone number?

OK, I got through that. Once logged in, I'm able to change my email address, password, phone number...but I can't view my actual holdings until I get yet another "secret number", which will be mailed to me. This is a major pain. Fortunately my account only changes monthly, and it appears that I in fact cannot download to Quicken, so it's not going to hamper me too much, but still, it's a slowdown.


  • My old company had something similiar and the bad news was, all password resets were done by SNAIL MAIL. NO kidding. And they wondered why I never signed on via the web. it was easier to navigate their phone menu hell than go online and flub it all up.

    By Blogger El Gee, at 2/24/2006 11:27 AM  

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