Author Topic: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)  (Read 1542195 times)

Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21425 on: January 04, 2019, 10:12:24 pm »
Fucking stupid government! (No, this shouldn't be in POBI).

I just tried several times to log on to check my pension entitlement. For security purposes, the form required my passport details, including the expiry date in the format 31 MAR 2026 (clearly explained that this was the required format). After several unsuccessful attempts to log in, in desperation I tried the format 31 03 2026.

It worked.

Yes, it's hilarious. They sent me a thing about a change in tax code telling me to log in to find out why. Can't log in (it's been about three years so not surprised. Press here to get your user code (enter passport details) and it sends me a user code - a series of pairs of digits separated by spaces. Copy + paste this, it's accepted, press here to get your password (enter passport details again) and it sends me a password. Great. Log in ... "unrecognised user code or password". Repeat  (enter passport details again) ... doesn't work again. Repeat.

So, in Wowbagger-equivalent desperation I tried the user code without spaces and was in. So it sends the user code in a format that's accepted on one page but not another? In a format that can't be copy + pasted. With no indication of the required format. Barking.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21426 on: January 05, 2019, 06:44:23 am »
Its not just this bloody government, I had similar issues with booking a flight from Riyadh to Dammam on Saudi air, you don't need a passport number, it said. Press the button to pay, passport number box goes red, put passport number in, unrecognised.

By this point my flight from Paris to Riyadh i s boarding. Panicked call to colleague already there who somehow manages it for me.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21427 on: January 05, 2019, 09:51:26 am »
OK we can blame HMG for pushing everything on-line - which I think is a huge fucking mistake, but that's another argument entirely - but the issues described are straight-forward programming errors that should never, _ever_ have got past even the most cursory testing.  You want to blame something / someone?  Blame the half-arsed procurement processes and technically incompetent "managers" used by the Civil Service and the other non-elected branches of the state as well as the IT industry's obsession with employing young (i.e. dirt cheap) programmers who wouldn't know a unit, integration or any other kind of test if it hit them between the eyes with a month old haddock.  Rule 0 of software;  You want good?  You pay for it.   Sorry, but on this one I think the political weasels (probably) get a pass.

Oh and passport details as a security check?  Excuse me while I piss myself laughing.  Why not ask me for my mother's maiden name, it's about as secure.  Not only that, but there are large numbers of people without a passport; many of them paying tax or drawing pensions.
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

Andrij

  • Андрій
  • Ερασιτεχνικός μισάνθρωπος
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21428 on: January 05, 2019, 10:38:36 am »
SHUT THE FCUK UP!

I'm watching a live feed of $event.  Lots of it are in a language not understood by most listeners (and only partially by me), but is anyone providing a translation? Of course not!  They're talking over the event, saying the same thing over and over, in ever more convoluted ways - and things that have been already endlessly said prior to $event.

I found one feast where the talking head at least shuts up every once in a while; other feeds had non-stop babbling.

Either translate, or SHUT THE FCUK UP!

I'll have to look for an official recording later in the day.

ETA
After nearly two hours there is finally a translation (prepared statements are now being read).
;D  Andrij.  I pronounce you Complete and Utter GIT   :thumbsup:

Andrij

  • Андрій
  • Ερασιτεχνικός μισάνθρωπος
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21429 on: January 05, 2019, 11:07:03 am »
OK we can blame HMG for pushing everything on-line - which I think is a huge fucking mistake, but that's another argument entirely - but the issues described are straight-forward programming errors that should never, _ever_ have got past even the most cursory testing.  You want to blame something / someone?  Blame the half-arsed procurement processes and technically incompetent "managers" used by the Civil Service and the other non-elected branches of the state as well as the IT industry's obsession with employing young (i.e. dirt cheap) programmers who wouldn't know a unit, integration or any other kind of test if it hit them between the eyes with a month old haddock.  Rule 0 of software;  You want good?  You pay for it.   Sorry, but on this one I think the political weasels (probably) get a pass.

Oh and passport details as a security check?  Excuse me while I piss myself laughing.  Why not ask me for my mother's maiden name, it's about as secure.  Not only that, but there are large numbers of people without a passport; many of them paying tax or drawing pensions.

While I agree those are basic issues which should never have made it into a live version, I don't think HMG/Civil Service can ever be considered blameless.  I used to think it was always the fault of developers, mucking about, inflating their profits, etc.  Then I was involved in a government IT project.   :sick: 
fx: timey-wimey... two month before go-live
CS: The Minister says $system needs to do $NewThing
Us:  Well, that seems feasible.  We can probably get that into next year's second release.
CS:  That won't do - Minister needs that in the initial release.  He plans to announce $NewThing later this week.
Us:  (paraphrase) The Minister can take a long walk off a short pier.
CS:  But it's just a couple of sentences!
Us:  Let us explain how those two sentences translate into reality.
CS:  Oh... But the Minister won't be happy.
In the end, go-live was delayed for other reasons.  At that point, our CS contacts had changed, new bods wanted to put their stamp on $system, questioned half the decisions made earlier, and in general made life difficult.  Gov't £ is nice, but it comes at a cost.
;D  Andrij.  I pronounce you Complete and Utter GIT   :thumbsup:

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21430 on: January 05, 2019, 12:22:37 pm »
It's the engineering version of Fundamental Attribution Error.  When you come across something that's badly engineered, instead of asking how incompetent the person who designed it was, it's better to ask what ludicrous constraints they were working under at the time.

ob-xkcd:

To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21431 on: January 05, 2019, 12:38:57 pm »
Similar to the user code, the tax system has password restrictions including maximum length (and likely stored plaintext). Last time I looked the password setting bit accepted my too long password, but silently truncated it. The login bit didn’t truncate, so getting in was hard.

Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21432 on: January 05, 2019, 03:45:17 pm »
OK we can blame HMG for pushing everything on-line - which I think is a huge fucking mistake, but that's another argument entirely - but the issues described are straight-forward programming errors that should never, _ever_ have got past even the most cursory testing.  You want to blame something / someone?  Blame the half-arsed procurement processes and technically incompetent "managers" used by the Civil Service and the other non-elected branches of the state as well as the IT industry's obsession with employing young (i.e. dirt cheap) programmers who wouldn't know a unit, integration or any other kind of test if it hit them between the eyes with a month old haddock.  Rule 0 of software;  You want good?  You pay for it.   Sorry, but on this one I think the political weasels (probably) get a pass.

Oh and passport details as a security check?  Excuse me while I piss myself laughing.  Why not ask me for my mother's maiden name, it's about as secure.  Not only that, but there are large numbers of people without a passport; many of them paying tax or drawing pensions.

While I agree those are basic issues which should never have made it into a live version, I don't think HMG/Civil Service can ever be considered blameless.  I used to think it was always the fault of developers, mucking about, inflating their profits, etc.  Then I was involved in a government IT project.   :sick: 
fx: timey-wimey... two month before go-live
CS: The Minister says $system needs to do $NewThing
Us:  Well, that seems feasible.  We can probably get that into next year's second release.
CS:  That won't do - Minister needs that in the initial release.  He plans to announce $NewThing later this week.
Us:  (paraphrase) The Minister can take a long walk off a short pier.
CS:  But it's just a couple of sentences!
Us:  Let us explain how those two sentences translate into reality.
CS:  Oh... But the Minister won't be happy.
In the end, go-live was delayed for other reasons.  At that point, our CS contacts had changed, new bods wanted to put their stamp on $system, questioned half the decisions made earlier, and in general made life difficult.  Gov't £ is nice, but it comes at a cost.
^ this
I've had exactly the same sort of experience.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21433 on: January 05, 2019, 07:41:44 pm »
<snip>
CS:  But it's just a couple of sentences!
Us:  Let us explain how those two sentences translate into reality.
CS:  Oh... But the Minister won't be happy.
</snip>
^ this
I've had exactly the same sort of experience.
Pshaw.  Rank amateurs the pair of you.  Come back when you've had 20+ years fighting engaging with the CS in its various forms on far, far too many projects.  Then will we strip our sleeves and show our scars and say,  "These wounds I had on*... "  :)

Joking aside that's exactly the sort of thing I meant by,  'half-arsed procurement processes and technically incompetent "managers"' and there are times it's so bad you could weep.

*Sorry Bill, couldn't resist the temptation.
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21434 on: January 13, 2019, 09:55:17 am »
Amazon gift tokens. :demon:
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Mrs Pingu

  • Who ate all the pies? Me
    • Twitter
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21435 on: January 23, 2019, 09:41:20 am »
After a number of months of doing it correctly, for some reason payroll have decided to start taking my pension contribs off net rather than gross pay again, the useless twatbadgers.
AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21436 on: January 29, 2019, 02:13:33 pm »
I work in a building with 2 tenants; my employers (750 people) and DEFRA (200 staff). Previously there were 3 other government departments in the building (it is government owned).

On the ground floor there is a shower block. Two weeks ago I checked that we (employees of my employer) had access to the shower block, because I was about to move to somewhere 10miles away and start commuting in by bike.

This morning was my first cycle commute in. Go to shower block. Door won't open. Access denied.

I finally find a shower in a disabled toilet.

Ask our office manager. Seems that DEFRA have declared that 'this is a government building and therefore you don't have any right to use the shower block'. So they have disabled our access.

Petty-minded little pricks.

We are left with one shower in our own area.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

offcumden

  • Oh, no!
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21437 on: January 29, 2019, 03:58:46 pm »
Went into Leeds to deliver probate forms, intending to pay the c.£200 fee by plastic. Forms were checked briefly at the counter for completeness, but we were told that a 'new system' meant we could not pay directly, but needed to do this by phone, and were given a number to call. There were desks and chairs provided in the waiting room, but we had to use our own phone.

After about 15 mins of getting the engaged tone we went to the counter to let them know.  The counter-clerk turned round, looked across the office of about 12 or 15 persons seated at screens and said, "Oh, yes, he's on the phone!"  WTF.

We left straight away, had a sandwich lunch in town, got some cash from an ATM, and went back to pay in cash. As there were notices on the waiting room walls asking "How are we doing?", we told them.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21438 on: February 11, 2019, 10:05:38 am »
There's nothing like spending the first half hour of your Monday morning trying to navigate successfully through the labyrinthine customer service menus of TfL. There's a special place in Hell for whoever designs these things. No really, there is, they have an office and everything. There's an entire department. It's a growth industry. I may have said bad words after my third attempt and the guy cheerfully forwarded me to another dead end and 'thank you for calling TfL.'

The happy TfL campers decided to cancel my contactless because it 'failed a revenue inspection.' Just like that. Please call if you want to discuss. I guess they don't want to discuss. Of course, you can't email them (the old donotreply@ trick), but you can use Facebook or Twitter (why?) or fill in an online form that they might get around to looking at in the next 10 days.

Fortunately, I have other cards*, but really fucking annoying. From the tone of the email to the actual summary decision. You have been judged! I wouldn't have minded but I touched in and out on the journey (otherwise I wouldn't have got through the gates at Victoria) so I assume the issue was the with the revenue inspection machine. A delightfully Southern fuck-up. Let the buck-passing begin. Possibly they could check their records and note that I'm actually touched in for the journey and thus, there would be some difficulty failing the inspection.

*There's a valid point here about cashless society, I suppose. Once cash is off the menu, your ability to pay for something can be arbitrarily removed. If I was dependent on a single card to get to work, I'd be fucked.
!nataS pihsroW

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21439 on: February 11, 2019, 10:09:55 am »
*There's a valid point here about cashless society, I suppose. Once cash is off the menu, your ability to pay for something can be arbitrarily removed. If I was dependent on a single card to get to work, I'd be fucked.
Fear not the robots, fear fintech.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21440 on: February 11, 2019, 11:52:35 am »
There's a valid point here about cashless society, I suppose. Once cash is off the menu, your ability to pay for something can be arbitrarily removed. If I was dependent on a single card to get to work, I'd be fucked.

Predicted succinctly by The Prophet Atwood in the days when credit card payments were still being authorised with a bit of carbon paper.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21441 on: February 11, 2019, 11:57:37 am »
https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/features/moving-towards-a-cashless-society/
Provincial news maybe but with the likes of mPesa it's a global trend. Cheaper to process, less security risk, quicker and more convenient to handle customer transactions, seem to be the motives for businesses.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21442 on: February 11, 2019, 12:06:23 pm »
TBH, it makes perfect sense.  Money is virtual, by rights it *should* live in a computer.

Except that the people operating the computer don't necessarily have your interests at heart...
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21443 on: February 11, 2019, 12:07:05 pm »
In a similar vein, I wanted to buy something this morning, but the retailer website refused the card, twice, with two different error messages, one being "SH response not received" or suchlike, whatever TF that means. I switched to another card, no issues. The first card was then used on a different site, no problems. Might have been a meatware error, but the "three strikes and you're out" mentality of online shopping failures discouraged further trials.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21444 on: February 11, 2019, 12:18:33 pm »
User errors and bank errors like that are inconveniencing but can be sorted out. Bank decisions cutting off your means of payment are a bit more serious, but they can close your account anyway. A hacked account, crime is universal. The decisions get really serious when they're taken by government, especially if it's not your government. (I presume state control of the individual is what the Atwood prediction Kim alludes to concerns.)

Edited for clarity, thanks to Spesh!
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21445 on: February 11, 2019, 12:23:32 pm »
I'd say Attwood was more likely having her own government in mind - a cashless society adds another lens to the state's panopticon, and being arbitrarily able to shut off a citizen's ability to live their life by being paid and making payments is a handy lever of control.


We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare.
Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true. (R. Wilensky)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21446 on: February 11, 2019, 12:24:28 pm »
Yes, that's what I assumed. I can see that what I wrote wasn't clear, I'll edit for clarity.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21447 on: February 11, 2019, 12:34:58 pm »
It wasn't the bank, it was TfL who sent a terse email entailed 'card cannot be used for travel.'

Quote from: TfL
Dear ian

Your Visa card ending XXXX was checked by a Revenue Inspector on Saturday 9 February.

Our records indicate that the card that was presented for inspection was not touched in on a yellow reader at the start of this journey. As a result, your card cannot be used for travel.

If you would like to discuss this decision, please contact our Customer Services on 0343 222 1234 (08:00 - 20:00 daily).

Kind regards

Now, if you dial the number, there's no option to even quibble this decision, if you reach a human through any other option they'll transfer you to 'revenue protection' which is an automated voice telling you how to pay an outstanding fare online and then 'thank you for calling TfL.' Oh, and I'm paying TfL for this 'service.'

What's galling is that they're wrong, I clearly touched-in at Victoria because I'd remember jumping over the ticket barriers (and I'm getting a bit old for parkour-style fare evasion). I assume a case of too-much-technology, I pay with ApplePay through my watch, which is super. But I guess the revenue protection wand doesn't work in the same way, or there's some mismatch between TfL and Southern.

Which would be fine, but summarily cancelling my main payment method, offering no immediate method of correcting any errors, is fucking bullshit and they've picked the wrong person to annoy.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21448 on: February 11, 2019, 12:45:42 pm »
Am I vaguely on topic by moaning (maybe ranting) about Screwfix and their preference for customer accounts?

I'm doing some DIY and find myself there almost weekly. Every time I go to the counter they ask for my surname, which I don't give, mumbling something like "Just sell me the thing". They ask if I have an account and I say I don't want one. Then the person has to go and get the 'anonymous' code: they have to insert a special code for customers who wish to remain anonymous.

One guy really huffs and puffs about this, making a big show about having to ask Dave for the code, coming back and finding that the code doesn't work, and then having to check it again with Dave (I'm not sure there really is a Dave: I've never seen him).

Anyway, eventually, he gets the code right and the transaction continues.

But they always issue the warning: "You'll have to keep your receipt if you need to return it" (because, if I had an account, I wouldn't need the proof of purchase for a return). But they say it like it's a really complicated concept, like I haven't had to do that, EVERY FUCKING WHERE ELSE, EVER!

(Ah, made it to a rant)

I suppose the database of customer accounts has a value to the company but so, presumably, does the actual money I spend there, even if I do it anonymously?

Screwfix is nearer to me, and cheaper, than most of the alternatives, but I still sometimes consider shopping elsewhere, just to avoid the the above.
L'enfer, c'est les autos.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21449 on: February 11, 2019, 12:51:54 pm »
I remember Watford Electronics doing that before it was trendy.  They also liked to report you to TV Licencing (under the retailers being obliged to report sales of television receivers clause) on dubious grounds.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...