12 Oct 2013

When the verification process just gets ridiculous

I get the idea behind account verification, and the idea is good, but can quickly get annoying if you're not being given a choice. Lately, I've been feeling that with Microsoft. Not too long ago they were pestering me to up the security on my e-mail account, which was irritating enough, but I got through it. But the process I had to go through today is nothing short of plain ridiculous...

So, let's rewind a couple of weeks. I started getting requests on my X-box live account to add more security. Since I don't have a gold membership, and therefore don't play games online or use any of Microsoft's online features, I just didn't bother with it. I declined the request and was still allowed to log into my gaming profile and access my game save files. However, today they wouldn't allow me to. Whenever I tried to decline the request I was either logged out of my account or I was warned that I would not be able to save my gaming process if I didn't provide them with some added security measure.

Annoyed, but keen to get on with it so that I could spend an hour or two gaming, I gave in and chose the option of adding a second e-mail address. Now, here's the kicker. My x-box account apparently was already connected to both my e-mail addresses. How many e-mail addresses do they expect us to have and provide? They already have methods of contacting me, both a primary as well as a secondary one. I was left with only the option of adding my phone number either to receive a text verification code or a phone call. So, I added my phone number, received the code, confirmed it and finally got access to my game.

I thought that process alone was stupid, but when I logged into my e-mail just now, it really got ridiculous. Because now they were asking me to verify my phone number yet again. So I clicked to verify. Then I was told to log into my account all over again, which I did. And then, they actually wanted me to use my other e-mail as well to verify that the phone number was mine. That was when I just gave up and closed the window... I mean, is this really necessary...?

Just to re-cap the process I had to go through:
1. Provide a phone number for an account that already had both a primary and a secondary e-mail address attached to it
2. Verify phone number by text-verification code sent to that phone number
3. Verify phone number by clicking verification link sent to me by e-mail
4. Confirm my e-mail password to assure I am the person verifying the number I provided
5. Send verification code to my secondary e-mail to verify the phone number I added is mine...

...I don't even dare to think what else I might have to do before Microsoft actually accepts that the information I am providing them is accurate, and that I am who I claim I am... What's next? Provide a blood sample to verify my identity, and then have to confirm the blood provided is mine by verifying it through my phone number and both my e-mails? All so that I can play frickin' game? By myself? On my own console? Are you frickin' kidding me!?

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