American Express Insecurity

“In theory there’s no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.” – Attributed to Jan L.A. Van De Snepschent

If you have an Amex card, you may earn “Membership Rewards.” This is a marketing loyalty program where you can theoretically turn in points for theoretical goods or services.
This is all in theory, of course, because in practicing it, I have had no luck.Their web site won’t let me talk to it from work, or from home. The error message talks about being non-responsive temporarily. However, the real issue is that my password was bad. But somehow my ‘firewall’ was blocking the correct page, according to their tech support person.
His helpful advice – set my IE to “no security/accept all cookies”, delete all my current cookies, turn off my software firewall, connect my computer directly to the internet, and try again. My helpful advice to him – no, I won’t do that.

Perhaps Amex should look for a solution that doesn’t require the average user to turn off all possible security to use it. Plus if he was doing this with my dad, I’d get a call about all the sites he couldn’t auto-login to because all his cookies were gone. Brilliant. Let me try something…

Hmmm. Same PC, zone alarm on, firewall on, Firefox – it works. Hmmmm. Hmmm. Beats me. If I was still at Microsoft, I would be kicking some American Express butt right about now.