Amazon Now Blocks You From Saving Your Login Password — Amazon Disables Autofill Settings of the Firefox Password Manager

We just reported yesterday on PayPal disabling the autocomplete feature for their login page.

See here.

Now we go to log into our Amazon account and the same such nonsense.

Amazon is interfering with our Firefox browser’s ability to save username and passwords for the Amazon website.

amazon

This is getting to be very troubling. Some silly Amazon web designer thinks, hey let’s erect a login gate for the millions of Amazon shoppers. Surely no one will complain. We can ram it down their throats and let them figure out how to remember their passwords.

No warning.

No explanation.

No accountability.

We do not have time to detail all of this, because these companies just do not listen. Or have become so big and powerful that they think they can get away without caring.

We have sent the following message to Amazon:

You have changed your login screen to disallow autocomplete i.e. the remembering of username and password.

We find it very annoying that you would attempt to disable our Firefox browser capability with respect to password management.

This flies in the face of an easy Amazon buying experience.

We have so many passwords to manage and they need to be changed frequently. There is no way we are going to make special accommodations just for Amazon.

We believe that there are many others online who feel the same way as we do.

We hope you reconsider this login page “upgrade” as it will probably not work out for us moving forward.

More online annoyances for web users. If companies like Amazon think that they can exist by actually making it more difficult to buy things online, then they have another thing coming.

We are now rethinking shopping at Amazon as we have been stewing anyway over Amazon’s higher prices. Amazon used to be the low price leader. Not anymore.

They are now probably the most convenient, but this recent change to their login page flies in the face of that.

So if it is not easy to login and buy from Amazon, why bother paying Amazon’s higher prices?

This might just be the thing that pushes us over the edge — away from Amazon for good.

PayPal Now Blocks You From Saving Your Login Password — PayPal Disables Autofill Settings of the Firefox Password Manager

PayPal has recently “upgraded” its login form.

Now you are presented with a form field for your user name on one page. And then a form field for your password on the next page.

To their initial credit, PayPal allowed users, for a time, to login using the “classic” login page.

But this was just smoke and mirrors as that capability was only offered for a week or two and now is no longer available.

paypal login form disables autocomplete autofill firefox

PayPal of course would never want to be accused of forcing a problematic or unpopular website change down a user’s throat. But their offer of allowing you to go back to the classic login page seems to have been only for show.

What is troubling however is that immediately after users agreed to the new login method, PayPal decided to make a rather significant change. We can safely assume that most users would not have agreed to change to the new login method had they known that PayPal was planning to make a major change that would greatly detract from the user experience on PayPal.

PayPal, in their infinite wisdom, has now decided to disable the Firefox autofill setting which is an available auto complete feature. Many people use the Firefox password manager to save their passwords. And they will no longer have the ability to do so.

show firefox saved password

We have seen the “autocomplete=’off’” programming adding to some major bank websites who have defended such action as a “security” feature.

That is debatable.

However there is no “security issue” in saving passwords to your browser when you work strictly from a non-public computer, like in an office. And you have controlled access to your device.

And the impacts of disabling autocomplete for login forms are far greater when using PayPal. Many people only log into their bank website one or two times per month and only have one account with said bank.

In our case, we login to our PayPal account many multiple times per day. And we have a number of PayPal accounts that we manage for various businesses. And we also adhere to good security practices by changing our passwords frequently. There is no way we are going to be able to remember all of the passwords. Who tries to remember website passwords any way? Everybody uses password managers.

Has PayPal thought through this change? And its impacts to users? Just what exactly does PayPal think is the alternative? Is PayPal expecting users to remember their password? Does PayPal think that there is another password manager that users should be using? If so, then what is the name of the better password manager? Are those other password managers more secure than the password manager in the Firefox browser?

We sure would like to know the name of the genius web designer that degraded our login experience on PayPal.

Just how did this conversation or meeting unfold?

Was there any thought or discussion at all?

Did they talk about causing users to now have to maintain multiple password managers?

Or worse yet, install some browser hacks in order to workaround PayPal’s misguided and not thought out decision. Would these hacks introduce more chances for data breach?

We are really scratching out head at how these changes get rolled out. Not presented, announced or even disclosed. In this case not only was the change forced down users throats without notice, but the existence of the change was actually denied by PayPal customer support.

How are business users supposed to continue to trust PayPal when this is business as usual?

We tried to contact PayPal customer support and the agent denied that the change even happened. Instead she blamed it on a “browser feature” which is circular and irresponsible. Failing to investigate fully under the assumption that if very few people complain or have the capability to do so, then it must be someone else’s issue or problem.

Not the first such conversation on PayPal.

Here is conversation:

From PayPal User:

Have you changed your login process that in some way disables our browser’s auto fill capabilities for username and password?

We are using Firefox and now for some reason are unable to recall our username and password for our new login screen after the upgrade.

Having to manually type username and password is inconvenient and probably not going to work for us moving forward.

From PayPal Customer Support:

Dear ___,

Thank you for contacting PayPal Customer Support. My name is ___ and I am happy to assist you.

Great question! That is a setting in the browser itself not a setting within PayPal. I would advise to check the settings in your browser and this should resolve the issue. Have a great day!

Sincerely,
xxx
PayPal Customer Solutions
PayPal

From PayPal User:

With all due respect, no.

We have tried multiple browsers and would not have contacted you had we not been certain.

We are very aware of browser settings and, no offense, but your logic is rather circular.

To wit, we checked the coding on your login page and the bad instruction is right there in plain view within the page: autocomplete=”off”

https://superuser.com/questions/303691/get-firefox-to-ignore-html-5-autocomplete-tag-setting

This is a change that just so happened to coincide with your login page “upgrade” from a few weeks ago. We are convinced that your developers have changed your login form programming (not settings) to prevent autofill for the username and password. We have seen a national bank commit this blunder as well (in the name of “security”) which ended up being reversed as a mistake.

Unfortunately, with as many times as we log into our account and change our password, this is a problem that is probably not going to work for us moving forward.

If you maintain a number of PayPal accounts and change your password frequently, you will now be required to manually entering your passwords every time because of this misguided PayPal change.

After years of working with PayPal across many portfolio and client websites, we are going to investigate other payment solutions like:

  1. Amazon Payments
  2. Stripe
  3. 2Checkout
  4. Skrill

PayPal just does not get it anymore…

They are supposed to be making things easier.

And be more open to listening when they are not.

Freelancer Dot COM Website Will Not Work Without Info Sharing with Google

freelancer dot com logo

Open letter to Freelancer.com:

To the Developers of Freelancer:

We have not used Freelancer for some time and are currently making heavy use other websites for sourcing talent.

We logged in today to our Freelancer account only to learn that your website WILL NOT WORK without our agreeing to allow maps.googleapis.com script access to our session.

When we visit any project page, the “Freelancer Bidding” details are BLANK.

All we see is a spinning ball apparently from missing third party hosted Javascript libraries (which we have blocked).

We find it incredibly bizarre that you require information sharing with Google in order to use Freelancer.com.

It is not a smart design to rely on third party websites in order for one’s own website to work. At this point, the Freelancer website is unusable for us and we doubt that we will be hiring through your platform. It is just easier to go back to one of the other freelancing platforms.

You may be interested to know that we use a browser plugin called NoScript which as of today has 1,735,850 users.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/noscript/

We are part of a increasing number of users who do not have any business dealings with Google and would like to keep it that way.

We would like to request that you make your website usable without any third party dependencies. Google is not trusted by all. And we do not believe that we are the only ones who will not use a website that shares information with Google.

We also read your privacy policy and it does not address this fact and makes it appear that you are not in compliance with your own privacy policy.

Also, we use two other freelance platforms that DO NOT share information with Google in this way.

You really should host your own scripts locally instead of relying on “free candy” from Google, at the expense of your users’ privacy and in the category of lazy software development.

Regards

GoDaddy and Wild West Domains Latest Big Company Seduced by Google Recaptcha

Google Recaptcha

Google’s Recaptcha service is taking the Internet by storm. The Google Recaptcha service has been around from some time and has been used extensively on small budget websites. Over the years, minor players without a development budget have downloaded the free libraries from Google and helped manage automated logins.

While we do not agree with the premise of the Google’s Recaptcha, nor Google’s overall implementation of a captcha service, we understand that small-time operators of websites need to adopt the mindset of “you gotta do what you gotta do”.

But now, we are noticing many more big names implementing Google Recaptcha on their web properties. However implementing Google Recaptcha on a website comes at the expense of usability and inconvenience to the customer.

We can not believe how shortsighted some of the larger companies have been in implementing the Google Captcha service. It seems that a small group of larger companies started using Google Recaptcha recently, now everybody is following suit.

Maybe they were thinking they would somehow get left behind?

We were very surprised to find that GoDaddy and their private label service, Wild West Domains, have added Google’s Recaptcha service to their WHOIS domain name lookup service.

We realize that Google makes it very “convenient” to implement a captcha service. And because of how Google has designed Recaptcha, the Google Recaptcha service is moderately effective at stopping automated sign ins, but at a very high cost to the end user.

Certainly a company as sophisticated and well funded as GoDaddy can come up with a less intrusive captcha service than Recaptcha. GoDaddy certain has a boat load of visitors and users of their WHOIS service.

If it costs users an extra 10 seconds per domain name lookup using GoDaddy’s redesigned WHOIS page and we were to multiply that by the tens of thousands or maybe even hundreds of thousands of visitors daily, GoDaddy’s design change has just wasted many hours (even days) of human productivity. And this is on a daily basis. Not to mention the end-user annoyance factor of having to answer Google Recaptcha’s increasingly complex and outrageous “security” questions.

FULL DISCLOSURE:

There are a number of political reason to not wanting to help Google with their Recaptcha goals. Quite simply, many do not agree with Google’s premise and/or operational plans.

Google is using their Recaptcha service to get better at recognizing data and images in pictures so that Google can further index the web and do what some consider: “invade, index and publish people’s private lives:. All without disclosure or permission.

Google Recaptcha is feeding into Google’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) development programs by using humans to identify objects that are currently impossible for computers to discern. So this is a Google scheme to use free labor from humans to help computers to “learn”.

And now the big companies are helping Google.

Big time.

This is not theory or conjecture, the complaints over Google’s Recaptcha service are well known/documented:

Some have criticized Google for using reCAPTCHA as a source of unpaid labor. They say Google is unfairly using people around the world to help it transcribe books, addresses, and newspapers without any compensation.

The use of reCAPTCHA has been labelled “a serious barrier to internet use” for people with sight problems or disabilities such as dyslexia by a BBC journalist.

Andrew Munsell, in his article “Captchas Are Becoming Ridiculous” states “A couple of years ago, I don’t remember being truly baffled by a captcha. In fact, reCAPTCHA was one of the better systems I’d seen. It wasn’t difficult to solve, and it seemed to work when I used it on my own websites.” Munsell goes on to state, after encountering a series of unintelligible images that despite refreshing “Again, and again, and again. The captchas were not only difficult for a computer to read, but impossible for a human.” Munsell then provided numerous examples.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReCAPTCHA

NoCAPTCHA_reCAPTCHA

Here is the open letter we sent to Wild West Domains (WWD) / GoDaddy:

We are long time Wild West Domains/GoDaddy customers, managing multiple domain names under multiple accounts.

We are surprised and disappointed that you have decided to redesign your WHOIS support pages to include the Google Recaptcha service. We are not Google customers and do not want to support Google’s business in any way.

We noticed also that certain WWD/Godaddy WHOIS domain name details are not longer freely available on the third party websites we use to monitor our domain portfolio.

Now visitors must go to the Wild West Domains/GoDaddy website, only to be greeted by your implementation of the Google Recaptcha service.

We do not have time to select a car from a picture or discern road signs. It is very annoying which we find to be a complete and utter waste of time. And by the way, we deem your use of the Google Recaptcha service as “information sharing with an undisclosed third party” which very well could be perceived as a violation of your privacy policy.

We too are seeing this practice employed more and more on other websites, only to see the companies using the Recaptcha service reverse course and make things less burdensome for their visitors and customers.

GoDaddy already has a captcha service which is not too onerous, so we do not understand the need to deploy third party libraries to implement a captcha.

Please rethink this.

And we certainly do not want your use of the Google Recaptcha service expanded to become a gate to our WWD/GoDaddy account logins and other business we have with you. Granted this has not happened yet, but if it does then it will not be a positive development.

Is Twilio Sharing Customer Data with a Competitor?

We were never fans of Google Voice.

Not sure why Google Voice never caught on, but it never felt right letting Google have even more data about our business and personal lives than they already do.

When it comes to voice service, it may be better to simply trust the phone company.

Or maybe even the cable provider.

Not that it matters, but both the phone company and the cable company are federally regulated.

Here is our open letter to Twilio:

We are both surprised and dismayed that Twilio has chosen to add the Google Recaptcha service as a login gate to the Twilio service.

The Google Recaptcha service is an annoyance for users who are forced to select street signs, cars or fruit from certain images. Just to log in to their Twilio account. For many users it is not as easy as ticking a checkbox to prove that they are “not a robot”.

More importantly, Twilio developers may not realize that Google operates Google Voice which is a Twilio competitor. We believe that there are a fair number of people who use Twilio services, because they do not want to use Google services including Google Voice.

So why on earth would an otherwise well run company like Twilio freely give login information about their customers to a competitor?

It seems that Twilio management has now given Google more information about their customers on a silver platter.

And has Twilio documented this information sharing practice on the Twilio privacy policy?

Of course not.

Software developers in general have to smarter and not so lazy in their decision making. Some software developers are gullible, do not understand business and therefore should not be the final decision makers on such important matters.

Selling out customers to a third party for access to “free” software libraries is not going end well for Twilio and the ones who made the decision. Is it because Twilio developers can not figure out a captcha or a simple way to manage rogue logins?

Many companies have managed to do so without resorting to “short cuts”.

We have used Ooma in the past and written a detailed blog post about the very same practice by Ooma.

To Ooma’s credit, Ooma got the message and reversed course quickly.

We never thought we would see the day where Twilio would be ensnared in the same net.

Suffice it to say, that we will have a hard time continuing to use and recommend Twilio if Twilio continues the practice. Twilio management can not be allowed to remain clueless about real threats to competitiveness and customer privacy. Allowing Twilio customer data to be shared with a competitor and then failing to disclose the practice are unforgivable blunders.

We really hope Twilio rethinks this decision and the care they are supposed to hold customer data.

We believe that most Twilio users who understand the impact of this “share customer data with Google in exchange for ‘free’ software services” decision will be so disgusted with Twilio that they will just quit using Twilio and not even bother to let Twilio know why they left.

Equifax Data Breach and the Continued Potential to Inadvertently Share Customer Data

Equifax Potentially Sharing Customer Data With More Third Parties

Worried you may be affected by Equifax’s massive data breach? The credit bureau has set up a site, equifaxsecurity2017.com, that allows you to check whether your personal information was exposed. But regulators are becoming concerned that the site could pose risks to consumers. As a result, you may want to think twice about using it. Here’s why.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/09/08/what-to-know-before-you-check-equifaxs-data-breach-website/

What is most troubling is that Equifax’s data breach site demands the last name and the final six digits from the potential identity theft victim’s Social Security number.

Equifax exposing more than 100 million Americans to the potential for identity theft is bad enough, but demanding more personal information and then potentially sharing that personal information with third parties without an apparent disclosure of their practice in their privacy policy is baffling.

At a time when Equifax would want to demonstrate competence and trust, Equifax charges ahead perhaps confusing matters even more.

The Equifax web page that requests personal information also includes software from the Google Recaptcha service. This puts Equifax into the position of potentially sharing with an undisclosed third party whatever information that is entered into the form (i.e. a part of user’s legal name and SSN).

  1. The Recaptcha service is an inconvenience to users. Having to select street signs or to pick vehicles from a series of pictures is an annoyance for users of a website.
  2. Requiring customers to jump through these hoops upon signup and/or upon every login attempt is absolutely ridiculous and counter-productive.
  3. Equifax may not realize this, but by adding this Google/Recaptcha app to their website, Equifax may be actually selling out their visitors by sharing their information with Google.
  4. If this is true, then this would be a clear violation of the Equifax published privacy policy – http://www.equifax.com/privacy/ (notice that the equifaxsecurity2017.com website has no specific privacy policy of its own and interested parties must wade through seven poorly worded and onerous privacy policies; only to find that this potential for information sharing with third parties is not addressed)

If Equifax truly wants to move forward from the privacy and data breach issues, then Equifax is going to have to rethink their strategy.

UPDATE: Just noted that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the New York Attorney General’s office have commented on this Equifax fiasco. Equifax may be trying to protect themselves legally by requiring those who use the equifaxsecurity2017.com to accept arbitration and to further restrict their legal rights by “bar[ring] those who enroll in the Equifax checker program from participating in any class-action lawsuits that may arise from the incident”.

T-Mobile Deploys Link Condoms and Dumbs Down with Phone Only Customer Support

t-mobile logo tmobile

T-mobile is now using some type of ridiculous “spam guard” service for text messages that we are receiving on our phone.

Links are now about three times longer than a normal URL.

They include these ugly, unreadable codes that raise all types of privacy and security issues.

All the while, T-Mobile remains oblivious. Perhaps even misguided in thinking that these so called “link condoms” are going to be well received as the solution to the spam problem on the T-Mobile network.

Well, T-Mobile: Link condoms are impactful and are certainly not celebrated by users in our company! Not only that, but we do not appreciate the way in which you rolled this out.

In total silence with no notice or lead time of the change…

t-mobile text message spam guard linkprotect cudasvc

This started with our T-mobile business lines about two or three days ago. And continues to the present time.

At first, we thought our phones were hacked.

But all phones at the same time? Unlikely.

Then we thought T-Mobile was hacked again. Not too far fetched given T-Mobile’s recent troubles.

Anyway, T-Mobile started implementing this spam guard service without notifying us of a change to our account.

We spent hours trying to track down the issue.

The linkprotect.cudasvc.com domain name is registered to Barracuda Networks and having URL links rewritten like this means a privacy issue caused by T-Mobile’s short-sighted decision.

Domain Name: cudasvc.com
Registry Domain ID: 1597775951_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.corporatedomains.com
Registrar URL: www.cscprotectsbrands.com
Updated Date: 2017-05-13T05:04:22Z
Creation Date: 2010-05-17T22:53:55Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2018-05-17T22:53:55Z
Registrar: CSC CORPORATE DOMAINS, INC.
Registrar IANA ID: 299
Registrar Abuse Contact Email: domainabuse@cscglobal.com
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.8887802723
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited http://www.icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited
Registry Registrant ID:
Registrant Name: Barracuda Hostmaster
Registrant Organization: Barracuda Networks Inc.
Registrant Street: 3175 Winchester Blvd
Registrant City: Campbell
Registrant State/Province: CA
Registrant Postal Code: 95008
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +1.4083425405
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax: +1.4083421061
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: hostmaster@barracuda.com
Registry Admin ID:
Admin Name: Barracuda Hostmaster
Admin Organization: Barracuda Networks Inc.
Admin Street: 3175 Winchester Blvd
Admin City: Campbell
Admin State/Province: CA
Admin Postal Code: 95008
Admin Country: US
Admin Phone: +1.4083425405
Admin Phone Ext:
Admin Fax: +1.4083421061
Admin Fax Ext:
Admin Email: hostmaster@barracuda.com
Registry Tech ID:
Tech Name: Barracuda Hostmaster
Tech Organization: Barracuda Networks Inc.
Tech Street: 3175 Winchester Blvd
Tech City: Campbell
Tech State/Province: CA
Tech Postal Code: 95008
Tech Country: US
Tech Phone: +1.4083425405
Tech Phone Ext:
Tech Fax: +1.4083421061
Tech Fax Ext:
Tech Email: hostmaster@barracuda.com
Name Server: a3.verisigndns.com
Name Server: a2.verisigndns.com
Name Server: a1.verisigndns.com
DNSSEC: unsigned

So what this means is that T-mobile through a third party (Barrcuda Networks i.e. linkprotect.cudasvc.com) is now tracking your links.

Now when you click a link, a third party database is checked and a record of your text message links are created.

That is T-Mobile taking liberties with your data, not disclosing the practice and not offering a way to opt out!

So much for T-Mobile’s privacy policy.

Good luck T-Mobile defending yourselves against any wisenheimers who want to file a complaint with the government or lawsuit in the courts for alleged privacy and/or security incursions by T-Mobile.

T-Mobile is really opening up a can of worms with respect to the implications to privacy and the possibility of hacking and sharing of customer data with undisclosed third parties.

Seriously T-Mobile, where is the update to your privacy policy??

Where is the notice of the changes to your privacy practices related to users who are impacted by this “helpful” link condom service?

We called T-mobile late last night, but the outsourced support was clueless about the issue. And somewhat annoying. So we just hung up and thought that we would try again during normal business hours.

We looked for a way to report the issue to T-mobile on their website. And while the website says you can send a message, their preferred option is to call T-Mobile.

The only other option we could find was to help T-mobile generate free content on their website “community”. Which is basically a self-service tech support forum where amateurs and other clueless people with nothing better to do can sit around chatting, giving bad advice and waste time. The community website is very corny and goofy looking. A wannabe social media website that is highly regimented and difficult to navigate.

So we reluctantly called this morning and spoke with one gentleman that was quite pleasant. However he was not aware of the issue. And very politely offered to call us back after researching it on his end. He wanted to schedule a time to follow up call.

As nice as he was and as good as he was at his job, who has time for that?

We just wanted a way to report the issue and go on about our business while T-Mobile rethinks their unprofessional product release of harmful features that were not expected, requested or desired.

We find it quite presumptuous of T-mobile to think they have a right to keep us on the phone and help them report/fix their own problem.

We have no problem opening a trouble ticket, but according to the second rep we spoke to in the morning (she was extremely polite and professional as well) this is no longer possible.

Not only is T-Mobile using a “link condom” on our received text messages, T-Mobile has erected an impenetrable wall between their customers and T-Mobile tech support.

And the whole time, T-Mobile is expecting its customers to endure being placed on hold, transferred and called back. All because the customer was trying to help them with their business.

A fine reward, indeed.

Which is a business model that is so 90s.

After many years as a T-Mobile customer, it may be time for greener pastures.

Making it harder for customers to report problems is not a company that fits into our business model.

And expecting customers to endure long support sessions on the phone. Well, T-Mobile, we have our own business to run.

T-Mobile created the problem and T-Mobile should take all the time they want to fix it.

We don’t.

And we shouldn’t have to invest any more time than reporting the issue.

Otherwise we are victimized twice.

We did not expect much from outsourced T-Mobile customer support. So no further comment on that interaction.

However, we wanted to emphasize again that the two customer service reps we spoke with (during business hours) are five star. And we know that they are doing their job and were trained as true professionals.

Our complaint was the manner in which this spam guard, “link condom” feature was released.

We are also complaining about our inability to open a help desk or trouble ticket that allows us to send information to T-Mobile without all the hassle of trying to explain a technical issue and wait endlessly on the phone.

A press release, recently implemented T-Mobile’s Scam block is described as an act of benevolence for customers and a way to secure the T-Mobile network and guaranteeing our “safety”: https://newsroom.t-mobile.com/news-and-blogs/scam-block.htm.

Well no.

Just no.

Implementing this globally without notice or a way to opt out is beyond comprehension.

UPDATE:

While we were writing this blog post, we received two unwanted calls from T-Mobile reps trying to induce us into investing even more time in helping T-Mobile to further diagnose and report the problem.

sorry charlie

Sorry, Charlie.

We have already done that after investing many hours root causing the issue on our end. Which ends up being T-Mobile being irresponsible in pushing out a change without fully assessing impacts.

Just hurl and wait for what happens.

Hey we are learning here right?

Who cares if we affect and confuse customers!

We can get them on the phone for free to pick their brains.

Sorry.

My invoice to you for my wasted time is in mail.

I will expect payment in 30 days.

Yeah, right!

We spent a number of hours confirming the issue, but there is no longer a way to easily report technical issues like we can with other companies. With T-Mobile we used to be able to create trouble tickets without having to explain technical issues to customer support.

And besides, wouldn’t T-Mobile want to have the issue explained by the customer (in their own words)? Instead of being colored by someone that works at T-mobile customer support or T-Mobile technical support?

In our business, hearing directly from the customers (i.e. “the horse’s mouth”) with a written record in their own words is pure gold.

Seems that this new approach to dumb down customer support is a veiled cost reduction plan by T-Mobile. We think that this is going to backfire. And we believe that there is still a wireless provider that we can find who understands the value of listening to their customers and providing as many ways to report problems as possible…

Amazon Associates Reporting Interface Changes Are Horrible and Wastes This Affiliate Hours of Time

A message today to Amazon Associates support:

quoteCan no longer download reports for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Not good to remove stuff (with no notice) when you decide to upgrade to your new (but not better) reporting interface.

Many of the “generated” reports are delayed and not even downloadable.

Completely one-side changes and you forgot about the user.

Thought Amazon has lots of fancy servers to save reports.

This is beta quality and we do not want to be your testers. We expect more.

We love Amazon for many things, but when you push out stuff like this, it tarnishes your brand. :(

Why would we send such a message?

Look at this:

20170430 amazon associates reporting limitations update changes downgrade

I hate when companies dumb-down their service or user interface.

The probable logic from some minion or outsourced “talent”:

quoteHey Amazon, you are spending a fortune buffering/archiving reports for your publishers/affiliates.

Ding, ding, ding.

So let’s dump the database.

Brilliant!

We can form a narrow queue and process reports one at a time.

All from some remote back office.

There is no rush and we only have to do this when our affiliates ask us nicely for such things as an earnings report.

Don’t worry, affiliates will not need earnings reports that often.

So go ahead and turn the screws on ‘em.

So here it is! Isn’t it super trick, cool and of course very “modern”. Gotta keep the user interface current, right?

See how much money we saved you, Amazon?

Now remember: If you want us to actually test the new interface, that will be extra$$.

Don’t worry, we did not ask any Amazon affiliates what they thought about the new interface before deploying.

So absolutely zero complaints.

We LOVE it!

Gold stars for us…

Dweeb.

The problem developers of the new reporting interface created is that the reports are no longer generated in real time.

Amazon says that reports can take “minutes” to generate.

As if that were even in the realm of acceptability (it is not), “minutes” is a gross and rather disturbing understatement:

20170430 amazon associates reporting slow processing preparing

That is more than 5 hours of waiting!

And no, we were not sitting in front of the computer for these 5 hours. We worked on other tasks and came back periodically to check progress.

Not good.

Are we unreasonably impatient?

Not wanting to wait 5+ hours and counting for some stupid Amazon Associates reports of our declining commissions?

We have many reports to review. Across individual months or multiple years.

Had we been given notice of the interface changes, we would have downloaded what we needed and never looked back.

The Amazon reports for the Associates program, now only report a few months back.

Lame.

And the downloadable reports in CSV or Excel format do not even work.

First you have to wait for Amazon to “generate” the report.

Then you have more waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting.

We have been waiting for the past 5 hours, refreshing the page periodically and many of our reports are still “generating”.

Ridiculous.

Hey Amazon: Stop messing with Amazon Associates. Many are publishers and influencers and you are only setting yourself up for responses from peeved bloggers who can no longer make a buck with Amazon Associates.

Note:

We have previously seen this “downloadable-reporting-scheme-in-order-to-save-a-few-bucks-on-hosting” attitude.

But that time it was PayPal.

The same nonsense.

Let’s not save reports on the system directly.

Let’s not make them easily accessible.

Only allow your valued customers to download reports after jumping through hoops and then after waiting some back-end processing. For a long wait time and the fail.

Let’s be honest. This is the same cost savings move that charred Paypal with many complaints.

Right now PayPal is hosting two reporting systems while trying to figure their stuff out.

PayPal is threatened by strong competitors and some pretty good alternatives.

Amazon, on the other hand, feels more secure and just cuts over 100% to the “new” system, like a thief in the night. With no way for long time users to get access to lost features, unavailable reporting and the expected “usability before deployment” testing.

If this is the direction Amazon is going (by making such one side upgrades that save them money and cost users time and convenience), then Amazon must not really need that army of affiliates they were so well known for (and which helped build their company).

Moving on…

Made $40K Ridesharing with Uber & Lyft – Tell All – Nothing Held Back

ride sharing profit hacks

Here’s the deal…

A guy driving around in his car decides to call his friend.

The driver has a brief conversation with his friend about all the stories he has been hearing about the extra cash the friend has been making.

Anyway, the guy driving the car decides to go visit his once broke, now flush, friend.

His friend’s name is Kahlil. Don’t snicker, but that name is kinda weird to me. It might be just me, but it seems like “Kahlil” is spelled kinda funny. But let’s not digress.

This is a cool story, so read on…

The backstory (not really detailed in the video) is that Kahlil is now out of debt and instead of being driven out of his mind by creditors, he now drives for dollars — and has paid off all of his debt.

40K rideshare driving

Sweet deal for Mr. Funny name.

But how did Kahlil do this??

Well, Kahlil drives for Uber and Lift, which are two of the biggest ride sharing apps on the planet.

Unless, of course, you live in China.

But that’s a story for another day…

Meanwhile, dude #1 finds out that all you need is a car and a smartphone to make some cash.

And of course, this ridesharing business is not for everybody. This is because you need to pass muster with the ride sharing services.

Like they do not want to find out about you crashing cars and junk.

Speaking of junk, your car does not have to be brand spanking new, but you can not just show up for the ride with a flip phone and a beater!

No, seriously.

Don’t do it. :)

http://www.freshbot.com/go/ride-sharing-how-to-video/

Of course, it would not be a great opportunity to make money unless these ride sharing apps had at least some minimum requirements. For instance, they are not going to let you in on this money program if you are a bad driver!

Would you ride with you? If you did not know you? You must be a reasonable driver.

click here to watch video

Bottom line: Ridesharing is a great money making opportunity. But you have to know the insider tips to do it right.

So the bulk of the how to make money ride sharing video is the interview with the man, the mission, Kahlil. Dude #1 asks Kahlil all kinds of questions about his finances and new job driving.

No, it is not at all awkward at times!

Yet if it is awkward, it is only because how often do you really ask your friends about money?

Would most people tell you the real deal about a gig that pays so well?

Even still, what is clear in the video is that Kahlil knows his stuff. And even better he shows you everything that he does.

And I mean everything.

Kahlil really bares all and he holds nothing back.

I hate superficial interviews and only half the formula for making money videos.

If I am going to spend time out of my day to learn a business, then I want all the information.

And no cheap games.

So this method for how to make money ride sharing is quite refreshing.

Ok?

Ok.

So here’s the deal.

The intro video is free. And the detailed video is about twenty bucks, but it is totally worth it if you are even the slightest bit curious about how the ridesharing business really works.

I have to warn you though…

Be prepared to get super pumped over this great money making opportunity.
After watching the video, you will have everything you need to be successful from day one.

Be sure to post a comment after watching the video. I want your feedback. Can you match my humor and wit?

click here to watch video

Well its only funny if you are making real money with a cool ridesharing gig.

Driving is fun.

Getting paid to drive, well that is legendary.

Cruise on, my friend.

I like this…

http://www.freshbot.com/archives/2016/12/12/wordpress-website-for-an-author/