Monday, July 22, 2013

Canada Post ePost and I...


As a logical person, Canada Post scares me.

I dislike that it has in the past taken over a week to mail something from University Ave to my home, which is very slow.  To put it in relative terms:
11KM = 11,000 metres, travelled in 168 hours = 0.04mph/0.06kph.
Compare with the top speed of a three toed sloth is 0.15mph, or 0.24kph.

The logical process must be something like:
Collect and sort.
Store for 6 days.
Deliver.

Of course, it goes without saying that the postman shortcuts across my grass each day.

I have also had many issues over the years with Canada Post's ePost system.  Each time, Canada Post responded with "Sorry about that - we'll make some changes so that doesn't happen again".  

It often feels like Canada Post is trying to remain relevant with it's ePost system, but in practice I usually just find it another inconvenience.  Everyone else just emails me on the system that I use - like GMail - where the mail comes to me, where I am, on the device I'm using.   ePost, on the other hand, is effectively a remote mailbox that some people (for instance, Ceridian Payroll services) force you to use for electronic paperwork because they won't send to your own email service for whatever political reason, and instead of the mail being delivered to my eyeballs in a convenient way, I have to deliver myself to their site to read anything.  

You can't even access it with a POP/IMAP client.   Worse, it has acted as inspiration for other institutions, like banks, to make it irrelevant as well... So, to get an eStatement, you have to log in to yet another inbox at the bank.

This morning, I got some spam from ePost…. In my Gmail account.  What happened next just added to my paranoia about this system...

I was on my iPad when this spam appeared, so I went to log in to the website to turn off ePost spam, as directed by the spam message's footer.  It asked me whether to login with the mobile site, or full site, so I opted for mobile. I entered my username and password, and hit "log in".

The next page showed me my details, my mother's maiden name, and my phone number.  It had obviously found my info - and the button at the bottom says "Register Account"…

What?

Naturally, I hit back immediately.  I tested logging in with a known bad password, just to see if it was a cookie thing.  It didn't like that.  Phew!

I logged back in with the correct username and password… then time, it dropped me off at my inbox.

The first question on my mind is what the hell was that "Register Account" button all about?  The second question was what did the login at the first prompt do to trigger the one time showing of the "register" screen?  In theory, if I've backed out of the second screen, it should show again, right?  

Not quite.  I can infer that the act of showing that screen did something in the background on the user account, so if you back out it's already too late.

As someone that understands the logical steps the software should do, it's this type of illogical shenanigans that compounds my suspicions of this system.