I had an interesting time when trying to sign up for an online account with the bank today, but before that, I came across a very insightful piece about the outline of A Hero’s Journey which tracks all of the main story points that occur in pretty much all satisfying hero stories.

Earlier on today though, signing up online with a new Westpac account, I was asked to agree to their terms and conditions. I tried to read them from the link that they provided – which lead to a file not found page.

After calling them about the bad link, I’m told that the bottom of the page has a separate link to the same terms and conditions. This is where things take a turn for the worse.

They said that for passwords, special characters are allowed. When I tried to use special characters I find that the passwords aren’t allowed due to having special characters. I have an online secure password manager (which they also allow in their t&c) which complains to me whenever lower security passwords are used, so I have a vested interest to also make use of special characters in my passwords.

When I call them back about this issue, I’m told that special character aren’t allowed in the passwords. Why? Because there is nothing in the terms and conditions about special characters being allowed. I read the appropriate passage to them from what I had just seen, and get asked to be put on hold.

Okay, they have read the terms and conditions too now, and agree that special characters are allowed to be used. I explain to them about now not using special characters goes against the secure password policy that is used with the password manager, and they agree that using special characters is good and useful. I ask them which special characters can be used, or how I may find out which special characters are allowed to be used, and I’m put on hold again.

When they return I find out that I will have to contact a local branch manager so that they can put a request through to the website development team, so that they can go through the code that they have in order to figure out which special characters (if any) are allowed to be used when setting a password on their web site.

Oh, and I’m also required to change the password every 90 days. Tomorrow could be a long day.