Thursday, September 08, 2016

When technology stops working

I just spent another 15 minutes on the phone this morning to Ebay trying to resolve a problem that developed yesterday when I found the security code generating token I've been using since August, 2007, no longer works to access my Ebay and PayPal accounts.

I got it after my PayPal account was hacked in the summer of 2007 and have used it ever since as a third layer of security for PayPal and Ebay. Under this arrangement, I entered my login and password, then pressed the button on the device and it generated a six-digit security code that I entered online to complete the sign-in process.

Apparently it has reached the end of its useful life. At least that's what PayPal customer support concluded yesterday afternoon. They no longer give their clients security code generators. Instead, they send the security code to the user via text message to his cell phone. So they officially deactivated my device and set me up with the text message system.

Unfortunately, their fix does not apply to my Ebay account. I spent several minutes with Ebay customer service yesterday without getting anywhere. The problem seems to be that they don't know what to do if the problem isn't addressed by their scripted flow chart.

I ran into the same thing this morning. The young woman was obviously stymied and unable to find anything in her script that related to the problem I described to her. I find this puzzling, since I'm sure other long-time security code generator users are having the same problem.

She finally ended the conversation, promising she would call me back in one to two hours with a solution.

In the meantime, I have an auction that has closed or is about to close. If my item sold, I have no way to complete the transaction.

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