The other day I was setting up an account on a website. The first screen asked for my name and email address. Easy stuff. The next screen asked me to choose a User ID and password.
As is often the case, there were specific requirements for the password. It couldn't contain 3 or more of the same character in a row, had to have at least 8 characters including one letter, one number, and a special character (! @ $ % ^ & *). It couldn't be the same as the User ID, and the string of characters in the new password box and confirm password box had to match. I typed:
Number/Capital letter/Number/Lowercase letter/Lowercase letter/Pound sign/Number/ Capital letter/Number/Lowercase letter/lLwercase letter/Number/Number/Exclamation pointAnd then typed the same string a second time in the confirmation box. Each requirement got a check mark next to it when it was satisfied. At the end everything was good to go except for the special character. The site didn't think I included one. I went back and reviewed my work. Even typed the string into a Word document so I could see it in black and white. I definitely had completed the field correctly.
Just to make sure, I modified my potential password, adding a dollar sign in the beginning. The site was still unsatisfied. I was getting angry. I copied and pasted their list of acceptable special characters into Word, carefully added letters and numbers in between each, then pasted the result into the website. Would you be surprised if I told you I still didn't meet the requirements for the dang special character one? Everything else was just fine.
I got frustrated and walked away. Later I was chatting with some people, who were full of suggestions. I should clear out my cookies and computer cache. Try a different email address. Try a different special character. Drop one of the special characters.
If this wasn't an account I needed I would have bagged the whole thing. Eventually I ended up attempting the password setup with three different browsers on two different computers. Always got the same result. I chatted with the website help desk, who couldn't figure out the issue and put in a ticket to the Technical department. I was frustrated that I wasted much time in on this, but felt vindicated that it wasn't something I did wrong.
Later in the day I got a call from the help desk person asking me to verify exactly what special characters I used. I gave her the information she was looking for,. She said she would pass it on to the Tech team and get back to me with an answer. Twenty four hours later I still hadn't gotten my answer, so I went back to the website and attempted to log in. Worked like a charm, and ten minutes later I had completed my business there.