I’ve been locked out of my e-mail for two days now.
Microsoft: Microsoft help desk. Are you having a problem with Windows?
Me: I can’t get into my e-mail. Something about a security code?
Microsoft: Ah yes. We’re updating our security. You need an assigned security code now to access your account.
Me: I assume I can get one from my account, like through my settings.
Microsoft: Yes sir.
Me: But you’ve locked me out of my account.
Microsoft: So we’ll have to send you one.
Me: Please don’t say you’ll send it to my account.
Microsoft: We could send it to your account.
Me: Of course.
Microsoft: But we’d prefer to send it to another account.
Me: I figured that out from the two hours I’ve spent so far clicking through an endless series of screens, all of which kicked me out of Hotmail.
Microsoft: Do you have another account?
Me: I do.
Me: It’s a Hotmail account.
Microsoft: Oh that’s no good.
Me: Because you guys aren’t secure?
Microsoft: I didn’t say that.
Me: But that’s the reason why.
Microsoft: We’re only updating our security.
Me: You wouldn’t want to verify an unsecure account with another unsecure account?
Microsoft: We’re trying to provide you with the best security possible.
Me: So you need a third account.
Microsoft: An account from another provider.
Me: Any e-mail as long as it has nothing to do with Microsoft.
Me: And you don’t see a problem with this?
Microsoft: Excuse me?
Me: Asking Yahoo to do Microsoft’s job?
Microsoft: I’m sorry?
Me: Microsoft’s own accounts are so bad that they need another company to verify them.
Microsoft: I didn’t say…
Me: Microsoft can’t secure its own e-mail but its pretty sure that Yahoo can.
Microsoft: All we need is…
Me: Yes another e-mail address, anything that isn’t Microsoft, I get it. But I don’t have one.
Microsoft: We need another e-mail account.
Me: I don’t have one.
Me: The last person I talked to said I should go to another provider and open an account.
Microsoft: Yes, then we can send the security code to that account.
Me: Then I can get back into my e-mail.
Me: And there’s no other way.
Microsoft: There’s no other way.
Me: And why wouldn’t I stay there?
Microsoft: [pause] Pardon me?
Me: Why wouldn’t I just stay with Yahoo?
Me: Why not close my two Hotmail accounts and go with somebody who knows what they’re doing? Like Yahoo.
Me: Microsoft is pretty sure Yahoo knows how to do this stuff. E-mail. And security.
Microsoft: All we need is a …
Me: Never mind the evidence you have that I’m me – two separate accounts to draw upon, one of them is like ten years old, you don’t trust yourself. So that’s not good enough. Here I am telling you that I’m me, but you don’t trust me either. So that’s not good enough. You want me to go over to Yahoo and open an e-mail account there, then you’ll e-mail that account, and then everything will be fine. The security problems will be taken care of. After all they’re Yahoo, right?