And another thing – online bills crappy file names

So when I finally download the file, I get something like statement_1.pdf.

I mean, what is the use of that?
Am I meant to put it in the same folder as the other statements from the same company? Because if I want to maintain my account history, I need to keep the statements, because they throw them away, as we know.

This is the worst of them all, because I really actually have to edit the filename if I am going to put it in a folder.

But even if they are helpful enough to put a date in the PDF filename, does it help me sort? No, of course not. It’s something like statement_12 Jun 14 .pdf or statement_2014-01-02.pdf, which, apart front the amazing space before the dot and extension (!) in one of them, is no help at all for sorting. Why can’t they use ISO dates, like any sensible organisation?

And notice that they haven’t put any indication of what the organisation is in the file name.

In fact, why can’t they let me set a preference of exactly how I would like the filename to look? It wouldn’t be hard, would it?!!!

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And why only a few months of bills?

While we are at it, why only “15 months” or “6 months” of bills?

Come on, is disc (and backup) so expensive they can’t keep the tiny bit of ASCII text or numbers in a DB for a few years? The CSV is only 5KB, and the PDF if I ask for that is 177KB. It probably cost them more to get the code written and run to delete the old data than it would cost them to keep it.

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Online billing emails without the PDF

So I have to log in to the site to see their pathetic little apology for a bit of paper bill.

That’s all I wanted – the bill; so why couldn’t they send it to me, some utilities do.

But no, I have to “Log in and view you bill” (sic)*, which takes me to the Landing page. Then I get the honour of clicking on their “Log In” button, which takes me to the Log in page. If I can actually now manage to go through the authentication, I might, if I am lucky, get a button that lets me finally view the actual bill, but more likely it will be a summary page that has another button with “Download Your Bill”.

At this stage I am now at the same point as if they had simply sent me the PDF in the first place.

OK, I know that one of the reasons they do this is so that they can try and sell me stuff as I go from page to page, but some of them don’t even do that!

“Quick and easy” or whatever they say when they want you to sign up? I don’t think so. It is much easier to pick up the letter they send and open the envelope and look at the bill.

* “Log in and view you bill” is what I see in my mailer for this particular company. I don’t let emails download images by default (not least because of tracking), and so I see the Alt text, where as the button is right.

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