permanent tsb locks out non IE/NS users

ClubMan

Frequent Poster
Messages
43,916
I just tried to access permanent tsb's Open24 online banking only to get the following error:
OPEN 24 - INCOMPATIBLE WEB BROWSER

Your browser is incompatible with the permanent tsb Open 24 web site.

In the interest of security this site requires "Internet Explorer 4" or higher, or "Netscape 4" or higher.

Please upgrade your browser to avail of this site's facilities.
I am using FireFox 1.0 and it worked fine up to yesterday. The bit about requiring IE4 or higher in the interests of security is hilarious!

:mad
 
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Chrisb

Guest
I'm a Mac user with Safari and Firefox and it shocked me what I saw. I also know ASP and PHP well enough to know that there is no technical or security reason for this decision. Sent them a stinking email and will write up a formal complaint.
 

ClubMan

Frequent Poster
Messages
43,916
I've emailed them and have told them that if they continue to lock out non IE/NS users that I will be moving my business elsewhere - most likely NIB. As far as I know the new account switching rules making this easier to do should be in force soon. Either way, I have very few direct debits these days or other stuff that would cause problems with switching.

ASP[X]/PHP are totally server side technologies so their use should have no bearing on the browser front end. I can' see anything else that precludes the use of non IE/NS browsers particualrly since it worked up until yesterday. Very annoying...
 
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wowser

Guest
>Very annoying...
Especially since Firefox is based on Mozilla which is Netscape by another name. I hate it when companies assume the entire world uses IE >:
 
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Chrisb

Guest
Here is a reply I recieved today:
"Thank you for your email. We have recently upgraded our server in order to
improve our service. We have thoroughly tested the new server and are
satisfied that it operates correctly while interfacing with Internet
Explorer versions 4 and higher and Netscape versions 4 and higher, browsers
that account for 98% of our users. We have not, however, fully tested the
system on other browsers such as Firefox or Opera. Permanent tsb currently
cannot guarantee that the system will be 100% compliant with these browsers,
i.e. certain screens may not display properly. The error message that is
being displayed 'Browser not supported' will be lifted tonight and you
should be able to access details from this time onwards."

Some load od BS
 

ClubMan

Frequent Poster
Messages
43,916
Here's what I got which looks a bit more positive - not sure why they couldn't give you the same answer though...
Dear Mr. ClubMan,

Thank you for your email. I have noted your feedback and forwarded your comments to the Internet services department for consideration. We always welcome feedback on our products and services as we seek to enhance the level of service offered to our customers on a continuous basis.

The information I have received from our Internet services department is that from tonight onwards you should be able to access your Open24 Internet banking using the FireFox browser. Sorry for any inconvenience caused by the interruption in your Open24 Internet banking.

Please contact me if you have any further queries.

Kind regards,
Open 24.
I've just tried it and it works again in FireFox 1.0.
 
J

Janet

Guest
Actually both of those replies say the same thing as far as I can see but one may have been written by a technician and the other (second one) by someone in customer services. Note that the second reply only says that you "should" be able to use it from midnight - it doesn't mention that it hasn't been fully tested and that the only reason you should be able to use it is because the error message has been lifted.

Just my tuppence worth.
 

ClubMan

Frequent Poster
Messages
43,916
Actually both of those replies say the same thing as far as I can see

You're right. My mistake.
 
A

ajapale

Guest
Do you ever get the feeling that banks in general are just not comfortable with IT and the Internet in general?

ajapale
 
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CCOVICH

Guest
i.e. the fact that you have to get a new 'shared secret' every time you change PCs for UB anytime (you can't use more than one PC to access). Ridiculous.
 
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capaill

Guest
Folks

Having myself run an online service to a global audience where we had customers from all over the world accessing the systems via web browsers I can say with my hand on heart I fully understand where Permo are coming from on this.

When we initially launched our products the amount of hassle we had with customers reporting problems accessing systems with browsers of all kinds. Even the mainstream browsers, IE and NS, have variations in them that can cause untold issues. Local language versions of OS, different versions of Java etc all caused different problems. Each patch/version that was released in a browser required the application to be retested fully again to ensure the application worked.

In the end we took the stance that we only supported browsers that we had tested and were able to support.

C
 

ClubMan

Frequent Poster
Messages
43,916
Blaming browser quirks on not sticking to a standard base of HTML and related technologies to maximise cross-browser compatibility is a cop-out. It's not too hard to do this and I know this from first hand experience having developed ASP/XML based business information portals a few years back. Often the problem is that organisations unnecessarily add all sort of bells and whistles that don't really add much to the user experience but do tie the site down to specific browser versions or revisions.

Since the pstb site worked fine in FireFox and then the other day stopped but hadn't obviously been upgraded my guess is that somebody arbitrarily stuck a H_T_T_P request header check into the server or client side code to lock things down to IE/NS because they thought that it would be a GOOD IDEA™. By all means restrict support to browsers that have been tested but don't arbitrarily lock out other browsers.

If I had had my thinking cap on I would have realised that I could probably have installed the extension that allows FireFox to masquerade as IE/NS and thereby circumvent the problem... :\
 
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capaill

Guest
Clubman

Am not a developer so cannot argue the pros and cons of how sites are developed. Agree with letting non IE/NS browsers access the site. Although there then should be very large warnings on accessing the site that this is the case.

I just know from bitter experience the "joys" of supporting web based applications

C
 
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elderdog

Guest
Never had these problems when people used teletypes to access the time share system

Progress :D
 
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