In the country I live, Belgium, the various utility providers have discovered the Internet as a place to interact with their customers. Over the last two years I received letters from all of my utility providers (electricity, gas, internet, telecommunication …) that I now can manage my account on their website.
Great! 24/7 I can login to their site and check my current balance, buy more features or do whatever that needs to be done.
Today however, I am running away from them. Each and every one of those sites requires me to register, including creating a new account with user name and password. Not to mention how difficult it often was to correlate my existing products with that new online account.
Almost every time I have to login to those sites, I forgot the user name or password I picked at registration. I do try to keep a single user name for that kind of accounts but that is not always possible due to conflicting rules or my default user name already taken.
Today I realized that I am not even bothering anymore to remember the user names or passwords. Somehow I found a way to use my Google Account on all of them. Instead of supplying my user name and password to that site, I use the following procedure:
- Surf to the site
- Immediately pick the “Forgot user name or password” link, I don’t even bother trying to log in
- Enter my Google email address somewhere (all those sites offer to mail you your existing or new credentials, either based on email address or based on user name)
- Wait for the mail to arrive in Google
- Open it, click on the link inside
- Create a one time password and log in with it
- Use the site
The only account I have to remember is my Google Account. Now I just wait for someone to write a Firefox add on that automates most of the above.
So if the following companies would be so kind to read up on OpenID so I don’t have to act like a fool with the above procedure: Electrabel, Telenet, Belgacom, Nuon, Proximus, Luminus … and probably others I forgot.