The drawback to online billing systems

When it comes to technological evolution; we can easily place online billing systems in this prestigious category.  All well and good but when it comes to meeting the needs and requirements of persons who are blind, vision impaired, and those with a print disability; here is where the drawback comes.

The other day I went to retrieve my bill from the Bell Canada online billing website and I discovered that whereas I had been able to fetch my monthly billing details for many years now without any difficulty, I could no longer do so.  In short, I was left cold out in the cold.

I was now being asked to enter an audio challenge code but guess what?  When I pressed the button to retrieve my code a message popped up telling me that it was unavailable.  I tried several times during the day but with no success.  So it meant that I had to go away without being able to retrieve my billing details.

I have since discussed the use of captchas through audio challenges with several others and the general consensus is that audio challenges are simply not very accessible and usable for our community.  Why?  Because even if you are able to access an audio challenge the quality of the audio sound is very poor.    In addition, the field where one is supposed to enter the code is poorly defined.

So what can we do?  Maybe it is time for us to lobby those companies who want us to use audio challenges as part of the captchas and let them know that we are having challenges of our own. For after all, if we are expected to pay our bills we need to see what we are being billed for!

Just my two cents for today.

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