Tuesday 10 July 2007

Amex and Halifax bank prevent payment

I am trying to pay my Amex account with my Halifax debit card. I reach this point on the Amex website:

"Please note: For added security your debit card issuer requires to authenticate your debit card details. You will be sent to your issuer's site temporarily. Once the authentication is completed you will be returned to the American Express site to continue your payment process."

On the website I am taken to, I am only given the option of clicking on a button that forces me to agree to their conditions of use. (I can't give the exact wording as the Amex website has gone into nightly update mode and I can't get back to the Halifax sponsored site). I do not want to agree to their conditions of use as they require a unique password and a unique user name and

"You are responsible for keeping your password and username secret. You must not write down, store (whether encrypted or otherwise) on your computer or mobile phone handset or let anyone else know your password or username ..." Strewth, I have about 100 of those and could not possibly agree.

Next step is to telephone the Halifax. I am told that authentication is an optional service, they cannot do anything and I should contact Amex. I ring Amex. They tell me that I can no longer use the website to pay my bill but I can pay over the telephone.

"OK," I say, "I'd like to pay my bill." Unfortunately, that was not possible as their computers were busy.