The unspeakably bad state of internet shopping
So I wanted to transfer some money to Flattr.
First you need to accept a contract (10. Aug. 2010) that can be "changed at any time without notice" and "we encourage you to check here (the contract) often". Is it at all possible to even make fouler contracts than this? I guess so, nothing worse than the propagation of american law culture it seems. (brokep tells me on IRC that they will change the contract - we'll see.)
But the central question is, why do I have to accept any fucking contract at all to access a trivial Web service?!? Do I need to read stinking legalize when I need to go to take a pee at a pay-toilet? Have I to accept a contract when I go swimming in the municipal swimming pool - an action that can have much, much more severe consequences than whatever online service? Of course I don't. And for a good reason not, since for some century or so our civilisation has succeeded on agreeing to a set of rules that regulates daily life and makes it possible without gratuitous friction, a feat that the online world seems to be incapable of.
Even though the brightest minds and the most agressive venture capital is at work in world wide virual paradise, these people are not even able to provide services to their users without forcing massive amounts of legalize down their throats? Legalize which often enough is completely devoid of any sense and without any link to any reality?
And those people are able to utter a word like "userfriendlines"? Give me a break! Is our Web 2.0 culture in reality a split, schizophrenic one? Or is it the $$$money$$$ that greedily wants to protect itself prior to anything else?
So on with the quest to open a Flattr account: next thing to do is to transfer them some money. Choices:
- credit cards
- direct money transfer
I avoid the credit card companies, because they are the #1 reason spam exists, they don't mind passing money on to spammers or any dirty business online. They don't mind deceiving their customers. Profit is their morale.
Last I checked the Paypal contract it said something like "we pass your data on to others when we see fit". So, no, not with my data, get you gone!
That leaves me with direct money transfer, which actually is what I want. Flattr has chosen Moneybookers to deal with money transfers for them - and wheee:
- yet another contract to read
- yet more privacy terms
I enter all the data and my IBAN and the website tells me the IBAN is wrong. And promptly omits the IBAN field, so I have to press the 'Back' button which prompts me whether I really want to resubmit the POST which makes me wonder how many times the amount of money will actually be transmitted in the end. Unspeakable. Is this Web 2.0?
So at some point I succeed and - am transferred to yet another online bank. This time it's Sofortueberweisung.de. Same story again:
- new contract
- even more privacy terms
But the true climax of it all is that even though they are not even able to spell the name of my home bank right, they want me to give them the credentials of my home bank!
Needless to say, that my home bank tells me not to give them my credentials, since they don't have any contract and no business with them and since, of course, you should never transfer your credentials to anybody else than your homebank.
So finally, in order to transmit some meager 20 Euros, I would have read through some twenty A4 pages of legalize bullshit, made direct business relations with three companies and in the end even given up sovereignty of my bank credentials to some dodgy website. And it would have taken me about 2h to pay those 20 Euros.
Online internet shopping is complete and utter rubbish. Payment in Web 2.0 is a joke. It's 2010. The Web has been invented twenty years ago.
Tomáš Pospíšek, 2010-08-11