Multiple WTF



  • I think the following text from the "What is your question" box of the contact us page of my 401k company's website sums this up nicely.

    I have two actually
    1 I recently received an email supposedly from you asking me to take on online satisfaction survey. It came from the follwing email address Investment Company Name cracklecrackleonlinecracklesurveyscom  The subject line was blank and it asked me to go to the following link: httpcrackleonlinecracklesurveyscomsurveyloginaspk5845745445  This smells like a phishing attack or at least junk spam to me so I wanted to verify from you that it was real or alert you of it if it is not

    2 Recently I was transferred to a different department within the company and moved  I was trying to update my profile information however I was unable to as the extension field for my work phone number is only allowed to be 5 numbers and my extensions is actually 6 numbers long


    actually, after trying to submit this I know have a third question.  When I tried to submit it it came back with Validation Error
    You must correct the following errors before proceeding
     Your Question contains invalid characters please reenter

    But it doesnt actually tell me which characters are invalid  Since I dont feel like guessing and resubmitting over and over again I am removing all characters other than numbers and letters  I apologize if that makes it hard to read

     

    I thought about spelling out all the characters, but didn't have quite that much time to waste



  •  Crackle ?



  • It's probably the obfuscation he had to do for the so-called special characters.

    Actually, I think he also needs to spell-check that complaint a bit because some of it's hard to parse.  You'll get better response (on the rare occasion you actually *get* a response) to a complaint if it's written clearly.



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    It's probably the obfuscation he had to do for the so-called special characters.

    Actually, I think he also needs to spell-check that complaint a bit because some of it's hard to parse.  You'll get better response (on the rare occasion you actually *get* a response) to a complaint if it's written clearly.

    Yeah, if you are going to do sound effects at least put them in something like *pop* so we know what it is.

    It gets real anoy%*@(*&#...<NO CARRIER>



  • Actually, I think he also needs to spell-check that complaint a bit because some of it's hard to parse.  You'll get better response (on the rare occasion you actually *get* a response) to a complaint if it's written clearly.

     

    woosh



  • @campkev said:

    I have two actually
    1 I recently received an email supposedly from you asking me to take on online satisfaction survey. It came from the follwing email address Investment Company Name cracklecrackleonlinecracklesurveyscom  The subject line was blank and it asked me to go to the following link: httpcrackleonlinecracklesurveyscomsurveyloginaspk5845745445  This smells like a phishing attack or at least junk spam to me so I wanted to verify from you that it was real or alert you of it if it is not

    Okay, the "crackle" is kind of a WTF, I'll give you that much.  But him asking if it was real isn't a WTF; that's what most companies ask their users to do if they're unsure.

    2 Recently I was transferred to a different department within the company and moved  I was trying to update my profile information however I was unable to as the extension field for my work phone number is only allowed to be 5 numbers and my extensions is actually 6 numbers long

    This certainly is a WTF.  For your company.  Why are you limiting the extension length?


    actually, after trying to submit this I know have a third question.  When I tried to submit it it came back with Validation Error
    You must correct the following errors before proceeding
     Your Question contains invalid characters please reenter

    But it doesnt actually tell me which characters are invalid  Since I dont feel like guessing and resubmitting over and over again I am removing all characters other than numbers and letters  I apologize if that makes it hard to read

    This is another WTF.  For your company.  If it doesn't list what characters are valid and what characters are invalad, that's a pretty useless error message.

    I thought about spelling out all the characters, but didn't have quite that much time to waste

    Yes, another WTF.  For you.  You consider helping people who report usability issues "wasting your time".



  •  @ebs2002 said:

    Yes, another WTF.  For you. 
    You consider helping people who report usability issues "wasting your
    time".


    Do I have to retake reading comprehension 101 or is it your turn? I had
    the impression campkev posed these questions to his 401(k) company (for
    us non-americans: wikipedia is good for these obscure numbers), being a
    little mean to them because of their crappy UI, not that he worked at
    the company being unhelpful to a customer.



  • @campkev said:

    You must correct the following errors before proceeding

    Your Question contains invalid characters please reenter

     

    TRWTF is that there are even invalid characters to consider.

    Unless the company is using a plain-text file for a "database", or not using SQL escaping, there's no way the question would contain invalid characters.  (I'm assuming it's being stored as plaintext.  Then again, it may not considering the WTF.)



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    @campkev said:

    You must correct the following errors before proceeding

    Your Question contains invalid characters please reenter

     

    TRWTF is that there are even invalid characters to consider.

    Unless the company is using a plain-text file for a "database", or not using SQL escaping, there's no way the question would contain invalid characters.  (I'm assuming it's being stored as plaintext.  Then again, it may not considering the WTF.)

    It's quite possible to have invalid characters even if you're using SQL escaping. For example, U+FFFE is not a valid Unicode character, and many programs have problems with U+0000 characters within a text string.



  • @KattMan said:

    Yeah, if you are going to do sound effects at least put them in something like pop so we know what it is.
    Snap Crackle Pop!@KattMan said:
    It gets real anoy%@(&#...<NO CARRIER>
    TRWFT is that this is detected as an email address.

     



  • @Carnildo said:

    @MiffTheFox said:

    TRWTF is that there are even invalid characters to consider.

    Unless the company is using a plain-text file for a "database", or not using SQL escaping, there's no way the question would contain invalid characters.  (I'm assuming it's being stored as plaintext.  Then again, it may not considering the WTF.)

    It's quite possible to have invalid characters even if you're using SQL escaping. For example, U+FFFE is not a valid Unicode character, and many programs have problems with U+0000 characters within a text string.

     

    I'm assuming that he's using a web browser to submit this, and not a custom method.  IIRC, all the major browsers (Firefox, IE, Opera, Safari, Chrome) don't let you put invalid characters in a text are.  If it was an invalid character such as U+FFFE or U+0000, deleting the punctuation got rid of it?

    In addition, the server may be expecting a 8-bit encoding (such as ISO-8859-1) or it could be expecting us-ascii and chocking on characters higher then U+007F.

     

    Basically, my point is that if it's a character in the range of U+0020 to U+007F that's causing the form to choke, that would constitute a WTF.

    I beleive this is from some SQL injection "protection" that essentially boils down to Input.Contains(''').

     



  •  the real WTF is that there is still a colon in the submitted text.



  • @Ilya Ehrenburg said:

    I had
    the impression campkev posed these questions to his 401(k) company (for
    us non-americans: wikipedia is good for these obscure numbers)
     

    Proof of how accustomed we get to beauracy.  I'm an American who considers myself pretty good at not making cultural/global assumptions, but it had simply never occured to me that not everyone in the world would know what a 401(k) was.  This particluar provision of our WTF tax code is about as common and mundane a financial concept as a checking account.

    <hints id="hah_hints"></hints>



  • @prophet6 said:

    I'm an American who considers myself pretty good at not making cultural/global assumptions, but it had simply never occured to me that not everyone in the world would know what a 401(k) was.  This particluar provision of our WTF tax code is about as common and mundane a financial concept as a checking account.
     

    I am Dutch, and also allergic to paperwork. I've heard vaguely of a thing called 401(k), but cannot explain to you what it is.



  • @dhromed said:

    @prophet6 said:

    I'm an American who considers myself pretty
    good at not making cultural/global assumptions, but it had simply never
    occured to me that not everyone in the world would know what a 401(k)
    was.  This particluar provision of our WTF tax code is about as
    common and mundane a financial concept as a checking account.
     

    I am Dutch, and also allergic to paperwork. I've heard vaguely of a thing called 401(k), but cannot explain to you what it is.


    It's some kind of pension scheme they have in America.  When your
    provider goes bust and your whole pension suddenly disappears, it turns
    into a 404(k). 



  • Do I have to retake reading comprehension 101 or is it your turn? I had the impression campkev posed these questions to his 401(k) company

     Oh, in that case, good find!  The wording was ambiguous, he said "my 401(k) company's website", and I interpreted that to mean the company that he worked for, and not his company's provider's website.

    And for anyone who's wondering, a 401(k) is basically a plan that encourages americans to save to their retirement fund.  Any money put into it is untaxed, but you can't touch it until it's matured (else you need to pay the government taxes on it)



  • @DaveK said:

    It's some kind of pension scheme they have in America.  When your
    provider goes bust and your whole pension suddenly disappears, it turns
    into a 404(k)

    It's a retirement account set up by an employer for an employee.  It is employer-directed (meaning the employee usually can't invest in anything they want and employer contributions often take the form of stock in the company) and it allows an employee and employer to contribute money up to a certain amount.  The money put in is not taxed as income, nor any money that is earned inside the account.  Instead, money withdrawn from the account is taxed as income.  This (in theory) permits you to earn more money because you can put more in by not paying taxes.  It also (in theory) allows the government to gain more in taxes because you will withdraw a greater amount of income than you put in.  This is all contingent on you not withdrawing any money from the account before you are 59.5 years old.

     

    There are also IRAs (Independent Retirement Accounts) that are set up by an employee and function mostly the same, except that the employer does not contribute anything and the employee decides how the money is invested.  There are also "Roth" variants of both IRAs and 401(k)s that tax the money you put in, but not the money you withdraw.  These are all part of the IRS's byzantine tax code.  It's arguable whether the tax breaks are worth the restrictions; a decent investor would almost certainly do better avoiding the accounts and just investing their savings as usual, mostly because there is a lot more flexibility compared to a retirement account.



  • @MorbiusWilters said:

    There are also IRAs (Independent Retirement Accounts) that are set up by an employee and function mostly the same, except that the employer does not contribute anything and the employee decides how the money is invested.  There are also "Roth" variants of both IRAs and 401(k)s that tax the money you put in, but not the money you withdraw.  These are all part of the IRS's byzantine tax code.  It's arguable whether the tax breaks are worth the restrictions; a decent investor would almost certainly do better avoiding the accounts and just investing their savings as usual, mostly because there is a lot more flexibility compared to a retirement account.

     

    In my vast experience (a whopping three companies) with 401(k)'s, I've never had a situation where the matching came in the form of company stock.  Granted, two of the three companies weren't public companies, so that wasn't an option.  At the third(my current company), it is an option if you choose, to buy company stock through the 401(K), but it was not automatic or even "encouraged".  They also have a separate employee stock purchase plan outside the 401(k) where you can buy stock at 15% off the current market price.  Again this is avaible but in no way are they do they try to coerce you into it.  Two of the 3 companies did matching. One at 50% of 6% and the current at 100% of 5%.

    For the uninitiated, X% of Y% means that if I put part of my paycheck (up to Y%) into my 401K the company will put an additional X% of that amount into my 401K as well.  I can put more, but they don't match on that amount.

     For example with the first one 50% of 6%.  Say I make $1000 a week and put 6% in, that would be $60 and the company would put in and additional 30%.  Some companies have what is called a vesting period, where if you quit, you lose some or all of the matched funds.  The first place I worked had a 25% per year vesting plan.  So if I quit after only 6 months, I would keep all the money I put in, but wouldn't get any of the matching funds.  If I quit after 2 years, I would get half of the matching funds.

     My current employer does 100% of 5% with no vesting period.  So over the last year, I've made a 33% gain on the money I put in, despite the market being down considerably over that period.  I don't care how good you are (or think you are) you aren't going to beat that eschewing the plan and going at it alone.



  • @campkev said:

    In my vast experience (a whopping three companies) with 401(k)'s, I've never had a situation where the matching came in the form of company stock.  Granted, two of the three companies weren't public companies, so that wasn't an option.  At the third(my current company), it is an option if you choose, to buy company stock through the 401(K), but it was not automatic or even "encouraged".  They also have a separate employee stock purchase plan outside the 401(k) where you can buy stock at 15% off the current market price.  Again this is avaible but in no way are they do they try to coerce you into it.

    I never said anybody tried to coerce employees into taking stock, but it's not uncommon for public corporations to pay at least part of the matching in stock.  It's cheaper overall for the company and it kinda-sorta might make employees care more about the success of the company, maybe. 



  • @campkev said:

    For the uninitiated, X% of Y% means that if I put part of my paycheck (up to Y%) into my 401K the company will put an additional X% of that amount into my 401K as well.  I can put more, but they don't match on that amount.

     For example with the first one 50% of 6%.  Say I make $1000 a week and put 6% in, that would be $60 and the company would put in and additional 30%. 

    ITYM 30 bucks, not 30 percent, no?


  • @prophet6 said:

    that not everyone in the world would know what a 401(k) was
     

    Would you know what "superannuation" is? Because that was the only name I knew for that same concept. Wikipedia has enlightened me.

    Also, going to the shops and using your debit card to purchase something is "EFTPOS". I wouldn't know what people outside Australia/NZ would call that! Wikipedia is a little vague here, it appears it's known as "Card based EFT" or something.



  • @Zemm said:

    Would you know what "superannuation" is? Because that was the only name I knew for that same concept. Wikipedia has enlightened me.

    It doesn't seem that superannuation is all that similar to 401(k).  For one thing, superannuation is compulsory but 401(k) is completely voluntary for an employer to set up.  An employer can establish a 401(k) without contributing anything and employees are allowed to contribute between $0 up to a set amount (around $5000 per year, now).  Although, if an employer doesn't intend to contribute to the 401(k) it generally is in the employee's best interest to establish and Independent Retirement Account.  However, the biggest thing that superannuation lacks is freedom from taxes.  According to Wikipedia, Aussies pay taxes on money contributed, money earned and money withdrawn.  With a 401(k) or IRA employees only pay taxes on withdrawals (traditional 401(k) or IRA) or on contributions ("Roth" 401(k) or IRA).  This is the primary reason these programs exist, to allow individuals to establish a retirement savings account that is not taxed the way normal income is.  That's where the name "401(k)" comes from -- the section of the Internal Revenue Service's code that establishes such accounts by law.  There also exist similar accounts for college savings for a child and health savings accounts that permit money that will be spent on healthcare to not be taxed as income.

     

    @Zemm said:

    Also, going to the shops and using your debit card to purchase something is "EFTPOS". I wouldn't know what people outside Australia/NZ would call that! Wikipedia is a little vague here, it appears it's known as "Card based EFT" or something.

    We just call it "debit" in the US.  EFT generally refers to funds-transfer from a government account.  Generally when paying at a POS the customer can use credit, debit or EFT.  In my experience, EFT is only used for welfare benefits; basically it's the modern version of foodstamps.  



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    This is the primary reason these programs exist, to allow individuals to establish a retirement savings account that is not taxed the way normal income is.

    Super is still taxed differently, and it has an optional element if you wish to contribute more than your employer. But it is still generally a ripoff as most super companies take more in fees than you earn in the investments...

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @Zemm said:

    Also, going to the shops and using your debit card to purchase something is "EFTPOS". I wouldn't know what people outside Australia/NZ would call that! Wikipedia is a little vague here, it appears it's known as "Card based EFT" or something.

    We just call it "debit" in the US.  EFT generally refers to funds-transfer from a government account.  Generally when paying at a POS the customer can use credit, debit or EFT.  In my experience, EFT is only used for welfare benefits; basically it's the modern version of foodstamps.  

    OK When I got to the store I can use my one card (which is a Visa debit card) and one device (called an "EFTPOS machine") and choose between my three accounts: Savings (aka Spendings), Cheque or Credit. Most personal accounts no longer use actual cheques, so the "cheque" button is often linked to a secondary savings/transaction account. There is no difference as far as the machine/account/network/merchant is concerned between savings and cheque. Those two also allow "cash out". These methods only have a nominal per-transaction fee (charged to the merchant), but using a credit card also add a percentage as a fee to the merchant, which is now not illegal to pass on. Some bank accounts impose fees on using EFTPOS, but I have no monthly account-keeping fees and get a limited number of free EFTPOS (unlimited internet transfers and credit), so I only use debit if I need cash out or the merchant is going to charge me extra fees for using credit.

    Where I buy my glasses (WTF there: they use Linux on the desktop, but have a Windows web server...) can use their EFTPOS machine to place a claim instantly to my health insurance, I assume this is a form of "EFT" as well. That is convenient as I then only pay the difference, no having to claim back later. How does the average person get paid? Every Wednesday morning I look in my Internet banking and find my pay has arrived. We pay many bills (like phone, electricity, council rates) using "BPAY" which is an Internet transfer system, so more EFT there too! I also buy things from Ebay and direct transfer money into the seller's account as payment.



  • @Zemm said:

    OK When I got to the store I can use my one card (which is a Visa debit card) and one device (called an "EFTPOS machine") and choose between my three accounts: Savings (aka Spendings), Cheque or Credit.

    That's a bit odd.  Generally we have different cards for each account here.  Normally you have the choice of debit or credit.  Credit cards are obviously credit, debit cards can be backed by checking or savings and Visa offers what is called a "check card" which acts just like a credit card but takes money directly from your checking account.

     

    @Zemm said:

    Where I buy my glasses (WTF there: they use Linux on the desktop, but have a Windows web server...) can use their EFTPOS machine to place a claim instantly to my health insurance, I assume this is a form of "EFT" as well. That is convenient as I then only pay the difference, no having to claim back later.

    Most health insurance in the US is just billed separately by the provider, so you only pay what your plan/card say you pay up-front.  The provider bills the insurance and if there is an additional amount that is not covered by the insurance company the provider then bills the customer for the remainder.

     

    @Zemm said:

    How does the average person get paid? Every Wednesday morning I look in my Internet banking and find my pay has arrived.

    I think most people in the US probably get paid this way.  It's called "direct debit" here.

     

    @Zemm said:

    e pay many bills (like phone, electricity, council rates) using "BPAY" which is an Internet transfer system, so more EFT there too!

    Usually called "billpay" in the US.  Some banks charge a monthly fee, some provide it for free.  I think my bank may charge something like $7 a month, but I pay everything through billpay.  Recurring bills (including rent) are either paid at a fixed date or sent by the payee as "eBills".  The bills can then be paid manually or be set to pay automatically on the due date, up to a certain amount.  The only bills that don't automatically take care of themselves are my credit cards which I use to purchase pretty much everything.  This gives me a buffer to double-check purchases all at one time so I don't have to monitor my checking as closely for mistakes.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Visa offers what is called a "check card" which acts just like a credit card but takes money directly from your checking account.
    I know this wasn't the point, but I had a Mastercard with my previous bank that offered this exact same functionality.  They didn't call it a check card though ... or maybe they did.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Visa offers what is called a "check card" which acts just like a credit card but takes money directly from your checking account.
    I know this wasn't the point, but I had a Mastercard with my previous bank that offered this exact same functionality.  They didn't call it a check card though ... or maybe they did.

    Ah, cool, I didn't know Mastercard did this as well. 



  • EFT just stands for Electronic Funds Transfer. POS stands for Point of Sale. An EFT is by definition the transfer of electronically stored and controlled funds from one bank account to another.

     A POS typically refers to a register system used in retail settings but can also refer to things like paying at the gas pump.

    So yes, any time you use your ATM/Debit/Credit/Goverment Issued Dole card at a register(POS) it's an EFT transaction.

     P.S. When your employer automatically deposits your check into your bank account it's called "Direct Deposit".



  • @Lacutis said:

    EFT just stands for Electronic Funds Transfer. POS stands for Point of Sale. An EFT is by definition the transfer of electronically stored and controlled funds from one bank account to another.

    A POS typically refers to a register system used in retail settings but can also refer to things like paying at the gas pump.

    So yes, any time you use your ATM/Debit/Credit/Goverment Issued Dole card at a register(POS) it's an EFT transaction.

    I know what it stands for.  Next time you are in line at the store, hit "EFT" on the console.  Try using your card.  "Debit", "credit" and "EFT" are treated as different forms of payment in the US.  You never see people refer to debit or credit as EFT.  In the US, EFT in a retail setting is used to refer to welfare-type cards.

     

    @Lacutis said:

     P.S. When your employer automatically deposits your check into your bank account it's called "Direct Deposit".

    Whoops, my mind must have been elsewhere.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Lacutis said:

    EFT just stands for Electronic Funds Transfer. POS stands for Point of Sale. An EFT is by definition the transfer of electronically stored and controlled funds from one bank account to another.

    A POS typically refers to a register system used in retail settings but can also refer to things like paying at the gas pump.

    So yes, any time you use your ATM/Debit/Credit/Goverment Issued Dole card at a register(POS) it's an EFT transaction.

    I know what it stands for.  Next time you are in line at the store, hit "EFT" on the console.  Try using your card.  "Debit", "credit" and "EFT" are treated as different forms of payment in the US.  You never see people refer to debit or credit as EFT.  In the US, EFT in a retail setting is used to refer to welfare-type cards.

    TEF (basically EFT in Spanish) in Mexico has a specific meaning as well. It specifically refers to an interbanking transaction where funds go from an account in bank A to an account in bank B. However, the TEF term is only used in next-day transactions, the same-day equivalent is called SPEI, the name of the interbanking system that enables this.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I know what it stands for. Next time you are in line at the store, hit "EFT" on the console. Try using your card. "Debit", "credit" and "EFT" are treated as different forms of payment in the US. You never see people refer to debit or credit as EFT. In the US, EFT in a retail setting is used to refer to welfare-type cards.

    The only reason the keys are labeled differently on the swipe console is that there is nothing on the card that tells whether it's a debit or a credit card and different messages are sent to the processor based on the transaction type. A lot of times your bank also encourages you to use your card as a credit card instead of a debit card mostly due to fee reasons. A debit card issued by the state could be told apart from the others due to the card number ranges and it's just for simplicities sake that they use another button for it instead of determining it by the number range of the card.



  • @Lacutis said:

    The only reason the keys are labeled differently on the swipe console is that there is nothing on the card that tells whether it's a debit or a credit card and different messages are sent to the processor based on the transaction type. A lot of times your bank also encourages you to use your card as a credit card instead of a debit card mostly due to fee reasons. A debit card issued by the state could be told apart from the others due to the card number ranges and it's just for simplicities sake that they use another button for it instead of determining it by the number range of the card.

    How does that make things simpler?  Goddammit, what the hell are you even talking about?

     

    Yes, some banks do encourage you to use the card as credit instead of debit, if the fucking card supports both.  And you still need to be able to choose which one to use.  The "EFT" system will not work with a debit or credit card.  If you see "EFT" on a console, it almost always means "welfare benefit".  Seriously, what in the name of God are you arguing about here?  I clearly explained how the system works and that we do not refer to debit or credit transactions as EFTPOS or EFT in the United States.  That is accurate.  Please stop trying to start an argument where there is none.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    An employer can establish a 401(k) without contributing anything and employees are allowed to contribute between $0 up to a set amount (around $5000 per year, now).
     

    $15,500



  • @tster said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    An employer can establish a 401(k) without contributing anything and employees are allowed to contribute between $0 up to a set amount (around $5000 per year, now).
     

    $15,500

    Ours is like $18,000.  I don't know if many people would be happy contributing only 5K a year.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @tster said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    An employer can establish a 401(k) without contributing anything and employees are allowed to contribute between $0 up to a set amount (around $5000 per year, now).
     

    $15,500

    Ours is like $18,000.  I don't know if many people would be happy contributing only 5K a year.

    No it's not.  $15,500 is the legal maximum the IRS will let an employee contribute.

     

    EDIT: You also aren't permitted to contribute more than 10% of your yearly salary, which means to contribute $15,500 you would have to earn $155k per year. 



  • @tster said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    An employer can establish a 401(k) without contributing anything and employees are allowed to contribute between $0 up to a set amount (around $5000 per year, now).
     

    $15,500

    Yeah, I was talking about pre-tax limits but didn't make that very clear.  Thanks. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    EDIT: You also aren't permitted to contribute more than 10% of your yearly salary, which means to contribute $15,500 you would have to earn $155k per year. 
    Nope.  Ours goes up to 18%, but my employer only matches up to 6%.

    That must be why I thought it was 18 grand.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    EDIT: You also aren't permitted to contribute more than 10% of your yearly salary, which means to contribute $15,500 you would have to earn $155k per year. 
    Nope.  Ours goes up to 18%, but my employer only matches up to 6%.

    That must be why I thought it was 18 grand.

     

    Yeah, the only limit I have heard of is the total $15,500/year, not any sort of percentage limit.  My company lets you contribute up to 15% which I think is just an arbitrary value that the owner decided on thinking that if you can afford to put away more than 15%, he's paying you too damn much.


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