The government has recently started running a “Digital by default” online system.

They take online security very seriously…

  • Your username is assigned to you,
  • your password is at least 8 charictors long.
  • you can’t have special characters.
  • your email adddress is locked and never mentioned again

So when I lost my username and password, I thought it would be a simple task of whipping to an online form and requesting a password / username reminder, oh wait…

So after poking the site I finally find I have to talk to the helpdesk, however they don’t offer any form of Phone Number, Ticketing System, or a Self-Help solution, you have to email them,

Ergo off I fire an email asking for a reminder, to which the following comes back:

You recently contacted the Universal Jobmatch Helpdesk regarding your Government Gateway / Universal Jobmatch account. You told us:
You have a user id and password problem which is preventing you from getting in to the account you set up on Universal Jobmatch.
The following instructions will help you to correct this.

Start here:

The Universal Jobmatch service uses your email address as part of the secure verification process and will not allow it to be reused. Therefore the service will not allow you to set up a new account using an email address that has been used before in Universal Jobmatch.
The Universal Jobmatch service has recognised that this may cause problems for some people. The service now runs a regular ‘fix’ within three weeks of this mail that clears the email addresses of people like you who have told us they cannot get into the service. All people who have reported this problem will receive an email notification advising when the ‘fix’ is about to take place. If you have taken option one below you can ignore that email notification.

You now have two choices:

One:
If you have a different email address available, or can set up a different email address, you may setup a new user id on the service now by starting the new registration process again.
Your new account on Universal Jobmatch must use this different email address.
When you have created your new account you can ignore the email notification described above.
(Please note: The DWP cannot advise you on creating a new different email address as there are numerous providers on the internet that can assist you with this).

Two:
You can continue using the service using the standard jobsearch which does not need you to log in to your account.
When you receive the email notification described above you can set up a new user id on the service by starting the registration process again and reuse your existing email address.

When you set up your new account it is important that you look for the verification email from [email protected] in your email account (check your spam folders too) and take the option to verify your email. This will allow you to recover your user id or reset your password in the future.

Does any one think this is best practice for running a web service? I mean, Google, Facebook, etc. have been doing it wrong for all these years.