Public Service Announcement: Product Review

My bank account has three security steps to access, which is appreciated, but I doubt anyone is risking federal prison to get to the $32 that is my average balance after paying bills. I feel like Maxwell Smart going through a hundred doors to get my account balance. Meanwhile my bank’s mobile app has exactly one door.

So when my bank offered me the opportunity to try their new one-step Secure Logon program, I jumped at the chance. It required installing third party software called Trusteer, and I should have quit while I was ahead when just installing this took two attempts because it was so advanced. Also, isn’t that name suspicious? Like they’re trying too hard. Why not call it “Doubleplusgood Happy Times Security”?

Anyway, I got the thing installed and thought nothing more about it, just looked forward to my next highly simplified login session.

That night I went to show Tery a YouTube video, but it seemed to be taking forever to load my browser. Again, thought nothing of it.  Dum dum DUM!

The next morning I sat down to start work as usual. Everything seemed to be taking twice as long to initialize, and Google Chrome was flat out not happening. I started to get a sinking feeling in my stomach. Note, at this point I still trusted Trusteer, because sometimes my computer has these temperamental days.

I got through some small reports, but it wasn’t fun and more and more I couldn’t deny that something was very definitely wrong. I tried the old reboot, a few times even, and that seemed to make it worse. I restarted my modem, which I knew had to be refreshed periodically and it had been awhile. Nada.

I had also been reduced to using Internet Explorer, which I detest but have to keep around for those sites that still haven’t realized what a useless POS it is.

After reboot #5, I started to doubt Trusteer’s trustworthiness.  After #10, I tried using a Windows Restore point, which it said wasn’t possible. By now I was on stage three of Kubler-Ross.  I decided none of this was worth simplifying my banking and tried to uninstall it.

You should see big red flags flashing all around that word ”tried.” Tried and failed, three times. Got caught in a circular process that never proceeded to the crucial uninstalling.

Terrific. You know what I bet is almost as popular as criminals hacking into banks? Being tricked into installing software that can’t be removed, that disables  your preferred browser and renders the rest of your system all but inoperable.

I did something I absolutely hate: I requested a live chat with a representative.  ”Alina” was less than helpful. First she linked me to the generic uninstall instructions that I had already tried. Then she gave me their ” SafeUninstall” program, because what my computer needed was more shit from these clowns on it. Except this software worked through Internet Explorer and gave me that too often seen ”not responding” message, which is precisely what drove me into the arms of Google Chrome, every time I hit the ”uninstall” button.

Alina said, ”It takes a few minutes so don’t worry if it appears to not be responding.” I said, “It doesn’t just appear to be not responding, it actually says ‘not responding.'”  “One moment please,” said Alina.

When she returned, she was suddenly calling me Debbie. I have a friend named Deb; call her Debbie at your own risk. I, being named Elaine, liked it even less. I said, ”Are you talking to me? Because I’m Elaine.” “I’m sorry, Debbie,” she said. “Who is Debbie??” I asked. “Sorry, I mean Elaine.”

I imagined Debbie to be sitting in a different window on Alina’s screen, similarly hoping to get rid of this terrible software. I don’t work in customer service (thank God), but I would think the first commandment would be “Thou shalt keep thy customers’ names straight.”  Alina won’t be winning any Employee of the Month awards if I have any say.

Even less so when her next suggestion was to email me the nonworking program, good luck, let us know how it goes.  Are you KIDDING me?

I turned for help to the online community, where I learned a lot of banks are using these jokers. You have been warned. If you have the option, run screaming. Here, avoid them on sight.


I eventually found one useful site with instructions to go into the registry and disable Trusteer. I wasn’t happy leaving it on my machine like a lurking cancer, but I had missed three hours of work at this point, and you all can imagine how happy that made me. This allowed me to use Chrome again, run their uninstall program, and (knock on wood) break free of this nightmare.

The following day, I got an email from them asking to complete a satisfaction survey. Oh, I’d be only too happy to. I said, ”My computer is running much better now that I got your awful software off it. I’ll be sure to tell everyone I know to stay far, far away from your product. Also, Alina kept calling me Debbie. My name is Elaine. Great customer service.”  Probably won’t be read by a human, but I certainly feel better.

The name is Trusteer Rapport. Trust me and be content with the three doors.

Final confirmation:  Chrome was still a little sluggish.  I just called my bank and asked them to return my logon to the old style.  Somehow this devil program must have still had a hold, because it was like clearing a clogged drain.  INSTANTLY Chrome is back to being zippy and peppy.  AVOID AVOID AVOID


2 thoughts on “Public Service Announcement: Product Review

  1. Great story, Debbie. My favorite thing about any customer service call is the person calling me by name like we’re old pals. I also like to go to the bank on my birthday to see if they notice and oh my god my life is miserable.

    I’m alright with using the one-step app. Enjoy my $2, superhackers. I don’t even lock my phone so it’s extra easy for you.

    • Hey, I don’t care if they use my name or not. I very much care when they call me something else, especially when we’re working in a computer window that displays both our names helpfully before each part of the convo.

      Maybe “Alina” is actually “Pardeep,” and thinks most Americans are named Debbie so she can’t go wrong defaulting to that.

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