Email Sign-in

I can’t be the only one that thinks this Magic Link nonsense is farcical?

How about instead of using Email tokens, you invest in some risk-based authentication that lets me sign-in automatically on a trusted device or from a trusted IP address? The time cost of waiting for an email token is too high to be acceptable, and the sensitivity of the data contained within the Bulb portal is not of the nature that requires this level of security.

If there is no option to opt-out of this email junk within the next week or two, I’ll be leaving. A massive backwards step.

It’s rubbish, how can it be better security wise when every other company has decided a password and email system is best!
It’s an energy company what is the worst a hacker can do anyway - Refer some people or change a direct debit…

Banks, credit cards, mortgage companies all use a password system for goodness sake and that is much more security important!

Huge huge step backwards in my opinion

Thankfully Bulb isn’t a site I use that frequently so I’ll put up with this long winded login even though I think it’s completely ott.

I agree with the previous posters that there’s no reward for anyone hacking a bulb account.The worst outcome is having a monthly payment changed or the submission of a malicious meter reading!

I wouldn’t mind, but I’m the Head of Technology at an IT Consultancy company in London advising on these sorts of things for all manner of industry verticals (including banks) and for organisations with similar use cases.

Security isn’t my specialty (I’m more of a generalist strategist focussing on SDDC) but my NetSec guy can’t believe what I’ve just shown him. There are banks that don’t mandate 2FA access to their networks if it’s trusted device/IP so this is definite overkill.

If somebody steals my phone, the last thing they’re going to want to do is submit a false meter reading or change my Direct Debit amount.

Your IT Team need a talking to and you’d do well to backtrack quickly.

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Your IT Team need a talking to and you’d do well to backtrack quickly.

Perhaps they were recruited from GCHQ?

I agree with what everyone is saying - the new sign in procedure does seem a step backwards. I can’t even recall using this type of email log in system before.

Hope peeps at Bulb change it back to the password system very soon, as it seems a really unpopular change.
:slight_smile:

My biggest problem is that I quite often log in via a browser (i.e. on my work) laptop that I cannot access my home emails from, so I am effectively being blocked from my account entirely. 2FA works OK for me (e.g. when a 1-time code is sent via email or SMS that can then be typed in, but this system assumes that you can simply click a link. If I wanted to access my account from my phone, I would rather use the app than a mobile web browser.

Thanks for all of your comments. We made the change to make Bulb even more secure and simple to use. Two clicks and you’re signed in. If someone cracks your password you might not find out for a long time. But with an email-only system, you’re notified when someone tries to sign in, and links can only be used once and expire after a short time.

However, we understand that people can have frustrations with this new process. Our product and technology team are keeping an eye on this thread. We really do value any comments on our services as we want to keep making our service better.

It’s not simpler, it’s arguably less secure (and even if you argue that it is, the need for that security is under serious question) and you’re introducing a delay to sign-in due to the reliance on email that makes people not want to use your Mobile Site.

There’s not even a question here. Your experience should delight users, and I can’t see a single person defending the change.

It’s a joke.

@flynndean For the people it works for it is just a new way of signing in and we are probably not likely to hear from them to say it is a good change. I understand why you might think it is overcomplicated and possibly over the top but we take the security of all our accounts very seriously.

Is there any compromise between the two methods that you would like to see?

@danp And who does it work for Dan? Who enjoys clicking a button, relying on your authenticating server, waiting for an email to arrive (potentially having to log-into an email account) and clicking a link? All to protect information that very few people believe is sensitive enough to warrant these additional steps. And if security is really paramount, why do email authentication? (where the email client likely resides on the device on which the bulb account is being accessed, with no additional authentication). It’s a question of a sign-in process taking seconds vs. many more seconds or potentially minutes. It makes me not want to interact with your product and I know many people feel the same. You’ve got the end-user convenience vs. security rationale completely wrong and I’d invite anybody who disagrees to state it here.

The Community represents your most active and invested evangelists and I haven’t seen a single person defending the change. Bang go your referrals and down go your satisfaction levels! There are other threads where the changes are also being vilified so I don’t appreciate or agree with the argument that there is some kind of silent majority. They don’t exist, or are too detached from the community to complain.

The compromise? Maybe you should have offered a choice in an A/B study and seen how many people chose the “Magic Link” vs. having a password/letting a password manager handle their authentication (your link is an insult to magic if ever I saw one). Or…maybe you could offer choice indefinitely and let data owners decide themselves? Maybe don’t force a change on people that wasn’t asked for or needed and expect people to just put-up and shut-up? Another compromise would be to bite the bullet and accept you should have an app. Rely on people’s smartphone or other Endpoint device authentication, employ fingerprint or other biometric authentication (stuff that takes seconds, not potentially minutes).

It might not kill your growth potential on its own, but its indicative of an arrogance that will see your Customer Satisfaction ratings drop like a stone. You wouldn’t catch any of the challenger banks (Starling/Monzo etc.) just blatantly ignoring Community feedback and forging ahead with ridiculous changes. You’re clearly gunning for the same aesthetic/user, but your market vision, product road-mapping/testing and Power-user/evangelist engagement needs a clip round the earhole.

As a security expert, I would be really interested in why Bulb thinks this is a more secure process.

Email is NOT SECURE. There is no guarantee that the email you have sent has not been read on route by a 3rd party who could use the link to access my account. Essentially this is the same as sending a postcard through the post with my password on it.

I’ve not seen other organizations use this method and, in general, if no one else is doing it then that is for a very good reason.

Personally if you want to do something better on security than a simple password that doesn’t annoy your users I would do what lots of other organisations are doing:
a) Use a proper dual factor authentication mechanism (there are a lot of standard mechanisms including use of mobile SMS or Google Authenticator).
b) Only ask for the 2nd factor once on machines / browsers that the users trust. This is handled by putting an appropriate cookie into their browser. This means that even if the password is stolen then it can’t be used.
c) Mobile phone apps authenticate once and then are trusted. The security on the phone makes this very difficult to compromise if done in the right way. Authenticating on every use is actually weaker security.

One other thought for Bulb. The new login process is not secure because email is not secure. There is a significant risk therefore that you are in breach of the Data Protection Act.

Not a fan of the change. I noticed even though I came to this page from my dashboard I had to log in with my password and email address.
As james7096 said Personally if you want to do something better on security than a simple password that doesn’t annoy your users I would do what lots of other organisations are doing:
a) Use a proper dual factor authentication mechanism (there are a lot of standard mechanisms including use of mobile SMS or Google Authenticator).
b) Only ask for the 2nd factor once on machines / browsers that the users trust. This is handled by putting an appropriate cookie into their browser. This means that even if the password is stolen then it can’t be used.
c) Mobile phone apps authenticate once and then are trusted. The security on the phone makes this very difficult to compromise if done in the right way. Authenticating on every use is actually weaker security.

@danp And who does it work for Dan? Who enjoys clicking a button, relying on your authenticating server, waiting for an email to arrive (potentially having to log-into an email account) and clicking a link? All to protect information that very few people believe is sensitive enough to warrant these additional steps. And if security is really paramount, why do email authentication? (where the email client likely resides on the device on which the bulb account is being accessed, with no additional authentication). It's a question of a sign-in process taking seconds vs. many more seconds or potentially minutes. It makes me not want to interact with your product and I know many people feel the same. You've got the end-user convenience vs. security rationale completely wrong and I'd invite anybody who disagrees to state it here.

The Community represents your most active and invested evangelists and I haven’t seen a single person defending the change. Bang go your referrals and down go your satisfaction levels! There are other threads where the changes are also being vilified so I don’t appreciate or agree with the argument that there is some kind of silent majority. They don’t exist, or are too detached from the community to complain.

The compromise? Maybe you should have offered a choice in an A/B study and seen how many people chose the “Magic Link” vs. having a password/letting a password manager handle their authentication (your link is an insult to magic if ever I saw one). Or…maybe you could offer choice indefinitely and let data owners decide themselves? Maybe don’t force a change on people that wasn’t asked for or needed and expect people to just put-up and shut-up? Another compromise would be to bite the bullet and accept you should have an app. Rely on people’s smartphone or other Endpoint device authentication, employ fingerprint or other biometric authentication (stuff that takes seconds, not potentially minutes).

It might not kill your growth potential on its own, but its indicative of an arrogance that will see your Customer Satisfaction ratings drop like a stone. You wouldn’t catch any of the challenger banks (Starling/Monzo etc.) just blatantly ignoring Community feedback and forging ahead with ridiculous changes. You’re clearly gunning for the same aesthetic/user, but your market vision, product road-mapping/testing and Power-user/evangelist engagement needs a clip round the earhole.

Could you respond to this please, Bulb? I’m very interested to hear what you have to say.

Some energy customers will be attracted only by price and sign-up inducements whilst others focus more on ethical and environmental issues. The first group will probably soon move on to a different supplier anyway, but the latter will only do so if they become dissatisfied with the service offered. Is Bulb hell-bent on driving such customers out? Remember that there is a very attractive alternative available these days (and one that probably copied Bulb in the first place!).

Taken from your website, describing one of the problems Hayden and Amit saw at the big providers

‘None of them empowered their customers – they barely listened to them’

How is it 2 clicks when you have to put your email address in…and then log into your email to be able to get to bulb! Far too long winded! I only had 1 click before this as my passwords are securely saved on my pc. I have no problem with someone logging into my account to pay my bill

I have also found that if you sign in and then save your signed in dashboard as a bookmark on google…when you click on it you will go straight in

‘None of them empowered their customers – they barely listened to them’

This is brilliant! I judge people by their actions, not their words…and the silence is deafening.

If one of my team implemented this crap without extensive end-user testing, they’d be sacked. This isn’t on the Trello roadmap, so I can only conclude that this idea was thrown together and launched on the say-so of a couple of deluded, ill-qualified individuals…but the bigger crime is not acknowledging that there is a huge problem here that needs to be addressed…That falls to the very senior management who spout meaningless soundbites such as the above.

Suggestion for the powers that be: Try to headhunt flynndean.

angela1094 may have found quite a serious bug.I logged in and saved my bulb as a bookmark.I then logged out of my bulb and cleared my browsers cache ,history etc.However clicking the bookmark you are still logged in and have access to your account.This should not happen in my view.I too dislike the email me a link option.