# My Pet Peeve with Fan Mail

1. 92
Marie Flintposted 7 years ago

I do a fair amount of suggesting editorial changes to hubbers when I feel these may be helpful. I despise the challenge prompts testing whether or not I'm a person. First of all, my vision isn't exactly eagle acute. Second, if one letter or number is wrong, the mail won't send.

I appreciate that I can check what I've typed into that little box (for a while Hub Pages was using a password mode, so the typed answer would only appear as something like ******* *****. So, I couldn't check for a typo, and I'm glad that's gone.

Can't we have something simpler though? Maybe a simple math problem, as I have seen on some sites, or at least letters that I can read? I get tired of hitting the little arrows allowing me a new set of words. Does anyone else experience this frustration?

1. 0
Beth37posted 7 years agoin reply to this

A MATH problem?! What are you trying to do to me? If anything on earth starts requiring me to do simple math problems, Im totally screwed.

"Mrs. Thirtyseven, this hydrogen bomb is about to detonate, but don't worry, all you have to do is answer this simple question by pressing the correct numeral. Ready? What is 0 X any number?"

"Ok, give me a sec... I freeze up during tests... is this the one where the answer is always 0? Or is this the one where if you borrow from the other column, the other number is always 9? Will this answer have a remainder, and if so, do I press the first digit, *then.... " (The whole earth explodes.)

1. 92
Marie Flintposted 7 years agoin reply to this

Not that kind of a math problem, Beth. Have you ever seen those types that I mentioned? The answers are all under ten. If a person can't answer 2 + 2, they probably can't construct a sentence, either.

It also wouldn't have to be a problem, it could just be a few numbers that you have to type into the template. Numbers are far easier to read than letters.

And why do you associate numbers with a bomb detonation? Do you live in a violent neighborhood?

May I conclude from your response that you are perfectly happy with the Fan Mail workings and can always read the prompts before sending the message?

1. 0
Beth37posted 7 years agoin reply to this

hahaha... I don't know why I chose a bomb joke. lol

No, I don't remember much about the prompts. I think you're right, they're hard to read. I just see the word math and my hair starts falling out. I was just kidding.

1. 92
Marie Flintposted 7 years agoin reply to this

Thank God!

2. 61
The Examiner-1posted 7 years agoin reply to this

Are you talking about the CAPTCHA box? Have you sent any Fan Mail within the past week? I have not, so I do not know I was just asking.

1. 92
Marie Flintposted 7 years agoin reply to this

Whatever it's called, Examiner, I have to make a real effort to read those squiggly, run-together letters! I use the Fan Mail extensively when offering editorials. Yes, I've used Fan Mail within the past week and undoubtedly well through the rest of the month. ***

1. 95
Phyllis Doyleposted 7 years agoin reply to this

I have no idea what you are talking about with the Fan Mail. I always use Fan Mail when I follow someone and there is no CAPTCHA box. I just type a message, check one of the compliments, like "Thanks", "Great Hubs", etc., then enter. It is a very simple thing to do. I am curious if there is another screen for Fan Mail that I have not seen.

1. 0
Beth37posted 7 years agoin reply to this

I think she means when you send an email thru fan mail, there is one there.

1. 95
Phyllis Doyleposted 7 years agoin reply to this

Ohhhhh -- sorry. Thanks for the explanation, Beth. Now I am not so confused.

1. 0
Beth37posted 7 years agoin reply to this

2. 92
Marie Flintposted 7 years agoin reply to this

thank you, Beth. Yes, the first time you follow someone, the" captcha box," or whatever it's called, does not appear. Every time you attempt to send an email after that, however, the little devil is there to bewilder and frustrate you. I suppose I could stop trying to help people.

2. 61
The Examiner-1posted 7 years agoin reply to this

Marie,
I did not use the Fan Mail that often and I wondered if they removed the box from there at the same time that they remove it from the sign-on. It was real easy, I only got it wrong a couple of times.
Kevin

1. 92
Marie Flintposted 7 years agoin reply to this

I don't recall  the test prompt ever being mandatory on the sign in to Hub Pages. Maybe that was before I became a member. It's not so easy now, at least not for me.

1. 61
The Examiner-1posted 7 years agoin reply to this

It was not there and then they added it and then they removed again after about a week or two. I did not time it but that is all that it seemed like.

1. 92
Marie Flintposted 7 years agoin reply to this

Interesting. It sounds as if it may have been an experiment. I certainly don't recall the sign-in captcha box. Anyway, I got feedback this morning from one hubber asking me to cease all editing on her hubs and others' as well. I will give her request some thought in light of the difficulty I have with the captcha.

3. 88
moonlakeposted 7 years agoin reply to this

I know what you mean about the math problem I've seen them. I also have problems with the words and sometimes can not see what they are to me they run together. I can't tell an N from an H.

2. 91
MizBejabbersposted 7 years agoin reply to this

I agree with you about this and anywhere else that demands a human touch. I don't mind typing in letters, but they should be listed in legible block-style sans serif type. Sometimes they are so illegible or in script type that run together and it takes me three or more tries to guess the letters. Even a magnifying glass wouldn't help in this case, but I do like Pearldiver's humor.

1. 92
Marie Flintposted 7 years agoin reply to this

Thank you, MisBejabbers, you're the first to have admitted, besides me, that the letters are difficult to read.

1. 82
Barbara Kayposted 7 years agoin reply to this

I agree too. It is a pain when you can't read them.

2. 91
Millionaire Tipsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

Yes the CAPCHA are difficult to read, probably to make sure that bots can't read them.  I write comments on blogs, and often have trouble getting them right.  It is frustrating, especially when you thought you were going to be able to jot a quick note and wasn't expecting to have to take a test.

2. 61
The Examiner-1posted 7 years agoin reply to this

MizBejabbers,
You have to move side to side and up to view your screen from angles to see the letters/numbers. You also have to use a little imagination.
They just want to be sure that the real person wants to sign in, a scammer might give up.

3. 94
Marisa Wrightposted 7 years agoin reply to this

I haven't sent an email in a while, but most captchas have a loudspeaker icon which you can click, and it will speak the letters to you.

1. 92
Marie Flintposted 7 years agoin reply to this

I've only tried that once or twice, Marisa, but maybe I will need to incorporate the listening mode more frequently. Too bad I have to resort to that, though.

1. 83
brakel2posted 7 years agoin reply to this

My husband says if you squint, you can see it better. I find it works, but it is a pain.

2. 77
Pearldiverposted 7 years ago

I believe that after 5 Years of continuous frustration you will become eligible for a 12 inch MAGNIFYING glass!

1. 92
Marie Flintposted 7 years agoin reply to this

I think so, Pearldiver! It won't do much for the astigmatism, though! ***

3. 93
DzyMsLizzyposted 7 years ago

Maybe I shouldn't say this in public--feel free to delete this post if you think it might be problematic.

But I hate those "captcha" things, as well.  Usually, I can read them ok, and I STILL get tripped up by 'wrong' answers, even after I've double & triple-checked prior to clicking.  That tells me that perhaps the utility itself is defective, and does not itself recognize the fouled-up characters it has presented.
As far as the audio option--that seems like a nice work-around for a bot--all they'd need would be one of those speech-to-text programs, and they're past the hurdle.

1. 94
Marisa Wrightposted 7 years agoin reply to this

Yes, I've had that experience too.   It's usually something to do with your browser, and it's very annoying!

A bot wouldn't be able to use a speech-to-text program so you're safe there.

2. 92
Marie Flintposted 7 years agoin reply to this

The speech-to-text idea is interesting.

3. 61
The Examiner-1posted 7 years agoin reply to this

MsLizzy,
Do you use the spaces and capitals?

1. 93
DzyMsLizzyposted 7 years agoin reply to this

Only if I see them in the garbled text....

1. 61
The Examiner-1posted 7 years agoin reply to this

There are spaces between the address numbers (usually on white backgrounds) and garbled figures.

4. 87
WriteAngledposted 7 years ago

I have massive problems with captchas too. They generally reduce me to tears.

I find the spoken ones even more incomprehensible than the written ones. Usually I can solve a written one after about 20 attempts or so. I have never been able to solve a spoken one.

1. 92
Marie Flintposted 7 years agoin reply to this

I'm sorry, WriteAngled, you have more trouble with them than I. After clicking several, I usually opt for one that contains some numbers, those I can read. As I recall, the few times I've tried to use the voice aid, it seems they spoke too quickly and only said the prompt one time, but I could try using those again since the visual prompts are difficult for me.

5. 96
Suzanne Dayposted 7 years ago

As a suggestion, something like Sweet Captcha would work well.

1. 92
Marie Flintposted 7 years agoin reply to this

What exactly is that, Suzanne? Is there a website that uses it that I may view it?

1. 96
Suzanne Dayposted 7 years agoin reply to this

It is usually used by Wordpress people. It is a captcha that is human friendly and uses picture problems to solve, rather than scrambled words and numbers. Very easy on the eye. Check it out here: http://sweetcaptcha.com/

I believe if more people knew about it, there would be heaps of these types of captchas being invented. I made my own one for Joomla once, but the software to make your own isn't around much anymore.

1. 96
Suzanne Dayposted 7 years agoin reply to this

PS - with my Joomla one, it had things like "drag the bird to the box" and there were 12 pics to choose from of different animals. I got a lot of compliments on it, so I know people found it very helpful.

2. 92
Marie Flintposted 7 years agoin reply to this

Very cute! I love it. I'm going to email your comment to the Hub Pages Team. Thank you!

6. 90
JayeWisdomposted 7 years ago

The biggest problem with the Captcha code is that the letters are all smashed into each other, some look like capital letters while others look like lower case, some italic, others regular print, spaces between groups of letters. It is very difficult to decipher these messy codes (which I assume is the whole point--requiring human vision rather than computers), and it often takes me three or four tries to get it accepted. I encounter the same problem on other sites that use Captcha. Personally, I hate it.

I like the method Yahoo! uses to forward an article--three capital letters swinging back and forth slowly. It's easy to see and read them even with movement. Of course, that's about the only thing I like about Yahoo any more since some (obviously) 20-something ruined the email program. Yahoo! has been receiving a ton of negative feedback and has undoubtedly lost users because of the frustration. I'd stop using my Yahoo! email accounts also if it wouldn't be such a hassle to change them on every website/account where I have them listed. A bit more frustration and I may do it regardless of the hassle!

Apparently, all administrative staffs of these sites believe they have to regularly make sweeping changes in order to justify their existence (and keep their jobs), even if those changes worsen the site experience for everyone rather than improve it.

(Sorry...I got carried away with a rant!)    JAYE

1. 61
The Examiner-1posted 7 years agoin reply to this

Jaye,
The only differences with the CAPTCHA are letters (small, capital) and numbers. It takes vision to see them, then you use your memory/mind to remember what letters/numbers look like. The only space is between the house address and the wacky letters.

About the email: open a new account somewhere one day. On another day change one website/acct. (or or more if you want). Keep that up until they are all done.
Kevin

2. 93
DzyMsLizzyposted 7 years agoin reply to this

I agree about the FUBAR situation with Yahoo mail.  I'm about to abandon those e-mail addys myself, and move to another service, keeping the account nominally open only so I can still use the instant messenger, which I use a lot to chat with distant friends.
I have run into more snags, hang-ups, server errors, and assorted annoyances with the "new design" than I can track.  Whoever did the makeover should be horse-whipped!

1. 61
The Examiner-1posted 7 years agoin reply to this

I use AT&T email. It is part of Yahoo! but I always use the AT&T side and I have no problems.

working