An African-American woman in Washington state says she forgot the password to her Puget Sound Energy account, so she requested a temporary one and what she got back was a racial slur.
Erica Conway believes the insult was deliberate and wants the company to get to the bottom of it.
Conway said the company just sent her an ugly racial slur created in the past.
“I clicked forgot password and got a temporary password from PSE and it was capitol N-i-g-g-a and I was quite shocked,” she said. “Man it was like an emotional roller coaster. Shock, disbelief, disgusted, angry. It was just yeah, even now I’m just kind of like I cannot believe this. I just can’t believe it.”
Conway also had a past temporary passcode with just random letters and numbers so she believes this passcode slur was created deliberately.
Conway said she complained to a customer service agent at PSE’s Bothell call center, but that the agent didn’t take the slur seriously.
“This was offensive, there was no question about that, we apologize to this customer, the community, for what has happened and we are trying to do what we can to make it right,” said Janet Kim of Puget Sound Energy.
PSE insists the slur was a computer-generated mistake.
“These passwords are generated automatically so they go straight from the system straight to the customers,” Kim said. “So it’s not able to be accessed by an employee.”
But that is not enough for Conway.
“This is 2018. We’re still dealing with issues like this,” Conway said. “It’s pretty sad. As a society it’s pretty sad.”
PSE says it has already taken steps to make sure temporary passwords are a scrambled mix of letters and numbers and next month it will begin using a new system that gets rid of temporary passwords all together.
Are they, dare I say, /OurUnilityCompany/?