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Email delay makes it impossible to complete account registration

Has anyone else had any difficulty registering with, the High Street computer games retailer? I've had a frustrating time, off and on, for the past couple of years. I first created an account in November 2018 and haven't had any problems with passwords. My problem revolves around the confirmation code they send for the first login.

The idea is that you register on their site and nominate a password. For your first login attempt, once you've entered the password, they send you a verification code that you're meant to enter into the field provided. This proves the email account end-to-end, at which point (one assumes) the account becomes live and active. As with most systems of this type, the validity of the activation code is time-limited. The problem I have is that the codes they send out are programmed to be valid for only 5 minutes. In many attempts to finalise the account, I've never had a code that's arrived that doesn't say it's invalid by the time I get to use it. In most cases, it arrives 6 or 7 minutes after it's requested, making it instantly unusable.

The text of the email includes the request time and the time the code will expire. The timestamp of the email in the VM WebMail interface reflects the time it actually arrives. The timestamp of the same mail on my phone - although equally tardy to appear - reflects the timestamp of when the message was sent - it's the same as the time the code was requested.

I've tried raising this with Game Custome Services, but they're blind to the problem. Their response was basically, "It works well for thousands of other Users. Keep trying", which is less than helpful.

I usually try again when I get an email from Game with a good offer or news of the release of a game I'm interested in. I make several failed attempts to complete the registration process, the verification code is always invalid the second it arrives and I give up again in frustration.

I've worked in IT for large financial services organisations for the last 25 years. I've used such temporary one-time passwords frequently to access my work account from home, for example, or to set up access to a new service. I would argue that such organisations know a thing or two about IT Security and understand the trade-off between security and usability. Yet I can't recall a similar circumstance where the generated verification code expired in less than 15 minutes and the average is 30 minutes. IMHO, 5 minutes is far too quick.

I thought for some time that the problem lay with VM's email service. Yet only this morning, I had to change my password on another site that I hadn't used for a long time and therefore couldn't remember. In this case, I requested a password reset, changed to the VM webmail tab and clicked on the 'refresh' button and the response email was there already, only a few seconds after I requested it. Admittedly, for this site, my account already existed and the request was a variation rather than anything to do with setup, but that shouldn't affect how quickly VM processes the email to get into my inbox. I think this points to being the source of the problem.

It seems a little hyper for Game to limit the life of their verification codes to 5 minutes. If they persist in their attitude that the problem doesn't exist, can anyone suggest anything I could try to get over this ridiculous obstacle. I have other email addresses - gmail, hotmail etc - but they're used very seldom and for specific purposes. I don't want to have to re-register with Game and not use my default address.

Any suggestions gratefully received.



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Message 2 of 3
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Re: Email delay makes it impossible to complete account registration

The problem quite clearly lies with GAME. Anyone who believes that email delivery from address A to address B (and response from B to A) can be guaranteed within 5 minutes in the UK (or anywhere in the world for that matter) is, quite frankly, an idiot. If they don’t know any better than that, I, personally speaking, wouldn’t trust them to hold ANY of my data.

However, if you must, I suggest you re-register with a new dedicated address solely for this purpose and run through all the popular sites (gmail etc) until you find one that beats the time limit.

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Message 3 of 3
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Re: Email delay makes it impossible to complete account registration

Review the delayed email's header for possible source of delay; you can use Email Header Analyzer, or similar service, to do this and do remember to select the permanently forget this email header option at the end of the web page when done.

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