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#SayNoToRacism: US-Based Black Woman Gets Racist Password When Trying To Pay Utility Bill

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A Black woman from Washington is saying that a utility company emailed her a racial slur as her temporary password to access her account, according to reports.Erica Conway said she went online Monday to pay her Puget Sound Energy bill, but forgot her password, which is when she clicked a button to receive a temporary one, according to KING-TV.

The customer, who is also a volunteer for the Seattle chapter of the NAACP, said she received “N***a” as her temporary password, leaving her shocked.

“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,’” she said while speaking with KIRO-TV.

Conway showed the station previous temporary passwords that were composed of random letters and numbers, saying that she believes the slur was most definitely intentional. “I was truly in disbelief. Because this is not normal, and this is not what a temporary password is supposed to say,” she said.

She also said that a a PSE customer service agent didn’t take the slur seriously once addressed.

“I had said, ‘Do you guys screen out certain words?’ and Lydia was, like, ‘Yes we do.’ And I said, ‘Well, you guys didn’t screen out this word.’ And she said, ‘Why would we?’” Conway said.“I said, ‘What do you mean why would we? This is an offensive word.’ And she stated to me, ‘No one uses that word anymore.’ And I was, like, ‘Where are you living? What planet are you living on?’”

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Utility rep Janet Kim told KIRO: “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.”

ButPuget Sound Energy is still insisting that the password was a computer-generated error. “These passwords are generated automatically so they go straight from the system straight to the customers. So, it’s not able to be accessed by an employee,” she continued.

Conway and the Seattle NAACP are hoping for a sit-down with PSE to discuss the shocking incident and find out what the company will do to prevent it from happening again.

“This is 2018; we’re still dealing with issues like this,” Conway said. “It’s pretty sad. As a society, it’s pretty sad.”

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