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We make a number of demands on new members when you set up an account (the 'hoops' you have to jum through), and I know from your feedback that they can be annoying.

The reason we've had to put these measures in place is that spammers are increasingly registering on successful forums such as this one and posting spam messages and pornographic images, using both automated programs and sweatshop labour in developing countries. We try to strike a balance between making it difficult for spammers to register and keeping it simple for legitimate users to register.

When you create a new acount you're now asked to:

1. Give a valid e-mail address, and respond to a verification e-mail that will automatically be sent to that address.
2. Read a graphical representation of a number and enter the digits you see
This is intended to make it harder for automatic programs to register
3. Read a textual representation of a number and enter it as digits
This is intended to make it harder for human spammers whose English skills aren't reasonably good - they need to register hundreds of times an hour to make a profit, and something that is out of the ordinary or takes time to complete is (hopefully) not worth the effort.
We're sorry if you find these obstacles irksome, but I can assure you that we only put in place the minimum necessary to keep these loathsome people off our forums.
May I suggest you use a Google ReCaptcha or similar instead of the captcha system you're currently using. It took me several attempts to get it right and I have now accessibility issues. Somebody who might have any sort of visual limitation is going to have great difficulty.
Hi Guys,

Yes can I add my voice to that. it took me over an hour and something like 20 attempts to register for the site, with the Red error box telling me - and I apologise for not logging the exact message- that I had entered an incorrect code number - and yet the description used - lets say "code number" in the error text did not seem to match any of the fields on screen, leaving me to guess that it was probabaly the CAPTCHA that was in error. - I may revisit it and edit this if I have a moment

My eyesight is not perfect but not too bad and yet I found it v difficult to read at least 50% of the coloured CAPTCHA codes presented. - yes maybe I should have zoomed in but it was late and it didn't occurr to me at the time.

In fact I almost gave up but eventually tried a fresh page or a re-load and maybe even a different browser before suddenly being accepted for email verification.

Whatever I did there is definitely something wrong with the registration process that made it ALMOST impossible for me to register. As a computer bod, I felt sure I could succeed and tried everything I could think of. I almost gave up and I'm sure other must have if they dont have a couple of hours to spare.

Hope you can improve it - and understand that it has to be spammer proof as well.
Having just tried this you do have a point in that the error message refers to a "registration code" error, whereas the field describes the CAPTCHA as a "security code". I'll amend that so that they match.

I know the CAPTCHAs can be difficult (that's kind of the point!), but as the text next to the image says you only have to click on the image to get a new code if it's not clear. You can do that as much as you like until you get one that does seem clear, so I don't really know why you'd have to get it wrong anything like 20 times?
I'd like to add my voice to this as there appears to be a malfunction somewhere.

This morning I spent a considerable amount of time helping a friend log-in. Probably due to a forgotten password. So tried the lost password process. We really struggled to get the system to accept the captcha. Keep getting 'The Security Code did not match the one displayed, a new code has been generated, please try again'.

And when one is accepted we then get the error 'Sorry, we don't have a member with that name in our records, please try again and double check the data you entered.'

Check the member list and the ID is there and we can see the posts, albeit some time ago.

So gave up and created a new account. Again the issue with the captcha occurs but eventually one is accepted. Confirmation email is sent, received and the link successfully responded to. But cannot login. Get error 'Sorry, we could not find a member using those log in details.' Check the member list and the new account is present. So tried the lost password procedure and once again the captchas fail and when one is eventually accepted we're back to 'Sorry, we don't have a member with that name in our records, please try again and double check the data you entered.'

Yes the captchas are hard to read, there is insufficient contrast and too many 0 vs O,o scenarios 2 that looks like z and vice-versa. Not to mention z vs Z. This is compounding the member not found issue.
When people actually ask for help (rather than violating the forum Terms of Use by creating a second account) this almost always turns out to be because the member is trying to log in using their display name, rather than their login username.
Valuable explanation, thanks Fredd!
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