email@example.com all the other joeschmoes were already taken. Fine and good, but it is a gross error to force your assumptions on users. There are any number of sites which offer email validation scripts and regular expression filters for what actually are valid and invalid addresses. Just making a guess with a less-than-complete ass is inexcusable for a company that provides Internet service to thousands. Testing my hypothesis, I added a random letter: Voilà! Satisfied that I was no longer a devious two-letter miscreant trying to slip past the wise validator with bogus credentials, it happily let me continue. I wouldn’t have been so surprised if it were a small online boutique, but from this company? As the old joke goes, when you assUme, you make an ass out of u and me.
I just learned that an email address I’ve been using for ten years, and through which I’ve received thousands of messages is invalid—at least according to this ISP’s validation script! Here’s the output I received (of course, I’ve changed my address for this post): Invalid? Really? A username with only alphabetical characters, followed by an “@” sign, followed by a domain name, a period, and the world’s most popular top-level domain? I realized the only possible reason (and not a good one) was that the programmer assumed no one could have a two-letter username. Poor guy probably just signed up for Gmail and ended up with something like