Bad Input Handling on The Web

Sep 21, 2007

I came across this on the Verizon billing page today when entering my account number: FIOS Account Number

I don’t know why they print all that extra jazz on either side of the account number, there’s probably a good reason, but why tell me that I should exclude some of it, particularly when the entire thing is labeled “Account Number”? Is it really beyond their abilities to cut 6 characters off the beginning and 2 off the end of my input? Beyond that, if they want to use the inner subset of numbers as the account number, could it at least be labeled properly on the bill?

This reminded me of nonsense from the Arlington County Library page: Arlington County library online

Their web application ought to prepend “2020” to what I enter; the user simply shouldn’t be bothered with this.