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Yahoo Account setup rejects valid mobile phone numbers
Limits of sanity reached; am pulling legs off flies now...

 5:26 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hope this is an acceptable forum, as the Yahoo categories didn't quite fit this issue.

On two separate Yahoo account setups now (preliminary to setting up local search accounts to two clients) Yahoo won't accept the required mobile phone number.

An error message says the numbers I've provided are not valid mobile phone numbers. I know they are, as the phones have been used for years.

I can't find a similar complaint anywhere, and attempting tech help with Yahoo is like disappearing into the black hole of government bureaucracy.

Has anybody had the same problem?



 7:16 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

A couple of thoughts:

1. My phone often gives the international code rather than the national version - which are you entering?
2. What country are the numbers registered in?


 7:26 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

The account setup for the phone will autofill the +1 international code for the USA. Then I've entered the xxx-xxx-xxxx and alternatively (xxx) xxx-xxxx but both always fail.


 7:38 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well, this one will make me head for the liquor bottle. I removed all the hyphens from the number to make it xxxxxxxxxx and it worked. No instructions, no guidance when the wrong entry was made. Just left twisting in the wind.

I would suggest all the high priests in the back room at Yahoo go and Google "usability."

Thanks piatkow for giving it a shot.


 9:25 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thing is ..when you dial a number..you don't enter hyphens on the phone..and presumably yahoo ask for the phone number..

BTW..Not all countries use the xxx-xxx-xxxx written notation..

France for example uses xx.xx.xx.xx.
Some people write it as xx/xx/xx/xx/xx

Other countries use different "spacers"..

None of which are actual numbers..

If one is writing scripts for a form asking for phone numbers..one is asking for numbers..and one would normally sanitise out..anything which is not a number..

More secure that way..and the same form works worldwide..Yahoo is a worldwide operation..

They don't want to have to write a script for each country..

Credit card fields usually work the same way..they don't let you include the spaces..They want 16 digits..all with no intervening spaces or dots or whatever "local" method of "spacing" you use..

Even if on the Credit Cards the numbers are groups of 4 digits with spaces between each group..because to enter the "spaces" in the database would require encoding..


 9:45 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Take it as an object lesson for how to design input areas on your own sites :) If something always has the same format, like (nnn)nnn-nnnn or nnn-nn-nnnn, let input take only the variable parts, ignore the filler if any, and display everything in the desired format. And, of course, automatically tab to the next item if there's a fixed number of characters to enter in each section. There's nothing like squinting at your invoice to type in eleven digits ... and then discovering you were supposed to hit Tab after the first four.


 10:45 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I sincerely appreciate your last two comments. My point, however, is that they DID NOT give the required format. And they DID NOT suggest the required format when the wrong one was entered.

On other sites that do not use dashes, they INVARIABLY tell you what you've done wrong. This is the first one I've run into, and I did not fall off the turnip truck yesterday.

Sorry, but with all due respect, we have a basic difference here: code guys will never prise the concept of proper usability from my cold, dead fingers.


 2:03 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Dunno about Leo-- whom I overlapped, so I didn't see his post until just now-- but my underlying point was: So you're smarter than Yahoo's programmers. Isn't that gratifying? :) Well, except for the part where they make five times as much money as you. For that we need a different adjective.


 7:35 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I would suggest all the high priests in the back room at Yahoo go and Google "usability."

I can't help but see the irony there.

I agree with Lucy here - it's Yahoo, I wouldn't expect cutting edge of anything really.

Just be glad they're not in charge of anything important. Like bank accounts - who knows what would happen if online banking sites had glaring holes and appalling usability. Oh, wait...


 9:12 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

lucy24, apparently my legitimate frustration about poor usability in a Yahoo Account signup form has been turned into an affront to programmers, along with the inevitable snarky comment about my intelligence. For that I have an adjective: arrogant.


 9:53 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Seek and you shall find.


 9:41 pm on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

quod erat demonstrandum.

And thank you for your interest, as I no longer wish to correspond with you.

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