Right.....another "you gotta be shittin me" moment from a big corporation. TalkTalk to be specific!
So in 2015, IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) board members had a big brain storming session and thought "Hey...we should create some new Top Level Domain (TLD) names for people to buy!".
A couple months later and BAM....they roll out hundreds of them. Some of them pretty funny, like SEXY (can you imagine this blog at TEXTER.SEXY!! That should be a thing!) and MONSTER (again...TEXTER.MONSTER would be cool!) and FISHING (not going there!) just to name some of the more bizarre ones.
However, FAMILY was added. I liked this one, a lot! So immediately purchased TEXTER.FAMILY (look in the address bar of your browser, isn't it pretty!?) and several others on behalf of family (funny that) members.
Fast forward to 2020 and in addition to the corona virus causing havoc, my email address gets added to the list!
So in 2019 my old domain came for renewal. Having just bought this new FAMILY domain, I decided to let the old domain expire. Wasn't very pretty and the new one was working very well.
In preperation, I log into the various websites and services (like Amazon, eBay, Microsoft, etc) to change the email to the new address. Didn't have a problem until I tried it on a TalkTalk website!
So lets back up a bit. Those of you who know me, also know I build websites. Some pretty big ones (if I do say so myself) and have more than average knowledge of stuff-n-things web related. Such as handeling email and email addresses.
So there are 3 ways you can handle email addresses within a website.
- Accept what the user types in is valid
- Check the formatting of the address entered and see if it's "good"
- Do a email lookup to see if the address even exisits, is valid, can be used
For most websites with low traffic, option 1 is fine! The user should know their own address, if they get it wrong, usually the result is.....nothing..... a very minor impact.
Option 3 is the best way, however this has a cost implication usually. Either monitarily (using a lookup service) or in hardware (creating your own lookup service) or both. Only big business go for this option normally. For example, my work with Honda UK website used a lookup service.
So...back to TalkTalk. TalkTalk have gone for option 2, no surprise, as it generally results in valid data. Except in TalkTalk's case, it doesn't.
So their websites (all of them!) performs a base level TLD check. Meaning if the TLD in your email address isn't in their hard-coded list, the website tells you "Please enter a valid email address".
So.....for example.....if my email address was email@example.com the check would allow this because COM is in their "good domain TLD's" list. But...if your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org then the TalkTalk website will throw a fit, because as far as it's concerned an email address ending in FAMILY is not valid!
For the record I know Google does not support the FAMILY TLD for their email. Not the point!
What is the point, is that for the past 2 months I have been trying to get TalkTalk to update my account to use the FAMILY TLD without success. The website won't allow it. Their internal management software will not allow it.
The reason, someone hard-coded a list of TLD's that's 20 years old!
What gets me, I am now receiving letters from TalkTalk saying "we can't send you email" so they will start charging me £2 EXTRA to snail mail me my bills instead of emailing them!
When it's THEIR system that's broken!
Support: Thanks for calling support, how can I help?
Customer: My phone number changed, update it please.
Support: Sorry, the phone your using doesn't work.
Customer: But I'm talking to you on it now!
Support: We're sorry for your inconvenience, but your phone doesn't work.
Customer: I'm using it RIGHT NOW!
Support: We're sorry for your inconvenience, but would you like to try another phone?
Customer: This one works fine! I'm using it now!
Support: Thank you for calling customer support, is there anything else I can assist you with?
If I didn't find this entire situation hysterical, I would be pulling my hair out!
One day.....some day.....TalkTalk will invest in it's own website.
Probably when domain names are no longer required!
Update yer shit TalkTalk!
Rant over! Have a nice day! 😀
UPDATE: 12 December 2020
So I am now being mailed by bills, and the extra £2 pounds is being applied to my bill.
Turns out the paper bills have come in handy! There are "extra changers" on my bill, to the tune of £7.00, that I have no idea what they are there for!
So I'm on the phone to customer support, ask why these charges are there, get a very "uh well, they are standard" answer.
Well you can "standard" them right OFF my bill, right fucking now!
So....the £2 charge is still there, but the other £7 is now gone.
And I made a formal complaint on the email situation, and bogua "extra's".
I would switch companies, if TallkTalk didn't have the fastest speeds in this area of the UK.
Read your bills people! Digital, paper....don't just quick-scan and trash em'!