Worst registration form on the internet? DZone.com

Among the sites that I check from time to time for interesting dev-centric links is DZone.com. It skews a little more toward enterprise than do Hacker News or Proggit, and, thus, provides a good way for me to keep my finger on the pulse of popular trends among enterprise developers.

They also have managed to put together some really interesting quick-ref cards that they market under the Refcardz brand. One day, I decided to create a DZone account so that I could download some Refcardz.

Turned that was much easier said than done.

They start by asking for entirely too much information, none of which is optional: Name, Address, Phone number, Company, Title, Size. But that’s not even the killer part. The worst thing was that no matter how many times I submitted my information and no matter what variations on spelling I tried, my request got rejected as “Invalid Phone number” and “Invalid Address”. Well, guys, I’m not even trying to give you crap information yet, and I’m pretty sure I’m more qualified to attest to the validity of my information than you are. What gives?

So I emailed them. Here’s what they had to say:

“We apologize for the difficulty, sometimes this happens.”

Wait—so it’s a known issue that sometimes your form rejects known-good registration attempts and your best fix is to ask for a screenshot? Oof. I left them that day telling them that once they fix their form I’ll consider signing up.

Fast-forward 4 months, I decided to try again. Failed again with the same validation errors so I emailed support again with a  frustrated request for them to fix their site.

This time they replied:

“I was able to find your registration attempt and it looks like the problem was your area code is from California and your address is Washington state. I overrode that requirement and finalized registration for you.”

Wait—the reason I was being rejected was that my area code wasn’t consistent with my ZIP code? Have they ever heard of cell phones? If they only want members that haven’t moved and kept a phone number the same, then I’m almost not sure I want to be a member.

One Comment

  1. Posted January 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Sure enough, this practice is still going on. I remembered running into this problem about 6 months ago as well and just forgot it and dropped registration. But, when I tried again (this time with my non-Google Voice number), it let me through. The most assinine registration policy (that isn’t even up-front about it!)

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