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+ - Why are online contact forms so bad?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "This is a cry for help and an attempt to speak directly to the world's web developers. Why are web contact forms so useless? In the last hour I used one contact form for my bank that prohibited the use of the Euro symbol. I live in Europe. Ok, so banking back ends are subject to all kinds of regulation but another form I just used to contact an insurance company prohibited the pound sterling sign. Currency symbols aren't the only issue, of course. Contact forms often balk at dates and phone numbers not being entered exactly as they want them to be. Fields to type credit card numbers often balk if you type a space between the numbers — although that's how the numbers are printed on the card. Shouldn't we have found a way past these elementary gotchas in our modern day and age? Are there any open source libraries that can parse contact forms so that they're made safe, regardless of what the user types, so that the user isn't picked up for typing a potentially dangerous / or in their messages? Or that include intelligence to understand the various ways humans type dates? In short, does it really have to be like this?"
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Why are online contact forms so bad?

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