Sorry, you can't have fibre to the cabinet, your email address is too long!


We have been chasing why our favourite telco keep just cancelling orders for an FTTC line. Eventually found the cause - the email address provided to them as part of the end user contact details has a limit of 40 characters.

To be fair, it is a documented limit, but we did not apply it, and they did not either, accepting the order and then, every time, canceling the order a bit later with no explanation as to why...

How mad is that? Oh well, at least we know now. Well done to Shaun for spotting it.

Of course the end user may want his personal details correctly recorded as per the Data Protection Act, but we'll see how that discussion goes later :-)


  1. You think you have problems? I can't get SDSL if the order is in my name and I managed to disappear briefly from Army/Ministry of Defence Systems when I (re)joined the Territorial Army.

    (Yes, it's the Bobby Tables problem... I do tell people not to use the ' but they tend to put it in anyway)

  2. Limit of 40 character email addresses? Sheesh. I've built systems which cope with 383 character to handle Unicode and extra long local-parts (the spec only calls for 320 characters: http://blog.rac.me.uk/2008/11/20/snippet-php-mysql-and-idn-email-addresses/ )

  3. Indeed, my usual problem is that I have a 6 character email addresses and systems treat them as too small, but 40 character max is just silly IMHO.

  4. Quite a lot of places dont like my "*@???.me" address. The * is real the ? are three letters.
    AS far as I know * is a legal charcter to have there.... I mostly use that address to annoy people though :)

  5. I've seen a couple of badly coded forms that seem to think TLD's such as .info don't exist.

  6. I had a .tv address years ago.. had to give up on it because of the number of webshites that thought it was invalid.

    I've even had a few reject .me.uk!


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