TLDR: Be sure to enter only the first 13 digits of your 16-digit account number. Use hyphens when entering the phone number.
I recently had to register for a verizon.com account for the Verizon account for our landline. This process was more difficult and took way longer than it should have, due to:
- poor website usability
- poor staff training
Registration process overview
You go Verizon’s website. You confirm your email is valid. You show ownership of the account by entering the account’s phone number, account number and zip code.
- Go to verizon.com/mybusiness, which redirects you to https://business.verizon.com/MyBusinessAccount/?CMP=DMC-SMP_S_ZZ_ZZ_E_BM_N_X00007:
- Click Register. You’ll see the following:
- Enter your phone number and zip code, using the format 718-555-1212. Click Continue.
- Once that’s done, you’re prompted to enter your account number.
At the top of your bill, you’ll see your phone number (718-555-1212) and your account number (718 555 1212 678 90 1). You may be tempted to enter the entire 16-digit account number. The text field will let you do so (it lacks a maxlength attribute). If you do that, registration will fail with a generic “information does not match” error.
After trying and failing to register multiple times with different browsers (using standard and incognito windows) and failing, I reached out to Verizon for help.
- DMing @VZWSupport on Twitter. Turns out that is Verizon wireless support.
- DMing @VerizonSupport. They bounced me to chat support.
- Chat support. Gets my account number. Doesn’t mention the length issue. Asks many irrelevant questions.
- Phone support. Called. Spoke to a rep who solved the problem in three minutes. Thanked her. Thanked her to her manager. Had a nice conversation with her manager about how broken this process is.
Verzion: if you’re reading this: follow Postel’s law: (“Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send”). Writing 10 lines of code to allow phone numbers (regardless of formatting) and account numbers (regardless of length) will save you hundreds of thousands a year in support costs.