I saw this today at clientsfromhell.net ...
CLIENT: I want my email address to be firstname.lastname@example.org.
ME: You don’t own golf.com. Your domain is somethingsomethinggolfcarts.com.
CLIENT: Ok, then make it email@example.com.
ME: The part of the email address after the “at” sign has to be somethingsomethinggolfcarts.com. You have to include somethingsomethinggolfcarts.com in your email address.
CLIENT: Oh! I get it, sorry. Make it firstname.lastname@example.org then.
... and it reminded me of one of my own clients from a few years ago.
The Amusing Story of email@example.com
She ran a widget business and kept insisting that she could email herself at firstname.lastname@example.org
and it would work. Nevermind that she did not own widgets.com, and that her email address was at Hotmail. She insisted I put email@example.com
on her website, in plain text.
Aside: Now, anybody with even slight web savvy sense knows that's how spammers get your email. Spam harvesting bots love to see email addresses "in the clear" on websites. That's the fastest way to get yourself an inbox completely loaded down with crap. That is, unless you like helping out the relatives of deposed Nigerian royalty or buying knock-off prescription drugs. Anyway...
To needlessly complicate matters, she didn't like her domain name for emails. Something about it being "too long" to say. And I agreed -- it was a horrible domain name. But she wanted it "for the site". It was something along the lines of misssuzyswidgetsshop.com (Miss Suzy's Widgets Shop dot com). So that eliminated the possibility of using the mail server that was hosted with her site (POP, SMTP, webmail).
I finally convinced her to let me install a web mail form, which I did, and it sent emails to her actual Hotmail inbox. I figured that would solve her stupid idea that she could receive emails at firstname.lastname@example.org
. I thought wrong.
Suzy calls me up, all pissy and snotty as usual, and demands to know why she's not getting any emails. So we walk through the process of checking her email. "I click the envelope and don't see any mail for my widgets," she says.
What envelope? Apparently she's using her work laptop, from her actual day job, because her home desktop is broken. I don't know what possessed the woman to think her non-work email would magically jump to her work email software (Outlook 2003).
"No, no, no," I tell her. "You have to check Hotmail through your web browser."
(Crickets chirping.) Silence. ---- Me: "Hello?"
"What's a browser?"
Sigh .... Me: "The Internet icon."
So she starts clattering on the keyboard for what seems like forever.
Me: "Did you get it?"
"Well, I went to mail in my Internet, and it's still not there. None of my email is showing. Did you lose it? Do your other clients have email troubles with your websites? And why did you change my email?"
Me: "Change your email?"
Me: "Different how?"
"Why did you call it a G-Mail?"
Now it all made sense -- the long clattering some minutes ago. Her homepage pulled up Google, and rather than typing in 'hotmail.com' in the URL/address bar, she clicked the "Mail" icon at Google.com and created a new gmail.com account. On her home desktop, somebody had apparently created a "Mail" shortcut link in her shortcut bar, and the "Mail" link on Google.com was in a similar location.
So I tell her how to get to Hotmail.com, and she sees all her mail.
"I like the other one better. Can we move my mail?"
Me: "I don't really know." -- a complete lie, I assure you! -- "You may want to call Hotmail (Microsoft) or Google (Gmail) and ask them for help. This is already really outside what I need to be doing for you."
And yes, she was billed for the call. (And it was paid.)
Think it's over? Guess again.
A few weeks later, there's another call. "My email isn't work again!"
-- rude and snotty, as always.
She's been telling people over the phone, and in person, to email her at email@example.com
. After several days had passed, somebody called her back and asked why she never replied to the email -- she wanted to buy widgets ASAP!
After explaining that she did not, and probably never would, own widgets.com, and that she needed to just learn to give out her Hotmail address -- which she refused to do because it "showed her birthday" (i.e., firstname.lastname@example.org
) -- she decided to "use another web designer". Good for her. Bad for whoever gets her misery next. I gave her a zip of the site and backend database, and sent her on her way.
Out of morbid curiosity, I looked at her site 6 months later. It was horrifying to see my original design masterpiece butchered in pretty much every way possible. The "Contact Us" page had the form removed, and there it was: email@example.com
-- and she still does not own widgets.com. (I looked again 6 months after that -- the site had not been updated in at least 8 months. I think her business tanked.)
It's difficult to not have some degree of schadenfreude from the situation.
Even when you really try to help some people, they're simply too incompetent to run an online business.
To this day, I still don't know how she got the idea that she could email herself at firstname.lastname@example.org
, and "it would work". My best guess is that she would type something out to email@example.com
, click "send" and then got a bounce message. I guess if you don't know anything about email, that could appear to have "worked".
[In my best Dragnet voice] -- All names have been changed to protect the stupid.
Register domains with a reliable host (NOT Godaddy!
), such as Namecheap
-- but not widgets.com, somebody already owns that one.
If you want a good web host, look at our suggested hosts list: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/web-...-best-web.html
. Notice that's it's not littered with crappy hosts like Godaddy or 1&1. Our list is based on quality, not affiliate sales or advertising dollars. We need/want a good host, and you probably do, too! EuroVPS
and Stablehost are most suggested. The one thing you NEVER want to do is get a hosting package where you're promised "unlimited" resources; it's a lie, and the limits are simply hidden in their various agreement documents.
And if you're in need of a new website or a website redesign -- or even help just figuring out what would work best for your business (SEO, site planning, content management, etc) -- contact us
here at The Digital FAQ. We'll help you put together a website that acts as a tool to drive more business, not act as a useless money pit.
Thanks for reading, hope it gave you a chuckle.
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