How not to create a registration/login process - T-mobile UK

I have just come across a great example of how not to deal with users logging in or registering for a site with T-Mobile (UK).

I am on my second phone with them and had an account with them for the original phone, so I tried logging in using my username which I had in an email and my password. It wasn't having it.

So I tried the forgotten password route. This asked for my mobile number and my username. Entered my original number and username. Nope. Entered my new number and username. Nope.

So I tried the forgotten username + password route. This asks for your name, phone number and email. I entered all this information using my original phone number. Nope. Tried again with my new phone number. Nope.

At this point I guess that I may not have an account for my new phone and my old phone was removed even though the number is still on the go on a second phone I have.

This time I went to the registration form. Put in my new number and entered the captcha. I was presented with another screen asking if I was the account holder, what my email was, how I was paying for the number, and a password. I filled all of this only at this point to be told that an account already existed for this number. Why couldn't this error be present after the first step rather than making me enter in loads of data which was redundant.

So I tried to register again using my original number, entered the captcha and on to step two. This time I was asked for different information, I assume it recognised that this was a PAYG phone and not a contract phone so rather than being asked about how I paid for it, I was asked for my name address as well as my email, password. I filled this in, but the post code lookup didn't recognise my post code, so I tried another post code, nope, and my works post code...nope. I carried on with the form assuming that it would present some more text fields to enter my address and pressed Submit.

"Please select your address before proceeding"

It wouldn't let me proceed as I didn't select my address which it wouldn't find. Being a developer, I thought I would disable javascript. Obviously there was a problem, with their post code look up service and with javascript disabled the form would degrade nicely with all the address fields. Nope. The same form is displayed, still showing the Find address button which the href is set to javascript:; so the link wouldn't do anything.

I am now in a situation where I can't login to a pre-existing account or create a new account for not one but two phones.


There are quite a few fixes that T-Mobile need to do to get their forms up to scratch. I can't really say much about the login process as it may just be that the accounts don't exist for whatever reason, I will have to wait and hear back from T-Mobile. But the registration form needs a lot of work.

When registering a new account and the number exists, throw an error straight away. Some inline validation would be great, at the very least throw up an error on submitting the form rather than getting the user to type another page of information before being told that the very first thing that did on the previous page was wrong.

Sort out the post code lookup service. I tried 3 different post codes. I know they exist. The look up service they are using just doesn't work. A query is sent off by the javascript but there is no response (used Firebug).

Degrade the form if javascript is not available. Not everyone has javascript enabled, especially on some phones. Making sure an application degrades properly if javascript is absent is vital. If the post code lookup did work, then I wouldn't of found this problem, but it doesn't work and as it is javascript only, you can't go any further.


I agree - they make it sooo very very difficult. I am an IT teacher and very nifty in that area yet I am experienced woeful problems also. Why don't they send a registration email or text with the login and password? sheesh.

When I finally managed to register today (apparently the new sim had a number already registered to someone else - I won't bore you with the details), I was unable to use my usual password "too obvious" I was told repeatedly till I finally got something they accepted. Now I can't remember what it was.

At least that's what I'm guessing is the problem. Perhaps their system is simply not recognising it again, like the earlier problems I had that turned out to be entirely at their end. Whatever, I tried the "forgot username and password" option. Somewhat stressed by the labrythian process, realised I wasn't sure which email address I had given them.

No worries (I thought) I'll just check my accounts for the registration email. There wasn't one! hmm okaaaaay, I'll try one email, and if it's not correct, it must be one of the others. But at the first attempt I am told the system has now locked or some such unhelpfulness. It doesn't say how long for.

Soooo now I can either attempt to navigate the most user unfriendly customer service procedure through myriad automated menus to try and talk to someone for 25p per min OR I can keep trying on the web site.

I wouldn't even have to bother to log into the site except stuff they said I would have is not working yada yada

It's more secure than my bank account procedure and what for a measly £10 pay as you go top up. UNBELIEVABLE

have had the same problem with there customer service in the past. Hope they manage to improve on there services in the future.

- I have two PAYG phones. I can top up one, but whatever I do I cannot access the second one for topup. Maybe there is a way, but the 'help' files are out of date and do not correspond to the actual site.
The whole thing could be done from one or two pages. Needs serious attention.

To get a new Pay as you Go mobile and keep my T-mobile number (they call this 'upgrade'), I was informed yesterday in an EE shop that either I registered or I got a new sim card/number and pay a top up of £10-20 (depending on the mobile) into that new sim card that I was of course not interested in having. Bad deal for the consumer.

So, I eventually managed to insert all the required personal data into T-mobile's registration electronic form, send the form and get an activation pin. The activation pin serves to complete the process of registration. It happened to me what many people have been complaining about in the past couple of weeks: when trying to complete the process, one is directed to a page that says that the service is offline due to technical difficulties.

In summary, T-mobile is actively collecting personal data and deliberately creating obstacles to access to registration while establishing that those interested in buying a new phone should register in order not to pay money into a potentially useless sim card. This is a well thought but very bad ethical business practice which would need to be further investigated and denounced.