Collecting email addresses at point of sale is a challenge. Some stores collect the addresses electronically, where the clerk or the customer types addresses directly into the register. Smaller stores, however, typically collect addresses on a sheet of paper at the cash register. Eventually someone takes the list and types it into whatever contact management system the store maintains.
There are all sorts of errors that can happen when someone types in an address, but those errors are only compounded when the addresses are written on a sheet of paper for later transcription. Not all of us have perfect, copperplate handwriting and many of us have barely legible scribbles. In one case I had a sender read the tag in my email address wrong causing all their mail to me to bounce.
One person found an interesting solution to the problem of illegible addresses: using Facebook’s lookup to clarify illegible addresses.
To figure out what the addresses should have read, we turned to Facebook which allows you to search for anybody by the email address(es) they have registered (unless they have tweaked some privacy settings). We just kept trying to enter each address we weren’t sure about, permuting a few of the difficult to read letters each time, until Facebook returned a match.aprèsSci
Standard caveats about how the addresses verified as valid addresses may not be the addresses belonging to the store customers, but it is an interesting way to resolve the problem.