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I'm rebuilding my "confirm email" system when a user signs up or changes their email. Websites like Facebook require an email be confirmed each time it is changed, so I have implemented the same. However, if a user does not confirm their email after becoming a paying customer, there is seemingly no way to contact them should something happen with their account...

Scenario:

  1. User signs up for the website
  2. Website sends email confirmation
  3. User confirms email
  4. User signs up for paid subscription on website
  5. User changes email
  6. Website sends email confirmation
  7. User does NOT confirm email
  8. Website is unable to communicate with user...

I realize that it's the user's onus to confirm their email, but I could easily see this slipping through the cracks... and by them not confirming their email, it could result in a cancelled subscription or them missing password reset emails.

Is there a general way to go about solving for this scenario?

  • Until e-mail is confirmed you can't rely on it so you need to keep sending important messages to the old e-mail. As a good practice it is also might help to ask for password confirmation along with e-mail change so somebody else does not steal the account by simply changing user's email address (see my answer here ux.stackexchange.com/questions/58503/…) – alexeypegov Dec 21 '18 at 8:56
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solution 1 - While the user change their email in step 5, you can communicate with the user on the change email page or section, that while we welcome the user email change, an unconfirmed e-mail may result in missing order notification and password reset link.

solution 2 - you can ask for other means of communication eg : contact number or a secondary e-mail address.

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The time when user requests for the email change, send them the confirmation link and till the time the new email ID gets confirmed, treat the earlier email address as the primary email. Just make sure that you are mentioning this to the user along with the status of the email addresses.

Keep both email address by disabling the earlier email ID after the confirmation of the new one.

This is going to solve one more problem, there will not be a new account with the email address the user was using earlier.

  • 1
    I agree with this comment, if your policy is to confirm emails, then the new email address is not valid and you should use the old one. I would back this up with reminder messages when the user logs into your website, including a link "I've not received a confirmation email," with another method to confirm, like SMS. – DarrylGodden Dec 21 '18 at 9:27

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