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My team is discussing changing the way we collect phone numbers. Currently, we have a single input to collect the phone number. However, since we have an international market, the team is considering splitting this phone number input into multiple parts to better handle users from various countries.

The platform is a booking site. One situation where this change could be useful is when an employer is booking for an employee in another country—the employee's phone number may not match what the employer inputs for country.

We're looking for the best way to handle edge cases like this and attempting to make it intuitive for the user. Might this be a usable way to minimize errors and ensure accuracy?

  • You need it in one field? stackoverflow.com/questions/41698357/… – xul Nov 15 '19 at 9:28
  • No, I need users to be able to input their phone number in 3 fields. Unless I can find a way to have the backend be able to partition the number depending on what was input in the country field. – ARIS Nov 15 '19 at 14:59
  • Hi ARIS, not sure what the problem is. Just add 3 text fields and that's it. You could even have teh first one be a country select. or am I missing something? – Devin Nov 15 '19 at 16:20
  • Hello @ARIS. I've reworded parts of your question to help emphasize the very relevant user aspect. Feel free to edit any parts that you feel I may have mischaracterized. – maxathousand Nov 18 '19 at 14:22
  • Why would you want 3 fields? I understand a country code field, and a number field, but area codes aren't as common today as they used to be. In cases where area codes change depending on calling locally, nationally and/or internationally, the international number is the only one that is guaranteed to work, so should be the format you want. – Sardtok Nov 19 '19 at 14:14
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Usually the country code is not required because it can be derived from the country field. The user may be asked to select a country or it may be derived by tracing the IP address. All we need for a phone number is the Area Code and the number. However this applies to landlines only. So it will have to be particularly mentioned on the form that you are looking for a landline number. Once it is mentioned as landline, it becomes easier to understand that an area code will be needed along with the number.

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    I should have said in my OG post that the reason for this change is to ensure inclusion for all international numbers. It's for a reservation confirmation. You're right in that there should be a way for the back end to parse out what country the number is coming from, depending on what the user selects for country. However, we want to look into edge cases as well where the user's phone number might be different from the address (and country) selected. It's a situation where a business may be booking travel for an employee who is international and the county code might not be the same. – ARIS Nov 15 '19 at 15:01
  • What if the user doesn't own a landline phone? They'll try in any way possible to put a mobile phone number into the form and then the backend will incorrectly parse the country code with the raw phone number and then you'll have a completely incorrect phone number. The best practice is to ask the user for a mobile phone (not landline), and get them to select from a drop-down their area code, and then ask them to manually provide the rest of the phone number. – Aaron Nov 20 '19 at 9:00
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What about to ask for the phone number on the reservation part with the country-code selection in the contact form. So this way it even doesn't matter from where the user. I think he has options to set the language, region and currency without starting to booking. So he will select the country code while making the reservation.

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