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This article was published on March 27, 2016

    This couple can’t do the simplest things online because their last name is ‘Null’

    This couple can’t do the simplest things online because their last name is ‘Null’
    Nate Swanner
    Story by

    Nate Swanner

    Former Reporter, TNW

    TNW's former West Coast writer in the PNW (Portland, Oregon). Nate loves amplifying developers, and codes in Swift when he's not writing. If TNW's former West Coast writer in the PNW (Portland, Oregon). Nate loves amplifying developers, and codes in Swift when he's not writing. If you need to get in touch, Twitter is your best bet.

    Having a funny name can sometimes be unfortunate, but one couple is finding it pretty difficult to do anything online because of theirs.

    Jennifer Null (and her husband, who warned her it would be a bumpy ride when she took his last name) have trouble booking flights, accessing the IRS website and setting up utilities; just about anything that requires a real name.

    The problem is their last name, which — when entered into forms — tricks the database into thinking nothing had been entered. ‘Null’ is a word to indicate there is no value, so the program thinks they’re both trying to go full-on Cher and ditch the last name.

    Gladly, the Nulls have a good sense of humor about the situation. Jennifer tells the BBC “On one hand it’s frustrating for the times that we need it, but for the most part it’s like a fun anecdote to tell people. We joke about it a lot. It’s good for stories.”

    The Nulls also have a child, who could have a rougher go than Mom and Dad. With an increased reliance on the internet in schools (and life), the littlest Null may end up having the biggest headaches.