eBay has hard time recognizing phone numbers

Recently batllle.net could not read my phone number. Now it is ebay.

While battle net asked me to enter a valid phone number, ebay go a step further – they ask me to:

Please remove invalid characters

Problem

1. The message does not tell me which characters are invalid. I guess, the + sign.

2. Since the message speaks in plural “characters”, I am confused as to what other characters beside the plus sign might be invalid.

3. The site does not recognize a perfectly legitimate formatting of a phone number. Most software systems will accept only phone numbers beginning with a +.

Overall, the text is OK, yet not very helpful.

Fix

Quick and dirty: Explain which characters are invalid. Or tell me which ones are valid and will know that the rest are not.

Design for humans: Recognize and accept variations in formatting. For example, all of the following are the same number 0035988, +35988, ++359-88, 359 88 and the software can be programmed to recognize them as such.

20 July 2015 | eBay

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