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Harena first tried to create an account on Pinterest in late December 2019. The site consistently came back with an error message saying "Sorry, something went wrong on our end."

Round 1

2019-12-31 05:44 AM PST - H to Pinterest

screenshot attached to 12/31 email to Pinterest

I've tried repeatedly to create an account on Pinterest with the username and email address given, and it always returns with a message saying "Sorry! Something went wrong on our end." My partner and I have tried this on thee different browsers on two different computers.

2019-12-31 05:44 AM PST - Pinterest to H (auto response)

Hi there,

Thanks for reaching out. Your question is a top priority for us and someone on our team will respond as soon as they can. While this can sometimes take a few days, we typically respond within a few hours.

Heads up! Our support team will be out of the office for the holidays, but we promise that we'll get back to you after the new year. Thanks for your patience.
The Pinterest team

2020-01-03 21:59 PST - Aiden@Pinterest to H

Hi Sandy,It looks like you wrote in a while ago and I apologize for the delay in my response.Based on the information you originally sent us, it's possible that things may already be resolved now. Can you please respond and let us know if you're still experiencing the same problem?Thanks for your patience and cooperation.


2020-01-04 19:50 EST - H to Pinterest

Nope, still isn't working. Same error.

2020-01-09 08:55 EST - Pinterest to H

Hi there,

Thanks for reporting this problem. I'm sharing this with the appropriate team who are going to take a closer look.

We'll reach out with more information soon.

2020-01-09 15:11 EST - Pinterest to H

Hi Sandy,

My name is Kim and I am a Product Quality specialist. I'm sorry for the trouble you're experiencing.

This could be caused by your browser or computer, please go through each of the following troubleshooting techniques:

  • Clear your browser's cache and cookies
  • Make sure your browser is up-to-date
  • Try from a different browser than the one you are using
  • Disable any browser extensions one by one

Thank you,


Round 2

At that point, we didn't have the energy to pursue it further, since it looked like we were being scripted ("clear your browser's cache and cookies" and "try a different browser" -- we said very early on that we'd tried multiple browsers on different computers, and our browsers are all auto-updated from apt).

A need to actually use Pinterest emerged in early February, so I took another look at the problem. I tried creating an account with various combinations of email addresses and passwords, and it always returned the same error.

I felt a bit silly obfuscating this -- Harena's GMail address is exactly the obvious guess... but then, spambots generally aren't sophisticated enough to glean that information, and that's all we really need to prevent

It wasn't until I tried Harena's GMail address -- at which point it reported that the password was wrong (see screenshot), not that the account was already taken, and offered to let her reset it.

Thinking that maybe she'd successfully signed up earlier with that address and forgotten about it, she reset the password -- but on logging in, discovered that the account belonged to someone in France who apparently uses it quite a lot.

Now, this kind of thing with H's email has been happening for years. Somehow, people enter her GMail address as the contact email on various web sites, or give them out to relatives, and don't seem to notice that they are using the wrong address. H has accidenatlly received confidential information from other people that way on at least two occasions. In most cases, there's no way to contact anyone to tell them they have the wrong address, so she just sets the email aside and hopes they eventually realize they have the wrong address and change it.

This is the first time we've ended up taking control of someone else's assets (unintentionally, of course).

We're still pondering how best to handle the situation.

On the theory that maybe they refuse to recognize email addresses that don't go to major institutions:

  • email:
  • pass: justatest

This returned with a message "your email is invalid" -- suggesting that they have a way of checking the validity of an email address? Note that some addresses at our domains also return "email is invalid" instead of "problem on our end". Maybe I should map those out...


I tried to respond to Pinterest's last email about this, so as to preserve continuity of discussion, but got back this message:

Oof! It looks like your message didn't go through. This usually happens if it's been awhile since we've heard from you, or if your original question was closed. Sorry about that!

To ask a new question, just fill out our support form:

We'll get back to you as soon as we can!

The Pinterest support team

So I did as requested and tried to submit my email as a new help request -- but the form removed all line-breaks from the message, making it unreadable. So instead, I just posted something like "your form removed all line-breaks from my message, making it unreadable, so I have posted it here:" and then a link to this page: 2020-02-11 webmail

In the process of preparing that, something must have timed out -- because I got a message saying that my response to the CAPTCHA was wrong or something -- but I checked everywhere and there was definitely no CAPTCHA. I had to reload the help form and (yes) start all over again (but this time I had already done the work of setting up the message on that page, so nothing timed out this time).

Pinterest clearly has technical issues that are so obvious as to become apparent even to someone who isn't actually logged in.

dot dot dot

Received 2020-02-14:

  • From: Finn (Pinterest Support)

Hi Woozle,

Thank you for contacting us. My name is Finn and I will be assisting you today!

I am not quite sure that I understand your question. Can you please elaborate so that I can look into it and further assist you?

Thanks for your patience.