Re: Is it on?
"However, the other possible problem is that the company's web form didn't highlight the error for him"
Yep, this was about 1999/2000 time and the site had already been in place for a year so the conventions for such things weren't really established, and I think it was something along the lines of an onSubmit() function checking each field in turn and throwing up an alert box like "Please check the blah blah field". Of course as well being poor validation (compared to modern standards at least) this led to 'chase the error' situations.
I went on to be one of the developers on the same site and we got to redevelop it from scratch, so of course it became awesome and we received zero phone calls after that ;-)