Your buddy has told you some absolute NONSENSE!
The use of "|" is a very normal thing to
separate data base fields.
This is actually the most common way to do it.
This "|" character does not appear in any names or addresses. And that is why it is done that way.
The Comma Separated, quoted idea is extremely complex and requires some very complex code.
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| & || & |
| < || < |
| > || > |
| [ || [ |
| ] || ] ||