Over the holidays, my normal annoyance of receiving other people’s purchase confirmation emails quadruples.
For those who don’t know, I was a beta tester for Gmail way back when, and I got the great username — just my first and last name @ gmail.com. Problem: every other woman in the English speaking world with the same name mistakenly uses it (forgetting that all-important extra number or letter in the address) for buying stuff online. And of course, their receipts come to me.
Usually, I just delete them, because it happens pretty much once a week, on average. But this particular receipt had some very personal information on it, so I decided to reply and tell the retailer that they had the wrong person. This actually took place, over a series of four exchanges:
Me: Your customer has mistakenly listed my email as hers. Would you please notify her? I’m in Ohio — she’s in North Carolina.
Them: Thanks for contacting us. We will look into it.
Two days later, another message about this lady’s purchase comes to me. Instead of emailing, I called their customer service line.
Me: <Blah, blah, recount the situation.>
Them: Let me get into the computer and see if I can delete the email. ……….. There, it’s gone. Thanks for calling.
Next day, another purchase, another email. I emailed them *again*.
Me: I’ve emailed customer service AND called them, and this still isn’t fixed. I’m getting personal information about one of your customers — FROM YOU. I don’t think you want this. Please, notify this woman that she has entered the wrong address.
Them: Thank you for contacting us. We have updated her email address to <my.email.address.except.with.periods.between.the.two.names @ gmail.com>
Me: Um…that won’t work, either. Gmail does not recognize punctuation in their usernames, so what you have changed in your database *STILL* points to my address. I will continue to receive personal information about this woman from you. Is anyone listening?
MAILER-DAEMON – Mail Delivery Subsystem: Your message cannot be delivered. Reason: recipient rejected.
Is it the weekend yet?