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Same Email Address, Wrong Person

About 20 years ago, I got an email address with a well-known ISP. The address is really cool: just my real first name then “at”, then the well-known ISP.

Some guy who lives about 400 miles from me has a wife with the very same name as mine, first and last. For some reason, this guy has memorized my email address (myrealfirstname@wellknownisp.com) in place of his wife’s email address. He has used this email address in various places, so I get email addressed to him from mortgage loan companies, charity requests and political organization invitations. I suspect he does it so as not to clutter up his wife’s email inbox.

Most recently I got an email from a car dealer “reminding” him of his service appointment. I called the car dealer and politely told the receptionist that the email address was incorrect, and I would be much obliged if she would (1) correct the email address in their records and (2) call the guy and ask him to not use my email address for his business.

I got another reminder email from the same car dealer later that day. I called the car dealer service manager who assured me that it would be corrected, and that he would personally communicate same to the guy. I was polite, but assertive, in this phone call pointing out that this was my second request. I mentioned this was actually dangerous, as I know their home address, the value of their house, their mortgage loan company, their political connections and have genuine, real, not counterfeit ID with his wife’s exact first and last names and my photo. If I were a dishonest identity thief (which I am not), I could open accounts all over the place using my own name and her address and other identifying information.

Today, I got A THIRD reminder email from the car dealer, with the option to cancel the service appointment. Grrrr!!!!!

So, I clicked on the link and canceled the service appointment. The form asked for a reason, and I entered “Terrible service, am taking my business to another dealer.” (Which is true. I take my own business to another dealer.) This seems to be the only way to get their attention.

OK, e-hellions, what think you?  0326-12

If you have all this mortgage and personal information, I think I would copy it all and send it by certified mail to the wife whose name you also bear and include in it a request that her husband cease using your email address for his transactions in his wife’s name.

{ 101 comments… add one }
  • Bint March 27, 2012, 5:17 am

    I wouldn’t even have bothered. I would delete every email sent to his wife using my address, without fail. Have you actually contacted him before? I don’t understand how he can use your address to any effect whatsoever unless you forward things on.

  • Jordan March 27, 2012, 5:25 am

    I do understand your frustration, but it seems incredibly rude of you to have cancelled their appointment. They’re likely to show up at the dealer at the time when they scheduled it and not be in the books and have wasted a lot of their time…

  • Margo March 27, 2012, 5:53 am

    I agree with admin’s suggestion.

    If the problem persists, e-mails to the banks or other organisations informing them that the e-mail address does not belong to their client, nd also start forwarding all mail which comes for them (inlcluding all spam) to this guy, cc’d to his wife (if you have e-mail addresses for either / both of them) – that way, if he does it to reduce clutter in her e-mail box, it will stop being effective, and if it is just carelessness, it will remind him and his wife.

  • lkb March 27, 2012, 6:10 am

    I think I’m confused — did the OP not contact the guy before this started happening?

    The OP may also want to contact the police — we had a local woman use our phone number when applying for loans and stuff (it was her number with two digits mixed). Long story, but we found out when we started getting calls for “Brenda” who has never lived here. We finally saw an article in the paper saying she was “wanted” by law enforcement for fraud. I called the police to tell her what was happening to us. The calls stopped shortly thereafter.

    The OP’s story reminds me of another incident.
    When I got married, we had bought a house at approximately the same time. Suddenly, I started getting junk mail at the new house addressed to my dad, who had never lived there. I called one of the businesses because the mail included a “welcome to the neighborhood” coupon that had a pretty good deal and I wanted to know if I could use it, though it wasn’t addressed to me.

    In the course of the conversation, I asked how they got my dad’s address as it was so clearly wrong.
    The employee said it was from a mailing service. I asked for and received the contact information for that service. I called them, explained the situation and asked if they could change my dad’s name to mine or delete his name all together (it was a toll-free call, so no big deal to do so). Anyway, the rep who took my call said it would be impossible to do so, “it’s all on the computer, we can’t change it.” No big deal, the junk mail gradually faded away but oy!

  • jen a. March 27, 2012, 6:31 am

    Be careful with this, OP. As a previous poster illustrated, you don’t things to happen the other way around – people mistaking her actions for yours. You don’t want people to mix the two of you up!

  • Moralia March 27, 2012, 6:52 am

    I like the idea of the certified mail solution. After that, start using your email’s filter function to delete it all – in fact, tell them so in your letter. You have no social or moral obligation to be their secretary.
    I received a neighbor’s mail years ago and would place it on his door with a polite note requesting that he change the address with his creditors, after several months I simply wrote “Not A Resident At This Address -Return To Sender” and dropped them back in the out box. Naturally he was FURIOUS with me for “causing trouble”, when he was late on his phone bill. But he got off his keister and took care of it finally.

  • Carol March 27, 2012, 7:01 am

    I’m a little confused. I thought at first the man was emailing your address thinking he was sending it to his wife, but on re-read, the impression I get is this man, when signing up for information for mortgage companies, and car service, instead of using his own email address, puts in his wife’s email address, which is actually your email address.

    You said you thought maybe he does this so his wife’s inbox doesn’t get filled up, but why would he do that? If he wants the information, specifically something like a car service reminder, why wouldn’t he use an email address that he knows is correct?

    Have you been able to contact him at all to tell him he’s using the wrong address? I just really want to know if you were ever able to tell him he’s using the wrong address. That would annoy me to no end if someone was cluttering my inbox with things I don’t need.

    At one place I used to work our fax number was similar to some mortage company’s fax, and they kept sending really confidential information to us. I must have called them 10 times to tell them they had the number programmed wrong, but it still kept happening. Some people are just obtuse.

    I think, while cancelling their service was probably not the correct thing to do, I can’t say as I blame you at all, because maybe it will teach all concerned to get the bleeding address right.

  • Agania March 27, 2012, 7:22 am

    Jordan I don’t agree with you. She called the dealer three times and they promised to rectify the mistake which they clearly did not. If the other couple turn up and they are not in the books, well then, maybe hubby might take the hint to stop using the wrong email address.

  • CJ March 27, 2012, 7:27 am

    I cannot imagine that the gentlemen doing this is doing so with intent. What would be the purpose? The OP isn’t getting just junk email, but emails that are important as well. If the goal were to prevent cluttering his wife’s email, he would have to have access to the OP’s email to retrieve these emails. Much more likely, he simply cannot correctly recall his wife’s email address and believes it to be this one, much as there was another discussion on this site regarding relatives who cannot remember how to spell your name. They aren’t doing so purposefully. That being said, I may have reacted the same way as the OP. Yes, it will inconvenience the gentleman if he shows up for a cancelled appointment, but that may be what it takes for him to finally commit his wife’s email to memory.

  • Wim March 27, 2012, 7:33 am

    The easiest, most logical solution to me would be simply ignoring all emails that are not intended for you, and if the sender is someone you have no dealings with at all (like the car dealer), mark them as spam and/or block the sender’s address.

    The fact that this other person and her husband obviously continue to use your email address instead of one of their own, doesn’t oblige you to act as their personal assistant and follow up on their correspondence.

    I have had two similar experiences myself:

    (1) A fairly large local second-hand book store had my telephone number listed as theirs on their website. This resulted in quite regular phone calls from customers asking about opening hours, or wanting to make appointments to drop off their second-hand books for sale (this had to be done by appointment, as only the store’s owner was entitled to decide which books to accept or not, and he was only in the store 2 or 3 days a week). As soon as I found out what was causing these calls, I notified the book store, asking them to change the number on their site. In the meantime, I duly informed any customers that would call of the correct number (an obvious typo: all they needed to do was switch the last 2 digits). However, the bookstore failed to correct the number on the site, even after I reminded them a second and a third time, and the calls kept coming. Eventually if a customer would call and ask for an appointment to drop off books, I would simply tell them to drop by any time they pleased. I know it wasn’t very nice of me to the poor customers who arrived at the store to find the owner wasn’t there and the shop assistant couldn’t help them, but the strategy proved effective, as soon after, the number on the site was corrected and the calls stopped.

    (2) An insurance company included my office fax number as their fax number on their business cards. As a result, the insurance company’s customers started faxing their claims and other insurance related forms to me. Again, once I had found out the cause of this error, I notified the company involved, and asked them to change their business cards AND inform their customers of their correct number, which they promised to do. In the meantime, I would forward all incoming faxes to them (at our company’s expense). Months later, however, faxes were still arriving, and I found out by calling one of their customers, that the company were still handing out the incorrect business cards, without even (manually) correcting the fax number on it. After that, I simply ignored any incoming faxes addressed to the insurance company. Eventually, our office switched to a new phone and fax system and our numbers changed as a result, so the problem resolved itself, at least for me.

  • MoniCAN March 27, 2012, 7:37 am

    WOW. I could have written your letter, OP! I feel your pain!

    I have had the same email address for years an years as well. All of a sudden about five years ago, I started getting all kinds of emails for somebody else. Through an internet search and from personal details in these emails, I discovered her email address is one letter off from mine, but pronounced exactly the same. Hers is actually an intentional misspelling of the word…which ads to the confusion.

    I too have called a car dealership (her home is 2,200 miles fro me) to get them to stop emailing me about her car appointments. This was just last week! And no, they never stopped despite promise after promise. Those emails are now filtered to be deleted immediately. Unfortunately, since they use several email address and forwarding services, I can’t catch them all. They also sold my address to similar businesses and now I have to deal with those unwanted emails addressed to this other woman as well.

    Some will say “oh, just delete it” or “change your email address.” Not that easy. OP said she’s had her email for 20 years. I’ve had mine for 15. Hundreds of friends and family have this email, and I often get emails from people I haven’t seen in years but would like to hear from (who have since changed their contact info). Also, the amount of crap email I get for this other woman takes a good two or three minutes to filter through. That ads up over time.

    I call it email hijacking. Not phishing, not hacking, but straight up hijacking. Stealing by force.

    Signing up for mailing lists, commenting on forums, making orders online, handing out her info to people she meets- all of this with MY email address.

    This appears to be an address that the woman uses for business, so I try to be polite and forward business info on to her real email address or let those people who email know they have the wrong person. I never get a reply.

    Sometimes I get personal information about her and her business clients. This is not safe.

    OP, it’s a good thing you and I are not psychopaths. What power we have been given by these mix-ups!

    In my case it must be a mix-up. I think this woman just can’t remember how to spell her own email address. But if you really think this guy is intentionally putting your address down just because he doesn’t want to deal with it, he’s putting himself and his wife out there for all kinds of risks.

    I’m not sure I would have done it, but by canceling the appointment you showed them what their lack of discretion with email can do. You probably should have contacted them first (without identifying yourself other than the email for your safety). I like the Admin’s suggestion of mailing all the info as well, and that may be more effective. In fact, I would mail the details that you cancelled their service appointment due to unchecked email solicitation by the dealer. It had your name and email on it anyway, how were you supposed to know it wasn’t for you? 🙂
    Don’t include a return address just in case they’re crazy and trying to set you up for some sort of identity theft-in-reverse lawsuit scheme. People are nuts.

  • GroceryGirl March 27, 2012, 7:51 am

    I’m curious if the OP ever bothered to e-mail the guy directly and ask him to stop? That seems like the first thing I’d do before anything else. And it isn’t really fair to put it on the car dealership and ask them to speak to the guy; that isn’t their responsibility.

  • Bint March 27, 2012, 8:06 am

    “it seems incredibly rude of you to have cancelled their appointment”

    I cannot believe someone has accused the OP of being rude. She told the dealership *twice* not to use that address, that man has had the nerve to use her email address knowing it isn’t his wife’s for his own convenience, and finally she puts her foot down.

    This is called having a spine.

  • CaffeineKatie March 27, 2012, 8:06 am

    I agree with the admin’s solution and totally disagree with Jordan. The OP attempted several times to correct a problem not of their own making; and that was on top of all the time spent dealing with the other person’s emails (even just deleting things is a huge time waster.) Makes me VERY thankful I’m the only person in the USA with my name (sometimes an odd unspellable surname is a good thing!)

  • DDP March 27, 2012, 8:06 am

    I believe that this falls under retaliatory rudeness. True the car dealership really should have corrected the problem on the first notice, but canceling the appointment did not necessarily solve anything.

    I agree with the admin that the first step is to contact the couple directly. As soon as I had contact information for them, I would have let them know of the issue. It is quite possible that the husband THINKS he is using the correct address and has no clue that the OP is receiving all of these important emails. If the couple refused to correct the issue (can not imagine why they would not), then I may contact some of the companies notifying them of the error. After that, I would not waste anymore time. I would simply delete and forget.

  • Barb March 27, 2012, 8:15 am

    If the guy is deliberately using your email instead of his wife’s real email, I would be sorely tempted to mess with him BIG TIME.

    For instance, you know their phone number. Respond to all charity requests and political donation requests with – “I am very eager to make a substantial donation to your cause. Please call me to discuss this.”

  • jess March 27, 2012, 8:19 am

    Jordan, I am not sure I understand you when you said “They’re likely to show up at the dealer at the time when they scheduled it and not be in the books and have wasted a lot of their time…”
    I mean, how much of the OP’s time is this guy wasting making her delete all these emails and deal with phone calls ect. HE is the one who caused this mess.

  • Lychii March 27, 2012, 8:20 am

    Admin is right, contacting the people and explaining the situation is the best course of action. If they fail to cooperate, then go ahead and junk their stuff and cancel their appointments.

    I once had someone’s e-ticket from a traveling agency sent my way by mistake (also a case of similar names). I’ve simply tracked down the person on Facebook and sent them their ticket.

  • Elizabeth March 27, 2012, 8:22 am

    Goodnews, OP, please ignore Jordan.

    Jordan, this person is wasting the OP’s time.

    He’ll learn when he’s made to listen. So, make him listen.

  • Jay March 27, 2012, 8:24 am

    @Bint: “I don’t understand how he can use your address to any effect whatsoever unless you forward things on.”

    He’s not. He’s using it for when he doesn’t want to get spam email, like for charities and web signups. The spam goes to this other person. Clearly he could just get a gmail account for that purpose, but he seems to be a jerk.

    I’m on board with cancelling the appointment, but also with giving them one clearcut chance to stop before screwing up more things for them.

  • Rachel March 27, 2012, 8:28 am

    Why does the op assume this guy has malicious intent? He probably thinks that is his wife’s address. The employee at the car dealership can’t do their job, which has nothing to do with this guy or his wife.

  • Xtina March 27, 2012, 8:28 am

    So how does the OP know that this wasn’t truly a case of that man really not knowing his wife’s e-mail address? If the OP never contacted him (or his wife) directly, then it sounds like the guy truly was just screwing up his wife’s e-mail all the time and mistakenly having things sent to the OP. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to risk sensitive information coming to a stranger’s e-mail address. But maybe I misunderstand–it also sounds like maybe this wasn’t necessarily “sensitive” information they’d requested but rather junk mail sent by companies that these people may use for services otherwise?

    At any rate–if the OP had made contact with the man/wife and they’d refused to stop using her e-mail address, I think the OP has every right to cancel appointments and respond however she wants to these e-mails that are coming to her e-mail address. Otherwise and if no prior contact had been made, I think I’d do just what our Admin suggested, mailed all this stuff to the wife and ask that they cease to use the OP’s e-mail address.

  • Gracie C. March 27, 2012, 8:32 am

    lkb – couple of things:

    1) How could she have contacted the guy before it even happened? LOL

    2). “It’s all in the computer, we can’t change it” – UM WHAT?! That should make it that much easier to change. LOL

    If I were the OP I would have sent this couple a note a LONG time ago asking that they not use my email address. I would further have printed and included all the emails as documentation of all the things I now knew about their lives.

  • Just Laura March 27, 2012, 8:33 am

    I don’t think OP was rude at all. It is the OP’s email. They are using it without OP’s permission. The OP asked more than once for the service station to correct their records. They promised they would, then didn’t. That would be a very good example of bad service.

    Email addresses are free. The man is welcome to sign up for his own, instead of using the emails of other people.

  • Numa March 27, 2012, 8:38 am

    Who cares if it was rude to cancel the appointment? Once the OP made the attempt to fix the situation that many times and it wasn’t, the ball is in her court.

  • Kovitlac March 27, 2012, 8:47 am

    Good on you. This guy needs to learn that it’s not okay to take advantage of someone else’s ‘handy’ name.

    I’d do as was suggested – mail all the information you have to the wife. If that doesn’t work (although I can’t imagine she’d be pleased with having that much personal information in someone else’s hands), I’d go to the police.

    Bint: He could have looked up the email, or just guessed. He doesn’t have to have received anything from her to be able to send things to her.

  • LonelyHound March 27, 2012, 8:50 am

    LW, I would have put in the comments section that this is not an appointment you made and you have tried to rectify the email snafu twice only to have it ignored. Then say you are terminating the services request to end the harassing emails. Also, I would call the wife and send the information that you have certified mail to the wife. When you call the wife have a document that either has her SSN or her husband’s so you can prove you are not trolling for their information but want to stop receiving it. Another solution, and I know this can be difficult this day in age, is to shut down your account. Call the service provider and tell them that, yes, you still want to email through them but are having a situation where someone else’s senstive personal information is being sent to you. Ask them to fully delate the account, all content, so no one can steal that information. That should help two-fold: 1. You are no longer being spammed by their personal email, and 2. That email with no longer register as valid causing, at least the reputable companies (banks, mortgage, etc.) to contact the hubby and get a valid email.

  • siamesecat 2965 March 27, 2012, 8:51 am

    I think I would have first unsubscribed, if that was an option, from any emails that came for him, and any that I couldn’t do that for, I would have simply deleted and blocked the sender. The way I see it, it’s not my or anyone else’s problem that he’s giving out the incorrect email as his. And if he misses something important that came by email, oh well, sorry, not my problem.

    I’m not sure I would have canceled the service appt, I probably would have continue calling the dealer back until they got it correct, but I’m kind of persistant like that, and if I had to do it multiple times, I can tell you my level of politeness would have gone downhill quickly. Had that not worked, I would have blocked all emails from the dealer. It doens’t sound like he was up to anything; just that he was lazy, and couldn’t be bothered to remember his wife’s correct eamil. As someone else pointed out, if its the OP’s email, he obviously can’t access it, so there’s no benefit to deliberatly giving it out as his.

    I’ve never gotten anyone else’s email, but I have, on occasion, gotten phone calls and messages for others. IF it sounds important, I will call back and let them know. If not, I simply delete the message.

  • Wink-n-Smile March 27, 2012, 8:53 am

    lkb – oh the mail to the relative who never lived there. I had the same experience. I just shrugged my shoulders and let the junk fade away, too. Calling them to make a change in the computer listing is fruitless.

    OP – you said “I suspect he does it so as not to clutter up his wife’s email inbox.” I suspect his did it because he has a faulty memory, and his wife signed up with a slightly less well-known ISP.

    There is a reason that IT security people say to use an email address that is NOT simply your name. This is one of them.

    Please do the wife (if not the husband) a favor, and follow admin’s advice. I’m assuming that you have contacted them before, or else how would you know it was the husband doing this? I don’t think they’re aware of just how much information you have.

    And please remind them that if they don’t want the people to have their real email address, so that they don’t get spam emails, the simple (and polite to others) solution is simply to NOT GIVE IT OUT. If they feel they absolutely MUST give out an email, I recommend setting up a “just for spam” email account on one of the free services, such as hotmail or yahoo, and giving out that email. You never have to check the email account, and the vendors are happy to have some sort of email address.

    If you’re going to do business with these vendors, go ahead and tell them, “Here’s my email address, but I so rarely check it that you might as well just call or send a card in the mail.” Or, just don’t give it to them. “Email? I don’t do it. Sorry, but I’m a Luddite when it comes to email, so you’ll just have to call.”

  • OP March 27, 2012, 9:16 am

    Letter writer, I was with you until the end. I understand you are frustrated about this guy using your email address in error, but it was petty to cancel his appointment. I believe the admin’s idea of printing and mailing all the confidential information you receive (loan quotes, mortgage statements, etc…) to the wife who shares your name along with a letter is a great idea. In addition, I would state in the letter that you will “unsubscribe” from all mailing lists and “delete” all future correspondence you receive that is actually intended for this couple. Then feel free to delete anything you receive for these folks in the future. No need to read, respond, or forward.

  • DGS March 27, 2012, 9:39 am

    I don’t understand; why not just contact the real couple, especially if you know their contact information, inform them of the mishap and let them correct it, going on to forward the emails that you continue to receive (if they take care of the mishap, the amount of emails will hopefully, dwindle) to the couple in question? It seems horribly rude to just passive-aggressively cancel their service appointment. They may show up and waste a lot of their time straightening out a problem that could have been prevented.

    This reminds me of two years ago, when we had just bought our first home and moved in. The previous owners had moved away but continued to receive some personal mail for some months at their old address, our new home. I never opened their mail, of course, but judging by the names on the envelopes, the mail included personal correspondence, bank information, etc. All I did was keep a large manilla envelope on the kitchen counter every two weeks that was stamped and addressed to them. Every two weeks, I would gather all the mail we would receive in their name (including magazines and catalogs), put it in the manilla envelope with a friendly Post-It note saying “I hope you’re doing wonderfully. Enclosed is some mail that was addressed to you that we have received. Best, DGS and DH” and put it in the mailbox to be sent to their new address. Eventually, they received no more mail at our address. They sent us a thank-you note for taking care that they received their mail. I would hope that should we be in the same position, we would receive the same courtesy.

  • Onlyme March 27, 2012, 9:42 am

    It doesn’t say above if the OP has contacted the actual person that the information is for. But I do gather that this is not one or two emails a month, this is masses of emails and its making more work for the OP than its worth.

    As for the appointment, the OP asked 2x for the email address to be changed and it wasn’t. I am hoping that if the car owner will now get off his butt and fix his problems. OP I hope the person changes after this.

  • stillinva March 27, 2012, 9:57 am

    “I do understand your frustration, but it seems incredibly rude of you to have cancelled their appointment. They’re likely to show up at the dealer at the time when they scheduled it and not be in the books and have wasted a lot of their time…”

    not rude to cancel the appointment in the least. the husband of the other woman with the same first name as the OP gave the car dealership an incorrect e-mail address. it’s hardly the OP’s fault, and she has called the dealership twice to attempt to solve the problem. i wouldn’t have given the reason as “terrible customer service” however. i would have given the reason for cancelling the appointment as “incorrect e-mail address. i have never had an appointment for service at your dealership”, or something like that. i would also have blocked the dealership e-mail address after the second reminder.

  • Cat March 27, 2012, 10:03 am

    I agree with the administrator’s suggestion. I think you were correct in handling the car appointment. You had told the dealership repeatedly that they had the wrong email. They did nothing about it. Once they have an angry customer, they have to deal with it. Ben Franklin said that experience keeps a dear school but a fool will learn in no other.
    I get calls from collection agencies because the people who used to have my phone number were deadbeats. They always start with the notice that, if I listen to the call and I am not the person involved, and I listen, I am responsible. So do I call them back ? I have to listen to the message to get their phone number. I also get collection bills for anyone who has my last name as if we are all one big, happy family. I have no relations with my last name because I changed it to escape a stalker.

  • Gina March 27, 2012, 10:14 am

    It was rude to cancel the appointment. Taking something like this semi-personally was the wrong attitude. If it was that big of a hassle, I’d have just changed e-mail addresses and gone about my life .

  • Serenity S. March 27, 2012, 10:17 am

    The man might just not be very bright and really think that it is his wife’s email address. I wonder if OP has ever contacted the couple about this? If the man really does know for sure, than I understand why OP is so frustrated. OP should first contact the couple asking them to cease and desist, and keep documentation of it, and then threaten the couple with legal action. I think the husband will become much better at remembering his wife’s email address in a short amount of time, if OP does that.

  • vanessaga March 27, 2012, 10:18 am

    Frankly, if they’ve used her email for this long they must know that they’re doing it. Rude or not, I don’t blame you OP.

  • gramma dishes March 27, 2012, 10:20 am

    To this day we still get mail addressed to my husband’s mother who never lived here and who died 10 years ago. We also get mail for his grandfather who also never lived here and who would be approximately 121 years old now if he were still living!

  • icekat March 27, 2012, 10:23 am

    OP, you say you suspect this man is trying to avoid cluttering up his wife’s email in-box. I think you are underestimating how unbelievably rock-stupid some people can be. The guy could just be a moron.

    Have you contacted your ISP? They might have suggestions for blocking some of the unwanted email.

  • Calliope March 27, 2012, 10:33 am

    I don’t think there’s any rudeness here, except perhaps for the OP canceling someone else’s service appointment, which I’d be more apt to classify under “rash and unnecessary” than rude. Lots of people use “fake” email addresses without giving much thought to the idea that those “fake” addresses may very well be real addresses in use by other people. I get email for other people sometimes, and I simply delete it.
    As for the dealership’s failure to promptly update their records, well, it’s not great, but it’s not an etiquette faux pas. It’s not really an example of “terrible service,” either, because the guy using the OP’s email address, not the OP herself, is the customer. I’d imagine the business would like confirmation from the customer himself before making changes to the information they have on file for him.

  • Shawna March 27, 2012, 10:34 am

    I would consider someone using my email address as fraud and or harrasment. No need to be polite to a person committing fraud. I would open a new email address and when you cintact these companies don’t explain anything just have them change the email address for the account to the new address.

  • doodlemor March 27, 2012, 10:38 am

    It seems to me that the OP is operating under an *interesting assumption* here.

    “I suspect he does it so as not to clutter up his wife’s email inbox.”

    I don’t understand how she can be very sure of this. Is it possible that he is just clueless/has memory problems and confuses his wife’s email? Or is it even possible that there is a glitch in the system?

    I agree with the mods, to contact the wife directly through certified mail. I probably would have tried to call them or otherwise make contact long before reaching the point of frustration of the OP.

  • many bells down March 27, 2012, 10:42 am

    I had a woman decide I was her daughter-in-law and refuse to stop emailing me (sometimes a dozen forwards a day) despite repeated requests. Finally I hit reply-all on a mail and said “I do not know this woman and she will not stop mailing me. Can someone please give her the correct address?”

    She emailed back that I was horribly rude for doing that, but the emails finally stopped. Not only that, but another person from the email contacted me to say that HE didn’t know this woman either, and had no idea why he was on her list.

    And @LKB, I have a problem like that too. There’s a woman across town with the same last name and first initial. I listed our number with just our initials, and so they call for “Maria” all the time (when I’m “Many”). 99% of the time it’s some remodeling service that wants to work on her house. Frequently they’ll flat-out lie to me, and say they spoke to “Maria” at this number before, or that this is the number listed on the title (it’s not). I’m beginning to be very glad I don’t own a home, because there is apparently not an honest contractor within 50 miles of me.

  • Princess Buttercup March 27, 2012, 10:44 am

    A little bad to state that you are canceling because of bad service. More appropriate would be to state you were canceling because you never scheduled an appointment to begin with, in fact they clearly have the wrong contact info since you have never dealt with them.
    It’s true and gets across to them that they were lied to.

    I’ve had a certain nickname literally since the day I was born. About 8-9 years ago I opened an email that utilized that nickname (and other stuff), a couple years ago I started getting emails for someone else. They even opened a facebook using my email as theirs. At one point they gave my email to their church. So when the church (in another state) contacted me wanting me to help out with a church activity I replied that their church member lied to them and gave them the wrong contact info and that I have received quite a bit of spam due to this girls lies so if she is a member there please tell her that she needs to use her own email not someone else’s. The church responded that they were sorry about spamming me and would definitely be passing the message on to her. Since then the amount of spam has plummeted.

    Sometimes you have to make their bad behavior completely obvious in order to get them to decide to stop. If you have the emails intended for her, I would in one setting forward everything to all emails you have for them. That way they get an influx of mass amounts of mail. Then follow with an email from you insisting on a cease and desist of future misuse of your email.

  • peony March 27, 2012, 10:50 am

    I fail to see just how this is the car dealership’s problem (or any other business). OP – to solve this problem at its root, you *must* contact the guy and his wife, let them know just how much of their information you have access to and tell them to stop — immediately. They have possibly put you in a position to be accused of identity theft. Dangerous, not to mention thoughtless and (dare I say) rude.

  • Shea March 27, 2012, 11:03 am

    I’ve had a similar problem with my email address. I tried to get the person to correct it, but she’s continued. Every time I get an account verification to my email address, I now just log in with my email address and cancel the account. I wouldn’t go as far as sending a registered letter, but I would filter out the sender’s email address(es) to my spam folder. I think once you let the user know what’s happening, it’s up to them to use correct information or be ignored.

  • Merry Mrs March 27, 2012, 11:09 am

    I think just deleting the incomming Email would be more appropreaite then canceling their appoitnments. By well know IPS do you mean Hotmail or Gmail? type thing because fogetting your wife is SueJones2019@ hotmail vs SueJones2009@hotmail is possible and while people have been know to give the wrong Email and phone number to websites, at stores or to charities. I have never seen anyone intentional give the wrong Email to their mortgage company or even their cardealer while buying a car or booking service. Once you buy something with an Email address that address can be sold dozens of times if not more. Since mortgage documents included the phone number I would have called them.

  • Amy March 27, 2012, 11:22 am

    I think sending everything to the wife might be a great idea. Especially mortgage and other info. It is possible that the mortgage company may may be sending stuff to the wife that she should be aware of. This way it might all bypass her and he might possibly refinance or something without her knowledge. Similar things are sometimes done be people who are planning on divorce and want to get things moved to only one name without the other person knowing about it.

  • German Shepherd March 27, 2012, 11:22 am

    OP, you should’ve contacted this man after receiving the first few emails and explained to him the situation. Obviously the car dealership was unreliable and I wouldn’t have cancelled their appointment either because when you do get in contact with this couple, they may be irate about it. Send them the certified mail as the Admin suggests and mark bank and other emails as junk for now.

  • Stacey Frith-Smith March 27, 2012, 11:25 am

    This seems like such an obvious and easy issue to fix- first by contacting the person using your email and thereafter by deleting new emails if they occur. I’d send the certified letter as Admin recommended.

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