General Etiquette > Techno-quette

Do I NEED to include my last name in this Email?

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I probably won't get a chance to respond to any advice given, so I want to say thanks in advance. Thanks!

I need to send an email to several local organizations that offer discounted services. I need to see if I qualify and then schedule an appointment if I do. Unfortunately, because of the way certain things have happened, I need these services ASAP.

My problem/concern is that I don't want to include my last name on the email until I know with absolute certainty that they'll accept me and I can get an appointment. I'm a very private and somewhat paranoid person (with good reason) so I don't want anyone to know who I am unless I can get an appointment. All it takes is my first and last name and they can possibly find out everything about me like my address, phone number, age, etc.

Is it ok if I just include my first name and the first letter of my last name? They actually want me to fill out a web form with my address and phone number, but there's no legitimate reason they need that until an appointment can be scheduled. To me, giving out that information right now is like paying with a check at a store and having the cashier ask for my SSN. There's no legitimate reason for it and it's stupid to give it out. I'm going to bypass the web form and just send an email.

You won't get an appointment if you send an email, which will probably be discarded.

How are they going to determine your eligibility without identifying your age, rough income bracket, things like that?  (I see this as different from intrusive questions from a store; you don't need to give any information if buying a package of batteries.  Just use cash and say "No" if the store asks for ZIP code or anything else, but that's besides the point).  How will you manage job applications, the entire purpose of which is to determine eligibility for the job and get an interview?

A reputable organization won't use your personal information for wrongful purposes.  The only other advice I can think of is to give the organization a call (if a phone number is provided).

Harriet Jones:
What do you think they're going to do with your full name?

If their preferred method of contact is with a web form, you should use that.  There's no way of knowing if an email would even go to the appropriate place.

If I were responsible for screening request forms, I would probably discard forms that were not filled out completely and correctly.  If I received an email with a request for services that normally require a completed request form, my response would be to send you a link to the form.

I think you may have a hard time getting an appointment without calling each location. It sounds like their process is to validate eligibility and only if eligible will they discuss timing of appointment.

You want them to tell you availability of appointments before you have them validate eligibility.

So I'd start calling.


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