Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What would you do

if there were two other people out there with very similar e-mail addresses to yours, and you sometimes received e-mails intended for one of those two other people, and your attempts to communicate the error to the senders of the e-mails were sometimes met with gratitude, sometimes with rudeness, but usually wholly ignored?

I don't even know what the real e-mail addresses of these people are, else I'd go to them directly and say, "Hey, you might want to emphasize that minor difference between your address and, say, somebody else's, when you share it with others."

Some of the people I notify continue to make the same mistake (and sometimes with important things to say, like, "I've bought the tickets; meet us at the station at 3"), and I've already been yelled at for being insensitive (by replying bluntly to everyone on the CC list). In the last four years, two, maybe three people have written back thanking me for catching their mistake. I'm getting pretty tired of setting myself up for disappointment, but I worry that ignoring these e-mails could create conflict and misunderstanding in the lives of others.

What responsibility do I have to any of them?


Heidi said...

You know, I thought I was the only one with this problem. I responded to every message for awhile, one of the girls had an extra letter (an "l", which is nearly invisible next to "h"s), but I even had people claim they had the exact same email as me. So now I receive emails on a weekly basis, usually, and like you say, sometimes very important ones.

I've even had them sign up for accounts with my email. So now I receive corporate announcements that I can't opt out of because I can't login to their account with this company.

Though...in an exchange with one of the senders, she claimed her email was received simultaneously by both me and the other Heidi, so that adds a touch of weirdness to the whole mess.

So yeah, it feels good to vent. :P And I totally sympathize with what a major pain it is.

Emily said...

I have trouble with the corporate announcements at my other e-mail address, though in once case I contacted the company and explained the situation, and they removed the account. I haven't tried with any others, cos those e-mails arrive infrequently.

It feels good to know I'm not the only one with this trouble. :)