Failing to verify e-mail addresses

Dear company,

If you are being referred to this page, it means I am receiving communication from you that does not belong to me. I am not your customer but you are treating me like one.

How did this come to happen?

  1. A third-party signed up for your services providing my e-mail as theirs to receive communication, or, they used my e-mail address as a user identifier. This may have been an honest mistake on the third-party side.
  2. You just took the address as being correct. You did not follow an e-mail address verification procedure. Or, you did and I ignored the messages (as I should), but you started sending e-mail communication anyway.
  3. You are now sending me communication related to that account. Some of that communication is internal to the third-party.

What are the implications?

  1. I am now receiving spam from you. I can mark you as spam and be done with it. However, what is really happening is that you are actively leaking someone else’s information to me. I did not ask for that and did not do anything to get the information. That is a liability to me, caused by you.
  2. Think about it: because of your fault, I can potentially hijack the account! Well, maybe not me but if this happens to someone else who does not care enough to report this to you, for sure they will. Hijacking the account means being able to cancel someone else’s hotel reservation, do money movements, validate transactions, cancel insurance policies, write up posts… All after an honest mistake.

Again: we are not talking about the typical spam sent by criminals and that we all hate and just try to block. This is your customer-specific communication being leaked to third parties.

The worst part is that, depending on who you are, contacting you for support makes me go through security procedures to prove I am a customer… which I am not! So, I get denied.

I expect you to fix this. Please get my e-mail address off your systems altogether.

Furthermore, I invite you to encourage other companies to follow proper e-mail verification procedures. Because of your good and hard-earned reputation, others will likely follow you more easily than me.

Thanks in advance.