Dear K Holmes,

So, I was lucky enough to jump on the Gmail train during the beta testing period back in…2004? I think? So I got an email with my first initial and last name and…that’s it! No extra numbers or anything. And since my last name is very common, this was a treat. Every time I give my email to anyone they’re like, that’s easy! And I’m like…I KNOW! It’s the best!

Except for the 50-100 junk emails I get every day.

Why? Because other K Holmeses use my email even though it is not theirs.

The people that make me the most angry are people who use my email knowing it’s not theirs. I think this happens a lot with marking crap and it makes me so angry. I get so many subscriptions and newsletters and marketing emails from people who I’m certain just entered an email so they could sign up for something and not actually get the junk mail that would follow.

I like to keep my inbox clean. Not necessary INBOX ZERO, but close. If I’m at the computer and there’s not too many emails to go through, I’ll take the time to “report spam” which sometimes automatically unsubscribe but mostly it just tells Gmail I don’t want it. Unfortunately, it’s often easier to archive either because I’m on my phone or I’ve got too many other things to sort through. So I often will get those spam emails for a few weeks before I get around to blocking them. AND IT IS A PAIN EITHER WAY. And right now it’s the political emails. THEY ARE NEVER ENDING.

There are also the people who use my email, I guess, because they don’t want someone else seeing the emails? Like the guy who used my email to sign up for PayPal to order autographed porn star photos? If I had wanted to I could have stolen money from him but instead I called PayPal and it was VERY confusing to sort out. WHY DIDN’T THEY MAKE HIM CLICK THE “CONFIRM EMAIL” BUTTON TO COMPLETE HIS REGISTRATION BEFORE USING THE ACCOUNT? Who knows. They were flabbergasted that it happened.

I also get TONS of single/dating site emails and so I feel like if that person was seriously dating they would want to use their own email, but if they’re not supposed to be dating then they use mine. It’s frustrating as hell.

The people I feel bad for are the ones who accidentally use my email. Like the time I had to sign up for this sports-management tool as a team Mom and I got a “this email already has an account” message so I changed the password and logged in to discover I was a basketball coach in Texas! The only thing I could do was message someone who had messaged THAT K Holmes and explain the situation. She must have figured it out because eventually that team was gone from my page but what a pain for her.

I have to do that often, claim my email on a service someone else is using. I always feel bad, but not too bad because IT IS MY DAMN EMAIL. This week I was signing up for a Walgreens reward card because my Mom gets her prescriptions filled there and sometimes I’m killing to birds with one stone and getting stuff for us too. Welp, turns out a “Katy Holmes” was using Walgreens with my email. I was able to update everything but the name which I had to do over the phone. The guy helped me but thought the whole situation was weird.

“It’s not. Trust me. This happens ALL OF THE TIME.”

Then there’s the guy whose Nissan car payment statements I get every month. I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean to use my email address for that.

At least once a month, I get a personal email to that email address. If it’s important I reply and explain. Like the church council recently trying to decide when/how to re-open in person services in another state. I replied to that group and said, “I feel like this is an important conversation that the right K Holmes needs to be a part of but it’s not me! Sorry!” Or recently a student emailed me to explain why they had missed an online class. I informed him I was not his teacher but I wished him good luck!

It’s a very weird place, my inbox.

11 thoughts on “Dear K Holmes,”

  1. I have a similar issue! My Gmail is firstname.lastname and I get messages for another woman of the same name all of the time! I get them from her dentist, her adult softball team and for a while I was getting them from her boss! I try and respond when it seems important. Like one time her boss sent a message about completing some project, and the tone was tense. I wrote back to tell him he had the wrong person, but I didn’t word it properly, and he thought the other person was just trying to get out of doing the project! Luckily I responded quickly and re-clarified!

  2. SAME!!! I got a beta email and did my first initial and last name because no one spells my first name right, and I get SO MANY emails not for me.

    The ones that bother me most are the porn/dating sites that creepy old men sign up for, so I wake up to 25 sexually explicit messages that need to be blocked & reported.

    I also have had issues being able to use my own email for sign ups that someone else has used. At times, I’ve considered changing email addresses, but to what? Especially now that all the email addresses have been used already on gmail. I’m always so impressed when someone has a name like Nyoka so that they can have a gmail account that’s firstname.lastname with no numbers after it & don’t get a bunch of spam. 🙂

  3. I seriously thought this was only happening to me. I have firstnamelastname and I get so many emails for two specific women, one whom is in the Philippines. I also reply when it seems real and important, but the spam is unreal.

  4. Have you seen the comedian James Veitch? He does these very funny bits with powerpoint and loves replying back to misdirected emails. Here’s a classic one involving a company trying to design a swimming pool: (I can’t tell you why FB is the only place I can find this, but you can also google it)

  5. I had a guy, Edward Singer, who kept giving out my phone number as his own. And I have had this number for no less than 10 years. I got LOTS of messages for him, alot were collection attempts and attorney offices. At first I just deleted them. Finally I got annoyed enough that I started calling them back and telling them they did not have the correct phone number. Amazingly (knock on wood), the phone calls finally subsided.

    I get work emails for a person with my same exact name in Huntsville! What are the odds of that?!! Many times I respond and tell them they have the wrong email because they all seem like important work stuff.

  6. I stopped counting when the number of people using my email address hit 75. Some were clearly attempts to avoid spam in their own boxes, but most are obvious mistakes…and as a result I know far too many personal details about where kids go to school, where people bank, what they’re buying, and health issues. I get so many personal details that were I a different sort of person, I could wreak havoc on them.

    When someone used my email to sign up for OKCupid, I did log in, change the password, and then closed the account because I was getting *slammed* with “Mr. X wants to meet you” responses. If it seems like an important email, I’ll reply to the sender to let them know. But it’s so freaking frustrating and got old years ago.

    But dangit, I snagged that email address in 2004 and I’m not abandoning it.

  7. I get a lot of these. Gmail has a template (formerly “canned response”) so I can alert people in just a couple clicks.

    But over the years, I got free shoes and helped a woman solve her credit card fraud dilemma. It’s a little scary, though, what I’ve been able to see about people.

  8. My Gmail is mmorrison and I know the same exact struggle! I have a shortcode saved on my phone so that when I type the letters JLY, my phone automatically writes out: “Just letting you know you’ve reached the wrong email address, sorry for any trouble!” I find that I use it less these days though — Melissa Morrison hasn’t known her email address for twelve years, so why bother correcting her friends and family anymore? ?

  9. Yeah….my professional email is lastname.firstname (Gmail says the dot doesn’t actually matter, so mine is also last name first name.) And my email address has been used on utility applications, job applications, pet care services, and even some Apple apps, etc The person doing this is on the West coast….I am not. Bad enough that I get spam related to my work, but to add this other stuff. It’s much unnecessary unsubscribing, replying, and deleting. There aren’t THAT many people with my name and they ought to remember what service (and name) they used to sign up for email! So I can only assume they KNOW it’s not their email and that makes me angry. It wastes so much of my time and email storage.

  10. Mine is first.last and I sometimes get emails for another me out in california. She’s in the military apparently. Twice I’ve been invited to birthday parties when they meant to send it to her. Lol. I always forward it on. We’ve actually emailed once to laugh about the situation.

  11. I get emails for a lady in Australia. The first emails were when her boyfriend setup an ebay account using my email and apparently Australian ebay doesn’t make you validate your email as part of the setup process. I’ve gotten emailed Cable TV bills and then notices the cable was being turned off because the bill hadn’t been paid. Then I got emails from her attorney regarding a (messy) child custody case. Most recently, I got an email from an apartment complex wanting her to fill out a form, since she would be living with the person on the lease. Most of the emails are sent from addresses that you can’t reply to. I’ve tried going to websites to try to contact them, but most of them don’t have a way to reach them without logging into your account on their website (which wanted the account number, not the email address). I was able to email the attorney and I thought maybe they would let her know about the issue with the email address and maybe she would stop using mine, but I still get email for her.

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