I was hoping I’d never have to write to The Consumerist about a company giving me grief. I never expected that it would end up being a company that I have absolutely no connections to that forced my hand.
A few months ago, I received an e-mail from Washington Mutual claiming that my online account had been activated. Seeing as how my e-mail address is pretty run of the mill I do get a lot of e-mail from people who either A) have the wrong address or B) are trying to contact people who have given out my e-mail address as their own. This was the latter case, as the fellow who opened the online banking accounts was under the delusion that my e-mail account was actually his for quite some time and I had previously received various e-mails from websites all over the web from him trying to set up accounts.
I opened the e-mail and much to my chagrin there was no opt out link. No “click here to activate the account” link that would mean that if I deleted the e-mail and never clicked the link the poor schmuck trying to borrow my e-mail address would be out of luck. So that meant I needed to call WaMu and explain the situation so my e-mail account wouldn’t be tied to this person’s account.
The first call to customer support was laughable. When I explained the problem to the lady on the other line, she asked for my social security number. Reiterating that I had no account with WaMu, she again asked for my SSN. When I told here I had no intentions of just handing out my number, especially to a company that I did not have a business relationship with, she told me there was nothing she could do for me and that hopefully the person that started the account would, “notice after a few months and change the e-mail address.”
I then hit up the Consumerist for WaMu exec information, looking to do an executive email carpet bomb. No e-mail info yet, but I did find the phone number for the WaMu executive response team. I dialed the number and talked to a lady named Rosie Alvarez who listened to my complaint and was willing to help me out. She needed to contact the person with the account in question to change the e-mail first though, and seeing how this looked to be the answer for me I agreed to wait for them to work it out. My mistake. Apparently the dolt who signed up for the online account doesn’t pick up the phone, so they have been unable to contact him.
Many months have gone by now, and every month I get an e-mail telling me that my account statement is ready, and every month I call Mrs. Alvarez back asking her to remove my e-mail address from the person’s account. I’m tired of being the nice guy, hoping that this will work itself out in the end. I’m not a customer of WaMu, so they have no incentive to make me happy. What steps can I take next to try and get this resolved?
Since you use gmail, we suggest you set up an email filter that automatically deletes email from WaMu so that it never reaches your inbox. (See our above illustration.) We recommend this because WaMu has no business relationship with you, and there’s really nothing they can do about your request for someone else to change the email address listed on their account.
It may seem silly to you, but how does WaMu know that you’re not a scammer of some kind? The other Ryan is just lucky that his account statements are going to a nice, honest person such as yourself.