Rite-Aid Made My Mom Think I Got Married Behind Her Back

Rebecca got one of those calls from her mother that everybody dreads. “Is there anything you think you should tell me?” her mother wanted to know. Rebecca’s mom got a piece of junk mail with Rebecca’s first name and her boyfriend’s last name and was under the impression Rebecca had snuck off for a Vegas wedding. She hadn’t. After Rebecca calmed her mother down, she tried to figure out how Rite-Aid, where both had worked for a time, had merged her name and her boyfriend’s. When Rite-Aid gave her the run around, we advised Rebecca to try an EECB to get some answers. Read her email, inside.

To The Board of Directors:

Good Morning. I am sure you can help me with a little problem that I am having with your company.

Last Friday, my mother received a piece of mail from your company’s current promotion regarding the “gas giveaway” if I switched my prescriptions to you. Annoying as any other piece of junk mail is, this one was particularly disturbing. It was addressed as:

Rebecca J*****
[redacted] CT

My mother called me where I live, in Vermont, and told me of the mail that I had gotten. It turns out, my last name isn’t J*******, it’s F*******. My boyfriend’s last name is J*****, though. When she called me, she was extremely agitated and excited (and not in a good way), over the fact that I had gotten married behind their backs. My mother had just gotten out of the hospital with congestive heart failure and a massive infection, and the last thing that she needed was to be excited.

I spoke with one of your customer service representatives on Monday, and she assured me that I would get a call with someone from “corporate” yesterday. I waited all day without a call. She told me that the marketing comes from the pharmacy division. My boyfriend hasn’t had a prescription filled at a Rite-Aid in two and a half years, the time we’ve been together.

We both worked together at Rite-Aid, but never once marked myself as being “connected” to him, except by address.

I cannot figure out how my first name got linked with my boyfriend’s last name. Simply what I am asking for help with is to find out where this came from.

If you could help me, it would be greatly appreciated. I simply want to know where this name came from, so I can get it removed, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

And about the piece of mail? If your pharmacy can’t even get my name right, and is linking me to other people I’m not even related to (yet), how can I trust them to get my prescriptions right? More than likely, I will never do anything personally identifiable with Rite-Aid again. I was once a loyal shopper, but if this problem cannot be solved, I may never shop there again.

Thank you for your time, and for reading my email.

Looking forward to your response,


It’s one thing if a customer loyalty program gets confused about your name. Irritating, but unlikely to actually hurt you. It’s another thing completely if the pharmacy decides you’d be better off married and starts sending junk mail to your mother’s house in another state. If the pharmacy makes such an appalling, counter-intuitive mistake about what name to use on annoying junk mail, how badly are they going to screw up your prescription? If you’re having trouble with Rite-Aid, the link with tips for sleuthing corporate contact information is here.

(photo: Clean Wal-Mart)


Edit Your Comment

  1. DeleteThisAccount says:

    I’m sorry, but this is stupid. Who has so little going on in their life that they need to care about a piece of junk mail from rite aid. It’s not like it was a bill or an important document with a name mixup. If her family gets that bent out of shape over a piece of junk mail, no wonder her mother was in the hospital with heart issues. These people are stressing me out with their trite concerns.

  2. bobbleheadr says:

    @AngrySicilian: I’ve got to agree with you. My mom woulda been like “What the hell” and everyone woulda gotten a big laugh out of something like that.

  3. iliveinyoureyelid says:

    I wonder if she asked her boyfriend? Maybe he signed up for a promotion and didnt want it sent to him. or maybe someone who knows them provided the false information.

  4. SkokieGuy says:

    Ignoring the first and expected blame the OP post, the letter the OP wrote was extremely well-done.

    Instead of the typical outrage that “I’ll never set foot in your store again”, (then why help her), but makes her future shopping activities contingent on receiving a satisfactory reply.

    That is a motivator for a company to take action!

  5. BoomerFive says:

    @AngrySicilian: I couldn’t agree more. This is a complete non-issue. What exactly is the point here? How in the world does a mistake in a piece of junk mail translate into some kind of a mistake on a prescription as you suggest there Profio? Consumerist has really been slacking lately with these lame stories.

  6. johnva says:

    This is just a marketing database thing. Probably from ChoicePoint. It’s the same reason that I get junk mail addressed to both my parents at my address (where they have never lived), various combinations of my name and theirs, etc. They are just using software to try to guess where you live and who you are. This isn’t even worth looking at, much less worrying or complaining over. Just throw it in the trash and move on.

  7. timmus says:

    I am trying to wrap my head around this but I keep stumbling over we both worked together at Rite-Aid, but never once marked myself as being “connected” to him, except by address… it seems that would be enough for a mailing list database to take some free license with its entries.

  8. Superawesomerad says:

    Rebecca reminds me of a friend of mine who once spent 20 minutes on the phone in order to correct a misspelling on her Newsweek subscription. Her name is Joanna, the magazine was addressed to Joanne.

  9. SkokieGuy says:

    It isn’t worth worrying about, but it is worth several of you taking the time to make pointless comments?

    As the OP described, her mother is ill and quite fragile. Her mother’s weak heart starts racing and dies from the shock.

    Perhaps the OP has a new boyfriend or is now married to someone else. Her new partner leaves her and suspects her of infidelity or lying about a previous marriage?

    Quality of life is important and it is not your or my place to decide what issues are important in another person’s life.

    You feel not news? Not important? Then move on and save your breath. Your comments clearly mean this was important enough for y’all to take the time to write.

  10. madanthony says:

    I always find it funny that people complain about the lack of privacy and how corporations know everything about people, yet the junk mail I get is so poorly targeted. I regularly get mail addressed to my parents and older brother, both of whom live several states away and have never lived at my address.

  11. Juggernaut says:

    I used to get letters from Ed McMahon all the time. He said I won millions of dollars!! I was so excited and called everyone and told them all about it. Then, Ed never paid me and I fell into a deep depression… I was glad to hear that he’s now in foreclosure.

  12. mythago says:

    I am trying to wrap my head around people who think it’s a waste of time and non-issue then wasting their own time posting about what a non-issue it is. If you think it’s not worth thinking about, MOVE ON instead of whining that the only problems worth discussing are those that would affect you, personally.

    If this were from a home and garden store, I wouldn’t think much of it either, but it’s a pharmacy. When a pharmacy starts spamming personal information, especially when they screw it up, THAT raises an eyebrow. Your prescriptions are supposed to be private, not something pharmacies mine for money. Yes, some of them do anyway. That’s the problem.

  13. failurate says:

    The real answer… quit living in sin.

  14. TheBigLewinski says:

    Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit…. Let’s have some real consumer issues please.

  15. BoomerFive says:

    @SkokieGuy: Interesting extrapolation, but wrong. I read consumerist for the interesting articles, and when I see the quality of the content of said articles declining, I comment. This article is dumb and pointless. I am not saying that I am unsympathetic regarding her moms condition. This is just simply a mistake by Rite Aid’s marketing department, nothing more. This was not malicious in any way on the part of Rite Aid, and to get bent out of shape about it is ludicrous.


    That’s all.

  16. fostina1 says:


    she should do a credit check someone may be using the name to steal her identity. someone she knows considering it started from a place her and her boyfriend worked.

  17. trillium says:

    As annoying as it may sound – this happened to me. Prior to being married I was getting mail with my first name and my future husband’s last name. After we got married, I did not go the traditional route and change my last name but kept my maiden name.

    Here is where the problems start. Parents (as well as some places of business), began using my first name and his last name without any notification to do so. So what ended up happening is not only did I get checks written to me in a psuedo married persons name (who doesn’t exists) but also credit card offers, loan offers from local banks and junk mail.

    Oh and one last thing – somehow the name has shown up on my credit report as an alias…. go figure THAT one out since I’ve never USED my first and what should be my married name together anywhere.

    This is only the tip of the iceberg.

  18. pillow_fight_girl says:

    I used to work for a catalog database management company and even I get the screwed up junk mail. The one that stumped me the most was when my now-husband’s ex wife received a piece of mail addressed to me under my maiden name at her house where I never lived. I called my old coworkers to find out how that could happen and none of them could figure it out.

    The ex wife was pissed!

  19. BoomerFive says:

    @mythago: What is with you people? How is her prescription info at all an issue here? Was it sent out for all the world to see? How the hell were they “spamming personal information”? Why do you want to make an issue out of something so stupid?

    @TheBigLewinski: Exactly

  20. Concerned_Citizen says:

    “My mother had just gotten out of the hospital with congestive heart failure and a massive infection”
    So? That one sentence debased your whole argument. You are clearly trying to create a deal out of nothing. It clearly happened because you have the same address. And on top of that maybe you or your boyfriend caused the mix up in something one of you filled out. But it seems like you only have a problem because your mom could drop dead at any moment. That is not a reason to be mad at a company sending a screwed up piece of mail. Your Mom is clearly the problem for freaking out over a piece of mail.

  21. johnva says:

    @mythago: It’s worth commenting on, because a lot of people don’t understand why this happens. It’s usually because a lot of companies outsource marketing to these external data aggregation companies like ChoicePoint. That’s worth knowing. But the fact that you got incorrectly addressed junk mail does not mean anything, at all. The database just linked the two of them together because they lived at the same address.

    @failurate: You aren’t serious, are you?

  22. backbroken says:

    Perhaps we should make a master list of everyone who is physically or emotionally fragile. Then we should submit that list to The Great Comnputer In Teh Sky so that It can make sure nothing is ever done, said, or sent in the mail that might possibly offend the people on the list.

  23. Technick says:

    Rebecca, I am proud to award you the, Most useless consumer complaint today award. Not only have you whined and cried about how junk mail is addressed, you have wasted the time of the fine readers of consumerist.

  24. Aphex242 says:

    I think this is a big waste of time. Having said that, I fully appreciate the irony of my posting to indicate that, and as such, have little interest in being lectured on the illogical nature of said post.

    I agree it’s a little odd this happened, but regardless of how their junk mail gets addressed, I think it bears little reflection on their ability to fill a prescription, right? I was kinda with the OP as long as her letter was “This is just odd and I’d like it fixed” but she lost me when she went over the top toward the end.

    It’s just silly.

  25. BeThisWay says:

    This happened because many databases assign a last name to an address based upon the first customer at that address, and unless it’s manually overridden everyone at the same address automatically gets that last name. It usually happens with marketing because it would be impossible to check every name and address before it goes out.

    When I worked for a large insurance company each household had a master record, and there were fields for legal name and preferred name. Sometimes people would use the preferred name field to put notes if there was no room anywhere else.

    We got more than one phone call from people upset because they got something addressed to “Deceased Smith”.


    It’s probably best for everyone to just chuckle and toss the erroneous mail. It’s going to happen. No one means any harm.

  26. Gokuhouse says:

    All I can say is that I glad this person has such a nice life that this is the most of her worries. She should count her blessings.

    On another note, I wouldn’t likely go to Rite-Aid after finding how confused they can become of something so simple as a first and last name. I mean C’mon, I can’t even pronounce most drug’s names.

  27. slugabed says:

    Most people don’t know anything about Choicepoint etc. Could you imagine what would happen if the average wife in America started seeing junk mail with her husband’s name and another woman? There would always be a glimmer of doubt.

    Actually knowing about how marketing databases work could further fuel some thought in her mind. Somewhere her husband could have reserve a hotel room somewhere with this other woman. Plane tickets, theme park vacations, etc. Many companies sell their sales records.

    I get mail and collection phone calls for someone else who just has the same last name and a similar first name as my wife (even though it’s a man’s name). They even followed us when we moved. I can’t get them to really believe this is true and their collection reps don’t know anything about how these stupid databases work.

    All this hassle because of a “best guest” database call.

  28. KF4 says:

    slow news day.

  29. Mr_D says:

    @BeThisWay: That’s fine if it was how it happened. Computer error, and all that. Doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be corrected.

    But wouldn’t you be pissed if somebody said you were married to somebody you’re not? It’s kind of a big deal.

  30. Amnesiac85 says:

    If your mom could die from reading a mislabelled piece of junk mail….I hope she never gets that fake mail telling her that she may have just won a million dollars.

  31. Kimbeegrin says:

    HAha That happened to my sister too. She had a boyfriend use my father’s account to get a Sam’s Club card and we’d get mail either for him or her with his last name all the time!

  32. milk says:

    I get mail from a mechanic with my first name and my boyfriend’s last name.

    Oh wait, that’s because I told them once years ago in an effort to consolidate our accounts and then totally forgot about it.

  33. TangDrinker says:

    @trillium: This has happened to me, also. My first name, my husband’s last name on my credit report. I have not changed my name, never applied for anything in that name.

    I think this is a bigger issue that those of you who say “this isn’t an issue.” Are you male? is this a non-issue to you?

    I would be interested in hearing what the OP finds out. She may have found the missing link between advertising offers and personal data companies. I use choicepoint for work fairly frequently, and I’ve never seen this issue pop up, but it might be another data company responsible for this.

    And I hope her mother is doing better.

  34. johnva says:

    @Mr_D: No, because it was just a dumb computer program, not an actual person. It’s not a big deal at all.

  35. Wait wait wait.

    1) If it only takes a single piece of junk mail misaddressed to make Rebecca’s mom think she got married secretly, there are other issues in this family.

    2) Rebecca is complaining to Rite-Aid about junk mail that is misaddressed? There are other issues in this family.

  36. mythago says:

    @johnva, I’m not talking about what happens at the mailing-list level; obviously it’s a stupid computer merge error. I’m more interested in how their names got into the database in the first place. Pharmacies here in California are pushing to be able to sell confidential patient information. I don’t know what the laws are where Rebecca lives, but in her situation, I’d be very curious as to whether Rite-Aid got that information from her employment or her prescriptions, and where else that information is going.

    But y’all go ahead and post endlessly about what a waste of time it is to read this post. Then you should return that irony detector you bought from Best Buy, since it’s obviously not working.

  37. B says:

    Of course, the problem with using the address to explain how this happened is the mailing was sent to a different address. If the system used the shared address of OP and her boyfriend to link them, why did it then send the mailing to OP’s mother, in a different state?

  38. Gopher bond says:

    Our last names are like Smith and Jones, we often get junk mail for a Smith Jones, a Jones Smith, a J. Ones Smith, and Mr. or Mrs. Jones-Smith or Smithjones.

    I guess we should get upset that out names have been hyphenated when we have never done so. I guess it’s kind of a big deal?

  39. Gopher bond says:

    @mythago: ” I’m more interested in how their names got into the database in the first place.”

    Perhaps because they BOTH worked there.

  40. civicmon says:

    do you two live together? If so, that’s probably way.

    Rite-Aid gets their info from database info that’s sold, someone has their lines crossed.

  41. Eilonwynn says:

    I have a different perspective – most people who’ve gone through congestive heart failure afterwards end up with what’s termed “cardiac irritability” (My mother being extremely prone to this). In such a state, it might be best (and I’m NOT blaming the OP here, just offering a suggestion) NOT to have her mother open the mail. It’s a rule we had to institute in my own home, as mom would get very upset at the drop of a hat for awhile after a CHF episode.

  42. Mr_D says:

    @johnva: So if I start advertising myself in mailers as your husband, you would be OK with that?

  43. johnva says:

    @mythago: They may not have gotten it from either of those sources, like I alluded to earlier. They may have just purchased a mailing list from some third-party company. The third-party people could have gotten this information almost anywhere.

    @B: Again, ChoicePoint or some other data broker knows that they are related. I don’t know why their database is so full of errors, but I get junk mail for my parents all the time and vice versa.

  44. johnva says:

    @Mr_D: I don’t believe any reasonable person would believe that the name on a piece of junk mail means anything at all, these days.

  45. bobbleheadr says:

    @testsicles: Because 20 years ago my (at the time) 6 year old sister and I shared an internet account (Prodigy FTW) I still get mail addressed to “MYNAME HERNAME LASTNAME”, which has followed me across multiple addresses and even a psuedo name change “MYMIDDLENAME HERNAME LASTNAME”.

    I get that it bugged the OP. Go ahead and send a letter correcting, but dont waste an EECB. If people start dropping them on every minor inconvenience it will dilute the power.

    And those people whining about personal data and scripts need to realize that the marketing department is probably a completely seperate element, and its not like rite aid makes their profits on the meds.

  46. LINIS says:

    CLEARLY, this is what happened:

    The boyfriend signed up for some junkmail combining his girlfriend’s first name and his last name under her mother’s address. He did this knowing that the mother was irrational and easily upset; he figured the excitement would take care of her now so that he didn’t have to deal with her once they actually became married. Eliminate the mother-in-law before she eliminates you. Smart boyfriend.


  47. BeThisWay says:

    @Mr_D – I agree, these errors should be corrected as they’re found.

    And no, I don’t get upset about things like that, just like I don’t get upset when I still get mail in my maiden name, or when my name is misspelled, or the wrong gender. I’ve gotten some pretty odd mail in my time, and perhaps I have too many really issues in my life to worry about how marketers address my mail.

    I’m not belittling people who do. Their choice. Just not mine.

  48. Gopher bond says:

    @LINIS: nah, if he wanted to do that, he would have signed up for a free sample of Huggies or Gerbers instead. That would have been a one way ticket to inheritance town!

  49. BrokenGlassHurts says:


    “its not like rite aid makes their profits on the meds.”

    Yes, those $100 or $1000 prescriptions make them no money at all! They just have the pharmacy there out of the good of their hearts. In fact, I heard they lose all kinds of money giving away those non-money-making prescriptions just because they love humanity!

  50. mrlogical says:

    +1 for team Who Cares. I get junk mail addressed to my dog sometimes. Shall I write an EECB because my sick mother may die from the shock of the thought that my dog has acquired the ability shop at Target?

  51. backbroken says:

    My doctor got a parking ticket for an expired meter. How can I trust him to take out my appendix if he doesn’t even know how to feed a meter?

  52. bobbleheadr says:

    @BrokenGlassHurts: Actually, most of the big chain pharmacies make their profits on other items. Why do you think they can afford to do ridiculously cheap generics? They make money cause that lady who comes in to buy ear infection meds for her kid walks out with formula (couple bucks profit) diapers (couple bucks profit) a candy bar and a bottle of soda (another buck).

  53. @failurate: Fantastic!

    Seriously though, if they live together, that’s probably how their names got linked.

  54. Michifernication says:

    If they lived together, I can’t imagine why the mail would be arriving at the mothers house? ::confused::

  55. Mr_D says:

    @BeThisWay: The problem is these things can take on a life of their own. Because in some data mining database, these people are married, even if they’re not. Let’s say things don’t work out, and they go their separate ways. I don’t think a debt collector would be shy about harassing somebody about their “ex-wife’s” debt. Hell, I got harassing phone calls about my “wife’s” debt just because I moved into the same town that somebody with my last name lived in.

    Of course, that’s more a problem with vigorous debt collectors, but there should be some sort of public oversight and scrubbing of these databases.

  56. Speak says:

    @SkokieGuy: I agree, the letter was well-written, and I wonder what response she’ll get from corporate.

    I wonder too about the ratio of men to women who think this is a “non-issue.” If someone linked my name to that of my male roommates, I’d feel insulted that they assumed I was married just because we share an same address. I think it’s a good idea too to know what these companies are doing with your personal information and how they’re using it. It might just be “marketing” data to them, but it’s my identity and credit they’re potentially messing with.

  57. jblaze1 says:

    Who cares… save the EECB for something important!

  58. mdoublej says:

    I would just like to know how, at 36, I keep getting junk mail from the AARP.

  59. GameVoid says:


    Who has so little going on in their life that they need to care about a POST about a piece of junk mail, let alone get “stressed out” about it?

  60. fjordtjie says:

    if her mom reacted the way my mom would, this is definitely an issue. she mentioned her mother just had heart failure–getting that upset could cause even more damage to it! it would be a funny laugh it off thing if there hadn’t been the potential to kill her.

    rite-aid could just apologize and get it over with, instead of being asses. then, there wouldn’t have been a consumerist article about it…?

  61. snakeskin33 says:

    The “non-issue” comments are, I think, directed at the editorial decision to make a post out of this. I enjoy Consumerist a lot, but I do believe that, probably for whatever “more posts/more eyeballs” reason, things that don’t merit posts are becoming posts more frequently, and that dilutes the value of the site. The signal-to-noise ratio is important, and this post is emphatically noise. That’s how it can be a non-issue and yet worth commenting on.

    As for the post itself, I mostly think it’s kind of sad and funny. Indeed, if Mom’s first response to this is to leap to the conclusion that you’ve eloped, and you’re keeping it from her but freely giving your married name out to Rite-Aid, then Rite-Aid is not the problem. I’m sorry to hear Mom is ill and I wish her the best, but Mom’s inability to handle ordinary situations isn’t going to be solved by keeping ordinary situations from confronting her. Mom’s issue needs to be addressed separately. It’s not about blaming the OP, because who doesn’t leap to defend her mom? it’s just about recognizing that the bigger problem that needs addressing lies with Mom’s outsized response.

  62. DeleteThisAccount says:

    @GameVoid: and what does your comment about my comment say? What does my commenting about your comment say? Buzz off, we all evidently have too much time on our hands.

  63. DeleteThisAccount says:

    @SkokieGuy: I guess us in Rodgers Park have a different point of view about this than you Skokie folks…

  64. billypilgrim says:

    Doesn’t this kind of alarmist reaction sort of dilute effectiveness of the EECB?

  65. Gopher bond says:

    @mlliu: “I’d feel insulted”

    Really, you’d be insulted that an information storage software program lumped you into a category to which you didn’t belong. That’s weird.

    Living with male roommates? Do you have to pretend they’re gay so that your landlord doesn’t get suspicious?

  66. weave says:

    My wife kept her surname when we married. We regularly get mail addressed to my forename and her surname and her forename and my surname.

    The marketing companies make assumptions and run with them.

  67. OhneHosen says:

    The credit check suggestion is a good one, actually. I worked at Rite Aid a few years back, and all employees are identified on paperwork by Social Security number. If someone didn’t have their employee discount card to scan, they could give their SS# to the cashier (I even knew a couple of fellow employees’ numbers by heart). Basically, employee SS#’s float around Rite Aids like dandelion seeds, so it’s not farfetched that an unscrupulous person might decide to use that information.

  68. rdm says:

    I can’t believe people are going nuts about this issue. Weave is right – the marketing people make assumptions. When I was married I changed my name to First Maiden Married – and my credit report showed First Middle Married instead… I never used that combination of names, anywhere in my life. It is really not a panic EECB type of problem.

    …and if your Mom is in a panic about this, I’m sorry but she needs to relax.

  69. The_IT_Crone says:

    I lived at the same address as my partner for 10 years. I ALWAYS got mail with his last name, because these sexist companies always assume that if you’re male/female and live together then 1) you MUST be married and 2) the woman ALWAYS takes the male’s last name. It also happened with I lived with a male roomate for less than a year, so time doesn’t seem to matter.

    I sent them all back, as there was no recepient of that name at that home.

    WTF ever.

  70. backbroken says:

    @The_IT_Crone: Sigh. Life is HARD.

  71. rjgnyc says:

    What a silly article.

    What mom would enter a rage at junk mail having the wrong name on it.

    I’ve had my last name misspelled, my first name in the middle with my middle name first, no last name, just a last name, and so much other crap. Hell, I once somehow got my CATS name with my last name (I signed up some PetCo mailer using her name as a laugh and I guess they tacked on my last name through some database whatevering). Good thing my parents didn’t think I married my CAT.

  72. rjgnyc says:

    @backbroken: I once got mail with my wife’s last name, since neither of us took the others.

    So I lit it on fire in protest.

    We didn’t need that stimulus check anyway.

  73. eelmonger says:

    The thing that bothers me most about this post is the Consumerist’s suggestion of using an EECB for such a minor issue. There’s no incentive to correct junk mail information because there’s such a low probability of response that getting a few names wrong isn’t going to change that.

    I publish papers in academic journals and as such I’m constantly getting mail for Dr. … or Professor …, I guess that means I should drop out of grad school; apparently I already got my PhD and no one told me about it. I just have a laugh and throw it out, no reason to get bent out of shape.

  74. The_IT_Crone says:

    @backbroken: It’s not that this makes life “hard.” It’s that it’s INSULTING. There’s a difference.

  75. johnva says:

    @The_IT_Crone: I understand your point, and would even agree if I thought it was a conscious decision being made by some human being somewhere. But you’re taking offense at something being done by an inanimate and probably poorly-written piece of software. There are times where it’s just not worth worrying about something, and this is one of them, in my opinion.

  76. Speak says:

    @testsicles: I’d feel insulted that the information storage software program automatically makes the woman take the man’s last name. As a matter of fact, my male roommates are a gay couple. My landlord doesn’t care either way, and it’s none of her business anyhow.

  77. Speak says:

    @The_IT_Crone: Agreed. I wonder if it’s one of those things that you just can’t understand until it happens to you … your whole life. That’s fodder for another forum.

  78. malvones says:

    As anyone with a remotely ethnic name will know, even getting gender right on pieces of junk mail is rare, as is spelling.

    I can’t imagine ever bothering to try and correct this. Unless we’re talking about actual account information, then it is practically irrelevant.

  79. Gopher bond says:

    @Cavendish: It has nothing to do with gender, those are characteristics you impose out of your own insecurities. I get mail under the female version of my name as mistakes but I don’t assume the sender believes I’ve had a sex change. Jeebus.

    Also, I was referencing Three’s Company, and I bet they’re just pretending to be gay so Mr. Furley doesn’t get upset that two guys are living with a woman.

    On another note, I told a female college roommate I was gay so I could get the apartment. I’m not.

  80. wilstanton says:

    As a guy who this has happened to, I can say this is an issue, albeit a small one. Periodically, I get calls from collection agencies asking for my first name and my wife’s maiden name. They won’t give me any information as to who is supposedly owed, but it really annoys me that SOMEONE has apparantly stolen some identity.

    When I get phone calls, I like to pretend that they are calling my retarded brother-in-law.

  81. Groovymarlin says:

    No it’s not a big deal, but it IS annoying. For years, we’ve been receiving marketing material at our house addressed to my husband’s old ex-girlfriend – with his last name (they were never married)! Most of it comes from Lenscrafters, which is funny because he hasn’t worn glasses since he had Lasik back in 2000, but we get the occasional catalog (teaching supplies – what the hell?) too. Maybe next time one comes I’ll bother to write an email to an executive and see what happens.

  82. Solo says:

    It’s amazing how many people pay attention to the junk mail they get. It’s junk. Don’t look at it. I don’t. It goes directly in the trash.

    Next complain will be for mail addressed at “resident”. OMG, how do they know people live at my house? Run for the hills.

  83. RichardSS says:

    The mailing list is constructed from information giving by pharmacy patients. So she must have gotten a prescription filled at ANY Rite Aid with her first name and her boyfriend’s last name on it.

    Case Closed.

  84. LAME. I got as much out of this article as I would reading directions on “how to wipe front to back.”

  85. @SkokieGuy: +5 for being the first one to not blame the OP (… i assume it means “Other Person”)

    Again +5 here for making a coherent and sensible point without calling names.

    PS: Do you edit Wikipedia? You should.

  86. ThyGuy says:

    Okay guys, lets think. Let’s be in her shoes for a moment.

    “Should I be worried that I’m receiving mail stating that I have been married and have taken my boyfriends last name?”

    Um, yes. This mistake could catch the eye of the IRS or social security, or any other government affiliate. More than likely they will realize it is a error, but there have been actually cases of mistakes in the system causing people to become married without their knowledge.

    The simple way to make sure you’re fine would to check and see if the government still has you selected as single (You are single if you’re not married).

    Why would it matter? If there has been a error and you’re considered married by the government, and then do your taxes as single, the government will think you just performed tax fraud. If you get social security, they will think you’re a fraud.

    So seeing a piece of mail stating I’m married when I’m not would definitely worry me, since I’m on social security, and it still would even if I wasn’t.

  87. jjason82 says:

    @AngrySicilian: From the article:

    “My mother had just gotten out of the hospital with congestive heart failure and a massive infection, and the last thing that she needed was to be excited.”


    “If your pharmacy can’t even get my name right, and is linking me to other people I’m not even related to (yet), how can I trust them to get my prescriptions right?”

    This is why it is relevant.

  88. jacksbrokenego says:

    @Juggernaut: you’re friggin’ hilarious.

    @ThyGuy: You are the one that sets your withholding, not the government, and not the junk mail that you receive.

    @The Consumerist – please tell me that you guys are kidding with this story. I love your site but I have to believe that you posted this story for the sheer pleasure of watching what would happen in the comments. I’ve had dingle-berries that were more newsworthy.

  89. Colage says:

    Okay, has the EECB really been reduced to this? Complaining about junk mail – not even that it was received, but that it was mislabelled? Someday someone is going to have a major grievance that goes ignored because of overuse of high-level emails for trite crap like this.

    And really, if the OP’s mother was so ready to believe that she had gotten married because of the addressing, did she not take a second to notice that the mail was sent to her house? Was she mad that they got married or that they apparently moved in without asking her?

  90. johnva says:

    @ThyGuy: LOL, a stupid piece of junk mail has nothing to do with whether the IRS thinks you are married. In fact, name changes have nothing to do with whether the IRS thinks you are married either. Your name doesn’t change automatically because you get married, and you can change your name whenever you want.

  91. fineillcomment says:

    This is a pretty stupid story. but along the hating riteaid track, they havescrewed me twice.

    Once, i was hovering near the prescrip. desk waiting for a refill, and the pharmacist leaned over and (not the pharm tech – the pharmacist!) yelled, “Maam, your -insertpersonalprescriptioninfohere- is ready!”
    WTF?? there was like ten people milling around.

    Then, another time, they refused to sell Plan B. to my boyfriend, who was picking it up for me. They said they can’t sell to TO MEN?? wtf, again.

  92. mmstk101 says:

    someone I know had a phone contract with Bell. Her monthly bills would come addressed to “Arifalbg.” Her name was Aisling. I always thought that was hilarious.

  93. shortergirl06 says:

    Hi, it’s Rebecca here. I did get an email from someone at Rite-Aid, and they want to get to the bottom of this.

    And it isn’t so much the fact that it was junk mail and my mom got upset, as so many people are quick to assume. It was the fact that it “came from the pharmacy” as was told to me by a customer service representative. And during the time that we worked together, we had the same address, but not even in that state… It’s all a mess…

    I got an email from Rite-Aid, and we’re working on a solution.

    And the reason that my mother thought that we had got married was because we are actually getting to that point. It wasn’t like we had just met. She just wants him to ask first.

  94. backbroken says:

    @The_IT_Crone: It’s not insulting. My wife didn’t take my name. I get mail (and phone calls) all the time with her last name. Should I be insulted?

    If you happen to get mail with your spouses last name, it’s not some paternalistic conspiracy. It’s all computer generated. My wife’s name is on most of the bills in the house. I figure that’s why her name gets used more prominently in the mailing lists. It’s just happenstance.

  95. backbroken says:

    @Cavendish: Been happening to me for 5 years. I am a guy. Mail comes with my wife’s last name. So I do understand that if it is insulting to you, then you are an easy nut to crack.

  96. backbroken says:

    @rjgnyc: Good one.

  97. Edge231 says:

    The OP is an *ss whining about one letter and threatening to never shop at the store, just because of one letter?

    Get over it.

  98. amoeba says:

    …or maybe she doesn’t want her mother know that she is living with her boyfriend. I still don’t understand why this letter is in this site.

  99. Smashville says:

    6/24/2008 – the day Consumerist officially jumped the shark.

    A complaint about junk mail having the wrong name on it? Seriously?

    “Dear Consumerist,

    I keep getting mail that keeps misspelling my name as “Resident” and “Boxholder”.”

  100. GothamGal says:

    To this day, I cannot get American Express to stop calling me Mr. GothamGal and Mr. GothamGal kept his last name, so we are confused who they think they are mailing to.

  101. farker says:

    To all the morons saying the OP is at fault, or the OP shouldn’t worry about it…

    The Rite-Aid CSR that the OP talked to told her “that the marketing comes from the pharmacy division.”

    So clearly, the information comes from pharmacy records. She is perfectly within her rights to be reasonably concerned there is a mixup with the pharmacy records.

    It’s possible it’s nothing, but if she wants to pursue the cause of it, I don’t see why it’s such a big deal.

  102. SinisterMatt says:


    How is that relevant to the issue at hand??


    “And the reason that my mother thought that we had got married was because we are actually getting to that point. It wasn’t like we had just met. She just wants him to ask first.”

    Believe it or not, that is what I thought right off. Someone is getting close to the point of popping the question, and it’s probably obvious, at least to your mother. I know it was obvious when me and my wife were dating.

    Congrats on the upcoming nuptials, if it comes to that.

    At any rate, this seems to me to be a random computer glitch, nothing more, nothing less. The question remains, though, if both the OP and her boyfriend haven’t filled a prescription at Rite Aid recently, where did they get their info? Could it have come from old employment records? Does Rite Aid do this?


  103. twinkiedl says:

    just because its not “BREAKING NEWS” doesn’t mean its a pointless article.

  104. RichNixon says:

    Rebecca, you say that we are all wrong and you didn’t get riled up because your mother was upset, you got riled up when: “It was the fact that it “came from the pharmacy” as was told to me by a customer service representative.”

    My question is why you would call customer service about this in the first place if you were not upset by the initial mailing? Something in your timeline is off and it sounds to me like you’re looking to rationalize after the fact.

  105. IrisMR says:

    The mother overreacted, that’s for sure.

  106. kallawm says:

    I’m sorry, if you’re going to jump to conclusions and get all upset over a piece of junk mail… you probably do need to visit the pharmacy. ;)

  107. shortergirl06 says:

    @RichNixon: I was upset, however, but when I called and found out about the pharmacy thing, I was livid. Or scared. Both, really.

    And yes, my mom did overreact, but why should she have to be put through this?

  108. megafly says:

    If somebody is such a high strung bitch that she gets killed by the thought of her adult, out of state, daughter having a life that she doesn’t control…she just deserves what she gets.

  109. Gopher bond says:

    @megafly: ha ha, zing!