Redbox Might Be Able To Stop Misdirected Receipts

Being an early adopter of something has its privileges and its disadvantages. Chris joined Gmail early enough that he gets to have an address that consists of his first two initials and his very common last name. That’s pretty neat for him, but has led to a really annoying case of mistaken identity. He keeps getting someone else’s Redbox receipts. A person who has a similar name, but lives in a different state and rents from Redbox an awful lot. The good news? Redbox has a solution for this. Kinda.

Over the past week I have received four receipts from Redbox rentals happening in Midlothian, VA. I live in Indiana and use Redbox on occasion but infrequently.

I decided to let Redbox know my e-mail address was being used by someone other than me, mostly because every receipt tells me that someone who probably has a first name that starts with a ‘C’ and the same last name I do lives in Midlothian, VA and goes the extra mile of giving me the last four digits of their credit card number.

I initiated a chat with Redbox and explained the issue, providing the latest Transaction number for their reference before the chat began.

I was told the person is entering my e-mail address by accident and pointed out it has happened four times this week.

I was then told to unsubscribe using the link in each receipt e-mail. This would ensure I would never receive messages from them. So I asked how I would get receipts sent to me when I do actually use their service again and that’s where things got interesting.

Redbox informed me that the act of unsubscribing from their receipts will ensure that I won’t receive receipts when someone else accidentally uses my e-mail address but I will receive receipts when I use the same e-mail address myself.

I told them their ability to determine who was using my e-mail address and whether it was being done accidentally or on purpose and then, based on that information, determine whether a receipt should be sent or not was pretty awesome. That’s when the chat ended.

The mystical powers of mistake divination could come from looking at which credit card had been used when the e-mail address was entered. Or the chat representative could have just been making things up, and now Chris’s long-lost cousin won’t get his or her e-mailed receipts anymore.

I Don’t Want Some Justin Bieber Fan’s Redbox Receipts


Edit Your Comment

  1. RogerX says:

    The first time you use a card, you enter your email address. It then pre-fills every time you use that card. The customer is apparently just hitting next without paying attention.

  2. XianZomby says:

    Aren’t those red boxes linked electronically? Like, if I put in an email address, couldn’t it pull up the corresponding name from a database and say “so, this is you?” And then I could say “oh wow, no! I must have mistyyped it again.”

    • milrtime83 says:

      Being able to put in random email addresses and getting an associated name is probably a privacy violation of some kind that people would get upset about.

  3. Captain Spock says:

    I get emails from a guy in England thinking it goes to one of his children. My email address is based on a fictional character, but the guy’s son is obviously the real [redacted]. I was getting emails about how he was cheating on his wife and they were divorcing. One time i got his pickup information from the airport. I emailed him back each time informing him of his mistake, but no response!

    • Rebecca K-S says:

      I’ve gotten a few flight itineraries from a couple of airlines. It’s always someone else buying the ticket for “me.”

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        There’s a recent scam that makes it look like the trojan payload is an e-ticket/itinerary, so be careful.

        I used to get misdirected mail a lot, because I had everything on my domain (@[mylastname].com) forwarded to me. Most of them responded when I e-mailed them, and for a few people with the same last name I actually forwarded it to their e-mail address, which in one case was @[mylastname] But I turned that off last year, it was becoming too much of a pain to block spam.

    • SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

      Spock is obviously fictional.

    • dru_zod says:

      I get frequent e-mails from a car dealership in California telling me it’s time for my next service appointment. I also get some weird e-mails from some lady every once in a while with lots of personal stuff in them about her family, her ex-husband, etc. I never tell her she’s sending them to the wrong address. If she ever talks to the intended recipient on the phone or in person, I’m sure she will figure it out when they know nothing about the recent events in her life.

  4. erinpac says:

    I don’t even see an unsubscribe link in my redbox receipts. It doesn’t seem like something you’d ‘subscribe’ to. It might be something you could prevent with an online account though.

  5. moyawyvern says:

    I had the same thing happen to me. I have a very common name, and the email was a seldom used one I set up for resumes to sound professional. I was getting Redbox receipts sent to my email address, even though I had never used the service. At that time, there seemed to be no recourse to stop them from coming. I was also getting Foursquare invites and statuses for some moron kid in Florida, and the new hire info for someone in Chicago. The only one I was able to contact was the hiring manager, to let them know that they might want to find some other way to communicate with their new employee. I ended up having to change the email, just to stop getting that kid in FL party locations.

  6. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Can Chris deduce the correct email of the person in VA and email them to let them know what has been happening?

  7. dudski says:

    This is nothing. I get:

    -Emails from a New Zealand mobile phone company about a delinquent account.
    -The occasional response to a job application for someone who works in the food industry near Buffalo.
    -A somewhat steady stream of emails from stores I don’t shop at, because someone in Utah gives my email address when asked for one at stores.
    -The occasional email for someone I think is a British schoolteacher.
    -A truly irritating number of recruiting emails from colleges I’ve never even heard of, following the “congrats on taking the PSAT!” email I got in December. They’ve slowed from their peak of 4/5 a day, but contacting the College Board was useless because that horse had already left the barn.
    -Maintenance confirmation emails from a Ford dealership in a state I’ve never been to, payment confirmation from an Australian electric company, and the occasional no-information-included email about someone else’s retirement account, all of which stopped at least a year ago.

    And then there’s the two dozen or so people who think I’m someone else. All of them seem to be trying to reach someone different, and some of them are one-off emails – forwarded flight itineraries, detailed directions to family reunions, “how are things” catchup emails with detailed rundowns of family news – but then there’s the occasional regular.

    I respond and let people know they’ve got the wrong person when I can, but occasionally I assume they’re spam and ignore them.

    Sometimes it’s easy to unsubscribe from things like this, but in others…if someone else if using your email address, it’s really not Redbox’s fault or problem, unless RogerX above is right that the person doesn’t realize they’re doing it, in which case Redbox could hopefully disassociate the email from the account as a one-time thing and see if that keeps them from using it again.

  8. IGetsAnOpinion says:

    Somebody used my e-mail address on Classmates. I was able to request a new password on her account, and make changes to her account. So I had some fun with that. I still get those darn classmates updates on her account.

  9. dadelus says:

    I have the same problem. There is someone who apparently spends a lot of time in MS and LA that used my email address to sign up for Redbox. Which I guess means they have the same name as me and a similar email adress cause my email address is my real name.

  10. umbriago says:

    Yeah, I’m livin’ the life, too. I get kMart email receipts, Acura service requests, my email is tied to an xBox 360 account, Saks, a Tesco account and a college in British Columbia, to name but a few.

    It’s how I got my Facebook account (I moved in and took over). Someone who is into quilting signed up on eBay with my email address. FTP login info. I get details on weddings, trips to India, a job hunt for somebody in St. Louis. Real estate documents. I occasionally get pictures from women. Help desk tickets. Notes from grandma (“Every chance I get, I pray for you, asking God to keep his angels protecting you.”). I wrote back and said I had forsaken the church and was joining up with a local Ra√´lian Movement because she would not leave me alone.

    Never heard back.

    I try and straighten people out, if it looks important (like the college). Unsubscribing works quite a bit, as does going to the site and redirecting the emails to somewhere else.

    Know you email address, people. If I were REALLY malicious I could have some fun and profit.

  11. birdieblue says:

    My neither my first nor last name is not at all common, but I once received very important legal documents, from a lawyer, via email, of someone who shared my name. (My email address is firstname.lastname at gmail.)

    I forwarded it to the real person (whose contact information I was able to ascertain from the earlier email correspondence contained in the message) and suggested she give her attorney a talking-to. Unfortunately, she occasionally mistypes her own email address as mine on various websites since then. *facepalm*

  12. vivalakellye says:

    I’m having the exact same problem. I was an early adopter of Gmail (I got it within a month or two of it going Beta) and keep getting email receipts for my Redbox rentals. When I called to get my email address removed from their system entirely, the CSR was quite surprised that I’d never in my life used Redbox and thus could not conceivably been mixed up with someone else or rented a movie by mistake.

  13. Morac says:

    My best story about getting wrong emails, is when someone who works (worked?) at the N.Y. Times decided to forward all her work emails to what she assumed was her home email address. It was mine.

    Nothing like getting airline reservations, interview schedules and all kinds of proprietary info emailed to me. I actually continued to get said emails even after emailing the person and informing her that she made a mistake. It was only after I threatened to release said info, that the emails stopped. At that point it was too late though as the woman had already signed up to various services with the email address and I started getting tons of SPAM. I eventually deleted the email address. It was a Comcast address so I wasn’t too broken up over it since I don’t even use their email.

  14. CubeRat says:

    Solution. Don’t use Redbox. Add the bad e-mail to your ‘blocked’ e-mail list.

    BTW, from one call I received after using the ‘blocked’ e-mail piece of this solution, the sender was told I’d blocked them. Turns out, it was my sister forwarding me something from her new boyfriend…yada yada. So, after a few weeks, you might be good to try again to have Redbox e-mail you your receipts if you feel so inclined.

    I don’t use Redbox, but I think it would be easier to get a regular receipt and just block them. Can you get a physical receipt from their vending boxes?