More than 10 years ago, when Gmail was first born, Jeff signed up early enough that he was able to snag [nickname]@gmail.com as his address. As years passed, this seems like less of a coup: it seems that people who shop at Best Buy love using this address as a throwaway.
Jeff himself no longer uses the address for much of anything, but has it forwarded to his current main account so he can receive anything that is sent there. What’s actually sent there is, well, other people’s software codes and reward coupons from Best Buy. He estimates that he’s received software and activation codes worth hundreds of dollars, and other signups.
He has been pleading with Best Buy customer service to make this stop since 2011, and they haven’t listened. Maybe they don’t care where these codes go if customers can’t be bothered to give their real e-mail address, or maybe they don’t have the capability to ban an e-mail address from their system.
“I just received two separate $10 reward codes with the full name of that person, which I can redeem by printing or using online at any time apparently,” he complained to Consumerist. (This is only something to complain about if you don’t intend to steal the codes, we suppose.) After receiving these codes, he sent Best Buy one last e-mail before referring the case to us. He explained the situation, and then added a completely reasonable threat:
If I continue to be sent software licenses, product keys and activation codes, I will assume they are gifts from this point on and redeem them myself. That will likely leave you with a very unhappy customer (the one who actually makes the purchases from you), so I advise you to take action and permanently remove [nickname]@gmail.com from your system.
They didn’t respond to this last missive, so we inquired about his situation. Things got real, and Best Buy’s “Corporate Resolution” team followed up with Jeff. It turns out that they are able to eradicate e-mail addresses from their systems: you just need to find the right person, apparently. Corporate Resolution did this, but Jeff suspected something and called back.
“Does that include Geek Squad?” he asked. Turns out that it didn’t, and the corporate team has promised to remove his address from the Geek Squad database, too. No more random software licenses…maybe.