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Gmail Stupidity… (Receiving someone else's mail)

http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&ctx=mail&answer=10313#

Here's an Excerpt:
“There are three common reasons why Gmail users think they're receiving someone else's mail. Please select the description that matches your situation below.

Because Gmail doesn't recognize dots as characters within usernames, adding or removing dots from a Gmail address won’t change the actual destination address. Messages sent to yourusername@gmail.com, your.username@gmail.com and y.o.u.r.u.s.e.r.n.a.m.e@gmail.com are all delivered to your inbox, and only yours.”

No Google, I don’t THINK I am getting someone else’s email, I KNOW I am, because of this stupidity.

GMail allows you Create Email Addresses with Dots in them!!! It just treats it as if its not there, but you must Log in using the exact userid that the account was created with. Users then think that there email address includes the Dot when it really doesn’t. 

Basically Gmail is using an Algorithm to determine if an email address has is a Typo and FIXING it instead of bouncing.

This is how I am now getting someone else’s email with the Same Fist Initial and last name as me.

F.last@gmail.com=flast@gmail.com
I am flast@gmail.com and getting email for the Typo “F.last@gmail.com”
Anon Ranter Send private email
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
I have the same issue.

Imagine my name is Foo Bar.  I created a gmail address FooBar@gmail.com.  Someone after me created the email address Foo.Bar@gmail.com.

A while back I would be included on strange emails:

    * X is flying in from Y. blah, blah, blah...

    * Other tidbits of personal info ...

    * I forget now, just Other Foo.Bar emails ...

I think I was automatically added to some of this guy's chat lists.  I have a picture of my newborn daughter as my avatar, and I once received an email from, I think, one of his relatives: "Who is that picture of?  So cute."

I never responded to any of these emails.  I just ignored them.

But, it got me thinking, this guy must have been successful at some point.  He must have received an email from somebody.  Has he ever received mine?  I'd like to know.

I rarely used this email.  I would only give it to friends and would use a hotmail account for use when registering at other sites.  Oh, but once Foo.Bar started using his 'newly created' email, my spam folder EXPLODED.  I have close to 2000 spams at any given time.  Thanks Foo.Bar!!
I have this issue
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
Being that I haven't checked my Spam folder in a while, I took a look at the first page of Spam.  There's one of those Easter e-Cards for Foo Bar family and friends.

How is it that his family is still sending Easter e-Cards to this guy?  He has to be using this email address in some way.  Meanwhile, I get a ton of his spam.  I hate this guy. :-P
I have this issue
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
Isn't an email address suppose to be our sort of "unique" identity on the web? Using foobar...
Victor Noagbodji
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
>>Imagine my name is Foo Bar.  I created a gmail address FooBar@gmail.com.  Someone after me created the email address Foo.Bar@gmail.com.<<

But according to the GMail page:
"Gmail allows only one registration for any given username. Once you sign up for a particular username, any dot variations are made permanently unavailable for new accounts. If you believe that a message was sent to you accidentally, we suggest contacting the sender to inform him or her of an incorrect address."

So unless their registration algorithm is screwed up, nobody should have been able to create Foo.Bar@gmail.com if FooBar@gmail.com already existed.  So it seems more like somebody got the guy's GMail address wrong and entered yours instead.  Maybe I'm missing something.
Justice Walker
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
It sounds like sender stupidity more than Gmail stupidity, or someone entering an arbitrary email address in a silly compulsive registration form instead of using BugMeNot.
Bill Foecke Send private email
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
Yes, maybe his name is a common spelling variant of yours (e.g. Stephen/Steven) and his relatives are misspelling his name?
Rachael Send private email
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
+1 Justice Walker

There is no error here. I've registered my First.Last@google.com. Nobody can register F.irstLast@ or FirstLast@ or F.i.r.s.t.L.a.s.t@google.com

They're ALL THE SAME!!

Also, just in case anbody doesn't realize this, it also accepts and ignores a + and anything after it.

So:

First.Last+JOS@gmail.com works as does First.Last+AutoArchive@gmail.com, etc etc

Then you just setup a simple filter based on the incoming address and it eliminates the need for a throwaway account.

It also makes it very easy to sign up for websites that want you to only have 1 account per 1 email address. :)
Shane
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
Oh, hrmm.  Based on the first post, it made it seem like Foo.Bar could still be created.  (Or I misread it).

Then, people are probably misspelling it (still, to this day? odd).

I did a quick search on Foo.Bar emails that are still in my inbox:

a) A fwd'd travel confirmation for someone he must have been meeting in Las Vegas.

b) (And this was Oct 2007), an expedia.com email change confirmation.  The email was changed from Foo.Bar@something-something.com to Foo.Bar@gmail.com.  Why would the guy change his email to the gmail.com one?  And recently?

c) Online Order #

d) UserID/Password to some site

e) Soccer related emails (this guy's from England)

...

Although, it does look like I haven't received one in my Inbox since the end of November.  But, then again, at least 90% of my spam emails are to "foo.bar@gmail.com".
I have this issue
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
One other thought, was this always the case (weren't able to sign up for Foo.Bar if FooBar was already taken).  I've had my gmail account since the very early beta stage and he signed up soon after.  Gmail only recently lost its beta tag.

To digress ...

As for foo.bar+amazon@gmail.com or foo.bar+bestbuy@gmail.com or other variations you can make ... yes, I know about that.  But, that doesn't seem ideal to me.  You are attaching text to your real email address.  I'm sure spammers figured that one out very easily.
I have this issue
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
I didn’t say that there was a bug in Gmail that allows 2 users to register for that same email.

I said that Gmail is confusing people with a Rule that nobody knows about and Average users will never understand. To compound the Issue , you Gmail login is not the same as you password!

This is causing Gmail to deliver email to the wrong person, when it should in fact be bounced because of a typo in the email address..
Anon Ranter Send private email
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
Gmail login is not the same as you password!

should be

Gmail login is not the same as your Email Address!
Anon Ranter Send private email
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
They made the "dots are irrelevant" decision. You don't agree with it. I do. I'm happy people can't create gmail accounts which are my full name with a different "dotting style", since I myself created one address with my name.

In any case, typos can exist. In fact, typos only in dots are saved by GMail's policy and delivered to the right recipient. The person who is writing must make also a typo in a letter to get their email delivered to another address (if they're unlucky and that address exists).

If you want significant dots or otherwise dislike gmail, you can use other email free services. :)
Daniel
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
"The email was changed from Foo.Bar@something-something.com to Foo.Bar@gmail.com. "

That suggests that Foo.Bar@something-something.com might be a valid address for this guy. You could email him there and tell him that his relatives are sending mail meant for him to you, and he might be able to supply them with his correct address. (Unfortunately it won't help with the spam lists which he or his relatives have accidentally got you added to.)
Rachael Send private email
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
They made the "dots are irrelevant" decision. You don't agree with it. I do. I'm happy people can't create gmail accounts which are my full name with a different "dotting style", since I myself created one address with my name.

He isn't unhappy about the dots decision he is unhappy they made it after they allowed people to use dots and didn't force someone to change their email address.  Further they seem to have written code that assumes the dots decision so half the time he gets someone else's email.
Brian
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
I have gotten another person's email in my gmail account on one occasion, but that was because it was addressed to me. The mistake was on the sender's part, not Google's.
KT
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
Brian,

I think you're wrong about this. I got a very early Gmail Invite and as long as I've had my account Gmail has ignored dots.

I would be very, highly surprised if this wasn't the case from the time that Gmail was in internal-beta.

This just isn't the sort of detail you can just change on a whim.

I cannot say, with authority, for absolute certain, that dots have always been ignored, since I don't work for Google and haven't had a Gmail address since Day One.

But I think logic and the current implementation suggest that this is a design decision that has always worked this same way.

So, unless somebody can say, with authority, that they are certain that dots WERE MEANINGFUL at one time and then Gmail all of a sudden made dots irrelevant, I think it's safe to assume that they've always been irrelevant.
Shane
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
"As for foo.bar+amazon@gmail.com or foo.bar+bestbuy@gmail.com or other variations you can make ... yes, I know about that.  But, that doesn't seem ideal to me.  You are attaching text to your real email address.  I'm sure spammers figured that one out very easily."

You miss my point.

Say I'm signing up for CBS Sports just so I can use their Bracket App (which is very well done).

This is something that I can see will result in lots of opt-in-spam from CBS in the future. It's something I'd normally use a throw-away address for.

So, instead of having to maintain a separate account, and risking that I might just get something sent to that account that's worthwhile sometime, I use:

my.email+spamsuspect@gmail.com

and I have a rule that looks at that incoming address and automatically tags it as a spam suspect and moves it out of my inbox. I can periodically scan messages w./ that tag and then delete them.

For sites I'm CERTAIN I don't care about, I have:

my.email+autodelete@gmail.com

that does just that.

And there's:

my.email+autoarchive@gmail.com

That sorta thing.

My Gmail account gets, literally, ONE THOUSAND SPAM messsages PER DAY. About one every minute and a half.

But I can't tell you the last time I had to deal w/ one in my inbox.

Gmail has abstracted SPAM away from me. Sure, sometimes that abstraction leaks, but it's highly effective.
Shane
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
Their registration algorithm is screwed up.

I have "first.last@gmail.com" and receive "first[m]last@gmail.com". I don't receive all other "first[a-z]last@gmail.com" addresses, just the "m" address.

It's kinda fun. I get to read about this guy who runs a shipyard on the west coast. 

I cringe when I see people backing up sensitive data to gmail because it's obviously not secure.
It's broken
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
Re: Shane

No, you missed MY point! :-P

Maybe I'm paranoid, but what's stopping someone from saying, "hey, you know all those foo.bar+leavemealone@gmail.com" emails we get?  If you remove the +leavemealone we've got a 2nd email address to spam!  A real email address that I'm sure they check!! yahooo!!!"
I have this issue
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
So you're saying that your email address is, for example:

jon.doe@gmail.com (thusly also jondoe@, j.onedoe@, jo.ndoe@, etc)

And you're saying that emails sent to:

jonmdoe@gmail.com get sent to you?

First, I have to say, I'm highly skeptical here. Not only because I've never seen anything REMOTELY like this in the four years I've used Gmail. And not only because I have more faith in Google than I do in most companies. And not only because the app has gone thru 2 major updates during which such a bug should've been exposed. And not only because people that experienced this behavior most likely would have reported it.

No, mostly I'm skeptical because I have a hard time seeing how such a bug could be written to begin with.

I just don't see it.

Second, even if you're not full of it, what does that have to do with their "registration algorithm?"
Shane
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
I have,

Tru dat.

Good point.

Luckily for me, either this hasn't happened, or the spam filters are good enough to hide it from me.
Shane
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
Isn't this a violation of RFC 2822? Last I checked it specifies that using dots in the username portion of an email address is acceptable, providing it is not the first or last character in the field and that two or more are not used in succession.

Why would the almighty Google eschew this standard?
The Original Henry
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
They are following the standard - the standard doesn't say that names with dots in have to be distinct!
It doesn't say anything what the mail server decides to do with an email after it receives it.
Martin Send private email
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
dey retards.
lemon obrien Send private email
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
@Shane 

Yes, in my case emails sent to jonmdoe@gmail.com reach jon.doe@gmail.com. I verified this using a separate email account once.

Years ago when I registered my gmail account, it somehow got associated with the other account's record. Somebody at Google wasn't walking on water that day and I lost.

I like Google as well, but they screwed up and don't appear to be in a hurry to fix it or even acknowledge it. They probably have too high of volume to verify each support ticket. There's no ill will, I don't expect support for a free service.
It's broken
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
People, I think it doesn't solve anything discussing the subject here. Google is very responsive (as far as I'm concerned). If it really bothers you, you should go and tell them.
Victor Noagbodji
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
I would have to say that the "." issue is very real.  I get emails from people all the time for an email that is my address - the '.'

My email (one of them) is FirstnameMiddleLastname@Gmail.com

and the intended reciepient is Firstname.Middle.Lastname@Gmail.com

I find the emails interesting, I got invited to a party on St Patricks day, I would have gone but it was in Chicago :( I'm in NY.
Josh in Jersey Send private email
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
 
 
No one has your email addy but with dots.

The sender made a mistake.
Phillip Zedalis Send private email
Thursday, March 20, 2008
 
 
How many people in this thread are on drugs?
petermck
Thursday, March 20, 2008
 
 
When I registered my gmail address I choose first.last@gmail.com (with the dot) and Gmail didn't complain.

This means that firstlast@gmail.com didn't exist at that time. right?

Wrong.

Maybe it did exist but the dots-don't-matter rule didn't wasn't being applied, because there is in fact someone else with that address. I often get his mails and he probably gets mine.

If I send a message to firstlast@gmail.com (his address),  I don't get it, whereas if I send it to first.last@gmail.com (the one I registered) then it gets to my inbox!!!!

My guess is that gmail screwed up big and now they validate if there is an address with the exact spelling, they leave it like that. If not, they remove the dots.

What I find most annoying is that they have never acknowledged this problem. Even when I see it all the time with my own account.
not a guru Send private email
Friday, March 21, 2008
 
 
Wow. Now I feel dumb.

It seems that in fact I get mail to both first.last@gmail.com and firstlast@gmail.com

I swear I tried it before and didn't work.

Ok. Move on. Nothing to se here.
This thread is dead.
not a guru Send private email
Friday, March 21, 2008
 
 
"I think I was automatically added to some of this guy's chat lists.  I have a picture of my newborn daughter as my avatar, and I once received an email from, I think, one of his relatives: "Who is that picture of?  So cute.""

How did that happen?

Do any of the explanations here explain that?
Andrew Brehm Send private email
Friday, March 21, 2008
 
 

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