This is one of those very interesting, but admittedly frustrating problems that we face online almost daily. It’s something that I’ve run into with Ask Leo! and when we were running my wife’s business.
The problem is very simple. When somebody gives you their email address as contact information and they get their own email address wrong, how do you contact them to tell them so?
The bottom line is that unless they’ve given you additional information like a phone number, you can’t.
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Email that goes nowhere
More often than not, a person just types in their email address incorrectly. It’s just a simple typo.
This is frustrating, particularly if the emails contain sensitive information. For example, when someone sends me a question and they enter their email wrong, my response to their question will either go to:
- The wrong person (which is I think very similar to what you’re experiencing)
- The wrong service
- The wrong country
- No one – it just bounces
- Wherever – it’s never seen or heard from again
When that happens, I have no way of contacting them.
This is why so many websites ask you to type your email address in twice (which can be frustrating). I choose not to do that for Ask Leo! but every site is different.
What you can do about it
If you get additional information that identifies that person, fantastic. Contact them and let them know.
When you don’t have information, my recommendation is that you’ve done everything you can. In other words, ignore the email. You can’t do anything with it until:
- They contact you with correct information
- You find some piece of additional contact information either for the company or the individual.
By and large, understand that getting the wrong email is very common, and you don’t need to be concerned about it. Emails like this happen. It eventually resolves itself as people fail to get the communications that they’re expecting.