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Common Sense Has Passed Away

, , , , , | Right | March 8, 2022

This took place through email, over the span of several days.

Mailer: “I hereby let you know that my client, Mr. John, passed away. Please remove my name and email address from your data.”

Me: “I am so sorry to read that. My condolences. Could you please give us his address and date of birth, so we know which Mr. John passed away?”

Mailer: “With his passing, I am no longer connected to Mr. John. I hereby once again request you remove me from your systems.”

Me: “I will certainly do that, but which Mr. John are we talking about? May I please have his address and date of birth?”

Mailer: “I hereby ask you for a third time to remove my data and to never contact me again. If you do, I will file a complaint with [Government Complaint Agency].”

I go to my manager, at a loss.

Manager: “How many Mr. Johns do we have on file?”

Me: “At least five hundred, excluding different spellings. If it was a less common name, I might have been able to find it out myself, but this is a needle in a haystack.”

Manager: “Well, maybe that person will contact us again when we send him an automated letter or something. Or maybe his children will contact us. You did your best; just let it go.”

Three weeks later, a son mailed us to let us know Mr. Johnson (yes, the mailer had the last name wrong) had passed away three weeks earlier, and lo and behold, the in-file correspondence address was the same as the person who mailed us. We deleted that address with glee.

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