I've had a Hotmail account since way before Microsoft bought them. In that time, I have occasionally let it go inactive and then reactivated it. To be honest, I don't use it very much. But I like to keep it because... it's mine. :)
For the last two or three years someone else is also making use of it -- in a way.
They've been using it to make purchases. They've been giving out the email address to their friends. They've been signing up for online games, and newsletters.
How do I know this?
Because I get all of their order confirmations via email. I get all their personal email from friends. I get all the "account activation" emails for the online games and newsletters that they sign up for.
I don't think they're making a small spelling mistake when typing it out, I think they truly believe that the email address they are typing is their email address!
For a while it was fun to read their personal "hey, how ya doin'?" emails from their friends, but it has actually become quite annoying because I seem to get twice the amount of spam, as they sign themselves up for god knows what, using my email address.
Today, I replied to two of their personal emails, thanking the sender for their concern about my well being, but also advising them that they have the wrong person. I tried that before about two years ago, but it didn't seem to work. This time, I got an apology reply from one of the senders, so I replied to it again, and asked them to advise the person whom they think I am, that they're giving out the wrong email address. Maybe it'll work this time.
You would think that something like this might be a once-in-a-lifetime occurance right?
About two weeks ago I received an order confirmation from Hmv.co.uk thanking me for my order of two DVDs, but this time it was sent to my GMAIL account. Yes, I have another email account that someone thinks is their's. I know it's a different person because this one lives in the U.K., while the other lived in the U.S. I also received further emails from HMV after each DVD was shipped. I'm hoping that this one was just a typo, like not typing two T's in their last name or something.
Seriously, though, what's wrong with people? Why aren't they taking more care of typing their email address? What if these retail accounts have their credit card information stored in them? I honestly don't know if they do, but it would be very easy for me to find out.