A few days ago, I got a "welcome to PayPal" message at my gmail account, followed by a payment confirmation for just over a hundred bucks for some specious weight-loss drugs. The payment confirmation had a name and address for someone in Kalispell, MT. Lovely. It was pretty obvious that they either typed in my address by mistake, or they intentionally picked a random email address... I'd guess the former.
PayPal also sent me a "veirfy your account" link. I didn't do that, but I tried to get login credentials for the account... no dice, I needed the credit card number. The verify-your-account link had no way of saying, "Hey, I didn't ask for this account."
First round with customer support. "We're sorry you're thinking of closing your account. Log in, click on the account tab, blah blah blah."
"It's not my account, you morons. Someone forged my email address."
"You need to contact your ISP. They recycle email addresses, and that's why you have a problem."
"This email address was not recycled. I just want it off the account."
"You need to contact your ISP about the recycled address."
Tilt. I called their customer service number, and went through the same thing this time in semi-realtime. "ISPs sometimes recycle addre..." "It's not a recycled address."
I got transferred up the line, wherein I repeated the cycle. At least this time he seemed to be able to actually parse English and figure out what I was asking, rather than just picking out a few keywords and reciting a canned answer. He says he's going to try to call her and get her to update the account... we shall see. Thus far it's taken me several rounds of email plus 30 minutes on the phone.
One of the really annoying things about this process is that everywhere I turned, they expected that I already had a valid account that I wanted to do something with... there was absolutely no concept of not having an account yet, or having an invalid/forged account. It was very annoying and stupid.
I'm not terribly impressed.