Of course almost no merchant follows this part of their agreement.
My GMail (and Yahoo! as well) username is (first name)(middle name)(last name), all fairly common [in fact at my current employer there are multiple matches of (first name)(last name), and my father has the same (first name)(last name) as well], and I have not had this problem with either service. Perhaps using initials instead of full names is part of it; or your last-name may have different demographic connotations.
I did, however, recently have that problem with a Comcast account. When the tech visited our home for installation, he created an account (first name)(last name) @comcast.net . I didn't actually give it out anywhere, yet within a few months it was filled with a hundred or so messages for someone in another state. I did try responding to one item that seemed moderately important, and whoever got the response [the help-desk of some organization] didn't seem to grasp that I had no connection with the intended recipient. Since I hadn't advertised it anywhere, it was easy to change the username, to (my first initial)(wife's first initial)(my last initial)(wife's last initial)(string of digits) @comcast.net. While this address appears to have been reused, apparently Comcast no longer allows address reuse; I tried using a previous ID that I had used a long time ago, and it was not available.
Since you ask for advice, I recommend two courses of action:
- 1. As long as you still have access to that address, when you receive anything that is clearly misdirected and potentially of high value, deal with it politely. Don't use a "form response", instead personalize the response to the content of the message. CC the intended recipient on the response, if you are able to divine who it is. Once you've dealt with the matter, delete the whole thread. For newsletters, try following an "unsubscribe" action, if that's not available mark as spam.
- 2. Consider an exit strategy from your current e-mail address, no matter how much is attached to it. See the Google help posting "Change your username". For the new address, try a long nickname or full first name instead of first initial; or maybe add a string of numbers, a city your contacts will recognize, or a title. Give your important contacts plenty of advance notice, post the new address with the reasons you're switching [perhaps with a list of the confusing other identities as well] on your "old" Google+ profile. After a reasonable time (say six months or a year), delete your old account. Make sure you change your address at all the "various sites" you've registered at before doing so, in case you need to use a password reset function.
"The Fair Credit Reporting Act, which governs credit reporting, says that only a state's attorney general can sue a creditor for furnishing inaccurate information. But if the creditor doesn't fix the inaccuracy permanently and in a reasonable time, you can sue, even though the Fair Credit Reporting Act doesn't explicitly give you that option."
The reason that people can sue is on the grounds of the CRA not fixing inaccurate information. The article makes it very clear that the public uses those grounds to sue, not the grounds of providing inaccurate information. So yes you can sue and it happens all the time, people win quite often against the CRA's when they do their homework. Especially effective in a few states like Texas and California where you can also use State level laws in addition to the federal.
Check out creditboards.com and the ficoforums.myfico.com and you will find multiple success stories of people suing one or more of the CRA's.
I can also say that from personal experience that merely making the threat to the CRA that you will be suing them in small claims court with proper citations will cause the CRA to fix their errors.
The only real issue here is that Obama promised the most transparent administration in history. Instead we have leak after leak showing that it is the most opaque administration. Not to mention corrupt and surprisingly the one area the Administrator isn't incompetent in, is the prosecution of killing terrorist.