Email fail: Amazon mistakenly sends baby registry emails

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In September 2017, Amazon mistakenly sent out some very confusing emails, telling a large number of customers that someone had bought an item off their baby registry. This case study looks at how even the largest digital giants can make glaring customer data errors.

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Many of the recipients did not have a baby registry, let alone a baby gestating or any plans to have or adopt a baby.

"A gift is on the way" read the email, which was impersonally addressed to "Amazon Customer."

The email had a large link inviting the recipient to view their thank you list.

For many it redirected them to a page on which they could set up a new registry. Some were taken to a broken link. It's likely that some of the recipients actually had registries and are now just disappointed that a friend did not in fact buy them something tiny.

Amazon has since confirmed that the email was sent out by mistake, and has apologised for any confusion caused.

It is unknown how many customers have been affected.

A number of recipients reported on Twitter that they had received the email, despite the fact that they weren't pregnant.

Danielle Gunn tweeted a screenshot of the email, along with the caption: 'Uhhh...does Amazon know something I don't? Who else got a random email about a baby registry gift?'

And Kailyn McGowan tweeted: 'When you receive an email from Amazon that says someone "purchased a gift from your baby registry"', along with a meme of Jay Alexander.

The email looked like a phishing email, with a stock-photo baby crawling off the side. However it was in fact from Amazon and none of the links have been found to be suspicious. Some people on social media joked that the retail giant might know more about their reproductive status than they did.

An Amazon spokesperson said a technical glitch caused the company to "inadvertently send a gift alert e-mail earlier today," and that Amazon was alerting affected customers.

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