“Test” Surname and IT tests

25 pts.
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market research
Please help. My last name is Test. Every couple months my sisters or I receive products we did not order, or voice mails about MRI's we did not schedule, because IT people use our last name to create phantom clients to test systems. I guess if we are already in the system, the phantom Test becomes real. Last November I received medication in the mail from a pharmacy, prescribed by a real doctor at a local hospital. A claim was even filed with my health insurance company. How does this happen and HOW CAN I MAKE IT STOP, short of changing my name???

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Several in my family have had these two problems.

1 – airline reservations get removed
2- medical records get removed
This is very frustrating

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  • BrentSheets
    Moderator Note: Hello Testfire and welcome to IT Knowledge Exchange. If you're serious - this will be filed in our "Strangest questions posed on ITKE" folder. Seriously, using "Mr. Test" or something is common in marketing campaigns -- but I find it difficult to believe that a dummy account could produce a genuine medical prescription or an MRI appointment with a Doctor. In any case, you don't need to contact the IT dept -- but your insurance company and the medical board.
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  • TestFire
    It really happened. I spent a lot of time on the phone with a doctor at the hospital. He was incredulous. The dummy accounts are always called JoeTest or TestJunior, or CharlieTest. It just so happened that they used my real last name and somehow the system found the real me! I received prescription asthma medication in the mail. My sister received a sweater from Talbots, and Talbots confirmed that is was an error due to some sort of testing of the system. It was very humorous to me until the insurance claim appeared. I will contact the insurance company again. That may be the best solution - to let them know that this happens sometimes. I don't want it to appear on my insurance that I have a pre-existing condition that I actually do not have. I may have trouble getting health insurance later. I just wanted to find out how it is possible... Thanks
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  • Kevin Beaver
    This is very odd! Like Brent said, I'd contact your state's medical board and even your local post office and see if they have any suggestions. You should also contact consumer guru Clark Howard about this and see what he says. I'm sure he'll get a kick out of it and be able to provide some more insight.
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  • TestFire
    It has happened again today. My flights to and from the southwest this summer for our family vacation were mysteriously canceled. I spent 1.5 hours on the phone last night and tonight with Travelocity and USAirways trying to figure out what happened. Turns out... my flight was canceled because they thought it was one of their internal tests of the ticketing system. I am now back on my flights but I am in the computer with the last name XTEST. I have been advised to appear at the airport early in case I run into trouble due to the fact that my name on the ticket will not match my name on my ID. This is driving me completely bananas. Isn't there a finite number of software companies I could contact to alert them not to do this?
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  • Tor1234
    I have a suggestion for you, it's long term but should help.
    Contact the big universities IT departments, let them know that Test is a real surname and should not be used when testing. 
    That way you ensure that you get a pretty wide ranging set of people who know it's a bad idea, and that will increase every year.
    If you want to educate, start with education.
    While I acknowledge this is slow, it is likely to be the most thorough.
    Suggest the practice of using XXTESTXX is used when testing. This is much clearer as a test and would not impact any of you with the surname Test.

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  • ToddN2000
    Very strange problem. It has to be a very unusual set of circumstances that they got every piece of your info set up in their testing system. Like a valid e-mail, street address. The best is to contact the sender directly and report the problem. If you can, reply to e-mails so they go back to the sender. Most of the time I test I use totally fake info where ever possible or my own e-mail I set up on Yahoo just for this purpose. For addressing I use Anytown for a city unless there is validation using a zip code. This problem is definitely one for the books.
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  • Subhendu Sen
    It is better to contact local administrative authority with your all mails and ask for help. This can help you to find out the way.
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