Why is this company using my home address in its advertisements?

Stefanie Rembiszewski offers violin lessons via the music company Taylor Robinson at their request — and then discovers her home address listed as a business location in online directories. Her mailbox begins filling up with the company’s mail. Someone even rings her doorbell to inquire about lessons. Can we help her take back her home address?

Question: Taylor Robinson Music & Voice Lessons is advertising my home address as their business address to make it look like they have a location in Bloomingdale, Ill.

I taught one student for Taylor Robinson from 2012 to 2014. In 2015, I told them clearly I would no longer teach for them. Then the mail began showing up at my house. They added postings in online directories with maps to my home — someone actually came to my home and rang my doorbell looking for voice and drum lessons!

The listings show the Taylor Robinson company name, my address, and a phone number that goes to voicemail.

I first asked Taylor Robinson to stop using my address in February 2015. I have called many of the places advertising my address, but they won’t remove it. It feels almost like having my identity stolen. Can you help me take back my home address from Taylor Robinson? — Stefanie Rembiszewski, Bloomingdale, Ill.

Answer: Taylor Robinson should have made every effort to remove your address from any spot you requested in 2015. I can only imagine how invasive this has been for you and your family. Nobody likes to have their mailbox filled up with someone else’s mail, not to mention having strangers think your home address is a business location.

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Over the last two years, you’ve tried various ways to reclaim your address. You’ve reached out to Taylor Robinson and even called the online listing directories directly. You’ve put in hours and saved your correspondence but have not been able to make the company remove your address.

Taylor Robinson, in its terms of use and privacy policy required upon instructor sign-up, outlines how it uses instructor information and availability: “You create your own schedule of availability and, as long as you update us with any changes, we’ll help you fill it.” The site also says, “When your background check and screening is complete, we will publish your profile on our website and list you as available for new students.”

While the terms do not provide much detail, it is reasonable to expect that Taylor Robinson will update an instructor’s information on its website when requested, including removing it.

When we reached out to Taylor himself, he sent us an email he had also sent you in response to your most recent contact with him. In it, he apologized for the inconvenience and offered a few ways he could help make things right.

Taylor asserted that your information had already been removed from the company website. However, our advocate found a page on the Taylor Robinson website still listing your address. When we brought this to his attention, he apologized and promptly removed the address, explaining that the size of the website sometimes made it difficult to find every instance of information.

Taylor also removed your address from the company’s Google My Business page. He noted that the other directories had automatically picked up your address when search engines found the information online. He agreed to email and call the sites you identified as listing your address, and any others you may find as well.

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While there is no guarantee that every directory will remove your information, Taylor has indicated he will make efforts to contact and request removal from every source you identify.

You are pleased that our advocates were able to help, and we expect these actions will help you reclaim your home address as your own again.

  • finance_tony

    So what was the disconnect about the website? Did the OP mail the specific URL where she saw her address? Could have been solved there in about 10 seconds if so.

  • The OP shouldn’t have to track down every page of a website that they don’t own. That’s the responsibility of the owner.

  • AJPeabody

    Didn’t Taylor miss his mail for 2 years?

  • The Original Joe S

    I don’t think your assessment is valid. It took the intercession of the great Elliott to fix it.

  • MF

    Another case where it looks like the power of the Elliott consumer spotlight has caused the ‘cockroaches’ to run for cover. After 2 years of attempts to rectify a problem, one little nudge from Team Elliott solves it.

  • Annie M

    Well this is a new problem. And what a problem it is. Thank goodness you were able to get some help for her.

  • cscasi

    Obviously his email isis just fine and works. The issue was that he had this person listed on his website (and had failed to have it removed upon her request). So, people thought she was still giving lessons. As for his regular mail, there is no mention of that. So, not sure why he would have missed and “mail” for two years.

  • MarkKelling

    “Then the mail began showing up at my house.”

    Sounds like postal mail to me. Maybe it wasn’t Taylor’s person mail, but it must have been at least mail that should have gone to the actual business to be handled however the business chose.

  • BubbaJoe123

    If the info on the TR website had been crawled by business directories, it could easily have ended up in direct marketing databases, which are used to send mailers to businesses.

  • jae1

    “… the size of the website sometimes made it difficult to find every instance of information.” Then the company ought to be using a content management system to keep web site content up to date. There’s no excuse for this bit of sloppiness.

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