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A fairly large business website ignores my request to unsubscribe
Unsubscribe me, is that a lot to ask?

 11:32 am on Mar 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

A fairly large business website sends me email newsletters now to my horror twice a day (although I unsubscribed quite a few times already - I made sure all options are unchecked, I even saw the message "sorry to see you go" in bold). I haven't felt the need of blocking it, but I have recently started reporting it as a spam (that is what it is generally speaking now).

Ignoring people who want to unsubscribe I think is going to make the receipient more furious than the original reason to unsubscribe. Unsubscribe me, is that a lot to ask?



 9:20 pm on Mar 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

It may very well be an automated task that is broken. A professional courtesy letter to "whom-it-may-concern" with a pleasant attitude may go further than you think. Find their contact page and go from there.


 6:58 am on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

coopster, I have dropped them an email.

That was out of a bit of frustration. One would expect them to have a proper testing if it is what you think it is.


 11:14 am on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

The unsubscribe option on the newsletter isn't exactly critical to the day to day operation of the business. If the failure is the unintended consequence of a change thought to be unrelated then nobody will notice until a customer complains.

My other thought is based on my own experience of handling difficult unsubscribe requests. Double check that the newsletter is going to the address that you are unsubscribing and isn't being forwarded from an old address. It could also be that they require confirmation of opt out requests but your spam filter is catching that message.


 2:28 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Some good insight, piatkow.

That was out of a bit of frustration.

I realize that, and relate to it. You aren't the first person that has been down this road, hehe, trust me ;)

One would expect them to have a proper testing if it is what you think it is.

I wouldn't argue with you there but after all, they are indeed human and are going to make mistakes, have shortcomings, etc. etc. Your patience is the key to their response as well as your peace of mind while the issue is resolved.


 11:52 pm on Mar 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

... or have you tried asking a large company to remove your details if you have been a customer? After I moved house I accidentally openend a new online account with a big catalogue business. When I realised the duplication I asked them via their contact page to delete the account with my old address (etc). Response from Customer Service: "I am sorry I do not have access to the information you require, this is because it is stored on a secure server."

Bah! Humbug!



 2:42 am on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Some operations are large enough that they have multiple product markets, niches with markets, departments within niches - that is, once Big Widget has your email, even it doesn't share it with 'selected partners', it may share your email with itself. Your original email may be put on numerous mailing lists within Big Widget - and you've got to unsubscribe from each one. Sometimes I wonder if it is possible to unsubscribe fast enough to get off all of their internal email lists.


 3:19 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have an AOL address I use when buying stuff online. My first complaint is that I always uncheck the boxes that say, "Yes, I'd like to receive e-mail about future offers and specials." Despite unchecking that box every time, most of the e-commerce sites send me e-mail about offers and specials. Then I try to unsubscribe. 90% of the time, that works.

When it doesn't work, I start clicking the "Report Spam" button on AOL mail and it starts going to my spam folder. Knowing how tight AOL is on spam, it's probably going to every other AOL user's spam folder too.


 3:37 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Habtom, it is a frustration and i'm battling one such organisation at the moment.

I bought one item from them and seemed to be added to their e-mailing list, despite opting out (always opt out).

On each e-mail there is an unsubscribe link, which doesn't work - it only allows you to subscribe - lol

I have replied/forwarded several e-mails, each of which went to different departments/individuals in the company, and each message I sent had a caveat that I have been unsuccessful to achieve removal to this point and subsequent e-mails will be sent to each of those addresses until I get removed.

Interestingly, this was a mailing house managing the e-mails, so I would have thought they would have had the correct link to unsubscibe.

It does make me think twice about buying from them again, and if I do I will use a throw-away e-mail address.


 5:19 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I use spamex, and create a new email address for each subscription. If they ignore my unsubscribe request, I don't sweat it - I just shut them off.

Probably 25%+ of unsubscribe don't work.

In case the mods decide to remove the specific reference, spamex is a "disposable email address" provider. It's an inexpensive (I think $10/year) service that I wouldn't be without.

I've seen others suggest creating multiple free email accounts (gmail, yahoo, etc. etc. etc.) but that's awfully inconvenient by comparison.


 5:40 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

The unsubscribe option on the newsletter isn't exactly critical to the day to day operation of the business.

It should be considering the laws in the USA, Canada, Brittan and other countries is very clear on this.

You must give people a way to unsubscribe from mailing lists and it must work.

I would call their attention to it, if they ignore it then report them to all the Spam directories and you can contact the Federal Trade Commission to let them know about the company and tell them they are violating the CAN-SPAM law.


 5:43 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Since I've got a fistful of domains, there is one that exists only for trash use. I can create and delete an endless number of emails.

I can put up 'one shot' pages that have value for their 15 minutes. No need to pay any attention to keeping things neat or orderly. The occasional mass deletion.

The whole domain is disposable. Toxic waste:))


 9:34 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

If the company is in the UK then you could always refer them to the data protection act. As it is a criminal offense for them to use your personal data in a way that you have not given them permission to do. All you need to do is report them to the Data Commissioner.

Here is some info from the information commissioners [ico.gov.uk] site on marketing.

So US or UK companies can be hit hard if they annoy you with unwanted mails. It may well be worth looking into the privacy laws in the country where they are based, if you want to force them to stop.

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