Friday, February 12, 2010

Hardest Unsubscribe Evers - What are yours?

The CAN SPAM law has helped but there are emailing lists that it is hard to get off.  What's your worst experience in trying to unsubscribe?  I had two this morning. I'm tired of getting so much email that I don't read so I'm trying to get off lists.

Here's one from Home School Enrichment, Inc. When you click unsubscribe, you get to a screen that requires you to fill in a captcha and enter your email address. Seems like a lot.  But then, you still have to click on another email that they say that they'll send you to get off the list.  Of course, I clicked on it twenty minutes ago and so far, no unsubscribe email has arrived (surprised?).  Probably, they make sure that their marketing emails are not labelled as SPAM and filtered out. Is it too cynical of me to wonder if they make the same effort for their unsubscribe confirmations? Of course, to be clear, I think the idea of adding an email to confirm your unsubscribe on top of the two manual steps of correctly typing in your email and filling in a captcha (type these hard-to-read letters into that box correctly) is an aggressive antisocial way to maintain their mailing list designed to make it difficult to get off their lists.  Is that compliant with the Can-SPAM?
PS - I just rechecked my email and their email confirmation did arrive. I clicked on it and got a pleasant: "Sorry to see you go" message. I still think that last step is one step too many but it did appear to work.

The Lowe's Hardward store list unsubscribe button generates an email back to them automatically to unsubscribe.  Nice concept but not if you are me trying to get off their lists.  Here's the gotyas. 
- Unless you are  in the email system that has the email on the list, it won't work (to explain, I forward my home email to my work email so since I was in my work email system, they'll get an unsubscribe email from an address that they don't recognize so I won't be unsubscribed)
-  Unless you are on a system in which they can call up Outlook, it won't  unsubscribe. This is where it gets funny. My home email system is a web email and when I hit the link, it tries to open a mail handler on my system (Outlook Express) which I have never connected.  And of course, while my office has Outlook, it's got a different "return-to" email address. So as far as I know, there's no way for me to get off their mailing list. 


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