Opting Out Is Hard To Do

from the just-try dept

While we all know not to “opt-out” of spam is likely to guarantee you more spam, what about opting out of the more “legitimate” spam messages you get from well-known companies? PCWorld has a story about the efforts needed to opt-out of an email list from Sony: multiple clicking of the “opt-out” link didn’t do the trick, nor did a series of phone calls and emails over the course of four weeks. Each seemed to only lead to directions to call a different number – none of which did anything to help the guy opt-out. This is, of course, illegal under CAN SPAM, but it’s not like anyone actually pays attention to that law anyway. In fact, other studies have shown the same thing. Even with Fortune 500 companies, the opt-out link often does nothing. I’ve seen this personally in my own email, and found that phone calls are the only way to get off some lists. Following the Sony example, the writer of the article set up a test email account and subscribed to a bunch of lists – only to discover that many do not follow opt-out requests. Of course, when asked, all claim technical difficulties. Sony, however, claims that the reason he wasn’t opted out was because he didn’t follow all of the instructions after clicking the opt out link. Those instructions include filling in a form with the email address, clicking submit, and then filling out a five question survey about why he was opting out and hitting submit again. Isn’t it nice that companies that don’t even believe in double opt-in, seem to have no problem with triple opt-out?

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