Too Much Free Time

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
opt-in, opt-out

Time To Do Away With Sleazy Checkbox Opt-Outs

from the give-people-a-little-credit dept

We've all seen the practice of somewhat sleazy "opt-out" offerings on things. You sign up to buy something at an e-commerce site and you have to uncheck a box or you'll get bombarded by promotional emails for the rest of your life. However, Jeremy Wagstaff is pointing out one that's even more questionable. Apparently, on a Lenovo page for journalists, it includes two confusing checkboxes. The first says: "Please use e-mail to send me information about other offerings." The second says: "Please do not use this data to send me information about other offerings." They're checkboxes (not radio buttons), meaning that you can check none, one, the other or both... which raises some interesting questions. What happens if you check none or if you check both?

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  1. icon
    Steve R. (profile), 31 Oct 2007 @ 5:47am

    Software Vendors Do This Too

    After loading some software, I am sometimes presented with a screen where the opt-in box is "conveniently" checked. If I uncheck it I am presented with a dire warning that I will no longer receive "important" update information. This makes it sound that you must obtain the marketing spam in order to receive actual product update information. Even worse,I don't ever recall actually receiving an e-mail informing that a real product upgrade was available. Now, most programs have the ability to detect this automatically.

    Recently I updated my ATI video driver. During the installation process another program requested installation. To me this was a "junk" program so I declined. I was immediately presented with the confusing message that installation was "incomplete".

    Software companies must stop this practice of trying to "sneak" in the installation of "junk" software that the customer does not want. The message that ATI should have had "Your Driver download is complete, do you now want to install XXXXXX?"

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