While this was originally intended to be a 'venting' post at one time, I found that now that I'm not in the middle of it, and it's a done deal, I don't feel like writing about it in the heat of the moment like I did then. So, I'm getting another cup of hot, strong, fresh, black coffee and I'll chat about this topic for a bit over morning coffee.
It's about how I tried (and tried and tried) to get OFF the email list of a very large, well known company for six months before I finally had to resort to threats of suing them and quoted the law to them.
Normally it's not a big deal to unsubscribe from an email list of a well known, large company in the USA. The large retailers follow the law and it's pretty easy and standard to unsubscribe, get the 'sorry to see you' message and within 3 business days are you off the list.
I didn't mind getting emails from this company at first, but we have zero need for any of the products now, nor have we ordered from them in about 4 years... and their emails were getting tiresome and too numerous! They sent at LEAST one email every single morning without fail but usually at least one or two more a day on top of it. I tried to ignore them, just hitting 'delete' each morning but I was getting sick of 2-3 emails a day so I finally decided to unsubscribe.
I started to unsubscribe through the links they provide, in 2015. It was the last week of November or first week of December and they were probably trying to flood the email boxes of their customers for Black Friday and Christmas but I was bothered by the over-sending by their marketing team and finally decided to unsubscribe.
|Easy to unsubscribe from well known, legit retailers emails in the USA|
I know this company is there. I've ordered from them a couple times in the past and IF I WANTED TO ORDER SOMETHING, I knew where to find them. Plus, I am on their mailing list and get their mail catalogs too!
Got the "You have successfully unsubscribed message.
|Typical unsubscribe 'success' confirmation & suggestion it might take 3 days to completely be removed from marketing emails|
But they didn't stop.
After about a week I unsubscribed again.
Sometimes I filled out the check boxes to say why.
Other times I typed a THIS IS MY 6th ATTEMPT TO UNSUBSCRIBE, PLEASE TAKE ME OFF YOUR LIST into the comment box.
No matter what I did or how many times I tried, they would not stop sending emails.
|Unsubscribed 'success' too many times to count... but the emails NEVER stopped.|
Yes, I could have just called them spam and started to block them from being SEEN by me. But that wasn't the point! I did not want to be on their list. I wanted them to stop SENDING them.
I started to wonder if the marketing director did this on purpose in order to look good.
Getting hundreds or thousands of new email subscribers and not LOSING any would make his or her numbers look GREAT leading to some kick-butt bonuses, salary increases and promotions. Their monthly reports would look stellar.
All because they didn't actually honor the 'UNSUBSCRIBE' requests of their email customers.
Finally, in the Spring of 2016 I started to make it daily habit to "UNSUBSCRIBE" every morning while I sipped my coffee. First task of the day. Unsubscribe.
Through March and the beginning of April I still could not get the email marketing to stop.
I also decided to start taking a screen-shot of my requests and making sure I had images of my attempts to get them to simply remove me from their marketing emails.
I didn't want to call the company on the phone... that doesn't help all the other people trying to unsubscribe through the email link - this was about trying to get the company do what they LEGALLY WERE REQUIRED TO DO.
You see, there is a law about unsolicited emails and opting out.
Penalties: Violators can be assessed up to $16,000 per contested email. Senders also can be fined $250 for every email they send after the subscriber opts out and $750 per email if a plaintiff can prove the company "willfully" ignores the opt-out request.
Mid April I started to note this in the comment box. NOW would finally start to honor my request?
I would not only take a screen shot, but I would time stamp and date them in my files.
It became a quest. I had a file specifically for these screen shots.
Finally I wrote a lengthy comment in the unsubscribe box.
I quoted the LAW to them. Quoted the $16,000 per contested email plus the hundreds of other dollars I was owed for each and every ignored request should I decide to sue to them. I also sent an email to their customer service link explaining how I had been trying to unsubscribe for almost 6 months and again, mentioning the screen shots I've taken and date/time stamped of my requests.
NO I had no intention of suing. Ever. I am not that kind of a person. But I do believe in honesty, work ethic and justice. I absolutely wouldn't ever sue or something as silly as emails... but someone else WOULD. And they needed to realize ignoring the customer's requests could harm them and the company with big fines should someone sue.
Well, my email to customer service finally got someone's attention.
The emails finally stopped.
It's just ridiculous it took almost 6 months, numerous requests, screen shot images and quoting the law to them to get them to stop.
For the record I will probably order from them again at some point the future... but I may do it over the phone with the catalog number in front of me (as if I'm an 87 year old woman who doesn't use the internet) because Lord knows I do not want to go through this hassle AGAIN by placing an order if means another 6 months of trying to get OFF their marketing list! Ha ha.
Anyway... eh. It's done now. And well, it's just the coffee talking again.