There’s little more frustrating as a customer than hearing stupid reasons as to why something can’t be done.
For instance, I tweeted with some humour this morning:
Ahah. After multiple unsubscribe attempts, my mail client is automatically classifying @sitepointdotcom emails as spam. #sweetjustice
I was amused and pleased at such developments. While I’ve purchased Sitepoint books in the past – both electronic and physical – I’ve paid the price in a seemingly never ending stream of “special offer” emails. Around December last year this picked up when they ran a special a day leading up to xmas, and it was at that point that I attempted my first unsubscribe.
Then in January I did another unsubscribe.
Then in March or so I did another unsubscribe.
In July, fed up with unsubscribes that never got anywhere, I replied to yet another “special offer” with the following:
Hi Sitepoint folks,
While I appreciate your continued messages, I have in the past filled out “unsubscribe” forms, particularly after the large volume of emails sent out either earlier this year or late last year when you were doing a special every day.
Perhaps you could double check and remove me from your email lists?
When I tweeted about it, I was of course targeting Sitepoint’s attention, because while they were now being classified as my email system as spam, it was a general annoyance that it had reached this point – as far as I’m concerned, it’s bad corporate manners to keep on emailing customers who ask repeatedly to be removed. A bit like Dell and their seemingly miraculous ability to provide three methods of unsubscribing on every physical mail-out and not every honouring any of them.
So, Sitepoint’s twitter account responded with:
@backupbear I could have sorted that for you painlessly if you tweeted. 😉 ^hawk
To which I replied:
@sitepointdotcom I’d have thought unsubscribe requests would have been sufficient.
And very shortly thereafter, I got the “we’re too inept to use electronic systems” response:
@backupbear We have several lists. Newsletters, sales, courses etc. All are separate so it gets messy. Legacy issues. 🙁 ^hawk
Here’s the rub: I don’t want to hear about your legacy systems, or why you’re having problems unsubscribing me. I really don’t care. In fact, I don’t give a damn. It’s about as interesting to me as watching paint dry, or a fly race. Why? Because it’s a simple process, even if your systems don’t allow automation: if a customer sends an unsubscribe request, then someone should step through the “legacy” systems and manually unsubscribe them.
And here’s where it gets really simple, especially for Australian based companies like Sitepoint: under the SPAM Act (2003), it becomes classified as spam, and potentially subject to fines if you continue to send unsolicited emails to people after they’ve requested they be removed from your system.
Don’t give me a rubbish answer about legacy systems. Fix your process (or develop one!) and stop breaking the SPAM act.