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Global opt outs don’t work

Posted on: Thursday 24th of June 2010

It’s our job here at Ctrl-Shift HQ to track what marketing and customer service departments are up to but sometimes that does cross over into our personal lives. So this brief post (well rant) is a result of stuff I’ve been sent at home that really does highlight the major challenges that industry faces in getting “opt-in” sorted – or they will be faced with a major trust problem.

First up, a leading telecoms supplier sent me an offer for a broadband and call offer. Apart from the fact that the small print was in light grey (and close to hard to read), the email clearly had no idea that I already had a call package.  The real cause of my angst was that I was certain that I had elected on my online account not to get emails – and sure enough, that is the setting. So I hit the unsubscribe button on the email.

Second, a leading mobile supplier told me about its new VIP programme.

As you’re already registered for My Account, you’re automatically signed up for xxxxx VIP. So all you need to do is login by clicking the link below, and tell us what you’re into. It’s going to be a really hot summer.

In this case, you can’t “global” unsubscribe – you have to subscribe to get online billing. And since this is my son’s cheap and cheerful phone, i really don’t think he’s a VIP. So I’ve now unsubscribed from “email marketing” (the message I got when I hit unsub in the email).

So now neither company can “talk” to me (rather blast me with their broadcasts). Their loss – and probably, in the long run, my loss too.

Wouldn’t it be better if both companies had actually given me the option – in “my account” – of getting a variety of different newsletters. I would quite like to know about upgrades and offers but not if it means getting loads of junk.