Clarity Blog

Clarity Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Unsubscribe’

Unsubscribe Fail

A company called Grass Valley appeared suddenly in my email in-box a while back, uninvited – and increasingly unwelcome over time.

Grass Valley apparently does something or other for videographers. What exactly I don’t know and don’t care since it’s not my business and I never asked for their emails.  So today, after receiving a few of their e-blasts, I scrolled to the bottom and looked for “unsubscribe.”  I was given two options, writing to them (!), or “click here.”  Would anyone ever write a company (44 cents plus stationery and time) to unsubscribe from their unsolicited emails?  I don’t think so.  so I clicked the link.

That took me to a page where I had to confirm that my email address was in fact my email address.  If I’m clicking from an email in my in-box, why do I have to confirm this?  But to unsubscribe, I had to press on, so I did.

That took me to a screen that said an email was being sent to me to verify my email address.  Is my subscription so urgently needed by Grass Valley that they have to ask me to go through this step?  I don’t think so.  But as I became increasing sick of these guys – and curious about how bad their unsubscribe process would become – I pressed on yet again and opened the email.

It included a link to click to – gulp! – update my profile.  I hate that.  I want to unsubscribe, not update anything.  But like Byrd pursuing the South Pole, I pressed on and clicked.

That took me to a three step process. The first asked me to verify my subscription information.  I skipped it – I’m not verifying anything to these guys. I just want out!

Step two was user preference, giving me the opportunity to subscribe to four different communications from them (they’d thoughtfully already subscribed me to three of the four) plus lots of other stuff.  I tried on my iPhone to unclick the three they’d subscribed me to, but no dice. So I went on to step three, finish, but they had other ideas about that.

When I tried to open the “finish” window via Safari on my iPhone it wouldn’t open it, demanding instead that I go back to step one, verification, and provide my office phone number.  Fat chance!  I gave up at that point, frustrated and angry.  Later, at the office on my desktop, then went through the entire process again. This time it offered to let me unsubscribe, which I did, by unchecking a box next to some copy about accepting their terms and conditions and promising them my first born if I ever did anything to violate said terms and conditions.

Ten minutes of my life had just been wasted by people I never invited to communicate with me, who had nothing to say that interested me and nothing to sell that I would ever buy.  If I ever do go into videography, I can unequivocally promise you that the one company I won’t buy from is Grass Valley.

So here’s the point:  When someone wants to unsubscribe from your mailing list, let them do it easily, with no more than one click.  If you want to open a window after they’ve unsubscribed giving them the option to tell you why in order for you to improve your service, that’s fine.  But if you require anything more than a single click, you are coming off as an obnoxiously unrelenting sales person, not someone who cares about customers and prospects.