Why I get so pissy about mailing list spam…

If you follow me on Twitter, you can probably note that roughly 1 in every 5 tweets are me complaining about a company not removing me from their mailing list. It’s a very common complaint of mine, and I think the reason that it rubs me the wrong way so much is two factors:

  1. It’s in really poor taste to sign someone up for something that they didn’t ask for.
  2. Technically speaking, mailing lists should be very easy to manage with almost instantaneous unsubscribe options.

So when someone like Sears or Williams-Sonoma comes along and offers to e-mail me my receipt, and I specifically ask if they’re going to use it for marketing and they say no, it really steams me when they turn around and do exactly the opposite of what they told me that they wouldn’t. My second point is simply icing on the pissed off cake because realistically, an unsubscription request is just a simple database update, and yet they have the nerve to offer a pop-up citing “It could take up to 3 weeks to remove your e-mail address from our database.”

I think 3 weeks is the worst that I’ve ever seen and that was from Williams-Sonoma, who I still manage to get marketing crap from on a regular basis. I’m debating whether I want to try and contact them in fear of starting another Sears incident because believe it or not, I don’t want to be that guy who just bitches at customer service at every little thing, but I’m also an Internet guy who takes these kinds of things seriously and I know that anytime I’ve been accused of sending out unsolicited e-mail, I’ve jumped through hoops to resolve it as quickly as possible because I always felt like a gigantic douche when it came up!

I guess that’s really the crux of it all, even aside from my two points above. Make a mistake or a poor business decision here or there, fine, but giving a shit about it when your customer actually raises a complaint is really the tipping point for me when we’re deciding whether you’re an asshole apathetic spammer or not…

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