I've started to notice that the amount of "newsletters" that appear in my email account has increased somewhat over the past few months - mainly because, when I visit a website, I feel obliged to sign up to their newsletter, especially if I've read something interesting on the website or they've I'm promised a "special offer".
The problem is that once I've digested that piece of information or bagged myself a bargain, I forget that I subscribed to their newsletter until they drop into my inbox full of their useless information. This is not "junk mail" though because, at some point, I chose to receive these emails.
So, tonight I made it my mission to unsubscribe from a few of these mailing lists. However, these websites must love me because they really don't want me to leave...
I scroll down the "newsletter", past all the flashing images inviting me to enter their monthly competition, past the 'latest information', right down to the bottom where there is a link that says "Unsubscribe". It's easy to miss because it is in a font size so small that it is not available on a Word document. I click the link and think "wow, that was easy". Not so!
I am directed to the website I want to forget and a single sentence flashes up on the screen: "Are you sure you want to unsubscribe from this website?" Yes, I'm sure. You know I'm sure. That's why you have created this page. It's especially for people who don't want to receive your newsletter any more. I click the button - surely that's it? Oh no, another page. This time I am confronted with the question "Why do you want to unsubscribe from our newsletter". It's starting to feel a little like the Spanish Inquisition and I'm waiting for someone to shine a light in my eyes. Will they come round and kneecap me if I don't follow their instructions?
I pick an option, any option, from the drop down list ("Irrelevant Content", "Too Frequent", "Privacy Concerns") and another question appears - "Are you sure?" YES YES YES I'M BLOODY POSITIVE!!! JUST LET ME GO!!! I click "Yes" and breathe a sigh of relief - I've unsubscribed. HOORAY!!
But that's not quite it.
The "ping" signalling a new email rings out from my laptop. I click the envelope icon and navigate to my inbox. AARRGGHHH, another email from them has landed with the guilt ridden "We are sorry to lose you. If you have been unsubscribed in error you can always subscribe again by clicking this link..."
One down, twelve to go. I may be some time!