The new most convoluted unsubscribe process


We have a new winner in the unsubscribe stakes. Prepare your iTelephone LED torches and join me in this dark, meandering tunnel of redundancy and glory.

I clicked the unsubscribe link in the footer of a well known password manager email and got this:

Tell us what you want to hear about! Update your $SERVICE communication preferences by visiting your Account’s Email Notification Settings.

This is a pet peeve of mine; you shouldn’t need to log into an account to unsubscribe from newsletters. But they also offer this helpful box:

If you want to unsubscribe from all $SERVICE email notifications, please enter your email below.

By now we’re at strike one. Clicking an email unsubscribe link should be sufficient to register your intent. You should not need to confirm your email address, or worse, be asked to enter it. But it gets better:

We have sent ‘$EMAIL’ an email to authorize your unsubscribe request. Please check your email to confirm your unsubscription request.

Getting email to get rid of email? What kind of bizarre, tospy turvy world are we living in? I swear that smoke I got a whiff of was tobacco as I walked into this cafe, nothing more trippy or fabulous. Though I did trip physically on the uneven pavement.

But we’re not done yet! Click that third unsubscribe link, and you get this:

Sorry to have bothered you. To never receive any further unsolicited informational or marketing emails from $SERVICE, please click UNSUBSCRIBE.

You know we must be reaching the end based on ALL THOSE CAPITALS! And hold on, didn’t first page above say this was for all email? I didn’t add the emphasis in these, they’re explicitly calling these out themselves. Fortunately, clicking unsubscribe again gets us this:

Thank you $EMAIL. You have unsubscribed from all emails from $SERVICE.

That’s a relief. And all it took was clicking unsubscribe four times, in four different places. I guess this means they’re now super duper definitely sure I don’t want their email!

Author bio and support


Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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