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unsubscribe - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
unsubscribe
On unsubscribing from some newsletter or other:
'This is the last email you will receive from us. We have added you to our "blacklist", which means that our newsletter system will refuse to send you any other email, without manual intervention by our administrator.'
Er, blacklist? Can't they just take me off the mailing list? Am I missing something, or are they talking rubbish?

I am unsubscribing from a lot of newsletters and things at the moment, having realised that all I do is either a) delete them unread with a faint sense of guilt; b) keep them for ages meaning to read them, before deleting them with a slightly less faint sense of guilt; c) read them and keep them for ages meaning to act on them, before deleting them with a fairly tangible sense of guilt; or d) read them, get angry, and keep them for ages meaning to reply/argue/complain, before eventually deleting them with a sense of guilt mixed with frustration and anger. None of which is doing anybody any good.

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Comments
simont From: simont Date: January 21st, 2010 09:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps they'd had persistent trouble with accidentally resubscribing people due to restoring from backups, so they introduced a parallel system to make sure that when somebody got themselves unsubscribed they stayed unsubscribed even in the event of arse-elbow confusion?

Alternatively, perhaps it's an arse-covering exercise. (Er, to make it easy to find their elbow, presumably.) Is it the sort of newsletter to which people might have been nonconsensually subscribed in large numbers and consider as spam? One could easily imagine that somebody complaining about being spammed, as opposed to withdrawing a previously voluntarily given subscription, might want some sort of credible-sounding reassurance that they really weren't going to get any more unwanted mail.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 21st, 2010 10:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Is it the sort of newsletter to which people might have been nonconsensually subscribed in large numbers and consider as spam?

It's a London music venue's "what's on" mailout, and I think I deliberately signed up for it (it would've been a plausible thing to do when I was going to more gigs in London), though that doesn't mean that they didn't also subscribe people nonconsensually... But why attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by a general arse/elbow confusion? :)
simont From: simont Date: January 21st, 2010 10:53 am (UTC) (Link)
*nods* I didn't really mean to suggest that they might have maliciously subscribed people nonconsensually. I get a lot of mail suggesting I've been randomly subscribed to newsletters which I've never heard of, and while some of them undoubtedly are deliberate spam, my feeling is that a lot of them are probably accidental subscriptions resulting from somebody totally other having forged spam in my name to their subscribe addresses and, well, arse/elbow confusion having occurred at the verification step.
redbird From: redbird Date: January 21st, 2010 12:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
And I get a few because I have a vanity domain, and people sign up for mailings under $randomname@redbird.org (it's configured so mail to $random@redbird.org goes into a box labeled "not here", from which I pick out a few things I do want, reply to the once-in-a-blue-moon stuff that gets "Dear user, I think you meant to write to $random@redbird.NET, signed postmaster", and delete the rest). There's much less of that than of actual spam, though it's hard to be sure whether the crap that "Rob" is getting there from classmates.com is spam or legitimate error.
cartesiandaemon From: cartesiandaemon Date: January 21st, 2010 10:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Blacklist is a rather unfortunate term. I've seen situations where both "purge the email address from every single computer to avoid accidentally using it again" and "add it to a 'no' list so it can't accidentally get added again" would have been the correct option :)

vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: January 21st, 2010 10:29 am (UTC) (Link)
It means they don't handle rejection well and every time they shuffle about in black staring at their shoes in some sweaty basement your subscription address will float up in their collective mind and they will hatehatehate you and be glad they blacklisted you, by Cthulu.
nja From: nja Date: January 21st, 2010 01:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Why do you want to leave us? Why??? WHYYYYY???? (sob). I HATE you! I'm GLAD you're leaving!!!111!!1!!
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: January 21st, 2010 01:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
;-> Great minds think alike. OMG I 1der if that m3ans sth?!
d_floorlandmine From: d_floorlandmine Date: January 21st, 2010 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Being the database officer at a charity, we have a nice little checkbox on the database to indicate people who don't want emails. (There's a similar, only marginally more complex, way to indicate people who don't want post.)

I suspect that's what they've done, but they're just using the wrong terminology for it. They might be goths, or just NME readers who heard the word and thought it sounded cool.
nja From: nja Date: January 21st, 2010 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had one a while ago, a supplier I think where I may have not ticked a box on a web form, where they wanted to know my job and several other details in order to unsubscribe me. A curt response that they had my email address and that was all they needed seems to have done the trick.
truecatachresis From: truecatachresis Date: January 21st, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poorly worded, but it's to do with regulations. You have to have a proper unsubscribe option which means people can't be added back on to the list (through incompetence or malice). Hence, a separate list of addresses not to be used must be maintained, and I can see how this ends up getting called a blacklist.

(Fortunately, I don't deal with our marketing mailing lists myself, so I don't know all the details of the relevant regulations, only that this requirement causes a number of systems set up for this kind of thing to default to this behaviour. My colleague who shares my office could tell me more if bothered him.)
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