I would like to guide you through the process to unsubscribe from an email newsletter list, from two separate companies. One of which is open and honest in it’s tactics, and one which is dishonest and aims to have a “gotcha” moment to prevent you from easily unsubscribing. Let’s look at Spirit Airlines, and BP, British Petroleum.
Let’s start with Spirit Airlines, as they have a ethical, open, and honest approach towards unsubscribing from their newsletter.
From the get-go, you can clearly see the big red unsubscribe button. Yes, it matches the red of the other clickable items. But it is bolder, and in larger font. Plus it is in the near universal area to put an unsubscribe option. Let’s click it.
That was easy. To unsubscribe, it took two clicks. Once in the e-mail, once on a web-page begging us to stay.
Let’s check out BP’s methods in unsubscribing from their Driver Rewards program.
Kind of hard to see, huh? But it’s still at the bottom, despite being in comparably ‘fine print’. Onwards to the process!
Beautiful. Looks like it will be an easy process. Based on the language and design of this page, we can insinuate after we press the button we will be unsubscribed from BP Rewards emails.
Cool. We see this page ,and the fine print letting us know how to resubscribe – – Wait. Pressing the button HASN’T unsubscribed us. The page design follows the traditional ‘you’re out!’ scheme, and comes after pressing a button that implies we will unsubscribe. This is incredibly dishonest!
But I’m sick and tired of receiving BP spam. Let’s go down the rabbit hole.
I’m bombarded with visual stimuli. I click “Don’t Allow”. The prompt quick comes back, asking to use my current location again. “Don’t Allow”. It keeps asking me. I am then forced to remember my decision for the day that I would not like BP knowing my location. I already know where my local BP station is – I had to sign up in it, for hell’s sake!
I find the log-in area after a second of searching. Again, it is smaller, and in lower contrast to throw us off our trail. The bright colorful map aims to get us to learn more about BP Rewards.
I am prompted to log-in. I don’t recall ever making an account. There is no “Reset password” functionality, so I am forced to spend time entering whatever password I used for this junk site.
I go where I was previously instructed to go, and lo and behold, the thing they told me to uncheck is…
Already unchecked? Am I already unsubscribed? Or am I just screwing up the whole process? I followed the instructions to a tee. It took 10 mouse clicks, not to mention the keyboard strokes trying to come up with my password and username.
I DON’T EVEN KNOW IF I SUCCESSFULLY UNSUBSCRIBED.
This is a series of underhanded techniques to try and force me to view BP’s website and rewards program after I had already openly made clear my desire to end my relationship with this program, or at least their emails. It is akin to Comcast grilling you for 15 minutes on the phone when you try and unsubscribe from their services – over an email newsletter.
Simply painful. Aside from the 200,000,000 gallons of crude oil you’ve spilled in the gulf, this attempt at misdirection has made me distrustful of your company yet again.