Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Dear Symantec...

Symantec have corrected the problem. Scroll to the bottom, please.

Today I received an email thanking me for my interest in a product for which I have expressed no interest whatsoever. Nevertheless, Symantec, you thoughtfully stepped in, made an assumption that I desperately need and/or want your advice, and sent me your spam offer anyway.

Fine. I know what to do... I search the fine print at the bottom of the email for the required "Unsubscribe" link. Scrubbing my mouse around (since there were no highlighted links) I find a "Communications Preferences" link and correctly surmise that this is where I should go.I am greeted with a page with the headline "Unsubscribe" in which I can type my email address.

Now, most companies have a one-click unsubscribe feature, to minimize the annoyance they visit upon potential customers. I value that, for while I don't want their regular emails, chances are that I've either bought something from them in the past, or will consider them and their polite deference when looking for future products.

Likewise, my dear Symantec, I will remember that you obfuscated your link by calling it something other than Unsubscribe, and further obfuscated it by using style settings that hide links as plain text. And I will remember the page to which you sent me, reproduced here, which forces me to give you permission to send me more spam along with my request to stop the spam.


To which I have just this to say...

Disdainfully yours,

Not a customer.


This morning I received another email, same as the first, with these differences:

The message at the bottom of the email has changed. It no longer obfuscates the unsubscribe link, and the wording has changed to make it clear that this is how you unsubscribe.

The Unsubscribe page no longer states that you have to give them permission to subscribe you in order to unsubscribe.



  1. So if you fill out the unsubscribe page, it subscribes you. Evil.

  2. Wow. Dave finds an issue, rants, and they fix it? Amazing!

    Use your power for good, not evil, Dave...