Does that ‘Unsubscribe’ Button MEAN Anything?


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Does that 'Unsubscribe' Button MEAN Anything?

I know that I am not unique, but I will say it anyway – I get too much email! And I get it across six different accounts, not even counting the .Mac/.Me/.iCloud stuff as separate. So a few weeks ago when the Black Friday sales email flood started, I decided enough was enough.

I mean, when was the last time I bought something from Circuit City? (answer: when they had stores) I have never bought from Wal-Mart based on their emails. Same for Tiger Direct, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond and many of the other places – some of which I subscribed to win something. Worst of all MTV and Nick, which I am not sure HOW I got signed up for, but it went from sporadic emails to multiple daily emails from each franchise each owns.

So more than two weeks ago I started clicking ‘unsubscribe’ … and in some cases I would get a response like this:

Thank You
Your request has been successfully submitted. Please be aware that it might take up to three
business days for us to completely remove your email address from our database.

To confirm that your email address has been removed successfully, please check your inbox
for an unsubscribe notification email. If, for any reason you do not receive this notification after
24 hours , please contact us via email at [email protected] or by calling Customer
Service at (800) 390-1119.

For further assistance, please send an email to newsletter to [email protected]


Your Email Team

But guess what … this weekend I have STILL gotten FIVE emails from NewEgg. And 12 from the various MTV and Nickelodeon networks.

I keep unsubscribing at least once per day per unwanted email, but at this point it has become almost a game – will these spammers (yes, I am calling them spammers for not promptly removing me from their lists – at this point I don’t distinguish between Re-Fi or MTV or Viagra or Wal-Mart) EVER remove me, or is it just the age-old method spammers use to identify active email addresses? Who knows … hopefully it is just a matter of the busy-ness of the time of year and I will soon be removed.

The reason this bothers me is that we have already seen that the ‘do not call’ list doesn’t work, as the FTC has declared ‘Rachel from Cardholder Services’ as enemy #1 because the call goes to just about everyone regardless of listed/unlisted status and regardless of ‘do not call list’ status.

Similarly, we are told of the ability to ‘opt out’ of certain bulk mail things, yet unwanted junk catalogs arrive at our door every day this time of year from the same people we told to remove us from the list! Heck, my wife started getting ‘Baby’ magazine unsolicited a few months back, and despite calling to cancel it still arrives! And now we have email unsubscribes that are unresponsive.

Have you tried dumping emails from otherwise reputable businesses? What have you experienced?

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About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!

2 Comments on "Does that ‘Unsubscribe’ Button MEAN Anything?"

  1. Sometimes it works, but more often I get the feeling that you give a confirmation that the email account is alive so they send more spam.
    I stopped unsubscribing a long time ago.

  2. I keep trying to unsubscribe, but my experience matches yours. I remain grateful for GMail’s effective spam filter.

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