Quote of the Day - Like almost everyone who uses e-mail, I receive a ton of spam every day. Much of it offers to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It would be funny if it weren't so exciting.
Rarely do you see posts on MIPTC critical of electronic technology, but today's an exception. You, like me, may regularly receive what some consider to be spam emails from National Constitution Center Conferences. The company, located in Malvern, Pennsylvania, puts on a host of audio conferences on various legal topics. Every day, I receive anywhere between two to five emails from the company. Here's an example.
In a telephone conference this morning with one of the company's supervisors, Mike Brown, he claimed that the company's multitude of emails comply with the Can-Spam Act because they contain the company's address and telephone number, along with an Opt-out option. While that may be technically true, the Opt-out screen is deceptively designed, in my opinion.
When you click on the Opt-out button in the email, you're redirected to the company's Opt-out screen, and because you're already frustrated with being pummeled with numerous emails from the company, you quickly spot the Opt-out button and click. Good, you think: you're done.
Not so fast. If you take the time to read the script on the page next to the Opt-out button, you see that clicking on that button works only to remove your email address from further emails for that particular audio conference. Each of the two to five emails I received are for different conferences.
So, I get on the telephone and fairly quickly get routed to a supervisor, in my case Mr. Brown, who very politely asks me to scroll down on the Opt-out page all the way to the bottom, below the fold. Lo and behold, there's another Opt-out button, promising to remove your email address from all further emails. Except, however, as Mr. Brown informs me, that request to the company is updated every weekend, so I can expect to receive another twenty or so emails from NCCC.
After informing Mr. Brown of my opinion that the second, below-the-fold Opt-out button is deceptively placed, he agreed to immediately remove my email address from his company's system. He did not, though, take me up on my advice to redesign the page to put both Opt-out buttons together and prominently display the difference between the two. If you're not paying close enough attention, you may continue to receive emails like I did. There are consequences to tactics like this one.
Like me, you may also choose to vote with your feet and not enroll in any of the company's legal audio conferences.
3/23/06 Update: Two emails received today. Apparently, Mr. Brown has not removed my email address from the company's system.