Not a friendly way to deal with your customers!
This morning I received a blog post notification email. If you have a WordPress blog or have ever followed someone who does, you know what I mean — you can subscribe to receive an email when an update is posted. It’s a great way to keep up with blogs that you might otherwise forget to check on a regular basis.
Only one problem… I had never even visited this blog, let alone signed up for email notifications.
Make that two problems: The blog owner didn’t provide an unsubscribe link in the email. While this isn’t required by the 2003 CAN-SPAM act that regulates all commercial emails in the US, it is modern standard practice, and people expect to be able to hit the “unsubscribe” button and delete the email.
So I replied to the email with a polite note: “Unsubscribe, please. I have never visited your blog and certainly never signed up for your email notifications.”
To which I received a fairly chilly reply that this person doesn’t subscribe individuals and I should go to the main website page to unsubscribe myself.
This is not my responsibility.
Even if were not required as a matter of law, as a matter of courtesy the site owner should apologize and immediately remove the name from the mailing list.
Oh, but then it got worse. I went to this website to find out that it was using an outdated version of WordPress, known for almost two months to be subject to a serious scripting vulnerability. I notified the site owner that the WordPress installation was unpatched and that the site was possibly being used to send out spam. I received a rather ill-tempered response saying the site was not compromised, and again telling me that I needed to go to it and unsubscribe.
Even if I were interested in this site’s products, they’ve lost me as a customer forever. In addition to which, I’ve now written about it (although without naming the company) and several thousand more people now know about this bad customer management practice.
Be courteous not only to your customers, but to those who might be customers as well. It’s only good business!
UPDATE: I have received one additional email from the company’s spokesperson. I signed my last email with my full name, website address, and “webhosting and web design services” to indicate that I knew what I was talking about. The final email accused me of going out to look for other peoples’ problems in order to build up my own business. Definitely some ill temper going on there. And definitely some customer service problems.