It seems that every means of legitimate direct marketing has a way for consumers to opt-out. There is the do-not-call list for telemarketing. There are rules requiring e-mailers and direct mail marketing to remove you from their lists if requested. Online advertising has the About Ads program.
Newsday has a weekly circular called “This Week’s PennySaver” that they have been delivering to my house every Saturday. They might call it marketing. I call it trash. I looked through it today, and there wasn’t any obvious way to opt-out so I tweeted the following:
Hey @newsday, how do I opt out of your weekly trash delivery service? Didn’t ask for it, don’t want it.
Surprisingly, they responded pretty quickly with:
@kreilly Here’s contact info for the delivery services: bit.ly/mZz7it Or call: call 1-800-NEWSDAY (1-800-639-7329)
To be honest, at first I thought it was a pretty nice use of Twitter for customer service. But, unhelpfully, no one is manning the phone number on Saturdays and the link doesn’t give me any obvious way to opt-out on the web. Now I wonder if the tweet was an automated response based on my use of the word “delivery.”
Chances are good that I’ll forget to call again this week and wind up annoyed again next Saturday. There’s a pretty good chance that I’ll be receiving this for a long time to come. No opt-out. Bad job.