While in the thrall of the Holiday Spirit, one of our staff members went out on a limb and joined the Sears Craftsman Club. “How bad could it be?” he thought. “Surely Sears wouldn’t abuse my trust in giving them my email address. If there’s a problem, I’ll just unsubscribe and it’ll be over.”
Five unsubscribe requests later he’s still getting unwanted email from Sears.
The first message was “Welcome to Craftsman Club. Start Saving Today!“. This one contained a member ID and an explanation that a membership card would be arriving in the mail soon. Okay.
The next message was “Welcome to Craftsman Club Rewards. Start Earning Today!“. This one explained how the program works. So far so good.
After that, no messages for over ten days. Hey this might not be so bad!
Then they started pushing the envelope:
January 1: Panasonic 50″ HDTV Just $699.99. 12 Months No Payments
January 3: Tonight Only | Extra 10-15% Off Some of Your Favorite Things
January 4: Don’t Miss Special Kenmore Offers Inside!
Okay, he gave them the benefit of the doubt and deleted the first few messages but this was turning out to be a bit too much.
Time to unsubscribe.
The unsubscribe page begs you to stay. No surprise there.
First they offer some alternative frequencies. 4-6 emails a month? Once a week? Will you stay if we promise to annoy you less?
And if you still want to leave: Please tell us why?
No option for “I’m not interested in improving your spam effort.” Oh well, click the unsubscribe button, problem solved.
Then again, maybe not.
January 6: Deals & Steals: 50% Off Shoes & Boots
January 7: Thank You for Your Craftsman Club Rewards Purchase
Okay, that’s relevant. A bit late but still relevant.
January 8: Your Turn Now: $300 Off NordicTrack, Just $799
January 9: Don’t Miss Out! V.I.P. Savings is One Night Only!
January 10: Happy New You: 15% Off All Kenmore Appliances
And once more.
Maybe they think unsubscribe means “Send me more email.”
So far it looks like Sears is totally ignoring unsubscribe requests and treating the customer like a tool.
Of course Sears could honor the letter of the law (while completely ignoring the spirit) by maintaining several lists and forcing users to unsubscribe from one list at a time. However, if this was the case, we’d expect two things:
- The messages should come from different addresses. Nope. These are all from firstname.lastname@example.org except for the Craftsman Club messages which are from email@example.com. (On the plus side, if they keep it up it’ll be easy to make a rule to block them.)
- There should be a “global” unsubscribe option that would allow us to unsubscribe from all of their lists. No such luck. The unsubscribe screen is the same as the one above every time and there’s no “Unsubscribe from all Sears marketing lists” option.
Oh and there’s this fine print – “Please note: You may continue to receive Promotional email communications from other Sears Holdings Management Corporation affiliated brands unless and until you have unsubscribed from receiving Promotional email messages from the individual brand; and when you place an order at Sears and provide your email address as a method of contact, you will still receive email notification of your order status.”
And one final clue: Clicking on the unsubscribe link in messages that have already been unsubscribed still gets you the unsubscribe page. In a well managed email marketing campaign the unsubscribe page should know if the address has already been removed. This one doesn’t.
So, we’re left with the conclusion that Sears has no regard for your preferences where
spam email marketing is concerned. If this keeps up, we’ll post more on the subject. In the mean time, don’t give Sears your email address unless you really enjoy being abused.
UPDATE: Apparently five unsubscribe requests was enough. Two weeks later, there have been no new emails from firstname.lastname@example.org.
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