Friday, September 05, 2008

I Can’t Deny My Support for McCain (at least not to get off their mailing list)

Earlier this year I tried to do a cute story for Candy Blog on the presidential candidates’ favorite candies. I contacted all the candidates (via email for the most part) through their press contacts and requested the information. Yes, I approached them not as a supporter but as a person doing a story.

In some instances I got a reply. In other instances I was subscribed to email newsletters as if I was interested in voting for them or donating money. The worst was the Obama campaign, which not only had trouble getting me off their email lists, they also started calling me. (I gave them my cell number, because, well, I was contacting their press office and thought that my question was legitimate - not something they’d just filter into their fundraising queue.)

The oddest part was last night, however, when I got an email from John McCain that said that he accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president. (And asked me to donate ... maybe some other stuff, I didn’t read it, I just skipped to the bottom to unsubscribe.)

I clicked the unsubscribe link and was taken to this page.

  • I am a McCain Supporter but don’t wish to be contacted until closer to the election.
  • I am a McCain Supporter but I am receiving too many emails. Please only send me newsletters and urgent alerts.
  • I am a McCain Supporter but do not wish to receive email any longer.
  • I am no longer a McCain Supporter and want to be taken off the email list.
  • Two of those aren’t even unsubscribe options, they’re “less subscribe” options.

    Anyway, as I was never a McCain Supporter (and never opted into their email system) I didn’t pick from the list, merely stated in the optional comments box that I never subscribed to this list and hit unsubscribe.

    The form bounced back with a red error message: Reason Required (go ahead and make jokes about politics and how reason is even present in much of the presidential race).

    How can I tell the man who might be president a lie just to get off of an email list? I am not and have never been a McCain Supporter ... how can I select a reason from their list that’s accurate? I want to unsubscribe because I’m not a McCain supporter. Not only that, I never subscribed and I don’t have to give a reason for requesting to be removed.

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:50 am     Curious News

    Comments
    1. Maybe there was some super-secret hidden in fine print notice somewhere on some obscure web page opt-in announcement that, by contacting them and furnishing them with your e-mail address, you agreed to something or other (including being a supporter!).

      Like, “by contacting this org, I agree…”

      The good news is, with only two candidates left, I’d be surprised if the rest were bothering anyone any more!

      Comment by Russ on 9/05/08 at 12:44 pm

       

    2. If I were you, I would choose option four.  Then, in the Comments box, write something like, “OMG MCSAME IS THE DEVIL I NEVER SUPPORTED HIM HE’S CRAZY!!!!!!”.  You can change the wording if you want, but definitely go with the all-caps.  That way you make sure they hear you!

      Comment by Jon on 9/05/08 at 2:28 pm

       

    3. I like option 4 as well, unless I was feeling devilish and wanted to screw with his statistics. The “honest” thing about 4 is that I could justify it by noting back in 2000 I conceivably supported McCain for an instant, at least over Bush.

      Gotta agree with the ALL CAPS.

      Comment by Russ on 9/05/08 at 6:30 pm

       

    4. I would just go with option 4 also. Or, how about hitting the “delete” key on your keyboard when you get emails from sources you don’t want to get emails from, and be patient until the election is over in November. They’re sure to stop by then. Just a thought. . .

      Comment by Dawn on 9/22/08 at 8:47 am

       

    5. Dawn - you’ve missed the point.

      Everyone seems to have missed the point.

      Doesn’t anyone think it’s odd that even the programming of a simple email list does not accept that anyone could not be a McCain supporter? (Or that it requires admitting it in order to not get an email that you didn’t subscribe to? Or that any unsubscribe form should REQUIRE a reason - which is actually against the CAN-SPAM act?)

      Comment by Cybele on 9/22/08 at 9:02 am

       

    6. I can understand that they would like some way to track reasons as a way of monitoring support, but it’s ridiculous that they do not just have an other button or (unsubscribe / please tell us why).

      I do feel your pain: I somehow ended up signed up for a about four different Republican mailing lists a few years back. I do not remember ever signing up, and some of the organizations I had never even heard of before I started receiving the emails. It took me forever to get off all of their lists - luckily I did not have to feel like I was lying as I just had to hit unsubscribe. But most importantly: is there a happy resolution to your story?

      Comment by Lauren on 10/12/08 at 4:33 pm

       

    7. I also thought that it seemed to be weird that the “reasons” were all assuming that you had been a McCain supporter. That is kinda funny. Well, we all know that it isn’t going to actually be the president reading your email, though, and most likely the person reading it will disregard the fact that what you asked was about candy because it isn’t exactly pertinent to the presidency. Although in the newspaper I was reading back in October they did have an article on the favorite music of McCain and Obama.

      Comment by Carleene on 12/28/08 at 7:57 am

       

    8. I went to Obama’s webpage and left a comment. Within the hour I received an email from that website asking for donations. I didn’t subscribe to anything showing my support for him. I wonder if the comments are even read? Seems once they get your email address all’s fair in love & war. I unsubscribed and of course they want to know why so I explained why in the “comment” box. So far I haven’t received any more emails from them.

      When I replied to your original post Cybele, I did understand what you were saying, but because there was no where for you to say that you’d never subscribed I, as others also suggested that you just go with the #4 option. Sometimes it’s the only alternative in order to get off a mailing list. Wishing you a Happy New Year, Dawn

      Comment by Dawn on 12/28/08 at 12:19 pm

       

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    During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.