It has annoyed me before, but in the past the unsubscribe process was so onerous if not impossible that I didn't bother. The world has changed, however: nearly everyone is online and receiving similar problematic e-mails. Political pressure has been applied. The unsubscribe process is now required by law to exist.
Far and away the majority of the businesses and organizations that I unsubscribed from were a simple matter of open e-mail, scroll down, find link, click and done. A few of these had an optional box to explain why I was *sniff* leaving them. I dutifully typed I just get too much e-mail.
There was another category which was so thoroughly html-ized (and so thoroughly not displayed properly the way I read e-mail on my MacBook through a web interface) that I had to find another way to view them so I could find the link, click and be done. I did it on an iPad; no hard feelings.
A few sent me to a multi-check-box-page and made me think and click another button and maybe check some things before they unsubbed me. One or two made me type in my email address. One -- that I accessed from a different email account -- didn't recognize the period in the account name (over on gmail, no less) and I had to try it without the period for it to work.
And then there were the bad ones. Circle of Moms and Bike Nashbar just seem to be timing out. A lot of things are timing out this week. Could be that sysadmins are home for the holidays. Could be the cloud is a wee bit overloaded. I'm prepared to cut them a little slack.
Finally, there was Best Buy. And my experience at Best Buy gave me pause. It sent me to a very, very, very long page that described a whole lot of ways to contact them, the only one which seemed relevant was an e-mail address. No form; just an e-mail address. I sent an unsub request to it and got an auto-reply. Bad form Best Buy. I actually don't have anything harsh to say about them as a company, per se, but this is a loooooooong way from best practice. Also, when I went there to recycle something (which was a breeze, and I appreciate) and buy a Bluray player, they downsold me very hard. Again, I kind of like that. R. says they are having a lot of trouble figuring out how to compete with Wal-mart on selling things like Very Large Flatscreen TVs.
Circuit City is gone, and in theory, that gave Best Buy the field to themselves. But this all adds to to not doing a great job at running their business. I wouldn't invest in them.
On the whole, however, if you have been putting off unsubbing from irritating e-mails from companies and organizations you like, but not _that_ much, the field is clear: it's a damn easy process. Except for Best Buy, and even there, it's not worse than it used to be.
drugstore.com gets demoted due to "may take 10 days" and they've already sent me more e-mail.
Bike Nashbar continues to send me e-mail as well.
I unsubbed from women's e-news a while ago, for complex reasons which I blogged about at the time. However, I continue to get e-mail from them for fundraising; I'm making an attempt this time around at ending those e-mails as well.
ETA just a little bit more:
I think I have now unsubscribed twice from shutterfly. There's a small (about a 1 in 8) chance I have misremembered. Which is why I'm mentioning it, so if it happens again, I'll know for sure.
HI gets dinged because when I went to unsubscribe, it asked for my e-mail and then told it couldn't confirm it. I have no idea if it was a successful unsubscribe or not. But it's not much of a ding because (a) HI is worthy and should not be picked upon and (b) they don't send much e-mail anyway.