And then you’re greeted with something like this (emphasis mine):
Thanks for unsubscribing.
It may take up to 10 days to process your request.
Ten days? TEN DAYS?!? Seriously?
While the exact number of days may vary, the point is that you aren’t unsubscribed yet, even though you clicked the link to unsubscribe.
What’s worse is that sometimes the company or website will send you another email during that processing period!
Personally, whenever I see something like this it tends to send me into a sort of rage, where I vow never to do business with this company/organization/website ever again. Because really, saying that it’s going to take days (however many it may be) to do what should be instantaneous is just a giant middle finger to whomever is on the receiving end of the original email.
I could understand delays in processing an unsubscribe request back in the dark ages of the Internet – maybe even as recently as 5 years ago – when email mailing lists were cultivated manually, but honestly in this day and age there is absolutely no excuse for not automatically honoring an unsubscribe request immediately after a link is clicked.
I have to imagine that all of these “unsubscribe processing delay” messages come from old or home-grown email systems, because all the modern email marketing systems I know of will honor unsubscribe requests immediately.
When someone clicks an “unsubscribe” link (and I’m talking about a true “unsubscribe me from everything” link, not just a “stop receiving offers” or “stop sending me the monthly newsletter” type links), that person’s email address should be immediately marked as “DO NOT CONTACT” and no more bulk-type emails should ever be sent to that person’s address until they do something to opt-in to receiving them again.
In other words, when I click the “unsubscribe” link in your email, I expect you to unsubscribe me NOW, not 3 or 5 or 10 days later. Immediate unsubscribing may not be legally required (e.g., by the CAN SPAM Act), but I’d like to think it is morally required – it’s just common courtesy.