Worst-Ever Unsubscribe Experience

Every now and then, I let a retail cashier sign me up for the company marketing e-mail newsletter, mostly to see what they’re doing for e-mail marketing. OMG! I have to say that Books-a-Million (BAM!) has won an award with me today.

I decided, based on sheer volume of e-mail and the ease of ordering from Amazon, to unsubscribe from BAM’s mailing lists. You know how it’s supposed to go; there are standard practices: Click the unsubscribe link and you get a message, “You have been unsubscribed.” Easy-peasy. Not so with BAM.

Here is the footer of the last e-mail message I ever wanted to receive from BAM:


It says, "Click here, and you'll fill out a new e-mail message."

So, if I click on the link and a new message is supposed to open, that tells me that the code underneath must be:

<a href="mailto:unsubscribe@booksamillion.com">here</a>

…or something like that. No. It’s actually a link to:


When you click it, a new tab opens, and several minutes–minutes!–later you see:


Whose options are THESE???


…and so, I had to select “unsubscribe” from every little drop-down, for unintelligible mailing lists. It was easy, since I’d already decided I never wanted to receive anything from BAM again. And another several minutes later, the page confirmed thusly:


Oh, good. It worked...?

Now, there are too many things wrong with this scenario to list them all, so I shake my head and wonder: “Why would any developer build such a cryptic and horrible interface?–too awful to contemplate.

Books-a-Million, you have a serious problem in your e-mail marketing department. I hope you can track it down.

Postscript: Several HOURS later, I noticed that I had to click the “unsubscribe” button AGAIN to make it final. Sheesh!


  1. Lana says:

    Wow, that really is horrible!! Good lesson on what not to do!

  2. Kathy says:

    I’m having the same problem this morning. There are 82 (82!) items from which to unsubscribe. Unfortunately after I painstakingly clicked unsubscribe on each one (and the text is tiny so you have to be exact on your clicking) I clicked Save expecting to be taken to the verification page only to get that annoying Page Cannot Be Displayed page instead. And of course when I clicked the back button, all the items are back to Subscribed again so I have to start over. Now I’m trying just a few at a time. So far I’m up to the “Es” in the alphabetical listing. Only about 66 more to go!

    Probably should just block Books a Million from my Gmail. Sheesh!

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