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Secret IFA

Secret IFA

Have you ever received one too many marketing emails from a product provider and decided you are no longer interested in receiving more? You look for the unsubscribe link.

After several minutes you eventually locate it among the disclosures and small print. But when you click to unsubscribe you can’t.

It could have been any provider, but today it was Scottish Widows. I need to unsubscribe because I’m drowning with the amount of email I receive (as quickly as I delete one, another two appear) and I must declutter my inbox.

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So, I click the unsubscribe link and arrive at the ‘manage your subscription’ page. Selecting the box that would remove me from all future communications, I press enter and receive an error message. It wants my FCA number and the name of my firm before making any changes.

That request might make sense if I wanted to sign up for other areas of interest, but not if I am trying to completely remove myself from their list. It was so long since I’d previously signed up, which was at a time when they didn’t need this information, but it was now mandatory. So now I have to go through the subscription process before unsubscribing. Ridiculous.

It’s not just Scottish Widows; last week it was Aegon. When I received an email with a specific campaign subject line, I discovered I could only unsubscribe from that particular campaign. Therefore I’d need to find another page to be removed from other lists. How many Aegon lists am I on? To my knowledge I only ever subscribed once. Sneaky and frustrating.

And then there are the links that either simply don’t work or they take you to the 404 ‘page not found’ graveyard.

And what about the sales reps who add you to their daily, weekly, monthly roundup of what’s happening in their company?

They don’t even provide a link to unsubscribe. So it all gets a bit personal when you email the sender, “Sorry mate, it’s not you, but please remove me from your list”.

This email malarkey is a huge distraction and most of it is just someone trying to attract attention. Well guess what, it isn’t getting my attention. I must receive about 200 each day, mostly about stuff I’m not interested in, and even if I was interested, I don’t have the kind of attention span to deal with that many, and I don’t know anyone who does. The end result is that instead of listening to everyone, I decide not to listen to anyone.

I’ll digest my news in a way where I have more control, which is through print media.

Traditional media over digital, it’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. Books are making a comeback, and there’s a resurgence of vinyl.