Whenever you sign up with a site on the web, you usually get spam. The better sites allow you to opt-out of e‑mail ads when you register, but most only offer that option when you get the first spam message.
Microsoft isn’t known for their warm customer service, and they seem to have no interest in cultivating such an image. Case-in-point is a message I received today from Samantha Goldman. She’s Director of Customer and Partner Experience with Microsoft Canada.
The message begins:
You may not know this, but your contact preferences do not allow us to send you e‑mail communications about valuable Microsoft product offers, services, and events that might benefit you.
So let me understand this. Since I signed up for an account, they, by default, feel free to send me spam. I therefore change my account settings to stop the spam. As a result, they send me spam to inform me that I configured my account so they don’t send me spam. And while they’ve got my attention, they thoughtfully include instructions on how I can change the settings to allow them to send me spam.
Fuck off, already. How clear do I need to be?
Imagine that a friend of yours works the evening shift and he’s up in the middle of the night. He likes to call you so you have to tell him not to call you in the middle of the night. It’s ridiculous that your friend thinks his behaviour is acceptable because he knows you sleep at night, but you’ve taken care of it. How would you then react if he called in the middle of the night to ask if you’re sure that you don’t want him to call in the middle of the night?
Same thing. A message informing me how to change my settings to allow spam is spam.
My first thought was that I need to write Ms. Goldman and suggest that since she thinks her message was a good idea, I am directing her to remove any account information they have on file for me, as well as any other information. But really, why bother? If they don’t get it, they won’t understand any explanation of why they have their heads up their asses.
What I’ll do instead is log in and change my contact e‑mail address to her e‑mail address, or some other Microsoft address. Spam me all you want!
Postscript: Damn it. They make you confirm an address change by sending a message to the new address and requiring that you click a link in the message. Oh well, I’ll just have to be satisfied with creating a temporary e‑mail address, changing my contact address to the temporary address, then deleting it. Done and done.