An interview with the person who accidentally unsubscribed

“I consider myself extremely computer-savvy,” said Sue, 47, a woman who accidentally clicked unsubscribe in a recent marketing email, “but this could happen to anybody.”

Sue, like millions of other consumers, knows a thing or two about the internet. She shops online, works online, and oversees her children’s virtual learning. There is not a moment of her day that she is not looking at a screen in some form or another.

“I suppose it started when I saw the tiny link at the bottom of the email that said ‘Click here to unsubscribe.’ As a busy parent, I don’t have time to read buttons or links. Just tell me where to click, and I’ll click it.

And then it was too late. She clicked, and saw that something horrifying had happened: she was unsubscribed.

“It felt like a punch to the gut. How could this happen to me, a person who uses the internet every single day? All I was doing was following the instructions in the email. I just want to make everyone happy. This pandemic has been so difficult, and I’m doing everything I can. If I’m being honest, I’m really struggling here.”

But thank goodness, there was a “resubscribe” option after she realized her error.

“I was so relieved, I had to take a moment and count my blessings,” Sue said, on the verge of tears “I just need one thing to go right this year.” And then, like every parent working from home during a pandemic, she got pulled away from her computer to help her kid with something before she could click the “Resubscribe” button. And then on the way back to her computer, she saw that there were a few dishes that needed to go in the dishwasher, and then she saw that she was running low on dishwasher tablets, and then she got distracted making adjustments to her other Amazon subscriptions, and then realized her saved card had expired, so she had to find her purse to update it, but then realized her new card wasn’t activated yet, so she got out her phone to call and activate it, but saw 15 texts she needed to reply to, and then ended up spending another 32 minutes on that.

Needless to say, by the time she got back to that re-subscribe button, the brand had already written her off, and she had received an email confirming her shameful mistake: it was official. She was unsubscribed.

“I just hope they’ll forgive me,” she said, taking off her glasses and rubbing her eyes, “I want them to know that I really did want to receive their emails. They have to know that.”


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