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Author Topic: Unsubscribe to 404  (Read 5106 times)

Renegade

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Unsubscribe to 404
« on: March 01, 2011, 06:46:43 PM »
Why is it that most email lists that I try to unsubscribe from have an unsubscribe link in their emails that go to some sort of a 404 page? Sigh...  :-\
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app103

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2011, 06:53:23 PM »
The unsubscribe link has to be there because of the laws in the US, but the law didn't mention anything about the page it leads to actually working, so in order to prevent you from unsubscribing, some site owners don't actually provide a real unsubscribe option.

They think they are being smart but in fact it's quite stupid, because whenever that happens, I have no alternative but to hit the spam button, which hurts them in the long run. If they didn't want me to do that they'd fix their unsubscribe so I can do it the right way.

lanux128

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2011, 07:51:13 PM »
i didn't know that the 'unsubscribe' link actually works. more often than not, it's like sending a confirmation to the spammer that there is a live person at the other end. i usually hit the spam button 1st and ask questions later. :D

Stephen66515

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2011, 08:17:08 PM »
Im just not daft enough to give my "used" e-mail address for anything I sign-up to :P - I have a special one I use for that stuff which I only login if they want me to confirm my registration...even my facebook aint my "used" address lol

MilesAhead

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2011, 08:27:48 PM »
Most forums I am on the unsubscribe link works to unsubscribe from a topic. But for "deal email updates" it's really annoying. You unsubscribe, then get a nice looking notice that they are sorry if they cluttered up your inbox and won't do it anymore.  Then 2 days later you're right back on the spam list.

Seems like customer relations and marketing departments don't communicate.

Eóin

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2011, 08:29:29 PM »
i didn't know that the 'unsubscribe' link actually works. more often than not, it's like sending a confirmation to the spammer that there is a live person at the other end. i usually hit the spam button 1st and ask questions later. :D

Yeah I heard of that as an increasingly prevalent scam.

J-Mac

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2011, 09:50:57 PM »
I never use the Unsubscribe links for unsolicited email messages. That is the very definition of spam. However if I don’t want anymore email from a source that I actually did sign up for at some time, then I always give the Unsubscribe link a try. Only fair, really.

Thank you.

Jim

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 12:14:20 AM »
When I get unsolicited email messages I do it like J-Mac. If I did subscribe before and the unsubsciption scheme doesn't work, I try their contact email, asking them to remove my email address form their list and from their partners, subcontractors and such like as well.

Failing that, a filter is easily set up to delete all those emails :)

J-Mac

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2011, 12:27:05 AM »
My biggest bitch about Unsubscribe links are the ones where they want even more personal information to unsubscribe you! I started getting emails from, of all people, both the Democratic and Republican political parties, local, state, and national organizations. I never visited their web sites or signed up for anything but I guess someplace did me the "favor" (Grrrr..) of sharing their email list with them. At all levels when I clicked on the Unsubscribe links it brought me to a page where they wanted me to fill out a web form that asked about every bit of personal information imaginable. They supposedly needed it to make sure that I was really me - yeah, right! So they earned an automatic spam report. Now all their emails go to the Junk folder daily.

Another major annoyance was Panda Anti-Virus. Biggest spammer I have ever encountered. I used their online virus scan once several years ago and you had to enter your email address first. Foolishly I entered my daily-use email address. Actually back then I think that was the only address I had; I hadn't started using a throwaway service yet. Spam wasn’t a big problem for me at the time. Boy, did Panda ever give me a wake-up call! Started with a few emails per week but soon grew to daily emails, selling their AV products. The more I tried to get them to stop, the more I received from them. Last I remember I was getting an average of 8 to 10 spam emails daily from Panda, ironically many of which were trying to sell me their new anti-spam program!

Jim

barney

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2011, 10:26:12 PM »
 ;D I've got over 350 email forwarders on one domain.  When I start getting spam on one of 'em, I redirect the forwarder.  Most of the spam I see is on unique email addresses I've used to sign up for different Web sites - prolly not intentionally released by the site(s) in question, as a sniffer parked on server traffic could do the job - but the standard response is, "You leased, loaned, or leaked this address:  it is now closed."  It's amazing how little spam I receive any more  :huh:  :P.

Not a cure for everyone.  Some don't have domains, others that do won't take the time - ten (10) to twenty (20) seconds - to create an alias, e.g., {websitenamelist|ownernamelist}.domain.tld, because, "It takes too long."  But the only spam I cannot cure  is to my primary address, so a scant half minute doesn't seem to me to be to much to spend to create a traceable alias, and I get a great deal of satisfaction redirecting those aliases  :P :P.

Renegade

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2011, 12:05:15 AM »
;D I've got over 350 email forwarders on one domain.  When I start getting spam on one of 'em, I redirect the forwarder.  Most of the spam I see is on unique email addresses I've used to sign up for different Web sites - prolly not intentionally released by the site(s) in question, as a sniffer parked on server traffic could do the job - but the standard response is, "You leased, loaned, or leaked this address:  it is now closed."  It's amazing how little spam I receive any more  :huh:  :P.

Not a cure for everyone.  Some don't have domains, others that do won't take the time - ten (10) to twenty (20) seconds - to create an alias, e.g., {websitenamelist|ownernamelist}.domain.tld, because, "It takes too long."  But the only spam I cannot cure  is to my primary address, so a scant half minute doesn't seem to me to be to much to spend to create a traceable alias, and I get a great deal of satisfaction redirecting those aliases  :P :P.


Many years ago I made a mistake with my personal email address, and have been paying ever since. So I don't worry about it at all anymore and simply use it for everything.

What would be really cool is something like you mentioned with: {websitenamelist|ownernamelist}.domain.tld

But having it automatic so that you can simply enter the email address without creating it and have the server automatically accept it for you. Or have a quick utility to give you the email address that the server would automatically recognize. It could be done very easily with symmetric encryption and GUIDs or unique codes.

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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

mahesh2k

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2011, 12:50:21 AM »
Some email list marketers use thing called 'double opt-in'. This is a strategy to keep customer in your umbrella all the time. For example you unsubscribed from their list1@site.com address and then they re-opt you at list2@site.com address. You again unsubscribe and then they again opt you in manually. This is pain and so many subscribers simply report spam to that address to stop it from getting in inbox.

housetier

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2011, 03:12:59 AM »
Ah and here I had a completely different understanding of "doublt opt-in": I thought not only do you (or someone else) have to provide your email address and tick the checkbox, but also you receive a confirmation email that asks to confirm the subscription. If no such confirming action is taken, the email address is not used.

Of course spammers will not care about confirmations.

barney

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2011, 11:39:27 AM »
But having it automatic so that you can simply enter the email address without creating it and have the server automatically accept it for you. Or have a quick utility to give you the email address that the server would automatically recognize. It could be done very easily with symmetric encryption and GUIDs or unique codes.

That utility sounds like a Coding Snack  ;D.  Might be a bit complex, though.  The main hosting control panels of which I'm aware are cPanel and Plesk, but a number of hosting companies roll their own.  Still, I'd think that the aggregate genius that is DC could come up with something workable  :P.

Would have made an interesting project for the current fund raiser, had it been broached in time  :-*.

JavaJones

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2011, 02:22:54 PM »
Double opt-in is a *good* practice and is as housetier describes. Perhaps others are incorrectly using the term to describe the malicious tactics mahesh mentions?

One way of getting the "quick, easy auto-creation of aliases" function is to have a catch-all on your domain emails that sends all mail to your box and then simply *deny*/reroute/filter those addresses that get spammed. It can take a little while to build up the deny list at first, during which you'll get more spam, if only from the spamming practice of sending to random/commonly used email aliases across domains (e.g. webmaster@domain.com). But once you setup some deny rules, then all you need to do is enter e.g. servicename@domain.com (like twitter@oshyan.com) to sign up for something with a unique email address for that service, and if it ever starts getting spammed, just filter/block that specific address and leave the rest. Works for me.

- Oshyan

Renegade

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2011, 05:43:00 PM »
But having it automatic so that you can simply enter the email address without creating it and have the server automatically accept it for you. Or have a quick utility to give you the email address that the server would automatically recognize. It could be done very easily with symmetric encryption and GUIDs or unique codes.

That utility sounds like a Coding Snack  ;D.  Might be a bit complex, though.  The main hosting control panels of which I'm aware are cPanel and Plesk, but a number of hosting companies roll their own.  Still, I'd think that the aggregate genius that is DC could come up with something workable  :P.

Would have made an interesting project for the current fund raiser, had it been broached in time  :-*.

It would be MUCH more than a coding snack.

There are 3 basic components:

1) Server-side component
2) Client-side component
3) Mail server plugin for server-side component (so it can be used with more than 1 email server)

It requires symmetric encryption with embedded information and authentication methods.

Likely the best method would be to have the email address and full domain name (with subdomains) embedded something like:

my.email.id + www.site.com + key text for server to identify address (e.g. "-encoded") ===> *arbitrarily long symmetrically encrypted text (base 36 [a-z0-9])* e.g. "kuhhiu78h8bb878bbysdfsdhkyhkbuiggg8g8gyjggy6t7f"

resulting in an address like:

my.email.id@mydomain.com ==> "kuhhiu78h8bb878bbysdfsdhkyhkbuiggg8g8gyjggy6t7f@mydomain.com"

etc. etc.

The basic idea is easy. It's writing the server software and email server plugin that would be tough. The client would simply have a subset of the server's features.

For anyone that has ever mucked around with cryptography, it can get very messy at times.
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MilesAhead

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2011, 06:34:16 PM »
Unfortunately a lot of sites use the confirmation gimmick to side-step the bug me not browser extension :(

barney

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Re: Unsubscribe to 404
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2011, 06:44:09 PM »
Hm-m-m ...

Several system crashes ago, I had a Telnet script - I didn't create it  ;D - that allowed me to create new email addresses.  Could not something like that be done, but for forwarder creation?  

I seem to recall from corporate days that Telnet could be pretty powerful if you knew how to utilize it.  I know several of our near-genius IT/Admin personnel did a lot with it on the DEC VAXes, although the same scripts could not be used on other, non-VAX servers, w/o significant modification.

'Twouldn't be full auto, of course, and I may well be understanding the wrong thing(s)  :D.

Edit:  the script worked on Plesk control panels, not on the mail server, per se.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2011, 06:46:22 PM by barney »