Wednesday, June 8, 2011

No! You can’t opt out!

Recently I've been getting a lot of junk mail from Rediff India and they sound positively like dialogues from a Godfather movie. "An offer you can't refuse" screams the subject line of one such email. Opening it, I find an amazing offer to dine on fine cuisine at the Taj in Hyderabad for just 642 rupees!! ZOMFG!! How can I possibly turn down this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime-limited time offer? (Note the dripping sarcasm, ladies and gentlemen). So instead of getting mad for being spammed by Rediff, I go to my Settings and there I "opt out". That should have done it, but no! The next day I get a mail from some bot called "Preeti K" with an ominous 'N' next to the mail. Yet an another offer that I should be stark raving mad to turn down!! Now I got mad. So I emailed the customer support. And knowing how everyone thinks you're an idiot who can't follow instructions (Roy Trenneman's "Have you tried turning it on and off again?" suits the occasion perfectly), I wrote them saying I've already tweaked my settings to NOT receive deals from Rediff.
I got back an email saying that I should find some sort of unsubscribe link somewhere in the body of the email and they essentially said "Good luck finding that lad!!"
Here's the reply verbatim, with the customer care's name deleted for his/her privacy:

Dear Nikhil ,

Greetings from

With reference to your mail, we request you to click on the unsubscribe link which is given on the automated mail .

We request you to follow the necessary steps for the same .

Assure you of prompt and courteous response on all your visits to

Warm Regards,

Customer service,

I hunted for the link within the email to no avail. Getting peeved, I politely wrote back with my intention of not receiving Deals from Rediff. I also got a prompt reply (as they assure us in their email signature) that I cannot opt out. Why? It seems that in the infancy of my account; when I signed up for Rediff, I had opted yes for newsletters from Rediff and because of that decision taken years ago, I cannot change my mind now. How’s that for holding you accountable to your words?

“You said it was OK about 5 years ago, so I’ll hold you to it?”


Here’s a taste of it. Verbatim of course. (Italics and bold emphasis my own)

Dear Sir/Madam,
Even though my settings are correctly set to avoid receiving offers from Rediff, I still get offers from Rediff marked with letter N. The originating address is
I find that there is NO link in the Rediff junk mail to unsubscribe from the mail. There is only a link to the privacy policy which offers no assistance.
I want NO emails from Rediff regarding offers,deals,vacations and the like. Please help me in this regard.

Their reply:

Hello Nikhil, India Ltd has launched a New Service called DEALHOJAYE. This is a concept of Group Deals, where you an avail of great discounted offers in groups. reserves the right to send such promotional newsletters to their existing rediffmail user subscriber base, and hence you are receiving such kind of Promotional emails from our side. You are receiving these mailers as you have opted for receiving such promotional emails at the time of signing up your rediffmail id with us.

Please consider these emails as promotional informative mailers for the great deals happening across your city or around your country. Since this is a new service that has launched, you would tend to receive such emails in your inbox.

Warm regards,

Customer Care

So I deliver one last repartee before resigning to the fact I can’t exercise a right to not receive mail from a service provider.

Dear <name of customer care agent>,
So I have no say in the matter at all? As a user, do I not have a right to opt out or more pertinently, is it not undemocratic to hold my initial settings as de facto and not giving me a right to change my mind if I please?
I'm sure you yourself cannot change this ridiculous policy, but surely you see my point. And yes, it won't take me two seconds to bin the spam, but that's just avoiding the elephant in the room.
A slightly annoyed customer,

I’m so glad that Gmail is my primary mail address.


Anonymous said...

I have been having this same issue, and have got very similar answers from them.

Unfortunately, it is my primary mail id and because they use people's names for the sender; I got to open every single one of them to confirm it is not something else, more often on my phone.

I do have gmail and yahoo and have not done switched my primary yet; but now I am considering it; maybe I'll just delete this one even.

The best part is I never ever said I wanted newletters ever. Though the checkbox wasn't checked ever; the mail said something along the lines of during your usage of the mailbox, at some point of time you have accepted this option. Idiotically annoying!

Prem said...

They send it almost daily.
And if you try to mark it "Spam" they'll just say
"Newsletters cannot be marked as Spam"

I guess rediff is under huge assumption that people don't have option to switch to other IDs. Well most people already have, including me, switched to other domains.. rediff just acts as id for putting it in unsecure places

Radhakrishnan P. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Radhakrishnan P. said...

Rediff is only my...I don't know what comes after secondary and tertiary. It's my fifth (final) backup. A last resort I should never have to use. With shady tactics like this to push spam, I'm reluctant to log in even once a year as I do currently.