Specifically, marketing emails. I don't mean spam, because that just goes into the spam folder, to be emptied as and when, or never. I mean the emails that we find ourselves signing up to, naively thinking there would just be the odd one. Or the ones from some obscure place you bought something online from.
I know you have to answer them saying you want to be removed from the list, or sometimes it is as easy as clicking on a link in the email, but with some of them I am worried about missing important news.
I'm thinking of Amazon in particular. I get at least two emails a day from Amazon, one each from the French and UK branches detailing that day's special offers. Then there are the 'you recently bought this, would you like to leave a review?' emails. Then the most annoying ones are the 'you've recently bought this, we thought you might be interested in these similar products...'
For example, last week I bought a nutcracker on Amazon. There is a hazlenut tree in my front garden and it is full of nuts this year, so I had to buy a nutcracker. I looked at what was available, chose one and ordered it. It arrived the next day. I am pausing in my merry cracking and eating of hazlenuts to write this very post. Then this morning I opened an email from Amazon. We saw you have been browsing nutcrackers and thought you might like to look at these similar products. How many nutcrackers does a girl need? If I had needed more than one I would have bought more than one.
I also happened to buy a swimming costume for my daughter. No Amazon, I am not interested in arm bands or rubber rings or any other swimming stuff. Otherwise I would have bought some.
Yes, I am grumpy today.
But I don't want to cancel them because I like to know about the flash sales. I've never bought anything in one of those flash sales, but I like to think one day I might. I also like to think that one day I will work through all several hundred books backed up on my kindle and need to buy another, so I read the ones about kindle books just in case there is something I suddenly need.
Then we've got French Marks and Spencer. I buy the odd bits and pieces from them for the girls. Great service. And I want to know when they are doing some kind of deal which might interest me. But I don't need to know about every decision the marketing team ever take. I have never bought adult female clothes from them for example. I might, one day, but I haven't done so far. But every single email which arrives in my inbox from them telling me about women's clothing collections and offers makes me buying women's clothes from them an ever remoter prospect.
And ebay which, by the way, I will never attempt to sell anything on again, but that's another rant. And the online toyshop I ordered something from once. And paypal.
Can't companies limit marketing emails to once a week? Wouldn't that be far more civilised?