When Sears Says It Has 'A Number Of Options Available,' It Means That Number Is 2

Sick of being bombarded by Sears’ rewards program spam, David went to opt out of the program. He was presented with this plethora of options of how to reduce his email load without cutting it off entirely.

He writes:

I wanted to stop the weekly e-mails I receive from Sears’ rewards program (Shop Your Way Rewards – www.shopyourwayrewards.com) and was a little confused by their opt-out offering.

As you see in the attached, first they state “We have a number of options available:” – that number is only 2, reduce frequency or leave.

Most perplexing is the ability to “Reduce Frequency Options” from the current frequency (weekly) all the way down to “4-6 emails a month” or as little as “Once a week.”

It’s tough to choose between four emails a month and four to six. But a lot easier to choose “zero” by opting out, as David has done.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. pop top says:

    2 is a number.

  2. SonarTech52 says:

    If he was already receiving weekly emails, then either he can continue the same frequency (once per week), or possibly receive more (4-6 monthly).. nice options!!

  3. danmac says:

    In Sears’ defense, two is a number.

  4. Marshmelly says:

    yes, 2 is a number if you want to get technical…but the phrase “number of options” is obviously used in reference to more than 2, or the phrase wouldn’t exist in the first place. It would just say “you have an option” which implies that there are at least 2 things to chose from anyway.

    I found the choice between “once a week” and “4-6 times a month” far more entertaining though. =p

  5. Macgyver says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is. It’s not like they’re sending emails everyday.

    • daemonaquila says:

      Even one unwanted email is too many. Companies need to stop spamming.

      • Griking says:

        Gee, if we can only figure out who it is that gives these companies our email addresses.

        • Rena says:

          And then figure out a way to use their services without doing so. (Throwaway accounts won’t work in all cases.)

          Then we just have to figure out how to stop them getting the addresses from emails we send them, from their partners, or by simply buying lists of addresses that have been harvested in all manner of unscrupulous ways.

          Even if you never give out your address to an untrustworthy company, there’s no saying a poorly-designed website won’t expose it to the public (at which point it’s going to be harvested by bots), a malicious website that you thought was trustworthy won’t sell it, or a friend won’t get a virus that finds it in their contact list or history. Then there are the ones that just do a dictionary attack (I get plenty of spam CC’d to HyperHabit and HyperHam) or try any username they find with an @[g|hot]mail.com suffix, seeing who will reply or follow the uniquely identifying link (commonly labelled “unsubscribe” or posing as something important, or used as an embedded image for clients dumb enough to load external images in emails).

          Quite a few ways they get their hands on your address…

    • ShinGetterPoPo says:

      Actually they have sent me an e-mail every time I buy something.
      You just bought a stereo. Would you like headphones?
      Oh, you bought pants? You might need new shoes to go with those.

      It’s really annoying.

  6. cvt2010 says:

    Thnks fr th vrl ngtv str, Cnsmrst. thnk t’s grt tht cmpns r gvng y ptns t ll, nstd f jst ll r nthng. n fct, sbmttd pstv str t tht ffct bt mnth g tht y dclnd t pblsh. Y hrt yr crdblt s cnsmr dvcc wbst whn y bsh cmpns n mttr wht th d.

    • SonarTech52 says:

      cvt2010, your story may have had a positive message. But this one here, they arent giving you any options. As I stated above, if the person is already getting weekly emails, you can either get the same amount or more…

    • IThinkThereforeIAm says:

      If nothing more, it was good for a smile… (or groan).

  7. shepd says:

    Sounds like three options to me: Never as well as the listed ones.

  8. HalOfBorg says:

    They also have popular prices.

    They like them.

  9. MB17 says:

    In all fairness to Sears, that line–“We have a number of options available”–is probably referenced material that goes in all their help system files. The help authors whip up a generic piece of text, and then pull it in to all help files. That way, if they need to edit the text, they only need to edit one file instead of hundred. This is probably an instance where the reference text doesn’t fit perfectly. Give em a break. Their employees are likely trying to save themselves some labor.

  10. MB17 says:

    In all fairness to Sears, that line–“We have a number of options available”–is probably referenced material that goes in all their help system files. The help authors whip up a generic piece of text, and then pull it in to all help files. That way, if they need to edit the text, they only need to edit one file instead of hundred. This is probably an instance where the reference text doesn’t fit perfectly. Give em a break. Their employees are likely trying to save themselves some labor.

  11. BoredOOMM says:

    The person who killed this company also was head of Government Motors- Fritz Henderson

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      Fritz didn’t kill Sears. American consumers’ shifting opinions on what retailing should be about is what killed Sears. Fritz just rode the dying beast down the slope, trying to pull back on the reigns while looking for a new dying beast to ride on the way down.

      At least he found one. For a while.

  12. Blueskylaw says:

    I guess 2 is where the word couple came from.

    On the other hand, once a week and 4-6 a month is almost the same thing so the argument could be made that he really has only one choice.

  13. OnePumpChump says:

    Mark As Spam

  14. evilpete says:

    four emails a month is the same as one a week.

    When I used to be a AT&T cellphone customer was unable to get them to stop contacting me via email, the only way was to change my address to a fake one ( nobody@hotmail.com )

  15. idx says:

    4-6 is potentially 50% more than once a week. Three. Three options. Ah ah ah.

    -The Count

    • Pax says:

      4-6 is potentially 50% more than once a week.

      Not really. An average month has 4.334 (“four and one third”) weeks in it. So really, “1 per week” comes out to “4-5 per month”.

      There really is not a material difference between “4-5″ and “4-6″.

  16. daemonaquila says:

    I have always had good luck getting companies to stop spamming me – even if it took an hour or two by phone giving hell to management. Except one… but for them (since I couldn’t cancel), I changed my email on their system to their customer service department so they kept spamming themselves. They got tired of being spammed, so mysteriously they did the “impossible” and cut off my email address. (Yes, just to check, I eventually changed it back to the correct one.)

    • Rena says:

      support@(company).com, abuse@(company).com, webmaster@(company).com root@localhost (not .com!) and root@127.0.0.1 are some of my favourite fake addresses.

  17. SunsetKid says:

    Do an address change to a service that offers expiring email addresses.
    Examples are:
    http://www.mailinator.com/
    http://spambox.us/
    http://www.tempinbox.com/

  18. dew_crew says:

    I work for Sears. They REQUIRE us to take either an email or mobile phone number to sign customers up for SYWR…
    it is interesting to see you can’t opt out…this is a good reason to have a “spam only” email address.

  19. Pax says:

    … “1 a week” is, actually, “4-5 a month” (there are 4.3334 weeks per month).

    So REALLY, really … Sears means … they have precisely ONE option …!

  20. Yenier says:

    I had this same problem with Sears. After I chose to cancel all the sales e-mails choking my inbox, they still kept sending them. Had to fill out this form again since the e-mails kept coming. Way to go Sears, annoy and anger your customers with non-stop messages – Has it helped your sales? I think not.

  21. duncanblackthorne says:

    List them as spam so you never see them again.

    • Rena says:

      This also trains the filter to treat them as spam, which means if enough people do it, a) it starts blocking them entirely and b) the sender can be listed as a spammer, which means such things as their permission to send messages en masse to the server can be revoked, they can be blacklisted entirely, and they might even be written up on some anti-spamming laws, depending on jurisdiction.

      So yes, do use that “mark as spam” button.

  22. Missing in Vlissingen says:

    Good news! Sears has now added a third option: “Two emails per fortnight.”

  23. PLATTWORX says:

    I agree, 2 is a number even if the two options are poor.

    I don’t understand how companies feel that any consumer who has done business with them needs or wants to hear from them “One a week” or “4-6 emails a month” (which could be the same thing at 4).

    Leave customers alone unless you have a compelling message you must deliver. If not, they will simply get annoyed, mark you as spam, unsubscribe and have a very negative impression of your company in their mind when their inbox is overflowing with garbage with your name on it.

    The same can be said of Facebook. Why does every business, TV show and product needs to be “found on Facebook”? God forbid you are a fool and click “like” on any of them because you’ll be inundated with daily status updates about things no one cares about just to shove their name in front of you as often as possible. No idea how being a pest and annoying people makes your brand more endearing to customers.

  24. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Ugh. I hate this. Part of my job is to stop mailings and I usually go to the website, where there is often a form you can fill out to send a request to customer service. I found one last week that actually had NO option other than sign-up. I called the web support and complained. We’ll see if the name (of someone who isn’t here anymore) actually gets off the list.

    Calling usually works better. Or faxing, for some dumb reason.