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Now, I think that's pretty sucky that they sent me an email to which I can't respond. But, OK. I don't want to start a dialogue, I just want to get off their list. So, I click the unsubscribe link.
Unsubscribe From Our Email
OK, seriously? I was all over the link clicking idea, but making me log in? I guess they wouldn't want any evil-doers to whom I had innocently forwarded the email masquerading as me and unsubscribing.
Remember this is an airline we're dealing with. This is a business that thinks it's a good idea to give you an 8-character alphanumeric code which you can remember instead of, say, your name in order to retrieve reservations. So, when I go to the login page, I'm faced with
I have to know my AAdvantage number; if I want to unsubscribe and I don't have my AAdvantage number, apparently I can register for a new one, and then unsubscribe. I was a little annoyed that Southwest made me reenter my email address to get it unsubscribed. Now, I see the bar they were trying to clear.
Now, American Airlines doesn't send me my AAdvantage number when it sends these things out. As a good air traveler, I'm supposed to have my customer lockin number tattooed in reverse on my forehead, so that I can just read them in the mirror whenever I'd like. So, now I have to log in to Travelocity and retrieve my AAdvantage number. This is annoying because my stored authentication information isn't on the new computer. I would have had to reenter them anyways at some point, but American Airlines thinks now is a good time.
So, I try to guess which password I used for Travelocity. Nothing funner. It turns out that Travelocity lets you use a login name or an email address, but you have to commit -- you can't log in with either one like at Craigslist. Now, you might think that blaming American Airlines for Travelocity's authentication is unfair, but the point is they insist that I go through something painful to retrieve my AAdvantage number.
I don't just need my lockin number, though. I need my password. After entering it wrong, I get Your password is case sensitive and must be 6-12 numbers and/or letters, my old buddy the incremental password rule. So, now I can click some radio buttons and unsubscribe from
just wanted to hear from American Airlines less. I just unsubscribe from everything.
I get a follow-up email
NET SAAVER FARES
If you did not change your contact information or if you have an
inquiry, please visit:
http://www.aa.com/apps/utility/UpdateEmailOptins.jhtml to view the
changes, or if you have
any immediate concerns regarding your account, please contact AA.com
If you have unsubscribed to one of our email products, we will remove
your address from
our mailing list as soon as possible. Please be aware that you may
continue to receive
emails for up to 10 business days.
So, they're not sure exactly what I did, but suspects that someone logged in to their web site with my authentication information and changed one of my 'contact preferences.' They do allow the possibility that I unsubscribed, and if so they'll get to that in the next few weeks.
Why ten days? Their staff psychologists probably estimated that no one is going to recommend this painful unsubscribing experience after ten days, and they don't actually have to do anything.