No. of Recommendations: 2
I've got online accounts with probably well over 100 websites...everything from discussion forums to banks to utilities to expedia. As the internet "grew up" most companies realized they needed to give customers control over emails they receive. I regularly find myself opted in to new newsletters and whatnot, but everyone these days has an automated link to unsubscribe at the bottom of emails.

The sole exception is Citi. I get emails from them all the time. Use your Debit card to get priority Jonas Brothers tickets! More fee free ATMs now available! Blah blah blah.

Citi emails have more notices and junk at the bottom than just about anyone else, mostly related to their system for proving emails that claim to be from Citi really are from them. But there isn't so much as a word about unsubscribing.

So I went into my account and deeply buried in the account settings is a checkbox that determines if I opt in to marketing emails. It's unchecked.

Finally I called Citi, and spent 25 minutes on the line with an agent. To look into this for me, first the agent spent 15 minutes searching in his computer for the Jonas Brothers promotion...I don't know why, the whole point is that I'm not interested in the promotions! But he insisted. Then I was transfered to someone who insisted that it was impossible to have them change the account over the phone, I'd have to uncheck the box on the website. I insisted on walking through the process with her, and she finally seemed convinced that I wasn't opted in. Then the story changed - Oh, I see an option in your account that says your information is shared for marketing purposes. I'll switch that off. (naturally it takes 30 days to take effect)

So Citi's got a secret checkbox somewhere, inaccessible to the consumer, that their phone reps don't seem to know anything about. I would blame some diabolical executive who figured that spam is profitable and designed the system this way, but I'm sure it's actually just routine incompetence. I wonder if they track how much they're spending servicing accounts in enough detail to realize that the cost of half an hour on the phone with me on something so trivial is chewing up their profits.
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