A Shady Opt-Out

Today I received an unexpected birthday greeting from my car dealership, unexpected because it’s not my birthday. I was prepared to dismiss it as a simple data entry error, but then the call concluded with another surprise, a dark pattern opt-out.

To stop future robo-call announcements (like the one I was listening to), I was instructed to call the provided toll-free number. Perhaps not completely dark(-side of the force) at the very least, this “convenience feature” was a major FAIL. Considering how friendly they are at the dealership, I’m willing to assume the shadiness is due to ignorance, not malicious intent.

As with email opt-outs, I should have been offered a clear and simple method to remove my information from future contact right then and there. Something like: press pound to opt-out would have sufficed – but seeing how it’s almost 2011 they could make it voice activated and avoid the rotary phone support issue altogether.