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Unsubscribing from mailing lists

It was relatively easy to get Christopher’s name removed from the junk mail / catalogues etc that seem to form a major part of my post. The pack that one gets from the Registrar when one registers a death has a form in it to send off to some mail-order clearing-house, and fairly soon the junk mail stops coming. I suppose that makes business sense – it costs retailers money to send out mailshots, and they don’t want to waste money on customers who are physically incapable of buying from them!

It’s a different matter with email mailing lists, and it’s been a major headache getting Chris unsubscribed from some of those, and the various electronic fora / socail media groups he was subscribed to. Of course, the fundamental reason is that it doesn’t cost anything to send out email, so there is no incentive on the senders to keep their mailing lists pruned and their databases up to date.  Some of the mailing lists I can simply unsubscribe him from, but others demand a user name and password which I don’t have. I’ve got rid of most of the unwanted emails now, and think I will just have to update my spam filters to reject rest.

I blogged a few weeks ago about trying to get his Facebook page deleted. I’ve had similar issues recently with Twitter.  There is an established method to getting a Twitter account deleted – a search on their website brings up a page on “how to contact Twitter about a deceased user”.  Rather than a physical death certificate, they want confirmation of death through “a link to a public obituary or news article”.  I sent them a link to the death notice I put in the Malvern Gazette and to the blog post from the day he died.  I suppose they need to be sure that they are not being spoofed or tricked, but it was still upsetting to have to dig out those links.  However, I have now had confirmation that the account has been deleted, so that should be one fewer source of unwanted emails.

It seems to me that the on-line world is much harder to get sorted out after a death than the “real life” equivalents. All these dratted usernames, passwords and email addresses make things very tricky – and there is rarely anyone you can actually phone up and talk to. But I’m getting there, albeit slowly.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. paulD | 12 July 2011 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    My strategy for normal junk mail has been either

    Recycle bin after removing and burning ID

    Shuffle it all up and put it back in different envelopes and send it back to wrong people

    Post it back in the red recycling box 🙂

    I gather you can also get brickette makers and turn it into something to burn in the winter