I recently booked a rental car on Priceline.com, thinking I had saved a few dollars. I always make sure I uncheck any obscure checkboxes during the checkout process so that I don’t inadvertently provide legitimation for sending me unwanted emails.
Today, hardly a week later, I got several hundreds of emails from Priceline.
Clearly, something had gone wrong over there at Priceline. When I opened a few of these emails, I noticed that they were all sent to the email address that I used for placing my order, but they were addressed to other people in the email text, for example someone named Qianqin:
Now, as a software engineer, I understand that mistakes can happen. But at this scale, and for this long? I checked on SocialMention if there was a Shitstorm brewing about Priceline’s poor email campaigning abilities, and lo and behold, people everywhere are complaining about receiving hundreds of emails. Bakarit from Priceline tweets:
The sending of this email was detected and stopped promptly, we sincerely apologize to you.
I received these emails between 3:28pm and 4:37pm – so much about “promptly”. And I had not checked the little box, which should have told them that I did not want a single email from them! So what to do? Reluctantly, I tried to unsubscribe by clicking on the link in one of the emails. To no avail:
Notice: Undefined index: email in
/var/www/offers.priceline.com/htdocs/p/unsub_process.php on line 15
It appears that Priceline has disabled their Unsubscribe feature because people were unsubscribing the email address of the original addressee, not their own. Now that’s a problem – lol. How can I get my email address out of this list if I cannot unsubscribe? I sent an angry email to Priceline’s customer support and will have to live with the costly mistake of booking my trip on Priceline.com. Had I done billable work for a client instead of spending 2 hours dealing with this mess, that would have easily paid for the few bucks I saved through their service, plus a nice dinner for the family.