Checkbox Synchronicity

Not long after I posted my recent rant about checkboxes and the concept of “passive consent”, this bit of synchronicity played itself out in my own home.

We recently celebrated our daughter’s fourth birthday, and my wife had purchased as gifts some educational toys from LeapFrog, a publicly traded company that produces quality products, and of whom I’d say I have a favorable opinion.

My wife connected the toy to her laptop to download and install files that would allow it to function correctly. She trusts the company, too, so she was more than happy to complete the product registration page that was presented to her when she connected it.

From the other room, I heard her say, “Oh, crap!”

“What happened,” I called from the floor of the living room. I was entertaining our other child, a ten-month-old boy who has recently become remarkably mobile.

“I didn’t notice that the box was pre-checked before I submitted the registration.”

For the record, my wife does not work in e-mail deliverability, but she’s listened to me talk about it for as long as she has known me. She’s pretty familiar with my sentiments on permission and pre-checked subscription boxes. Clearly, she has just now acquired a similar opinion of the practice. LeapFrog has accomplished in a single form what I’ve failed to do in over eight years.

She’s never going to be able to look at mail from LeapFrog again without remembering the small subterfuge they employed to add her to their mailing list. She’ll likely unsubscribe at her earliest opportunity.

Is that really the kind of subscriber LeapFrog was looking for when they decided to pre-check a subscription box and bury it where it was less likely to be noticed? Is that the kind of subscriber any sender wants?

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