Just once I’d like to buy something on the internet and not have the site send me loads of bloody emails afterwards

When I buy a Mars Bar (admittedly not that often these days) the newsagent doesn’t pester me with weekly phone calls about the other chocolate bars I might be interested in. And when I get off a bus I’m not concerned that the rest of my life will be littered with visits from the driver, asking if I’d like another journey at some point.

But when I buy absolutely anything on the internet I then receive regular emails telling me about new offers and other products from the place I shopped at.

And that would be fine if I had deliberately ticked an opt-in box, expressing my further interest in what these sites have to offer, but that never happens. I know if never happens because I’m always surprised to receive yet another email pointing out that it’s Valentine’s Day, the perfect occasion to buy some Lego.

This morning I voted for a friend’s card design on some site. Of course they asked for my email address and IMMEDIATELY sent me some spam which began with ‘thank you for signing up to our newsletter’. But I didn’t, and now I just feel negatively about the company in question.

Of course it’s an effective marketing tool that probably brings in more money than pissed off customers, but would it be so awful to have the chance to opt in instead of having my email address used as permission for constant bother?