I’m coining a new term today. I’ll trade mark it (hey, if Paris can, so can I) and make millions. What do I mean by a “Vile” form? A Vile form is any form that, on error, turns back on the ‘spam’ options automatically. It is truly vile in that you see the rest of the form fields have not been changed, so you mistakenly think the form remember you don’t want spam.
Example? My user group recently talked about iStoclPhoto.com, a truly amazing site for finding stock photos. Everything is well done on this site, especially the search. For the new blog I’m launching (more on that later), it took all of five minutes to find the image I wanted. The price, one dollar, was perfect. Like iTunes, I didn’t really have to think about it.
The “Vile” part comes in when you register. One of the last items in the form is:
Send me iStockphoto’s partner announcements. I agree to receive occasional special offers from iStockphoto partners (no more than one per month).
Let’s be honest, iStockPhoto. This is spam. But hey, at least you give me an opt-out, which is nice. What isn’t so nice is the fact that you turn this option back on when I make a mistake registering. Perhaps you thought I made a mistake in turning the option off. I mean, who doesn’t want more email? Maybe it’s just an innocent application mistake. I mean, the site is using PHP after all (joking folks!).
I know many sites do this, but why not be honest about it. When you report the error, also add the following text:
We noticed you turned off the option to get email from our partners. We are you didn't mean to do this. To "help" you, we have turned the option back on. Have a nice day.