I tried to unsubscribe from Lumber Liquidators’ emails today:
There’s a button that says unsubscribe; but unless you notice and click the checkbox above it, you won’t be unsubscribed. Don’t believe me? Proof:
You’d think this would be illegal under the CAN-SPAM act, however, it isn’t:
5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
6. Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
(source: CAN-SPAM Act Business Compliance Guidelines)
The UX may be designed to confuse visitors into staying subscribed; but (using a plain reading) it complies with the letter of the law.
Bonus: The CAN-SPAM act never uses the word ‘unsubscribe’, and only uses the word ‘opt-out’ three times.