Why do developers and product managers skimp on profile management?

Now that OtherInBox is pissing off its users for the second time in three years, I’m going through the less-than-fun exercise of switching a couple hundred logins and subscriptions to new email addresses.

This has not been fun, not least because of the rote and manual nature of the updates. But it’s been made considerably worse by the half-assed approach many of these sites and subscription management platforms take to the basic task of updating user/profile/account data.

Here are a couple examples; neither site has a front-end interface to update the email address on file for either login purposes or notifications:

Site one

I’ve looked all over the site and left two chat thing on the Olark widget but no one’s responded to my question: how do I change the email address on file/login from [email] to [new email]?

we have to change it from our end is because if you’re currently logged into the site, then it causes a system crash if you change your login while you’re logged in!

Site two

Thanks for your email.

If you would like to change your email address you need to do the following:
1. Open a new account with the email address you want to use
2. Send us an email with both email addresses stating clearly which one you want to keep

Once we have the information, we will merge your accounts so that all the information is saved and the email address is changed.

Then there are the sites – more than two dozen, at last count – that decouple their obligatory marketing lists from their platforms. Meaning that an update or unsubscribe action entered on your profile isn’t synced with their email marketing platform of choice.

A word to all of you using “SafeUnsubscribe” from Constant Contact – stop. This is weaksauce:

Screenshot 2014-07-06 18.37.13

And Mailchimp folks, you might want to hide those segments/groups you’re using:

Screenshot 2014-07-06 18.44.46


The specialest of shouts to the many, many sites and lists that have neither a user-accessible way to either unsubscribe or update profile emails or any way of getting in touch with a human. That’s a “report for spam”, with extreme prejudice, for you.