When we recently looked at how the new flybuys isn’t particularly good value, a few readers argued that it was unfair to claim that Coles would “aggressively bombard you with offers”. Having received three emails from flybuys in the course of a week, I’d say that the marketing is well and truly on. What can you do about it?
I’m not intending to use flybuys regularly, but I had to sign up in order to write about it. You need to supply an email address as part of that process, and there’s no way of choosing to opt out of email communication on the flybuys site. In the last seven days, I’ve received two promotions offering extra points with some outlets, as well as a generic spruik for the temporary my5 discount on. (BTW, I’m not counting the original sign-up email in the total — it would be odd not to get that.)
The flybuys site does tell you that you can “contact us at any time to opt out of electronic and telephone direct marketing communications”, However, in order to do that you have to write a letter or make a phone call. Many people won’t bother.
Obviously, if you’re a regular Coles shopper, knowing about these offers could potentially save you money or earn you more points. But the usual caveats apply: it will take a long time to accumulate points to a level that actually offers anything, and if you spend money on something you didn’t otherwise need, there’s no saving in place.
If (like me) you don’t want to see flybuys emails but you have joined flybuys (perhaps at the insistence of a family member), there are a few possible solutions other than contacting flybuys itself. You can easily set up a filter in Gmail (or a rule in Outlook) to automatically move flybuys messages into a given folder or delete them. If you have a specific email address you use for sign-ups to services you don’t expect regularly, that’s another option. In the grand scheme of things, hitting the delete key on unwanted messages really isn’t that hard either.
Conversely, if you’re keen to see flybuys offers as they come in, make sure to check your spam folder. I automatically back up my email to Gmail, and it placed several of the messages into the spam folder straight away. (To tell Gmail not to do this, select the message in the spam folder and choose ‘Not spam’ from the ‘More’ drop-down at the top.)