Dark patterns collection

I'm regularly battling to maintain Inbox Zero for my work and personal mailboxes and I have to say it's not a fun game. Especially when some crappy tactics at are play like below.

Let's start a collection, and update this post regularly with findings.


First example is Elastic (elastic.co), with a work email I never asked for, inviting me to a local event. The email is long and I don't care about the Pizza party at all which is the first thing they mention in their agenda. I want to stop receiving such emails.

Looking at the bottom of their email, I notice a first unsubscribe button.

It redirects to a subscription page... (see below). Clever... !

When looking more closely, there is a second unsubscribe button, very hard to see due to the lack of contrast.

Who has then time to fill their unsubscribe form ? Not every weirdo. But that's it seems the effort which is due just for allowing me to regain a little more quiet in my mailbox. So now you know.


After months with Contabo (VPS), I decided it was time to close my domain and hosting subscriptions managed at OVH. I disabled the automated renewal a few weeks ago, and managed to setup redirects on my old websites. My subscriptions should be cancelled automatically but I can't wait and I want to get that out of my mind, so I want to force a manual cancellation.

To my surprise, it took me a lot of emails and exchanges with support. I understand the security measures and no one would like its accounts and services revoked by accident.

The problem is mostly the poor UX and customer support for getting this done. Let dig deeper.

When trying to cancel any service, I just get error without explanation nor resolution steps.

Later did I find emails from OVH asking me to confirm my revocation, so I could at least complete some of the steps, but it required me to leave my workflow and switch from my admin panel to emails, then manage those emails, then double check my admin panels for updates of services statuses...

In the end I opened a ticket to OVH support asking them to delete my account and the related services. They closed the ticket asking me to close my account only after services are revoked, which let me again with an unresolved solution.

I had to reopen the ticket and provide them the evidence above so they know I can't close some of my services. Closing a customer complaint on user's behalf without asking feedback is probably a tactic for improving their KPIs, but it ultimately tell they consider their customers to be nothing more than complainers with no real problem to be solved. This also tell the culture of OVH has diverged from customer first. No wonder I'm leaving you, OVH, as I'm expecting more from a service provider.