Office 365 enterprise customers will soon receive tips emails from Microsoft directly and without ‘opting in’.
Microsoft calls them “helpful product training and tips” but aren’t being greeted with the enthusiasm that the company might be expecting.
They’re reported to be starting on 29 November 2018 to all Office 365 enterprise users who haven’t specifically chosen not to receive them. That’s usually an organization administrators task.
UPDATE: Microsoft has reacted to the angry response by ‘pausing’ their plans to email users. It might still happen, just later and in a different form.
We suggest making the ‘opt out’ change now as described below.
Office 365 consumers can already get these thinly disguised marketing emails.
Just a few reasons why these new Office 365 emails aren’t welcome.
Not Opt In
The ethical practice is for general emails to be on a ‘opt in’ basis. That applies to non-marketing emails that purport to be tips or help.
Presumably somewhere in the Office 365 terms is some wording that gives Microsoft legal cover to send unrequested emails.
Regardless of the fine print, sending out unwanted messages is a bad practice.
Are the emails relevant?
If the Office 365 consumer emails are a guide, the focus will be on new and changed Office 365 Enterprise features.
Microsoft might be proud of those features, but organizations might not want them or be ready to deploy.
Individual employees might read about parts of Office 365 and expect to use those features. Except their organization might not authorize their use, possibly for legal reasons.
Spam or not?
Among the unwanted ‘tips’ messages from Microsoft could be some fake emails from criminals.
Any new email practice from a large company like Microsoft opens the door for scammers to make ‘copy cat’ messages. Some individuals will be tricked by a sincere looking message not really from Microsoft.
There’s already plenty of scam emails trying to access Office 365 hosted accounts. Microsoft’s email initiative just opens another opportunity for criminals.
Turn them off
Office 365 Enterprise administrators can end this nuisance before it begins.
- Login to the Office 365 admin center
- Choose ‘Services & Add-ins’
- Then ‘End User Communication’
- Switch that option to “Off”