LETTING STUPIDITY GET IN THE WAY OF GOOD PUBLIC RELATIONS
One of the things that can harm the image of a company is to let poorly trained staff send out letters to customers which are breathtaking in their sheer stupidity. The particular example set out below refers to bank, but this quality of output could equally have come from other types of company dealing with consumers.
The customer e-mailed her bank with a simple request for a new book of deposit slips for her account, as her old one was running out.
In response, the bank e-mailed back this amazing waffle:
"We welcome the opportunity to assist you with ordering some deposit books for your account. To assist you further, we will be required to access your account information. We cannot do this without first identifying you as the account holder.
"As we are unable to identify you via email and to ensure the security of your account information, please call Telephone Banking on the number below. We will be happy to place an order for you, as this facility is not yet available online.
"Alternatively, you may visit your nearest branch to place this request. We trust this information is of assistance."
To which the customer was forced to reply:
"It is astonishing that customers can move large sums of money around online, but are not able to order something as harmless as a deposit book. Your systems designers must be woeful and your top management should be advised of how poor an image this creates.
"I cannot see the need to identify recipients of deposit books. If a stranger wants to pay money into a customer's account why not let him?
"But in any case the request was for a book to be sent to the account holder at her registered address. Your reply makes no sense at all."
Characteristically, the bank did not bother to reply.