A dozen readers (and probably a couple of PR flacks) must have forwarded us J.Crew’s email today, in which the CEO and president of the company extend a mutual apology for the non-workingness of their “enhanced” website and call center. Oddly, the email simply asks customers to “bear with us” but doesn’t offer any discount or sale. Well, maybe they figured driving more traffic to a broken site would only make things worse.
Two readers have forwarded us a second email sent out by Citibank today, but it’s not another vaguely worded PR blast from the CEO. Instead, this one announces that Citibank is adopting the zero-tolerance approach to late payments favored by the credit card industry—miss a payment due date and you’ll lose any interest rate discount(s) you currently enjoy.
Citi CEO Emails To Inform You Of Citi's "Bold Steps," Neglects To Tell You What The "Bold Steps" Are
Reader Ben writes:
On Wednesday, April 9th you received an email with the subject line “Get $25 From Citibank”. We recently discovered that the email we sent to you incorrectly contained the salutation “Dear Donna Robinson” rather than “Dear MATTHEW F”. We apologize for the confusion this may have caused and want to assure you that the email is a legitimate Sears card email.
Oh Sears. Well, according to Matthew F, at least the account number was his.
Here’s how the Newegg email address was spoofed on the Creative forum over the weekend: Creative has a security protocol in place where you have to verify your email address before you can post. However, after you publish a post you can go back and change your address to anything you like. You won’t be able to verify the spoofed address and therefore won’t be able to post anything new—but anything you already posted will now display the spoofed address. Maybe you can get Daniel_K to fix your forum boards, Creative. (Thanks to Jawaad!)
If your company is in the habit of using a “donotreply.com” address in the “From” field of its emails, you might want to forward your IT department this entry from the Washington Post’s “Security Fix” blog—when customers don’t pay attention and reply to a “donotreply.com” email address, it goes to Chet Faliszek, a programmer in Seattle who registered the domain seven years ago.
With the exception of extreme cases… Faliszek says he long ago stopped trying to alert companies about the e-mails he was receiving. It’s just not worth it: Faliszek said he is constantly threatened with lawsuits from companies who for one reason or another have a difficult time grasping why he is in possession of their internal documents and e-mails.
People often write to us and ask “Hey do you have such and such a company’s email address? I didn’t see it on your website.”
Here’s proof that bad customer service, like haggling and buyer’s remorse, is a universal human condition. A woman in Brisbane, Australia saw an ad for 50% off the bill at Casa Flamenco, a local restaurant, so she and some friends went out for dinner. The experience wasn’t good—untrained waiter, mediocre food, small servings, long wait time, and despite the half-off coupon the meal was surprisingly expensive for the value. The woman—a restaurant marketer—wrote a polite email to the restaurant with some professional feedback and suggestions on how to improve service.
It’s good to know Sprint is taking your concern very seriously these days. When Peter tried to get a corporate discount for his company, Sprint told him sure, then told him no because he already had a discount with them. He wrote back and pointed out that he was told the corporate discount would be in addition to the existing one, at which point he received the following helpful email.
Reader X sends us an internal email chain that was accidentally forwarded by some executives at Beaner’s Coffee.
Amazon sent out some unexpected bundles of email joy earlier this week, when it let unsuspecting couples know that not only did they have a baby gift registry, but that someone had bought them something off of it. Julee writes, “I was shocked to find out we were expecting a child. So was my husband. And that someone had been stalking us online early enough in the process to know to buy us a gift!” She asked her married friends and found out that they, too, had received similar good news. Babies for everyone! Hooray!
Don’t worry avid gamers, Walmart has “received your request to cancel” your pre-ordered copy of Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii. Oh, you didn’t ask to cancel the order, you say? $19.82 is an amazing price for a $50 game?
A reader has forwarded us an obnoxious notice from US Airways that explains how they “reward” their frequent flyer program members: by charging them $25 if they’re not active enough. So what are the best ways to remain active without spending $25 or making an unnecessary ticket purchase?
Oh, how embarrassing. Travel writer Christopher Elliott signed up for StumbleUpon and due to some pre-checked boxes and a programming error, accidentally invited everyone he had ever emailed to join StumbleUpon.
Several of our readers received this email from Best Buy, explaining that they won’t be honoring a mistake in the upcoming September 23, 2007 Best Buy ad.