A Question about internal business problems and what you tell customers

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I have three questions to ask and would be very interested to see what peoples responses are.

  1. Within the company/business you work for when you have a problem that affects customers and they query you about what happened and what was the cause, what is your response?

    • A. The truth about what happened.
    • B. You don't know.
    • C. The problem is still being investigated.
    • D. A lie to ensure customers do not know the truth for whatever reason.
    • E. Answer depends on severity or type of problem encountered and how your customers would respond (eg. Leave, Take legal action.)
    • F. Attempts are made to evade the question.
    • G. Other. (Please Specify)

  2. The answer that is given is that an answer that is ...

    • A. Company policy.
    • B. On your own initiative.
    • C. Recommended by someone in the legal profession.
    • D. Recommended by someone in public relations.
    • E. Other. (Please Specify)

  3. If your company automatically issues notifications, reports or press releases is it ...

    • A. The truth detailing the cause and/or and how it was fixed.
    • B. The truth but written in such a way to mislead so the customer draws an incorrect conclusion.
    • C. Saying that the problem has been solved or fixed without even mentioning what the cause of the problem was and/or how it was fixed.
    • D. Other. (Please Specify)

    Thanks in advance to all who may respond.

    Regards, Simon

    -- Simon Richards (simon@wair.com.au), September 11, 1999



From what I've seen hanging out on both sides of the PR "trenches" (as a journalist and an independent with PR clients) the answer depends upon the size of the company.

Larger companies will have PR advisers and legal counsel to guide them.

"Mom and Pop" shops won't.

What large and small have in common is fear for their future.

"Flight to quality" will always haunt their mindsets when dealing with a problem that affects customers.

The objective is to retain customers and stay in business.

That objective will always color their responses. Sort of like politics. [grin]

Probably not what you asked for, but my 2 cents.


-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), September 11, 1999.

Mr. Richards,

This is probably one of the single greatest reasons to prepare, in my view.

Example: I own a business (really) specifically telecommunications.

Here is how the information exchange has and will continue to take place without exceptions.

Company A to Company B via mail usually: Is your company ready or compliant for year 2000?? At this point,(please refute this if you can) Company B has two options----Yes or NO--- If they say no--well then there is an obvious problem. If they say yes than the problem goes away real quickly. No company would ever say NO when saying yes is SOOOOOO unaccountable (at this point in time).

It is a very disconcerting pattern that requires definite contemplation amongst all of the Positive remediation reports. I would gather that we can divide in half what most companies are saying. It is no different than our culture, where no one wants to come clean with their dirty little secrets. i.e. Porn,physical abuse,drugs,debt,fear,hypocrasy,alcoholism,speeding,fudging,lying, you know all of our finer virtues as a society on the whole.

Stand by!!! The day of reckoning may be at hand!!!

Again if anyone reading this disagrees with the ease and simplicity of "Just say Yes" then please let me know.

-- David Butts (dciinc@aol.com), September 11, 1999.

Our response to letters enquiring about our Y2K status is simple.Internally compliant,building up reserves of raw materials & finished stock but at the end of the day dependant on power,water,postal services,banking etc like any other business.Two of our suppliers actually rang to say we were the first who didn't say 100% yes & thanked us for our honesty.

-- Chris (griffen@globalnet.co.uk), September 11, 1999.

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