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PR nightmare
Monday, November 20, 2006

The internet is changing everything. And PR firms will make a killing.

Take for example, an employee berating possible customers for trying to save money in a wedding. This is the email exchange that has made it all over the world:

    Possible customer:
      Paula and I went and viewed your marquee set-up at Devonport the other weekend and unfortunately we did not like it, so this is just to let you know we will not require your services on 7 April 2007.

    Hotel employee:

      Hi Steve, Thanks for your reply. Your wedding sounded cheap, nasty and tacky anyway, so we only ever considered you time wasters. Our marquees are for upper class clients which unfortunately you are not. Why don't you stay within your class level and buy something from payless plastics instead. Kindest Regards, Katrina.

Ouch. What's a company to do? Issue an apology on their main web site:


    We would like to advise that we regret the exchange. We have apologised [misspelling from the original site] to the customer concerned and this staff member's contract has been terminated and processes has been put in place to ensure it won't happen again.

(I'm sure the apology will go down shortly, but here is a screen shot of it.)

Needless to say, they fired the employee, however, this one thoughtless act will probably loose some money to this company. How much effect this action will have on the bottom line, it's hard to say but Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia is thinking of dropping them from the event (this is probably a good source of clients). I'd also think it is hard to judge the company for the actions of one employee, however, they do train their employees (and the employee happened to be the owner's wife).

This is a very tough situation for this company, but I'm not sure if I would have advised to put the apology right at front or not. Why? Although it is a good gesture, it detracts from their business, and not everyone knew this happened, but now, because of the apology, everyone knows--including new prospect clients, of which some will care and some won't. A very tough situation indeed.

7:54 AM | 0 comment(s) |


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