IT Trends :: Thursday, August 3, 2006

Opinion

Stupid Forms and Other Communications

By Terry Calhoun

You may guess from the title this week that I am annoyed with something. That would be correct. A few weeks ago, my wife received an invoice for $167.52 for a package that was shipped from Florida to some overseas company via her FedEx account.

Unfortunately for FedEx, she d'esn’t have a FedEx account. She never has.

We took the invoice and carefully wrote out in bold ink that this was not her account, that she had not opened an account with FedEx ever, and that we expected FedEx to take care of the situation without further bothering us. Then we mailed it back to FedEx.

Yesterday we received a “response” to our “query” that consisted of a single sheet of paper, with very tiny places to complete bits of information like “Invoice Number,” “Shipped To,” “Shipped From,” “Nature of Query,” and so forth.

I’m afraid that I went ballistic. Partly because it was about 100 degrees on the “realfeel” meter, but partly because I have a short trigger regarding (a) poorly designed forms and (b) large, complicated companies that do their best to ensure that a consumer spends far more time dealing with an issue than the company itself has to.

This was a classic example of both...

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