Why, oh why …

Why do companies always send an automated email message back to you when you first contact them by email? Or – rather more accurately – why do they set their systems up in such a way that their computer “writes back” to your computer? I mean, what exactly is the point?!

It’s obvious that no one is actually talking to you. They don’t care about you. They just want to get you off their backs so that they can get on with their work. It makes no difference if it is a bank, an insurance company, your cell phone provider or your medical aid. They all have the same annoying habit.

The automated emails often contain some of the most ridiculous messages. A great example is “This mailbox unfortunately cannot accept any queries”. That’s very funny. Why should it be unfortunate? Is the mailbox unhappy about the fact? The only person that it’s unfortunate for is you. And if they really mean you when they say it’s unfortunate, then that’s a bit of a shabby performance, isn’t it? Surely in all marketing material and customer interactions nothing should ever be unfortunate? Everything should be upbeat, peachy and plain sailing. So it must be the mailbox that’s unhappy!!

Then, slightly less ridiculous but still rather annoying is the following: “This serves to inform you that we have received your email. We will send you confirmation once we have processed your instruction.” That’s not too bad but why can’t they just process your instruction now. Or if they can’t do it now, why can’t they keep quiet until such time as they’ve done it, and then let you know that they’ve done it. It serves absolutely no purpose to tell you that they’ve received your email. Obviously they have because you’ve sent it to them.



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