Vodafone have just done a press release which should be a template for how to apologise when you get it wrong:
Late last year we announced we’d introduce a new online billing process that meant customers would be able to receive a TXT or email alert about their bill and could go online to pay it.
Nice idea, we thought. People will like that we’re thinking of the trees and the convenience factor will be a big plus. Certainly the trial group liked it, so we rolled it out to the public. To encourage customers along we also said we’d charge $1.50 per month for those customers who still want a paper bill, with that charge kicking in some time in the first half of this year.
And that’s where the wheels came off.
Our customers have told us they quite like the idea of online billing but they hate, hate, HATE the idea of being charged to receive a paper bill.
Did we mention they hate it? Well they do. And we’re going to listen to what they say.
Very clever – indicates they have listened to what people said.
So, being the company we are we’ve decided to do a U-turn, an about face, a 180: now you can get your bill in the post each month if you so want, and it won’t cost a penny.
In fact, we’ll go a step further – customers can opt to carry on getting the email or TXT alerts, they can get a paper bill posted out to them or they can chose to get their bill emailed out to them in PDF format.
No weasel words trying to deny it is a u-turn.
And we’d like to say sorry for all the trouble. We’re not perfect. We’re only human but hopefully we’re grown up enough to ‘fess up when we make a mistake.
And an apology to boot.
The only thing missing is the photos of the buring at the stake of the persons who dreamt up the idea of charging customers $1.50 to receive a bill!