Last week I requested a brochure from a company via a web form. I won’t mention the company by name but I will just say that it starts with ’M' and ends with ‘itsubishi’. I’m obviously used to entering data into web forms so it’s not as if it’s my first time at a keyboard. I fill in my house number and postcode and the page magically finds the correct address. I click on the address and it is copied into the correct fields further down the page. All well and good. I fill in the rest of the details and confirm that everything is okay. I select the brochure that I want and the information is sent to a database on a server somewhere. After you’ve clicked ‘Send’ you don’t care about the mechanics you just wonder how long before you receive the goods.
A few days pass and I still haven’t received anything in the post, which, for such a large company, I think is slightly odd.
A full week later there is an envelope in my post box.
My surname is spelt wrong, the address now has a line missing and the town, which on the form was all in capitals, now has two capital letters as if it is part of a Scottish clan.
This is what, I can only surmise, has happened:
- The address is copied from a screen at HQ onto a piece of paper using an old fashioned form of data transfer called ‘handwriting’.
- The paper is then given to a telephone operator who phones the local branch and reads out the name and address.
- The person at the local branch writes this down.
- The paper is then handed to a data entry person, or someone with a hangover who is on a youth employment scheme, and they type it into a computer.
- This computer then prints out the label to stick on the envelope.
No way on earth could my information have been messed up so much without human intervention of one kind or another. Either that or some really shoddy programming.