I recently received an email from the newly branded Comcast, XFINITY. They needed a re-branding in big way in my opinion but I’m not so sure a name change is going to cut it. These days you have to “show” your customers you’re going to service them better not hide behind a new name.

However, this email I received got me excited because they told me that they were going to upgrade my service and make downloading faster. Finally!


Check out what happened next. A few hours later I got an email from them saying that they in fact were not going to make my service faster. Bummer! Sounds to me like a classic example of a boo boo made by someone matching the wrong list to the wrong offer and clearly I wasn’t going to be one of the lucky ones.


So what is a company to do? I don’t think that XFINITY did a great job in their secondary efforts, they could have handled this snafu in a different manner, especially in their wording.

First of all, don’t start off this email by saying “We value your business” then tell me you’re not going to make good on your offer. Clearly you don’t value my business.

Then do not write “The email was sent in error, we apologize for any inconvenience.” Hey XFINITY; YOU sent the email so why not say “We mistakenly sent you an email.” Passive apologies do not work.

And are you sorry that YOU sent it or are you apologizing for my inconvenience? Just say you’re sorry and cop to the fact that you made a mistake. That would really go a long way with customers. This email really makes one feel like a second class citizen. This email didn’t really lend itself to the new XFINITY being customer-focused.

But hey, this happens to a lot of companies. A few years ago I got an email from American Express saying I was going to receive the coveted “Black Card”.

American Express reportedly sent this to 250,000 members of the wrong list then sent an apology saying oops, sorry, you’re not “invited” after all. Ouch.

It’s an easy mistake to do so how do you recover from it?

1. Honor Your Mistake  Calculate the number of opens and clicks you think you’ll get to see what your exposure will be. Then honor your offer to these people. You might get some great word of mouth out about your company.

2. Say You’re Sorry – If you can’t honor it, first and foremost make sure you apologize. I love the ReWork author Jason Fried when he says, “Just say you’re sorry.”

3. Give Something Away for Your Mistake – Along with your apology, why not offer your recipients something of value. In the case of XFINITY they could have given a month free or a discount to get  downloads faster. In the case of American Express they could have given points, which cost them very little. Then it would have taken the sting out of “not getting” something.

Mistakes are going to happen. How you react will be very telling.

Got any horror stories of your own? Let’s hear them!

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