Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Many Corporations Have Overlooked Something

It's possible this has already been covered somewhere, but I am just too lazy to go look for it.  So, I thought I would post about it anyway.

There is something that many corporations are overlooking that they may, or may not, realize they are doing it.  Take a look at the websites for these three companies: Veterinary Pet Insurance, Hewlett Packard, and 1-800Flowers.

What do these three companies have in common?  I will give you a couple of hints.  It has nothing to do with the product or service they provide.  It does have to do with their toll-free numbers.

Each one of these companies has a toll-free number that includes either a word, phrase, or abbreviation in it.  Now take a look at your cell-phone.  Chances are you have a cell-phone, or "smart" phone, that either has a full qwerty keyboard or a touchscreen.  Try dialing the toll-free number for one of these companies.  See the problem?

As you may notice, when toll-free numbers first came out telephones had either on the dial (for rotary style phones) or on the keypad (for touch-tone phones) letters that corresponded with the numbers.  With these types of phones you could, somewhat easily, discover what the actual toll-free number for the company is.  But with how many new cell-phones are built you need to go find a normal land-line phone to figure out what the number is, or you could hunt around on their website for an alternate number.

There are some companies that do make it easier.  Some will provide the corresponding numbers in parentheses below the word, phrase, or abbreviation; or will just restate the number right next to it.

So, if you work for one of these companies, or others like them, or you are a customer of theirs, go ahead and point out this little indiscretion and see what happens.  It might be a rather interesting revelation.

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