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E-Marketing Performance Blog

When You Screw Up, Admit it… Like I'm Doing Right Now

Some of our readers may not know about our super-cool CodeMonitor tool that allows users to monitor web pages for text and coding changes on a day to day basis. We use this tool for all our client pages that we work on plus any competitors and other information based sources that we want to be notified about whenever a change occurs.

The tool is still in beta mode which means, among many other things, we still screw up. And boy, did we screw up big time today. We are in the process of purging our database to get rid of unused accounts that have been set up and abandoned. Here is the email we attempted to send out:

Code Monitor: Policy Change Notice

Dear Code Monitor Subscriber,

We are making some minor changes to the way CodeMonitor works. Currently we send out an email anytime one of your monitored pages changes. This allows you to login and resave the changed pages to the current live version. Starting immediately we will be emailing all subscribers at least weekly regardless if any changes to monitored pages have occurred. This will assure you that CodeMonitor is still monitoring all your pages and allow you to login and make any changes to your account as necessary.

Please note that in two weeks we will be purging our the CodeMonitor database, eliminating all inactive accounts. If you wish for your account to remain open you’ll want to login at least once within the next two weeks.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any comments, questions, or ways to make CodeMonitor better.

Immediately after sending out these notices, phone calls and emails started pouring in with complaints. Some didn’t get any text in the message and others had their email address shown publicly. Some both. It’s the address thing that really bothers me.

We take privacy seriously and never use our CodeMonitor database for anything other than the regularly scheduled CodeMonitor updates. But by not hiding the email information we subjected many CodeMonitor users to potential spamming and other security issues. For that we are deeply sorry and apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused.

My programmer has assured me that the issue has been fixed and that it will never happen again. We want all of our readers, and CodeMonitor users, to know that we take full responsibility for this error and certainly understand the outrage that it has caused. We believe firmly in the value of the tool and hope, despite this major screw up, others will continue to see the value in it as well.

And now using a bit of clever redirection, I point you to someone who has done far worse by saying… “But I’m not the only one who’s done this!”

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

One Response to When You Screw Up, Admit it… Like I'm Doing Right Now

  1. Annika Venema says:

    Well, nothing but kudoos from me. I was one who received several of the mentioned emails with my mail adress in the cc (as aposed to the bcc) along with several others. So I complained. My emails where answered personaly by Stoney and I truly, truly believe that he and his team did everything in theire power to control the damage. People will be people, and people tend to make mistakes. But the world will be a whole lot of a better place if everybody showed the same courage as this team did when a mistake is made. Thumbs up, and thank you for that. You made my week!