Snail Mail - The new Do NOT Contact me!

The web is extensively used to market, sell and services products and services. Organizations more and more nurture a conversation with their prospects and customers to build a relationship. However in situations where the conversation goes towards less driving the business and possibly ending the relationship, the organizations tend to fall back to their traditional 'please provide by letter' snail mail communication. I'm getting the impression that this is done on purpose to make it harder to have a less positive conversation.

A while back I've lost my faith in Audi and I don't appreciate the overload of marketing material they constantly mail and email me. The emails contain a 'request your test drive now' form, but for the opt out of marketing material I do need to write a letter. Even after 2 letters I still receive all the marketing material, probably because it's easy to claim that the letters got lost.

My bank extensively supports internet banking, I can buy additional services, buy and sell stock, get a loan all by the internet. However if I want to cancel something, I do need to write a traditional letter.

Yesterday I received a parking ticket in a place where I'm allowed to park. I tried to explain this to the traffic warden, but she was not receptable for my arguments. I can request and buy a parking license online, I can pay my parking tickets online, but if I want some justice I need to file a complaint in writing. The city of Delft even writes at their website, a complained by email will be considered an informal complaint and receive a informal answer.

I'm recently having some troubles that my internet connection at home is not very stable. The provider is very helpful on Twitter, email and the phone, however the issue does not get resolved. When I try to escalate I do again need to do this in writing.

These are just some example I've been running into lately. All the companies do their best to serve me with modern communication technologies. However when it gets tough they just don't go all the way and revert back to traditional snail mail. As a customer it feels like they want to discourage me from contacting them.

Fortunately I've also seen organizations that also are easy to connect when it gets harder. In the future I'll pay more attention to the usage of modern communication means when selecting supplier.

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