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The Grand Support Email Speed Contest  (View post)

Brad [PersonRank 0]

Monday, January 16, 2006
14 years ago

Phillipp:

You realize that the American companies are likely taking today off in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, right? This could skew your results depending on which companies make their support departments work the US holiday.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Thanks for the info...

Joe [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

ermmm.... don't you think you're skewing the results towards the hi-tech companies (google, apple), as it is highly likely their employees read this blog and can encourage the support personnel to answer you?

Hashim [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Joe is right. Google has the upper hand in this, since they probably read your blog.

Markus [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

I know what happens if these companies read their email like I do.

"Cheapest Product?" --> [Report Spam]

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Let's see if Google answers first then... I would almost think smaller companies, like Busted Tees or Think Geek, have the upper hand here as they're likely receiving less emails than Google (or Apple, for that matter). But if Google answers first, I will announce it with the caveat you guys mention. :)

/pd [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Philipp, why did you drop MSFT from this game ?? Anyhow, Interesting experiment. I think ThinkGeek will be the first to respond!! Walmart and Coke will never respond.. there is too much red tape for them!!

Zoolander [PersonRank 4]

14 years ago #

yeah this question is lame. what is the google's cheapest product, doh!!

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

You may find you have to make the graph longer than 15 days...maybe even add a "never responded" category :)

I think it'd be interesting to ask a question that requires a unique answer and see how many of them respond with a canned response that doesn't answer the question. Happens all too often.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Niraj, whoever takes longer than 15 days will be marked as "disqualified" :)

The first results are in, refresh the Contest homepage!

/pd [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Hey Philipp, how are you differentating autoresponders to humanizers ??

Both emails even the one in german seems to be autobot responder, Stripping away the SMTP address and inserting it back again as part of the canned response. So, IMHO, all 3 responses so far DO not qualify!! :)-

None actaully responded to the question!!!

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Pd, I think for all 3 so far it needed a human to tell me e.g. that this is the wrong email. An auto-responder wouldn't say "this is the wrong email please contact this other email" I think. IBM said "regarding IBM's cheapest product", which is in direct relation to what I asked for. The German Wal-Mart email as well as the Dell one also were related to my inquiry. The only one that was tough so far was this auto-responder from Amazon, because I had to re-read it several times to understand it's in no relation at all to my question:

"Thanks for writing to us at Amazon.com.

You'll find the answers to most of your questions about ordering,
shipping, and our features and services by visiting our special page
for first-time visitors:

www.amazon.com/o/tg/browse/-/524700

For your convenience, I've summarized some of this information in
this message. You may wish to save or print out this message so you
can refer to it later, when you're ready to place your first order.

Please note that all orders must be placed online on our web site.
You will create your Amazon.com account automatically by placing your
first order.

To begin, find the items you'd like to order--you'll see a keyword
search box on nearly every page of our web site.

When you find an item that interests you, click on the name of the
item to go to its product information page. Here, you will find
more details about the item, including an availability estimate
which describes the amount of time it will take before the item will
be ready to leave our fulfillment center.

(... goes on and on and on ...)"

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

PS: But note the bonus prize I want to give because no email so far answered my question. All were evasive and referred me to someone/ somewhere else.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Now Sony's reply is in. This one is very hard to tell from an auto-responder :)

/pd [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Ok I hear you on the Auto Responder vs Humanizer thingy.

Yikes.. the amozon response looks lousy!!

Arthur van Bunningen [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

I'm very sorry to say that I really think all answers till now are auto responders :) Seriously, I looked at a MSc presentation of a student for a small Dutch company and it is surprising to see what you can see with a bit of classification. I really think these big companies have better systems and these responses are possible based on natural language technology. (but that is my opinion of course ;))

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

The actual first answer is in!
blogoscoped.com/support/

/pd [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Hehehehe – So I was correct-thinkgeek responded!!

Longwall [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

Don't expect Google to be too quick.

I've been waiting since the start of December for help with a Blogger (okay – not strictly Google) problem and only had automated messages since then.

AE [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

Does Google even sell products? They sell some services but not products, right?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

They sell Google Mini, and they also could've pointed me to the Google Store...

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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