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Old 16.07.2008, 11:21
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Contact us - so we can ignore you...

Why do so many websites encourage you to contact them via their site, and then completely ignore your email?

What is an acceptable response time to emails in Switzerland? A couple of days max surely? Not over a fortnight/ never!
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Old 16.07.2008, 11:35
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Re: Contact us - so we can ignore you...

My rule of thumb is this: if it is important for you to have contact, email (or other electronic method) is not the medium to use
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Old 16.07.2008, 11:44
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Re: Contact us - so we can ignore you...

Sounds like good advice. Trouble is my French is poor at the mo, so email is easier for me.... but then not if it gets me nowhere!
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Old 16.07.2008, 11:45
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Re: Contact us - so we can ignore you...

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Why do so many websites encourage you to contact them via their site, and then completely ignore your email?

What is an acceptable response time to emails in Switzerland? A couple of days max surely? Not over a fortnight/ never!
Agree with Lob...

Otherwise, I try to answer within 24 hours. If I cannot answer with an
appropriate answer within this time frame, I answer with "your mail has
been received and we are working on your request"... or something along
that line - so they know we are on it!
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Old 16.07.2008, 11:47
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Re: Contact us - so we can ignore you...

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Sounds like good advice. Trouble is my French is poor at the mo, so email is easier for me.... but then not if it gets me nowhere!
parlez vous anglais?
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Old 16.07.2008, 11:49
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Re: Contact us - so we can ignore you...

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Why do so many websites encourage you to contact them via their site, and then completely ignore your email?

What is an acceptable response time to emails in Switzerland? A couple of days max surely? Not over a fortnight/ never!
I don't think it really has much to do with the country the email's being sent to (or in) but with the person(s) sitting at the other end.

I answer emails within a couple of hours max, my colleague sitting with me in the same office, sometimes deletes them by mistake, without ever having read them (but then, he's over 80 and can't really see very well anymore, not that he'd EVER admit it)
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Old 16.07.2008, 12:07
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Re: Contact us - so we can ignore you...

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Why do so many websites encourage you to contact them via their site, and then completely ignore your email?

What is an acceptable response time to emails in Switzerland? A couple of days max surely? Not over a fortnight/ never!
One plausible explanation for this could be the "Sommer Ferien". I found that when it's vacation time, everything here seems to come to a screeching halt!

I've send requests for housing information using online contact boxes, and most of the time we receive (via SwissPost!) the project prospects within a day or two. The only two exceptions I have encountered were both due to the real estate agents' vacation.

And ohh.. my German sucks at the moment so I've always written my request in English even though they are German websites. I figured if they like us to take a look at their houses for sale they figured a way to decode the message and respond...
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Old 17.07.2008, 10:12
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Re: Contact us - so we can ignore you...

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Why do so many websites encourage you to contact them via their site, and then completely ignore your email?

What is an acceptable response time to emails in Switzerland? A couple of days max surely? Not over a fortnight/ never!
I think it really depends on who you are trying to contact.

If someone writes you an email in a language you don't understand, would you reply?

If email is easiest, atleast try and write in French.

Why not call and ask if someone there can help you in English?
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Old 17.07.2008, 10:23
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Re: Contact us - so we can ignore you...

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Why do so many websites encourage you to contact them via their site, and then completely ignore your email?

What is an acceptable response time to emails in Switzerland? A couple of days max surely? Not over a fortnight/ never!
I sort of have had a similar experience with the services here and from latest most annoying responses I got was Orange when ordering new iPhone. Not only I received email after two weeks but they phoned me later and wanted to discuss technical aspects of my new contract. Since German is not my first language I offered to speak in English. The agent promised to put me thru with someone more proficient asap but it never happend. Needless to say, not only I couldn't get my new cellphone during the first day of launching but they haven't contacted me ever since...

BTW: Maybe it better qualifies for iPhone discussion forum or annoyance corner
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Old 17.07.2008, 13:43
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Re: Contact us - so we can ignore you...

I emailed cablecom (in English) after spending about 50 CHF waiting on their support hotline for a sensible technician....
They a) answered in a matter of hours, in English, and b) fixed the problem.
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Old 17.07.2008, 14:03
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Re: Contact us - so we can ignore you...

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parlez vous anglais?
ElieDeLeuze, if you're going to groan me for pointing out that people can call up and ask if the person on the phone speaks English, I'd like to see your suggestion.

Chop chop.
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Old 17.07.2008, 14:07
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Re: Contact us - so we can ignore you...

It is quite likely that the response forms don't work. They are quite difficult to set up correctly (to be spam proof etc). The site owner just thinks nobody contacts them...
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Old 17.07.2008, 14:12
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Re: Contact us - so we can ignore you...

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It is quite likely that the response forms don't work. They are quite difficult to set up correctly (to be spam proof etc). The site owner just thinks nobody contacts them...
Indeed. I ran a web presence for a rather large company in the past and a number of the content providers collected data via email. I would often point out that we had no way to know if the data actually arrived. We could send mail out, but if it bounced, we weren't listening for replies on this particular server. Occasionally, the people running the mail servers would change stuff and bits would vanish. We also provided an commercial database to collect data in a reliable, secure way.
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Old 18.07.2008, 14:02
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Re: Contact us - so we can ignore you...

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Sounds like good advice. Trouble is my French is poor at the mo, so email is easier for me.... but then not if it gets me nowhere!
Please explain, surely if language is a problem for you, then it's better to try to talk it than to try to write it? At least you can immediately tell if the message is getting across, and can maybe go back and reformulate the bits where you're not being understood.

If somebody gets a cryptic email that is so loaded with linguistic hickups that the meaning is lost, they are likely to delete it thinking it is spam or that somebody is making fun of them. I don't think they will think, ah, somebody is struggling with the langauge, let's get back and try to clean this up.
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Old 18.07.2008, 14:44
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Re: Contact us - so we can ignore you...

In all cases I'm talking about companies who advertise themselves on English services lists, so someone at each place can presumably speak English - but the chance of getting that person when you call is limited. Hence the English email.

My question was really is there a different acceptable response time here - and I think the answer is no. I just find it frustrating to be invited to contact them by email and then ignored. If you don't/ can't/ won't reply to emails, don't ask people to email, make them call.
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Old 18.07.2008, 15:09
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Re: Contact us - so we can ignore you...

I agree with Karen, it does get frustrating.

At my last job in the States (small financial services company with red umbrella in logo) I was in charge of "all things Internet."

Our condition was to reply to every e-mail or online request within 24 hrs. Customer service reps were measured and rewarded based on that metric.
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