90% doc accuracy results in Company Losses (was When is it right to be wrong?)

Subject: 90% doc accuracy results in Company Losses (was When is it right to be wrong?)
From: Stephen McDermott <Stephen -dot- McDermott -at- PREMERA -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 09:06:16 -0800

A good example of why it is imperative to be 100% accurate is AT&T's recent
transition of Excite -at- home customers...

It is an understatement to say this transition did not go smoothly for most
in the western US.

It took two weeks to finally connect 90% of the people to their networks.
AT&T finally had to acknowledge that it was "encountering difficulties"
after previously stating that they had 100% connectivity days after the
service transfer. Well, the press was NOT kind when consumers (rightfully)
started complaining. So, AT&T gave a 2:1 service reimbursement, doubling
their loss. I make no mention of lost customers, as DSL providers were
quick to take advantage of AT&T's weakness.

The problem? A 90% accurate document (the procedure for customers to follow
on switchover).

Even after following the provided instructions verbatim with customer
service reps holding their hands (figuratively) on the line, users could not
connect. One final step was omitted. The customer had to release their old
and obtain their new IP addresses using winipcfg.

For some on this list, this must seem a no brainer. For those thinking
that, consider this: the same instructions assumed a user needed to be told
how to reach the Control Panel in Windows (Start>Settings>Control...).
Now imagine your target audience.

That's one procedure I hope a technical writer did not write.


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