I recently received my first auto-renewal email for my iPad 3G wireless data plan from AT&T. I suppose I should first give them some credit for even bothering to send an email to the customers they are auto-renewing since so many companies don’t do this at all. However, it seems like sending these emails would be common courtesy so I can’t get too excited.
What struck me as insulting about the email is that they are leading off the email with “Congratulations”. Is AT&T successfully auto-renewing my credit card for a rate many feel is too high an occasion in which to congratulate someone? Perhaps “Thank you for your business!” would be more customer-centric? Or maybe something neutral like “Hello, this is a notification that we successfully billed your credit card $29.99 for your iPad 3G data plan.”
Leading with “Congratulations” shows that the author of the email was thinking from AT&T’s point of view, not mine as the customer receiving the email. This is a common mistake in business writing, one that needs to be called out when seen.