Typos are not only embarrassing, but can also be costly. A seemingly trivial typographical mistake can cause businesses to lose millions of dollars and adversely affect their brand as well. Seems unbelievable? Read on to find out more.
An exotic vacation becomes X-rated
When Banner Travel Services placed an advertisement in the Yellow Pages back in 1998, little did it expect this to cause irreversible damage to its professional reputation. A typo error substituted “x” for “r”, such that “exotic travel” became “erotic”, leading this California-based travel agency to lose nearly 80 percent of its customers because of the reprint. In suing the Yellow Pages for gross negligence, this agency was awarded a whopping $19 million in damages.
Cheap flight that was too good to be true
In 2006, Italian airline Alitalia mistakenly offered business-class flights from Toronto to Cyprus for $39, instead of the usual $3,900 on its reservation system. 2,000 travellers snapped up these tickets before the error was rectified. Alitalia initially tried to cancel all the tickets purchased, prompting a public relations disaster. Eventually, Alitalia agreed to the price rate reduction as a goodwill gesture to protect its reputation, resulting in damages of more than $7 million.
More than just reducing a company’s credibility and causing confusion, typos can even result in devastating consequences as illustrated by these costly cases.
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