My blog postings over the last couple of days talking about who needs to take responsibility for the quality of an organisations website seems to have stirred up a bit of a hornet's nest. Sadly it wasn't the reaction I was aiming for but it does reinforce my message that the only people really looking out for the customer is the CUSTOMER,
Our CEO, Lawrence Shaw, emailed the Chairman of Sitecore directly (after being hit with rather a terse response previously in trying to advise them of matters). In his email he linked to the blog article about Toshiba's Business Communications Division http://blog.sitemorse.com/2010/02/who-ends-up-in-court---you-or.html, who are a Sitecore reference site, pointing out why our companies should work together.
We haven't had any joy in engaging with them in the past and although we were expecting anything in the range of "yes, let's meet" to "no thanks". We did not expect the response we did get.
Here are the two emails firstly from Lawrence and then the response.
Lawrence Shaw at Sitemorse [mailto:lshaw@Sitemorse.com]
Sent: 04 February 2010 09:47
Subject: Not the best reference site article Dear Mr Sondergaard,
I've just noticed this on our blog (below), is was posted after something was bought to our attention that we don't think is either correct, or factual - your sales team claiming that your CMS wouldn't allow broken links etc & external checking services are of no value.
One of our marketing team has now checked your key clients, and we may end up with with some very unhappy people (internally and at the clients) if they have been given a false sense of security, the findings may not be what they want - its also not about shooting the messenger.
We did meet at Internet World a couple of years ago, I did look to follow-up with yourself but your staff were very dismissive of the need for external testing / verification tools.
C E O
And the reply
We have noticed your unauthorized usage of our brand, logo, protected name and trademarks.
The usage not unauthorized by Sitecore and you are instructed to immediate stop using our brand, logo, protected name and trademarks in the marketing of your company.
We have asked our lawyers to prepare a lawsuit against you for your slanderous behaviour as well as for your unauthorized usage of our protected intellectual property.
Also we noted that thus you have no permission to use Toshiba's brand and intellectual property in the marketing of your boutique you are using this in the public room.
We have advised our customer Toshiba and involved web design agency to both seek legal advice and possible take legal action against you immediately with no further warnings.
So, no mention of the fact that the customer has a problem. No mention about how we might help the customer solve the problem. No "thanks, we'll get straight on to it".
And what is slanderous about pointing out that two very important links on Toshiba's Home Page categorically don't work ? And the use of their trade name comes about because they have a "Powered by Sitecore" at the bottom of the Toshiba webpage (which I didn't notice when I grabbed the screen).
We also spoke to Toshiba again yesterday and though they were angry about the problems existing in the first place they were NOT annoyed with Sitemorse for finding them.
When I checked again this morning the problems have been solved.
It seems to me that this reinforces the message that YOU need to take control and responsibility for ensuring the quality of your Website, you can not rely on the assurances from others.