Unanswered e-mail bad for business

Unanswered e-mail bad for business

Summary: Many businesses have an online presence, and some have e-mail addresses to handle inquiries. But some businesses do not respond to e-mail messages, ever. This has serious implications.


A few weeks ago, I sent off some e-mail messages. One was to a vacuum cleaner company asking for details how I could get repairs done for equipment under warranty. Another e-mail was to a daily deals site which asked for customer feedback (ironically, my feedback was that I was still waiting for a response to my feedback). To date, I have not received any reply.

Bad customer service aside, the non-answering of email could bite businesses badly. Legislation, including Singapore's Electronic Transactions Act, state that the time of receipt is when the e-mail reaches the e-mail address designated by the addressee. This means that regardless of whether it was eventually read, once the message reaches the e-mail address, it is deemed received.

An important message, including one with legal consequences, could have been sent to one such e-mail address and remain in effect although unread.

Therefore, all those businesses out there which proudly display their feedback and enquiry channels--you have to read those e-mail messages as well.

Topic: Legal

Bryan Tan

About Bryan Tan

Bryan is Pinsent Masons's technology media and telecommunications partner in Singapore and has practised since 1997. He advises on contracting and risk management in the areas of information systems and telecommunications, including intellectual property, data data privacy, e-commerce, cloud computing, and sourcing. He also has advised 10 different governments on e-commerce law.

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