No, we aren't machines, and neither are the people who write to us. So how do we explain a message like the one I just received (below)?
In fact, I received two identical messages. They came from a wireless Internet service I subscribed to temporarily. They began with this unusual subject line:
Subject: TEST Ad Hoc Template, Lynn
And here is the first two-thirds of the message, exactly as I received it, with two small changes. I changed the name of the company to XXXXX and my account number and user name to ZZZZZ.
Access Pass Number:
Account Closed Date:
Account Creation Date: 03/11/2010
Account Number: ZZZZZ
Account Status: ACTIVE
CC Decline Balance:
CC Decline Charge Date:
CC Decline Charge Date Description:
Connects During Billing Cycle: 0
CC Expiration Date: 05/01/2011
EOC Day of Month: 11
First Name: Lynn
Laptop Client Version:
Laptop OS Version:
Last Name: Gaertner-Johnston
Lifetime Connects: 0
Monthly Subscription Charge: 0.00
Plan Type: Hourly
Premium Connects During Billing Cycle:
Receipt Charge Amount:
Receipt Payment Date:
Receipt Product Use Date:
Registered XXXXXX: Yes
Sales Channel Code: BW1205
The rest of the message went on to tell me about a change in my service and about pricing. It ended with a thank you for my business and was signed by the director of customer care.
We are not machines. So how do we send and receive such messages?