advertising information
   personal technology

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

CNN Websites
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines

 message boards





Nearly half of top Web sites provide lousy service

November 11, 1998
Web posted at: 11:30 AM EST

by Tom Diederich

(IDG) -- Nearly half of the top-ranked Internet sites are woefully lacking when it comes to customer service, a new report maintains.

Jupiter Communications LLC said 42% of 125 major sites -- under the categories of content, consumer brands, travel, retail and financial services -- either didn't answer customer E-mail for at least five days, didn't respond at all or didn't even bother to list an E-mail contact.

  Computerworld's home page
  Computerworld "Emmerce"
  Get Media Grok and The Industry Standard Intelligencer delivered for free
 Reviews & in-depth info at's personal news page
  Questions about computers? Let's editors help you
  Search in 12 languages
  Subscribe to's free daily newsletter for IT leaders
 News Radio
  Computerworld Minute
  Fusion audio primers

The report, released today, said these sites are "ignoring the opportunity to communicate with existing and potential customers, discouraging brand loyalty and opting out of a user-initiated, one-to-one relationship by not offering, delaying or eliminating responses to E-mail."

Jupiter, in New York and London, said retail shopping sites scored the best, with 54% taking less than 24 hours to respond to consumer inquiries. On the other hand, 19% of travel-related sites either took at least three days or never responded to E-mail.

The company said the data indicates that many sites are simply unable to keep abreast of the heavy flow of user questions.

"Answering thousands of questions per month is an enormous challenge for sites offering complex products and services, especially if they never had a traditional call center," Ken Allard, group director of Jupiter's site operation strategies, said in a statement.

"Yet companies that delay responses to user questions instantly lose a significant degree of credibility and user loyalty," Allard said. "And not responding perpetuates the consumer notion that using the Web site is not a reliable method of doing business with that company."

Related stories:
Latest Headlines

Today on CNN

Related stories:

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window

External sites are not
endorsed by CNN Interactive.

Enter keyword(s)   go    help


Back to the top
© 2000 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.