Thursday, November 08, 2012

Request to Qantas to Keep Offering Plain Text Email

On 07/11/12 19:48, Justin Hyams, Executive Manager, Qantas Frequent Flyer emailed me to say:
Our records show that you are receiving emails from us in text-only format. This means that your emails appear with no formatting, colour or images. ...
Yes, my preferred email format is plain text, with no formatting, colour or images.
We'd like to advise that on 22 November, 2012 we will automatically update your preferred email format to HTML. ...
No, please don't change to sending me HTML formatted email, as I find them harder to read. Please send simple, short text messages with a link to details on the web.

My Spam filter detected the excessive formatting in the email you sent me and placed it in the junk mail folder. If you send messages with even more images and formatting it is likely the Spam filter will delete them without my ever seeing them. Even if I get the messages it will be difficult to discern the useful information content from the clutter of the images and formatting.

... receive from us will look more like a web page ...
If you send out poor quality messages, in addition to a loss of business due to messages not being readable you may also be in contravening Australian law. The Disability Discrimination Act requires you to provide services to people with a disability, including those with limited eyesight. If your messages rely on colour and images which some people can't see, then some people will not be able to read them and you will be acting unlawfully.

There are well established guidelines for designing web pages to make the easily readable and I suggest you apply these to your HTML formatted email. However, it would be even better if you were to continue to give customers, such as me, who want plain text messages, that option.

ps: Apart from your email format, there are problems with other Qantas communication. I was unable to renew my Qantas club membership as I did not know what corporate code to enter. Qantas did not reply to my query.

Unfortunately as the return address on your message was "do not reply" I did not know how to contact you and so have posted this to the Internet, in the hope someone will pass it on to Qantas.

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