The Ineffable Importance of Corporate Communications

Originally published at: The Ineffable Importance of Corporate Communications - TidBITS

In the last few weeks, we’ve seen three examples of companies failing to communicate with their customers effectively and suffering the slings and arrows of online ire.

" A day later, Adobe published an explanation of the changes, including a version of the terms of use with change tracking visible."

I wish that pretty much ALL communications would have some sort of obvious ‘change tracking’, though I can’t quite imagine how to do so in conversation…

1 Like

I completely agree that these types of Terms and Conditions should be displayed with change tracking visible. In many cases, a few words or a sentence or two are changed in docments several pages long. Finding what has been changed to determine its impact on your situation is extremely difficult unless change trackng is displayed. Although I tend not to like regulations in such situations, I would be in favor of a regulation requiring this in such cases.

“Whether or not Bartender is back to its pre-acquisition state, Applause has destroyed years of goodwill it may be too late for many.”

For me it is. Just maybe there were no bad intentions and only stupidity, but what else are they going to botch with an app that has far-reaching permissions on my system? I’m out the door and will never return. With regret though…

1 Like

The Ineffable Importance of Corporate Communications

I’m not sure it’s “ineffable”. I get some pretty “effing” important corporate communications. :joy:


When a company “clarifies what they meant,” if it relates to a EULA, wait for them to clarify it in the EULA before cutting them any slack. If it’s not in the agreement, it’s not binding. It’s a suggestion at most.

Of course, companies make unilateral changes to their EULAs all the time, so we need to be constantly vigilant.

And some of them (I’m looking at you, USPS, but there are others) explicitly state that it is the user’s responsibility to read the T&C to find changes (without any tracking) because there will be no notification. I suppose I should be happy that some companies bother to show the effective date; not all do.

Off-topic, but phone tree instructions that say “our menu options have changed recently” annoy me, because I don’t know if the options have changed since I learned the sequence of numbers to press to get where I want to go. The phone tree instructions should say “our menu options changed on May 26” so the caller can move ahead or listen for the changes.

1 Like

It’s not clear to me how binding a EULA is on the company that writes it. It’s bad enough that they’re sort of binding on users, not that hardly anyone ever sues.

Fair point—although if the company doesn’t like their own EULA, they can change it at will. It makes me wonder what penalties they’d face for being caught breaking their own EULA—an obvious own-goal.

I’m not a lawyer, but I can’t imagine that it would be cost-effective for most people to sue a large company for a potential violation of a EULA. That’s what’s frustrating—real people don’t actually have any choices other than not using the product or service in question.

Obligatory pedant note, Adam:
It’s “take flak.”

Flack = publicist, shill
Flak = criticism, metaphor for antiaircraft shells

Ach, you’re right! Since I was writing about corporate communications, “flack” must have been foremost in my brain and crowded out the proper word. Fixed.