Typos are an irritation. Some might overlook them, whilst others may fear them like the plague. Depending on the context, typos may be harmless, whilst in other cases may negatively impact an individual or company’s reputation. In some cases, typos may be very expensive. In this article, we will discuss some examples where companies lost a lot of money because of typos and proofreading mistakes.
Banner Travel agency typo
This one happened way back in 1988. This company decided to buy an ad on Yellow Pages to promote its exotic travel options. Due to a typo mistake “exotic” was written as “erotic”. So in essence, the company was promoting erotic destinations. The impact? A loss of eighty percent of business, mostly elderly customers.
Roswell Honda lottery disaster
In an attempt to promote its brand, Roswell Honda launched a lottery campaign. It had mailed thirty thousand scratch off cards, with the intent of having one potential customer win a thousand-dollar grand prize. The person working at the marketing company who was handling the tickets did not understand the rules and this was not captured during the proofreading process. The end result? Thirty thousand people had received winning tickets. The company was not in a position to afford the thirty million dollars and instead gave five-dollar gift cards to all winning tickets.
Taylor & Sons
This company was a thriving family business with two hundred and fifty employees. It went out of business in just two months. How? The British government’s registrar for companies had to report that an engineering business called Taylor and Son was liquidated. By mistake, they reported the name of the company as Taylor and Sons. Although this typo was corrected within a few days, the reputational damage was too great. A court found the government liable for seventeen million dollars.
Alitalia Airlines blunder
Way back in 2006, Alitalia Airlines had flight destinations from Toronto to Cyprus. The intended price for these flight destinations was three thousand and nine hundred dollars. By mistake, these were advertised at a measly thirty-nine dollars. By the time the error could be amended, two thousand passengers had already booked their flight. This error cost the company seven million dollars.
You may think that these consequences are too grandeur and simple one-offs. Be careful! An additional or omitted letter can land you in a world of trouble. Just imagine the misfortunate typo happening in your workplace, leading to financial loss. Another example could be mistyping a popular website and landing in another place where you can get cyber attacked.
Watch your step and adopt efficient checking mechanisms!