Zappos.com shows how to deliver bad news first


Oops, someone hacked us. Well, someone actually hacked you. Zappos.com had a problem.

It handled that problem beautifully, initially by delivering bad news first and with a fix.

It delivered facts, did it in a calm way and communicated fast and factually with its customers.

Go to the Zappos.com homepage!

First, the bad news:

We are writing to let you know that there may have been illegal and unauthorized access to some of your customer account information on Zappos.com, including one or more of the following: your name, e-mail address, billing and shipping addresses, phone number, the last four digits of your credit card number (the standard information you find on receipts), and/or your cryptographically scrambled password (but not your actual password).

THE BETTER NEWS:

The database that stores your critical credit card and other payment data was NOT affected or accessed.

SECURITY PRECAUTIONS:

For your protection and to prevent unauthorized access, we have expired and reset your password so you can create a new password. Please follow the instructions below to create a new password.

We also recommend that you change your password on any other web site where you use the same or a similar password. As always, please remember that Zappos.com will never ask you for personal or account information in an e-mail. Please exercise caution if you receive any emails or phone calls that ask for personal information or direct you to a web site where you are asked to provide personal information.

Zappos went from facing a potential disaster to neutralizing it in 24 hours.

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About steveoncrisis

The content is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It comes from Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and as managing editor and editorial page editor at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower and Associates, one of the nation's largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agency with six offices in the Northeast and Southeast.
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3 Responses to Zappos.com shows how to deliver bad news first

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