[LINK] Request to Qantas to Keep Offering Plain Text Email

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Thu Nov 8 12:55:21 AEDT 2012

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: http://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/socog-case-study

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.

Tom Worthington FACS CP, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards

Adjunct Lecturer, Research School of Computer Science,
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/

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