Jennifer Thomas is a bestselling author, psychologist, speaker, consultant & apology critic

E-mail Errors

I exchanged these emails with Dennis Hooper, a business leader:


On Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 12:29 PM, Dennis Hooper <> wrote:

Dear friends–
I apologize deeply that I errantly delivered a personal e-mail to you.  I do not know how it occurred, but I’m sure that something I did caused the problem.  I assume responsibility for the mistake, though I have spent thirty minutes troubleshooting what happened—and I still do not know what I did.  I believe it was associated with adding the person to my e-mail distribution list—something clearly occurred that I had not intended.
I realized the problem because two individuals cared enough about me and about the people I serve to notify me of the error.
As you can imagine, this is deeply embarrassing to me.  It would be bad enough if I were to have done this with anyone, but I am especially embarrassed that it happened with someone with whom I have yet to build any substantial relationship.  I will seek her forgiveness, and I ask for yours.
Please just delete my errant message to you.  I apologize deeply for any inconvenience that I may have caused you.  I will work to ensure that this does not happen again.

Dennis Hooper
Your Leadership Coach

I replied with this:
On Wed, 16 Dec 2009 12:42:59 -0500 John and Jennifer Thomas <> writes:
Hi Dennis-
This is a perfectly lovely apology!  I think others could learn from it and I wanted to ask if I might have your permission to remove your identifying information and then share it with others (as on my blog), please.  If not, I understand.
My husband and I were just chatting about an error like this that he made yesterday.  It happens to the best of us!
Dennis kindly replied that I could post his apology with his name and website included.  He invites readers to email him if you’re interested in hearing about the responses he got and/or to sign up for his free newsletters:

How about you?  Have you experienced email errors?  Was an apology offered?  What were the results?

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