Telling the truth about SME life today

Deadly typos: The difference between reaching Venus and never leaving the ground

(3 + 4) The Yellow Pages and Companies House

One of the biggest risks of not double-checking work is that you could risk being sued a lesson that both The Yellow Pages and Companies House found out the hard way.

A simple oversight in the 1980s ended upcosting The Yellow Pages big-time. Banner Travel Services, a small agency specialising in exotic vacations,” decided to run an advert in the phonebook for $230 per month. Note again that the company dealt with exotic vacations something the company got very, very wrong.

The Yellow Pages ended up advertising Banners forte in erotic vacations instead, and the travel agency wasnt, as one could imagine, happy. In fact, it sued, and subsequently won $10m, nearly putting The Yellow Pages out of business. Of course, Banner was also refunded its $230.

Similarly, in 2009, Companies House claimed that Taylor & Sons a 124 year old company had closed shop. This sent the company into chaos. It turned out that Companies House was meant to have recorded the closure of Taylor & Son and due to its mistakeTaylor & Sons was forced to liquidate and leave 250 employees jobless.

Companies House was sued for 8.8m.

Learning from the Hawke and Co customer feedback mistake

(5)Mizuho Securities

December 2005 saw Japans Mizuho Securities introduce a new member to its portfolio of offerings, a recruitment company called J-Com. Ithad just completed an IPO on the market for smaller companies on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) and was set to bepriced at 610,000 yen per share.

That’s not what ended up happening. One of Mizuho Securities traders instead sold 610,000 shares at one yen apiece andthe TSE refused to reverse the error. Mizuho Securities lost $340m because of it.

Later on, Mizuho claimed to have tried to withdraw the order four times, and although the number of shares in the order was more than 40 times the actual number of J-Com’s outstanding shares, the TSE processed the trade anyway. The TSE also admitted that its dealing system was unable to cancel sell orders while taking buy orders.

Nonetheless, it left relations between Mizuho, J-Com and the TSE in tatters.

(6) Metropolitan Transportation Authority

In 2013, New York Citys Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) printed 80,000 subway posters with the wrong fare information. The committees intention was to alert riders of a fare increase from $4.50 to $5.

Instead, it ended up printing the new fee as, once again, $4.50. This lone misprint ended up costing the MTA nearly $250,000 in printing fees and even more in employee hours spent tracking down the distributed posters.

Lets say that it was immediately commented on by others.

For example,PaulFlores, anMTAstation agent and union leader was quoted by the New York Post as having said: They werent coming out with a newmapbecause they were changing themap. They were coming out with a newmapbecause they were changing the price. That was the sole purpose. And they couldnt even get that right.

Also, whilst it is true that it has never been easier to become an entrepreneur, there are lots of pitfalls and hurdles to overcome on this journey. Here are the seven biggest mistakes aspiring entrepreneurs make that derails their progress to success!


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