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Asking consumers to printout a form from a website and mail it in is probably the snidest passive aggressiveness that a company can display. Basically, the company is hoping that things break and that you just go away and die and leave them alone.

Unless you normally send mail, you need the following instruments:

  • An envelope
  • A stamp
  • Access to a mailbox
  • Printer
  • Computer
  • Ink
  • Paper
  • Pen

You need to acquire or access all of these. There might be obstacles to any one of these that shuts down the whole process. Oh, the printer doesn’t work. It’s out of paper, low on ink. Stamps! Where did I put stamps? An envelope… can I just tape the form shut and put the address on the outside. Where’s the tape? This is duct tape. Uggh.

Does it really reduce the effort? It makes your company look awful (maybe even evil?) and a scorned consumer will send you a form anyways that you will need to open, read, enter data, and verify. Maybe you might also need to scan it. In which case, why not just let the consumer do the data entry for you?

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