Sunday, May 25, 2008

HSBC and language use

HSBC or The Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation is a global bank. Hence, I again do not expect the bank to have any blunder in English.

Was trying to register for Internet Banking and sadly after typing a username containing all alphabets, I was prompted that the "username can only contain alpha numeric characters (i.e. A-Z, a-z, 0-9)". The key word there is "can". Hence I thought, hey my username containing merele alphabets should fit into the category. However, apparently who ever program the login page means that I MUST have ALL those variations (some capital letters, some small letter, some number). So, I can only create a username having some capital letter, some small letter, and some number. Such misconception that the warning sentence can provide the customer is very sad for a global brand like HSBC.

Perhaps the bank is really living to what the say "... local bank". Maybe HSBC of Singapore is using a twisted form of English.

Or I guess language spell check and grammar check for software are very much lacking nowadays.

I wonder what the point of cutting cost (by outsourcing to countries with cheaper labour) is the brand image is degraded by multiple small mistakes as simple as spelling error.

I don't think any company should dare to say its a global (or famous or premium) brand unless it's willing to spend money to be correct in the smallest detail.

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