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Study: Companies Ignore Half of Customer Emails

People who contact companies through email are waiting longer to get a response - if they get one at all, writes CBC News, citing a new study by Hornstein Associates. Only half of the contacted companies bothered to respond at all - down from a high of 86 percent five years earlier.

Hornstein said this year's 24-hour turnaround rate was the lowest since the first survey was conducted in 2001. Only 33 percent of top firms responded within 24 hours in 2007, compared with a high of 63 percent in 2002.

The 49 surveyed companies - including Microsoft, GE, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, Apple and Starbucks - were drawn from the Financial Times's list of most respected companies and Fortune's roll of most admired companies.

Hornstein conducted its survey by sending a one-sentence email to each company, asking: "What is your corporate policy regarding the turnaround time for e-mails addressed to customer service?"

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