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Who The #$*% Approved This?!: When A Typo Costs $250,000

Posted by Kiefer Uuksulainen on November 06, 2015
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TyPOs, miSSpelligns and GRAmmatical gaffes are inevitable when organizations are producing increasingly more assets under tighter timelines. It may be a simple misplaced comma or an honest spelling mistake, but rarely do these mistakes go unnoticed. The resultant backlash causes legal nightmares, PR disasters, severe financial consequences and even firings.

According to the New York Post, in March of 2013 the NYC Metropolitan Transportation Authority accidently approved an estimated 80,000 transit maps with an incorrect fare listing of $4.50 instead of the intended $5.00. The result was an immediate scramble to halt the distribution of the misprinted maps to commuters.

“It was an urgent message: Please don’t issue any maps to the customers,” recalled a station agent in Brooklyn.

The subsequent loss for reprinting totaled over $250,000.

Beyond the obvious financial consequences of such a mistake, the MTA also had PR backlash from workers and the public due to the needless slip-up.

“They weren’t coming out with a new map because they were changing the map. They were coming out with a new map because they were changing the price,” said Paul Flores, an MTA station agent and union leader. “That was the sole purpose. And they couldn’t even get that right.” 

What could've been done?

If the MTA could go back in time (which we're sure they'd very much like to), an easy-implementable fix would look to online proofing solutions. A more organized production process helps to manage feedback and automates the review and approval of assets. Proofing software reroutes reviews to ensure input from all key reviewers is received and prevents the premature publishing of assets without approval. The implication of this means the $250,000 could be spent creating more assets, not paying for costly reprints. 

Online proofing software like ConceptShare could have helped the MTA deliver approved and error-free assets, but it's not too late for you, help stop errors before they happen! Contact us.

Topics: Review and Approval

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