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March 19, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Quote of the Day: “Keep up the great work!! You have a wonderful website and I especially like your e-mail alert system… I am signed up on a few others and yours is always FIRST TO ACT!!!” — Ruth Kabitzke, a DC Downsizer from Iowa

Subject: Our technical difficulties, plus, tomorrow’s message

We know that not all Downsizers read the Dispatch every day.

Yesterday’s Dispatch was especially important, so we’re repeating it below in case you didn’t get a chance to read it.

For those who did read it we want to draw your attention to tomorrow’s message.

We’ll be sharing a lot of shocking information about Congress’s recent, ill-considered regulation regarding lead content in American products. If you’ve had a recent problem using our Educate the Powerful System, could you please try to send a message on tomorrow’s action item using the work-around we described yesterday — that we repeat below?

If the work-around is effective for you then you’re all set until we can put a permanent fix in place. If it doesn’t work, could you please let us know so we can try to get to the bottom of the problem? Thank you.

Meanwhile, here’s the message about out technical problems, and the work-around, that we sent yesterday . . .

The Coca-Cola Company had New Coke. Microsoft had Vista. We have our new website.

Many DC Downsizers have had problems with our new site. We sincerely apologize.

Like New Coke, our redesigned site tested well before launch. Alas, it’s not serving us well.

But we’re not standing pat.

* Our entire tech staff from before has departed
* We’re starting fresh
* We’ve recruited a new and expanded IT staff to deal with the nagging problems — only one position remains to be filled 
* And we’ve managed to do this reorganization without increasing our overhead

Our new team is getting “up to speed” and will soon be implementing fixes. In the meantime, it’s important that YOU know . . .

* Most NEW members are NOT having problems
* The problems mostly effect our older members, and for them we have a work-around

THE WORKAROUND: If you log-in using the button in the upper right hand corner of the home page, and then click the campaign link for that day’s action item, it should work for you. We know that’s a bit backward, but it’s temporary.

If that doesn’t work for you, please let us know. And if you tried to get help from us before, and we failed you, please try again. We’ve also replaced our tech support person. Our new tech support person WILL help you.

It costs us money to provide customer service, so please only flag us with problems that prevent you from using our Educate the Powerful System. But if you’re having a problem, we really, really WANT TO HELP. Just hit reply to this Dispatch, provide as complete a description of your problem as possible, and someone will be in touch shortly.

HOW did this happen?

We got ourselves into this mess because we ignored a key feature of our corporate culture — relentless incrementalism. We believe constant SMALL steps — not dramatic leaps — are the key to success. We don’t swing for the fence. We strive to repeatedly get on base.

We ignored that principle when we changed our website. We tried to make too many changes at once, and now we’re paying the price. We’ve learned our lesson, and will be better for it in the future.

Again, we’re sorry for the inconvenience. We’re determined to solve these problems as soon as possible.

Please try the work-around while our new IT staff educates itself about our system. This process of getting our new team “up to speed” will take a little bit of time. But once that happens, change should come quickly.

We appreciate your patience and support.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer,

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

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