City & Business: Marketing coup

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The Independent Online

A friend calls the Chartered Institute of Marketing to request information about its marketing diploma courses The number listed in the phone book does not exist any more Some persistence with directory inquiries elicits another number; this one works The friend asks for the course material, gives an address to which it should be sent, and sits back to await its arrival Ten days later, nothing has come The friend phones again and asks the Institute to check its database to see if the package has been sent "We don't have a database," says the CIM representative "We just write the addresses straight on to the envelope and send it off"

The friend asks for the material to be sent again Two days later the package arrives A day after that another identical package arrives

Such shortcomings would be would be annoying, but not entirely unsurprising, in a company But the Chartered Institute of Marketing? Wonders never cease Its members are hereby invited to have a whip round to buy a much- needed copy of Lotus Organiser, or equivalent