Thursday, December 08, 2005

Town council ignoring emails

It's quite amazing to me that some town councils would choose to ignore emails. One of the people who wrote in mentioned that some cats went missing in her estate and she wrote in to ask them to investigate the situation. It's been more than a week and there was no reply, so she wrote in again. Still no reply from the TC - It was the MP who wrote back to her!

The MP mentioned they were investigating the complaint, which is fine, as certainly they need some time to look into it. However, not responding at all in the meantime is just strange - and pretty rude to boot.

The other technique is the stock reply - at least that's a reply, but it pointedly ignores certain questions you bring up. I understand there may be many emails they need to respond to, and that they cannot reply to every point, but if something is being specifically requested, it does seem to need a reply to that particular point.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A way of assuring a reply is to cc to the MP
and cc to all other volunteers in the estate
and activate Request Read Receipt

8/12/05 11:16 AM  
Anonymous E_Cat said...

The town council can take up to 2 weeks to reply mail (assuming that the email was sent to the generic email address). Best is still to call them (but you miss out on documented proof - in case anything needs rectification later)......

8/12/05 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there anyway to check the individual officer's email address?

8/12/05 1:59 PM  
Anonymous e-snail said...

These TC ppl are certainly working on a Snail pace!

8/12/05 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about emails being ignored.My condo has only 200 units, 90% occupied. 30% tenants, so actually the chairman of the
management council has 60 % of residents to 'take care' of. He does not reply to emails to and even ask the office to ignore certain issues. Example- cat welfare. He even said if a certain resident choose to trap and dump or have cats killed, it's not the estate's problem. He does not bother to 'listen to the trnm I try to adopt.

8/12/05 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for your reply. As I mentioned I live in the 3rd floor of HDB and is seriouslyt considering having a cat. Will I be too selfish/unwise to want to keep my windows open??? Will the cat, even with their great sense of balance, fall out of windows???

Please advise. Thanks.

8/12/05 3:07 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - on the Singapore government Directory online which is on my list you can find every officer's email address, but you need to know their name.

E-cat is right. It's best to follow up with an email and say that this was what was discussed. If they disagree with anything, they will write back.

Anonymous, if they will meet with us, I'm happy to come down with you to meet the MC of your condominium.

Anonymous - unfortunately they can and often do. We urge people to keep their cats indoors and to screen up windows. Cats don't have a good sense of perception and many have fallen. You can screen up the doors and windows and it's much safer for the cat. Drop me an email if you have any concerns.

8/12/05 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might be useful to really other residents who support TnRM and send a collective letter to the Chairman. After-all he is voted in to serve everyone. Vote of No Confidence at next AGM?

8/12/05 4:11 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

It is a misconception that no one really cares about cats - and I think if you can show you have a few people on your side, you can change that!

8/12/05 5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From many of the seemingly non-responsive responses to complaints in the ST Forum - the typical official response seems to be a) to thank for the feedback 2) to restate the policy 3) to explain the policy details painstakingly like you were talking to a particularly slow witted person 4) to request to contact again if the complainant needs more details.

And that attitude towards any kind of complaining has seeped into many big organizations in Singapore, both public and private.

But about not responding to email, well, many even tech savvy people are still struggling with that medium of communication and are clueless about what not responding can convey to the original sender - confusion or uncertainty about whether the mail was received, perceived rudeness, or perceived lack of caring about the complaint, and so on. So you may want to be more generous in your interpretation of non response to email. Though sometimes a non-responsive or overly defensive and tangential email response is even more irritating than no response at all.

9/12/05 3:14 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - good point. However my question to this particular TC was a simple one "Can we meet up with the town council?". I followed it up with another two emails asking the same. The response? A deafening silence.

9/12/05 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See? If someone is clueless about email use, then they may think they don't have to respond to the follow-ups until they feel ready to say yes or no to the first question. Or if it is uncomfortable to say yes or no right now, then they may just brood for a bit over it, while you get all agitated for nothing. I request all colleagues i am working with to always reply, even if just to say that they are busy, and that they will get back soon. And then to really get back soon. I agree that not replying seems (well not just seems, it IS) really discourteous - it is almost like you passed someone you know on the street and said hi and they looked right through you. And then explained later to you that they saw you but just were too busily engrossed in what they were doing to say hi back. But given the general lack of courtesy and thoughtlessness and self-absorption offline, it is not surprising that the online modes of communication lead to new kinds of thoughtlessness or discourtesy. But still, online at least, i think it is best to give the benefit of the doubt to the non-responder and not suspect discourtesy or rudeness or lack of concern about the issue as the first motivation. Sometimes, the email might not even have been read or delivered. The person in charge might be sick. Or unhappy. Or have temporarily lost use of their typing fingers ;P Email delivery is never a certainty.

9/12/05 5:54 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

LOL :) Though I have to say in this case, I was copied on a few other emails about the same issue from some other caregivers in the area, and they didn't get answers either. I'm going with the temporary loss (for a few weeks!) of typing fingers.

9/12/05 6:05 PM  

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