Yes, you’re red-faced when that report or e-mail you sent has a typo in it. But that blunder probably didn’t land your company in the red. Some of these may have.
Everybody hits the wrong key or forgets to spell check now and then. Not the end of the world. You’ll feel a little better after checking out these eight minor typos with major financial consequences:
- The missing “r.” A project required 10 sets of construction drawings that cost $1000 each to print. When the client received their set, they noticed that in all the kitchens, the word “pantry” was missing its “r.” All 10 sets had to be reprinted, at the firm’s cost.
Cost of the typo: $10,000
- Marital woes. In March 2008, Arkansas governor Mike Beebe called the state assembly into special session partly to deal with a typo in a 2007 law that had mistakenly allowed girls of any age (even infants) to marry as long as they had their parents’ consent.
Cost of the typo: $25,000 to taxpayers, who foot the bill.
- Legal eagles without eagle eyes. In 2004, Philadelphia Judge Jacob P. Hart slashed the fee due to an attorney in half because of overabundant typos.
Cost of the typo: $31,350.
- A nightmarish mistake. The advertising department of the Torrace Press was thrilled to land a two-page double truck (two-page) ad from the Sealy mattress company. The ad carried the company’s slogan in big, bold, black letters: “Sleeping on a Sealy, Is Like Sleeping on a Cloud.” But that Thursday morning, thousands of readers were introduced to a new slogan: “Sleeping on a Sealy, Is Like Slipping on a Cloud.” The paper, of course, offered to make good. The following week, readers discovered a revised message: “Sleeping on a Sealy, Is Like Sleeping on a Clod.” Goodbye account .
Cost of the typo: A large and potentially very lucrative account.
- Wrong number. L.L. Bean‘s annual back-to-school catalog arrived in millions of homes … with a major error. The catalog told people to call a phone number that belonged to a Virginia company instead of the Maine-based mail-order retailer. L.L. Bean paid the other company an unnamed sum of money to take over the misprinted phone number immediately.
Cost of the typo: An estimated six figures, though the exact number wasn’t disclosed.
- A vote for who? A candidate for a Congressional seat in West Virginia discovered that the Secretary of State’s office had misspelled her name on the ballots.
Cost of the typo: $100,000 – $125,000, again, picked up by taxpayers
- You need one X or three? Pacific Yellow Pages carried an ad for Banner Travel Service, in Sonoma, CA. The firm, which actually concentrates in “exotic” travel, advertised that it specialized in “erotic” travel, due to a tiny (yet huge) typo. The business lost a lot of clients as a result.
Cost of the typo: $10 million lawsuit plus the $230 monthly fee.
- Houston, we have a very expensive problem. Back in July 1962, the omission of a hyphen in some mathematical data caused the $18,500,000 failure of a spacecraft launched toward Venus. Cost of the typo: $18,500,000