Every day we write something; either we scribble something in our notebooks or if we don’t have anything to do, we type messages and send it across to friends. But do we take our spellings or grammar seriously? Well, for us, it is a casual thing, but in these incidents listed below, a single typo has cost millions of dollars. Forget the full spelling, even a single alphabet error has led to losing millions! There is no forgiveness for typos in corporate world and spellings are taken damn seriously. May be you will understand the seriousness after reading these 10 examples.
1. A missing P worth $502,000 (Rs.3.34 cr approx)
A single missing letter P cost a seller on eBay approximately half a million; he put an antique beer “Alsopp’s arctic ele” on auction but named it “Alsop’s arctic ele”, forgetting to write an extra P. The bidders thought that the bottle was fake and taking advantage of the situation, a cunning buyer bought the bottle just for $304, thereby costing the seller a lot of money. The buyer later sold the same bottle for $503,000.
2. Two million dollar comma
The US traffic act in 1872 mentioned “fruit,plants” instead on “fruit-plants” in a document which changed the entire meaning of the context. Here it meant that all tropical fruit and plants were free of cost. The government did change it but till then, they lost nearly $2 million. In today’s perspective, that would be about $50 million!
3. Fat finger bankrupts the bank
In December 2005, a branch of one of the largest banks in Japan decided to sell the shares of a recruiting company for 610,000 yen each (Rs 3.6 lakhs). But because of a typo generally called as fat finger syndrome, the shares were priced for 1 yen instead of 610,000 yen. 610,000 shares were sold within 24 hours and the company lost nearly $340 Million.
4. Cheapest business class flights ever
In 2006, Alitalia Airlines mistakenly listed business class flights from Toronto to Cyprus for $39 instead of $3900 dollars. Many clever passengers took advantage of it and booked the tickets as fast as they could. When the airlines tried to cancel the tickets, they face a huge criticism. In order to save the company’s reputation, they let the passengers fly in the business class costing them a loss of nearly $7.2 million.
5. An extra S bankrupts 134 years old family business
The British government accidentally reported a company as “Taylor and Sons” instead of “Taylor and Son”, the extra “S” in the name caused misunderstandings and people thought that it was some failing company instead of the reputed engineering firm. The creditors started withdrawing their agreement and suppliers cancelled their contracts; in two months the 134 years old family business got bankrupt with over 250 people losing their jobs. But as it was the government’s fault, the company the was given $14 million in compensation.
6. Racist pasta costs $20,000
In a cooking manual book named as The Pasta Bible published by Penguin Australia publications, it was mistakenly printed “ground black people” instead of “ground black pepper”. This got immense backlash and the company had to destroy 7000 printed books costing them nearly $20,000.
7. Everyone won the lottery
In 2007, a car dealership company thought it would be a great idea if they sell some lottery tickets. The idea was to print 50 thousand lottery tickets with only one winner of a thousand dollars. But unfortunately the company responsible for printing the tickets accidentally printed all the tickets identical and everybody won the lottery costing the company $50 million; the company couldn’t pay such a huge amount and so, it just distributed $5 Walmart coupons to all the participants.
8. The erotic vacation
In 1988, a Californian travel agency put an advertisement in the yellow pages about an exotic vacation, but the yellow pages accidentally misspelled it as the erotic vacation. The travel agency’s reputation was destroyed and it lost 80% of its customers. However, the agency later sued Yellow pages and won $18 million on the grounds of gross negligence.
9. Typos cost millions to famous websites
Many times a person enters a wrong website full of advertisements by making a typo in the URL. This causes a lot of loss to the original website. Some researchers say that such typo errors happen 70 million times a day, costing the correctly spelled domain a lot of cash. But since Google supplies half the ads to such typo sites, it is assumed that the search engine earns $500 million out of it.
10. Typo blasts a rocket into pieces
On July 22, 1962, the Mariner 1 space probe turned into a fireball soon after the liftoff. This is one of the most expensive and infamous typo related incidents in the history. The NASA investigators said that the omission of a single hyphen in the guidance program led to a series of false course correction signals. The rocket was then detonated, preventing it from falling in a populated area. This mistake cost NASA somewhere between $80-$150 million.
So guys, didn’t this give you goosebumps? Do share your views in our comments section below.
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