Company faces online shaming over email fiasco

Calverley House

The reputation of a small ventilation company’s has been left in tatters this week after an insulting email chain that was accidentally sent to a job applicant, made national headlines.

Anna Jacobs, from Horsmonden, had applied for an office administrator position at Tecomak Environmental Services, based in Hadlow Road, Tonbridge.

The company invited her along for an interview by sending her an email. However, attached to the formal response were a series of derogatory comments meant only for internal distribution. Among the comments was a suggestion any interview would only be worth the business’s time ‘for a laugh’.

Speaking to the BBC Ms Jacobs said she was ‘furious’ at the ‘absolutely awful summary’, which read: “Home educated oddball. Can’t get a job since leaving uni. Forages for mushrooms.

“Difficult to assess from her CV – might be very good but equally could be a biscuit short of a packet or a left-wing loon tree hugger.”

The story went viral becoming the second most read article on the BBC’s website on Sunday [May 14].

As people heard about Tecomak’s treatment of Ms Jacobs, they sought to punish the company by giving them a one-star rating on their Google profile – the first thing that comes up when their name is searched online.

At one point there were more than 150 reviews, although this has now been reduced to 58, possibly due to an appeal from the company to Google.

A typical comment came from Hugh Sweeney: “Joke outfit run by unprofessional morons – avoid,” he said.

American David Clapp said: “Your appalling reputation as a company has extended to the U.S. You have gone global for all the wrong reasons.

Although Kerry Quick was not so rapid to judge: “How sad that one complete moron based in the company could potentially lead to the company’s fall. Remember that this business also employs other people, and wishing this company to go bust will affect them greatly too,” she implored.

Ross Black of Tecomak issued an apology to Ms Jacob. It read: “Clearly the comments were informal and not to the high professional standard you would expect from a company like ours.

“I understand that it must have been upsetting to read the comments and I apologise on behalf of the company and the employees concerned.”

He added: “We genuinely felt your application and CV was interesting and you were shortlisted from a long list of over 40 candidates.”

The offer for an interview still stood, he insisted, but Ms Jacobs has declined.

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