Tayside insurance giant Aviva has apologised to thousands of customers for wrongly calling them all Michael.
The Perth-based firm blamed a “technical error” for swathes of emails to clients addressed to Michael, rather than their own names.
Bosses have been swift to reassure them that the wrong name in the greeting was the only mistake, and none of their customers’ personal information has been compromised.
A spokesman insisted there were no wider privacy issues. “We sent out some emails to existing customers which, as a result of a temporary technical error in our mailing template, mistakenly referred to customers as Michael,” he said.
“We’ve apologised to these customers and reassured them that the only error in the email was the use of the incorrect name as a greeting.
“There was no issue with personal data, the remainder of the email and its content was correct.”
It’s not the first time Aviva has had to deal with the fall-out from an email blunder.
In 2012, an administration error meant that more than 1,300 staff received a message in their inbox, telling them they had been sacked.
The email had been intended for one employee, but was instead sent to workers throughout the company.
The name Michael has recently suffered a slump in popularity.
Since the 1930s to 1980s, it was one of the 10 most popular boys’ names in the UK.
However, it has since fallen behind the links of Oliver, George and Harry.
An Aviva customer, whose real name is Andrew, reported the latest gaffe to the BBC. “The irony is that I hadn’t noticed the original ‘Michael’ email, it was this follow-up that caught my eye,” he said.
“Getting a first name wrong is one thing, but what if it was my data – my address or policy information – being sent to someone else instead?”