|In January, TJX, parent company for Marshalls and TJ Maxx announced that someone had illegally accessed one of its payment systems and successfully stolen credit data from 45 million customers .
TJX’s President and Chief Executive Officer Carol Meyrowitz apologized.
“I want our customers to know how much I personally regret any difficulties you may experience as a result of the unauthorized intrusion into our computer systems. With the help of computer security experts, we have strengthened the security of our computer systems and we believe customers should feel safe shopping in our stores. We value the trust our customers place in us and again, I’d like you to know that we sincerely apologize for any difficulties you may be caused. Thank you for continuing to shop at our stores and for your years of loyal patronage.”
|Storage disks containing names, addresses, birthdates and national insurance numbers for 25 million British adults and children disappeared on route to the government’s audit agency. The disks were password protected but the information on them was not encrypted.
Prime Minister Brown said “I profoundly regret and apologize for the inconvenience and worries that have been caused to millions of families. We have a duty to do everything that we can to protect the public.”
| It seemed like Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized over and over again for mistakes in the design and deployment of Beacon.
Beacon is a Facebook app that would let a Web site’s customers share their actions, including purchases, with their Facebook friends.
“We’ve made a lot of mistakes building this feature, but we’ve made even more with how we’ve handled them. We simply did a bad job with this release, and I apologize for it.”
|When Sun launched a 25th anniversary sale on its online direct-sales site, it left resellers out of the massive discount deals.
VAR switchboards lit up with customers wanting the same discounts on products they’d already bought and Sun had to apologize to its channel partners.
“We understand and regret that this disruption could have potentially compromised you with either trust or integrity or positioning with your clients, which is a very trusted relationship that we certainly never intended to breach.”
|In September, Verizon refused to approve a pro-choice group for a text message program. Verizon claimed the right to block any content “that, in its discretion, may be seen as controversial or unsavory.”
Then the pro-choice group joined forces with a pro-life group and the two groups started banging the drum about Verizon censoring free speech. Verizon issued an apology.
The company blamed the blocking on a “dusty internal policy,” while still reserving the right to block text messages in the future at its discretion.
|Sony spent a fair amount of apologizing for their games this year.
First there was the God of War II press party where topless women and a dead goat centerpiece got more press than the game did.
“It has come to our attention that at the God Of War II launch showcase, an element of the event was of an unsuitable nature. We recognize that the use of a dead goat was in poor taste and fell below the high standards of conduct we set ourselves. God of War II. Sony does not condone or sanction any inappropriate behaviour by its staff or sub-contracted staff.”
They also had to apologize to the Church of England for using Manchester Cathedral as a backdrop for the game Resistance: Fall of Man.
“It was not our intention to cause offense by using a representation of Manchester Cathedral in chapter eight of the work. If we have done so, we sincerely apologize.”
|David Maynor, the hacker who unveiled a security hole in the Mac OS X 10.4.6 operating system last summer apologized for not disclosing the vulnerabilities to Apple before his public demonstration at the Black Hat conference.
“I made mistakes, I screwed up. I probably shouldn’t have done that demo. I probably shouldn’t have talked to a reporter about it before the information was made available. There are a lot of things you can blame me for. I was wrong. At the same time, I also didn’t try to assassinate Apple.”
|Steve Jobs apologized for alienating early adopters.
When the price of the iPhone was slashed $200 in September, Apple support forums were flooded with hate mail from customers who had paid full price.
“We need to do a better job taking care of our early iPhone customers as we aggressively go after new ones with a lower price. We apologize for disappointing some of you.”
|No, they haven’t apologized for Vista — yet.
But Barry Goffe, Director Windows Vista Ultimate, did apologize for not delivering the remaining Extras.
“We want to let our Windows Vista Ultimate customers know that we are actively working to deliver the remaining Extras that we identified in January. Our goal is to provide the highest-quality, most secure and reliable offerings, and as a result we are continuing our work on these offerings. We apologize for taking so long to provide a status update to customers.”
|AMD apologized for its 2007 performance at its annual Financial Analyst Day this year.
Even CEO Hector Ruiz acknowledged the difficulties AMD is currently experiencing, apologized and pledged that 2008 would be different.