LONDON (May. 21)
A leading British mail order company has issued profuse apologies to its Arab customers after accidentally sending two Israeli-made bras to Abu Dhabi on the Persian Gulf.
The Freeman: International Group issued the apology after an angry customer protested to a local Abu Dhabi newspaper. In a scathing attack on Freemans, the newspaper, Al-lttihad, said: “It is very clear they have played a very dirty-trick on us. We demand an investigation to find out the agent or the people dealing with Freemans, to take necessary action.”
Reporting the episode, the London Times says that it might cost the Freemans catalogue group its export business with the Arab states. Trojan exports, the agent acting for Freemans and other mail order compaines in the United Arab Emirates, promptly cancelled its orders with Freemans.
According to the Times, the “catalogue of errors” began when the agent in Hong Kong bought supplies from Israel instead of from a local manufacturer. The bras were then sent to the company’s warehouse in Britain from where they were posted to the United Arab Emirates.
Freemans first heard of the matter when its marketing manager, Reg Mori, was contacted by the British Embassy.
He said: “I am just starting to expand our operation in the Middle East. It is all very difficult. Most certainly we will be apologizing for this mistake. There is no way we wish to embarrass our customers.” Freemans had not said how much business has been put at risk in the Middle East.