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The first job of the respondent is to validate the input so that the right problem gets solved.

> I've lost count of how many times I've seen the Can't Happen mindset delay resolution of an issue. It's a genuine problem.


> When you say "It's not possible", something in your understanding is obviously mistaken.

Not necessarily. Bear in mind that the "error" data itself can be wrong too, for many reasons -- some benign, some not so much. People can and do lie and make mistakes.

In the public sphere things are even more fraught. There are people who loathe $COMPANY and would love to see their services discredited. On the other hand, $COMPANY's legitimate success depends to some extent on people's perception of their reliability, so they have a right to defend themselves.

I think a reasonable response from $COMPANY in this case is "1) That's impossible", to reassure skittish customers, and "2) We'll work directly with the person having the problem and report back, stay tuned" to show respect and responsiveness (and potentially humility later).

If you were running your own company, paying the salaries of your employees and serving your investors, would you do otherwise?

Would I lie about my responsibilities without checking? No. Even to save myself financial loss, no.

It's loathsome that you ask.

Saying "We don't think this is possible on our end but are investigating to help wherever we can" is different than saying it is not possible.

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