It's part of my job at Websystems to reply to email enquiries about AceProject. I get asked all sorts of questions, from pricing to features to integration with external systems (via CSV files). I enjoy replying to these emails because they give me a good idea of what our clients are looking for in a project management system. I try to reply to all email within one business day, usually faster.
Every once in a while, I'll receive an email with the red question mark (!), or URGENT in the subject line. Obviously, I'll look at those emails first, in case there is an actual emergency with this client. Most of the time, there isn't. The sender simply thought she would get a faster response by labeling her message as urgent. She did succeed in grabbing my attention. However, a request for our pricing hardly qualifies as urgent, especially considering that the information is actually available on our web site. Often, once I've replied to those "urgent" emails, I won't get a response from this person for a few days, further proof that the emergency was not real.
I've also encountered these fake emergencies in person. I had a colleague who would mask her poor time-management skills with emergencies. A rerquest for pricing (RFP) would sit on her desk for a week of more, and she would bring it to my attention only when the deadline was just a few hours away. She lived in a constant state of emergency. The problem was, when she actually had an urgent request, no one would believe her.
This ruins it for the real emergencies
How can I trust that messages marked URGENT are actually emergencies, when 90% of the messages labeled URGENT really aren't? How can I trust someone telling me something is urgent, when ALL they ever deal with is urgent?
It's the business world version of crying wolf.