Apparently, J. Crew (NYSE:JCG) is not ashamed to say it's sorry.

The title, "With our apologies," compelled me to click on a J. Crew email I received last week. Who doesn't want to know why somebody's apologizing to them? The message read: "We've made some mistakes... (too many in our mind). We want to say that we're sorry for any issues you have experienced while shopping J. Crew online or over the phone over the last few weeks -- we know we've let you down."

Huh? You know you've let me down? Why? What the heck had J. Crew done to me? I haven't even shopped there for ages.

A Google News search yielded one lead -- The Consumerist's headline, "J. Crew's New Website Does Everything Except Fulfill Orders Properly." The article was full of comments from people who'd had major problems with fulfillment and tracking of J. Crew orders.

J. Crew exhibited the right spirit in owning up to mistakes, but the execution of its apology was miserable. Sending out an email blast seems like overkill, especially with evasive wording and no context to clue in unaffected shoppers. (The vagueness made me think twice about shopping at that J. Crew, period.)

The Internet can be awesome, but it also provides abundant new ways to inconvenience consumers or infuriate them with mistakes. Last March, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) issued its own mea culpa after its site went on the fritz, but it made up for it by emailing affected customers like me about automatic credits for delayed discs.

I didn't see any indication that J. Crew will do much for the people who experienced problems, other than apologize to them (and apparently, everyone else who has ever shopped there). Of course, it could be worse: Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) went down for several hours earlier this summer, and it didn't seem too terribly contrite.

What do you think companies should do to restore customers' goodwill when technology goes awry? Use the comment boxes below to sound off (or to defend J. Crew's email apology), or name your favorite infamous examples of e-commerce glitches. After all, angry customers can make "buyer beware" a slogan for consumers and investors alike.    

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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.