It could have been a scene out of a techno-thriller: monstrous e-mail inquiry overload wreaks havoc on organization. The real-life drama unfolded earlier this year, when a mid-size insurance company developed a Web site to enable customers to shop via the Internet. Instead of acquiring and serving lower cost customers, however, the insurance company, which asked not to be identified, was bombarded with hundreds of e-mail inquiries.

Emergency response

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