This exploratory research used Diffusion of Innovations (Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, 4th Edition, The Free Press, New York, 1995) to examine and benchmark organisational use of the simplest and most prevalent Internet technology, e-mail. The answers, by 200 Singaporean travel agencies, to a mock customer's e-mail reflect poor e-mail customer service. This study found odds of one in four of receiving a reply and a minuscule three chances in 100 of receiving a response that followed suggested guidelines for treating e-mail as business communication.Managerial implications include benchmarks and guidelines for e-mail customer service, and shifting organisational resources from websites and towards e-mail. Academically, the results support organisational adoption of innovations in stages, organisational age as an independent variable and branded e-mail addresses as a dependent variable related to e-mail adoption, and possible bandwagon effects in adopting websites. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.