This is really pathetic coming from a company the size of General Electric. Last year, while I was looking for a job I was applying to all kind of companies, one of which was GE. I applied for about a dozen different positions with the company. From what I remember most of them were IT.
Anyways, if I remember correctly, I was applying either late October or some time in November of 2004. The thing I find pathetic is an email I received from them last month. The email informed me that a position I had applied for has been filed. “Well, thank you for letting me know! But i really do not give a damn, especially now, four and a half months later”. Anyone that waits for four months to hear from a company they had applied to is a dumb ass. If a company expects from someone to wait for a response from them for longer than four months, they are idiots. The company is not that great anyways.
In my opinion, such emails should not be send out if it has been more than a month from the day the job application was submitted. Yes, courtesy is great, and to communicate with anyone interested to work for your company and show them that you are listening is a positive thing. But, believe me, if you do not get in touch with them within a month, and then you send him or her an email four months latter, you are just doing more damage than good to your company.