I know I’ve mentioned in the past that I, from time to time, engage in some public opinion polling. It lets me make my opinions known to companies and I score a couple of Amazon gift certificates now and then. It’s really win-win. Unfortunately, recently, I got a “warning” from one of the polling places, warning me that if I didn’t straighten up and fly right, they might delete my account? Why? Let’s see…
First off, I’m moving too quickly. Sorry, I’m a speed-reader, I can get through your content faster than most, there’s nothing I can or will do about that. I’m not going to just sit around and pretend that I’m a slow reader, just because you think I ought to be. Get over it. They often have “choose X to make sure you’re paying attention” options in the surveys, I’ve never missed one of them, stop bitching because know how to read.
Secondly though, they said something about my responses not being “well thought out”. No, the problem is that your questions are not well thought out. For instance, on car-related surveys, they will almost always have a section where you can vote whether your car makes you feel more sexy or more successful on a sliding scale. There is no option for “neither”. I don’t get emotionally invested in my cars, they are for transportation, not a status symbol. Therefore, for all of these emotional responses, I always pick right in the middle of the two. Neither of the options apply at all. I think they’re assuming that anyone taking these surveys is a shallow loser whose only concern is getting wolf whistles at the stop light so they pick the most absurdly overpriced and underperforming vehicle they can so it might make them look good. They have no interest in someone like me, who really only cares about the performance, efficiency and comfort of the vehicle I’m driving. They want morons.
This could be very easily fixed by simply asking specific questions to rule out particular respondents. Ask at the very beginning, “do you have a brain” and if anyone says yes, they don’t qualify. If they only want to hear from the stupid and shallow, just say so. Save me time.
That is, of course, another issue that has been a constant frustration. They spend a lot of time “pre-qualifying” you for surveys, often by entirely ignoring the pre-qualifying questions. I mean seriously, I’ve seen them ask how much alcohol you drink in a given month. I answer none. I don’t drink at all. Then they try to stuff you into a survey on all the alcohol you drink! It’s really just absurd. They aren’t paying the slightest bit of attention to them anyhow, they aren’t using them to build up a database about you. They’ll ask if you have children and then, not 2 minutes later, ask the exact same question again. Sorry, it hasn’t changed in the past 120 seconds!
In all honesty, if they want good ideas, they ought to stop using the “click here” model and make people actually type in responses. Give me a way to actually give you a clear and concise response. Of course, that’s not easily quantifiable and made into nice graphs to show to the board of directors. It requires thought. That’s not something that American business does well with today.
I wish these people would actually care about the responses they get, other than catering to the lowest conceivable denominator. Unfortunately, that’s their business model, they want as many morons through the gate who they can charge companies for essentially worthless opinions over and over again. Apparently, companies complain that they aren’t getting the typical low-quality responses they’re used to, how dare anyone with half a clue actually complete one of their surveys! Bring back the brain-damaged! Well… no. I’m going to just go on as I’ve always done and if they don’t like it, they can tell me to leave. It won’t hurt my feelings, I really won’t care, it will just make me shake my head at the pathetic nature of the American consumer even more than I do today.