True Story

There is a reason I rarely take customer satisfaction surveys, yet for some reason I felt compelled to voice my opinion on two of them last night. One was for American Express and the other was for Xcel Energy (gas/electric company) neither provided any sort of incentive or compensation for my time.

These were not brief surveys either, I might add, they were both 20 minute ordeals that left me shaking my head at the marketing research strategies of today. Near the end of the Amex survey I was asked to explain why I had marked the “cash back” benefit as “critically important” to my selecting the American Express Blue Cash Back credit card as my Amex card option. I paused for a moment and re-read the question just to be sure they were actually asking me that. Then I typed this response*:

“Seriously, you are seriously asking me why I would mark “cash back” as a “critically important” benefit for a card with “cash back” in the name of it? If I actually have to explain to you why it would be important I don’t think you should be in the market research field and perhaps you might want to consider taking a remedial course in common sense, or maybe just psychology. If you really need to tell your boss something, tell them it’s because I’m a Jew and I need it to hoard my Jew Gold.”

There were a couple more boxes to type in answers to other almost equally inane questions and I had some more fun with my answers, I do hope there is a person somewhere who has to read my responses and gets a chuckle out of them.

As for Xcel, I honestly told them what I thought about their service and company image in general. Lots of low scores were marked, repeatedly. I finally finished and submitted my survey informing them that I thought they charged too much, had an annoying automated system, that I didn’t appreciate that I had to pay by phone or mail them a check as my only options since they have ridiculous online payment restrictions, they were slow to deal with power outages in my neighborhood and I felt they hated the environment with a burning passion and wanted only to make money with little regard for the effects of their actions on everyone else. Not one minute after submitting it my power goes off. No storms happening, no power lines down, no repair trucks ever came out. If they were trying to prove a point, all they did was reaffirm my dislike for them and annoy me because I was in the middle of washing a delicate load of laundry.

This is why I shouldn’t take surveys.

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5 thoughts on “True Story

  1. Bwahaha! Feels good though, doesn’t it? There is some psychological value to giving people something to vent about. Did you know that in New York City, many of the cross walk buttons are not hooked up? They do nothing and the city knows that. In fact they deliberately install them without hooking them up. And the reason is that when people push that button they feel as if their concerns (need to cross the street) are being addressed. In studies it has been found that people experience less frustration and anxiety when they perceive that their concerns are being addressed. They also perceive less elapsed time than if they have to wait for a preprogrammed cycle. It keeps complaints about signal light programming to a minimum. You may think that the survey is foolish, but it may be deliberatley designed that way to let you vent.

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