Ouch…oooh, that doesn’t feel good. I think I’ve pulled an index finger muscle. Oh, no…maybe I’ve got mouse-click-induced carpal tunnel. It is not surprising considering I’ve clicked my way through about a dozen on-line surveys this week. By golly, one of these days I’m gonna win a $1000 gift card. I wonder if it will be redeemable for a wrist brace.
It seems like almost every retailer now has a link to a survey on their receipt. Some have instant coupons but most entice you to their survey with a chance to win. Beats me why I sucker for that 1-in-a-bazillion chance. But then there really isn’t any other good reason to do it. I rarely take the survey to actually help the store improve. Generally, I only take the survey to be eligible for the Sweepstakes. Did you know that you cannot participate in any of these Sweepstakes where they are prohibited by law? Darn, that takes most of the fun out of it. Oh, and don’t forget the carte blanche permissiveness of most Sweepstakes: No purchase necessary.
Seriously? Now you tell me, where can I get postage stamps without purchasing them? Yup, you can ONLY enter the Sweepstakes two ways. On-line, with a valid “purchase receipt” …or by mail, if you don’t make a purchase at the Sweepstake Sponsor’s store. Last I knew, the postman will not deliver an entry which has no “purchased” postage stamp on the envelope.
In case you have not read any Sweepstake rules lately—and most of them are boilerplate—here’s a couple which I believe are extremely important.
You must be 18 years, or older, to enter. Oh, but wait…if you are, in fact, under 18, and happen to win a Sweepstake prize, mom can sign your “affidavit of eligibility”. Excuse me? I’d have to do more research to be sure, but this sounds like it’s bordering on prohibited by law in most jurisdictions of the United States. Yeah, I know, 18 may not be the age of majority in some states, but I’d expect those jurisdictions would categorically make Sweepstake entry unlawful until you reach whatever age they consider the “majority” portal.
Reading the rules further, I find the ultimate, superfluous, caveat. If for any reason, including but not limited to, misdirected, mutilated, unintelligible, written, telephone, or electronic communication; hardware or software program failure; network or computer malfunction …or for that matter…failure or difficulties of any kind; your entry will be declared invalid. Whoa, hold it there! Ya mean, if y’all don’t get my entry, it taint no good?
Oh, yeah, and “Any prize notification returned as ‘undeliverable’ may result in forfeiture.” May result in forfeiture?
With all of this in mind, you might imagine that I often succumb to filling out the surveys rather flippantly. In addition to the aforementioned superfluous rules, some of the questions within the survey itself are hardly applicable to most of my shopping experiences. Here’s some thoughts that reverberated in my skull with a particular retailers survey.
How would you rate your overall shopping experience? Hmm, how to answer this rather limited question? I didn’t go into the store to buy overalls, only a tube of glue. Even if I did want clothing, what’s with the gradient of choices between 1 and 5? All they needed was 2…succeeded or failed. You know what…if they really wanted a valid survey, they should give out receipts for failed shopping ventures. Yeah, the Greeter could have a counterpart saying Good bye to empty handed shoppers at departure; “Sorry you couldn’t find something to buy, but here’s a dissatisfaction receipt with a chance to win a gift card.”
Was there a sufficient selection for you to choose from? I obviously bought the item I was shopping for, so apparently the store having one in stock was sufficient. And again, why 5 choices for me to choose a response from. I have always done better with true/false tests than multiple choice. And by the fact that I’m taking this survey on line, the questions moot…I bought something so the selection was sufficient.
Was the merchandise arranged in a way that made it fun to shop? Fun? I went to buy a tube of glue. I suppose I would have scored the survey a lot higher if they had arranged for bags and glue samples in a private sniffing room.
What would have improved your shopping experience? Ah, finally a comment box. Oh, they really shouldn’t do that. Once I wrote that they should give out marijuana samples. That would really have heightened my experience.
How would you rate the price-to-value of the item(s) purchased? A tube of glue? When was the last time you comparison shopped for glue? Besides, how could I be sure of its value this soon after purchase?
Considering your checkout experience, was the employee considerate of your time? Oh, boy, that’s really not so tough to choose between 1 and 5. I mean, a 5 would probably be they scanned the glue and tossed it to me. Conversely, I’d surely rate it a 1 if they read the infinitesimally small print warning label to me. The best and worst is relatively easy. But how do you know if it’s a 3 or a 4 if they only ask if I want a bag or not. There are so many ramifications to accepting a bag. My contemplations over whales, recycling, and ozone alone, can usurp lots of my valuable time.
But, the most fun for me is the demographic questions at the end of the survey. I like to skew the marketing profile. For one of the surveys I submitted this week, I checked that I was single, had 12 children under the age of 18 and an income under $15,000. Hmmm, now that I think about it, answering like that probably ruined my chance at the $1000 gift card.