Online Survey Says? You’re Wasting My Time.

Leaning across the table the Applebee’s server lowered her voice as well as her gaze. She wanted us to know how very serious she was. “Listen.” She began. “I am this close to winning the contest around here for the most customer surveys completed and I just need a few more.” My friend and I looked simultaneously at one another in shock and disbelief that this woman was actually attempting to strong-arm us into taking an online survey like this.

“Pleeeeeeeze…” she continued. And I honest-to-God kid you not, this is actually what she said next: “Go online and fill out the survey on the back of your check and you will receive a free dessert on your next visit! Though, more importantly(insert lengthy pause for added drama) … you will be helping ME receive a cash bonus when I win!” She gushed while silently making a clapping gesture with her hands.

I wanted to make a hand gesture of my own, but refrained. Instead, once she turned her back, I crinkled the check into a little paper ball, stuffed it in my purse and said in awe: “Okaaaaay. So THAT just cemented the outcome of the already slim odds of my EVER filling out that survey. How about you?”

Remember when online surveys were something that happened occasionally at the register in retail stores when your number came up? It started out being a “special” thing in which you were “randomly chosen” to participate and you “might” win $50 worth of store credit or something like it. It was actually kind of worth the effort back then.

Now it seems that EVERYONE is doing it EVERYTIME you go to the register ANYWHERE. (And yes, I DO feel the need to use an excess amount of superlatives here.) Retailers, casual dining establishments, fast food restaurants and auto shops (to name few) offer surveys that pretty much guarantee you WILL get something for free if you sacrifice the time to go online and take them.

I never take them.

Much like my previous post, perhaps it is the sheer inundation of these things that makes me dig in my heels in refusal. It’s annoying enough to get one piece of paper handed back to me with my minor purchases… what am I supposed to do with two or three random slips of paper? For crying out loud, if I saved it all, I’d have enough survey paper to cover my living room walls.

How about, instead of giving me a free dessert, car wash or $5 coupon — you save us both some time and a couple of trees in the process. After all, if I had oodles of time to sit down, log onto your website and take endless online surveys, why am I showing up at your speedy and convenient drive-thru window?

What’s next? I can’t help but wonder. Perhaps hospitals will begin offering a free angioplasty with a completed survey for every $10,000 you or your insurance company spend? You laugh now. But somewhere, as you’re reading this… someone is getting paid to figure out just HOW to make that work.

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27 thoughts on “Online Survey Says? You’re Wasting My Time.

  1. Cheryl says:

    You are such a mind reader !! I look forward to seeing you in my “in box”, and it is a real bonus when we cross paths in person!

    PS, the red and white table has a home in my living room, displaying a few of my favorite things.

    • Yay! I’m so glad the red and white table found a good home. As soon as my dad put it out on the lawn, three couples stopped to scoop it up. They weren’t so crazy about our asking price but if I remember correctly, you and I settled on a good compromise. I was glad to see it go to a such a nice place with such nice people. And thank you for your kind words about the blog. I’m so glad you enjoy reading it!! 😀

  2. Ha! – those online surveys are getting so annoying and they are everywhere. How would my server truly act if there was not a survey with a cash bonus for them? Why should I fill out a survey at JcPenney when I DID ALL THE WORK! After I read this I wonder why I keep coming back as a customer at certain places – sometimes I feel a DUH! moment coming on. Great Post – Happy Friday:)

    • Hey Renee, thank you! So glad you agree. They are EVERYWHERE!! And while shopping… they don’t help anymore. You’re right, we DO do all of the work picking stuff out. But don’t even get me started on that subject! 😛

  3. Now here is a thought…..how about the great invention of tally marks. At the door going out you either say yes, great service and good food or you give a thumbs down. The hostess can just tally those up and there is your servey!!! Wow, non-computer intervention for resaurant service. What a novel concept.

  4. Haha! I hate when associates tell me about the survey as if my life is in their hands. Call me stubborn, but that only makes me less interested! Love what you said about the angioplasty, too. 🙂

    • Thanks Katie 🙂 Glad someone appreciated the angioplasty. I thought that was the best part! haha… Yes, them pushing for it makes it that much more annoying and thus much LESS likely that I will ever take it.

  5. JT says:

    Were you greeted promptly upon arriving?
    Was your server friendly and greeted you with a smile?
    Did the food arrive quickly and to your specifications?
    Did they promise to name a dish after your first-born if you filled this out?

    Would you be willing to empty your bank account and give it to me while you fill out our annoying survey?

    If you answered no to any of these please notify the waitstaff before they bring your order so they can spit in your meal…. Just saying

  6. Don says:

    “I wanted to make a hand gesture of my own, but refrained.”

    That reminds me of something I once said. I was at the death bed of a relative and another relative came in and told him, “You’re looking good.” This to a man who had tubes going in and out of every orifice and hooked up to more electronics than R2D2. I told someone later that if they ever found me in that condition said that to me, or I to them –either of us was free to give the “secret sign of disapproval.”

  7. I was thinking about writing a similar post. It’s very frustrating. What they want from us is valuable information – phone number, email address, home address, etc. You’re required to give most of them all of this info when you complete the survey. They want to be able to target us more efficiently, and it completely creeps me out that people fall for it. It’s sad that restaurants pay their staff so little that they are forced to pimp stuff like this for them.

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