I'm signed up with one of those online-survey companies - in return for ticking a few boxes I get the occasional 50p to put towards an Amazon voucher. It has more to do with my wish to tick boxes and state my opinion than any minimal financial gain.
So I've just done the longest, most tedious and confusing survey I have ever done. As I pointed out in the "anything else to say about this survey" box at the end, I only persevered with it in the hope of telling them what I thought of it at the end.
At the beginning you have to select a "character" to represent you. There are males and females of varying skin tones and I imagine it's used as a device to get people's ethnic origins without actually asking. But by the time you've wondered how much is wish-fulfillment - do I wish I had blonde hair? would I like to be more suntanned? would I like to have the increased power/authority that men still tend to have? - and how much is simple truth, I'd think it's a bit too vague to be useful. And that's without knowing what percentage of the population will choose the "African man" picture when they're a white female, just because.
Many of the questions have two characters - "you" and "the brand" - sitting on a sofa. You can move one or other closer or further away, and the expression changes and they turn their heads towards or away from the other character. (Honestly, this survey is insane.)
Anyway, some examples of the questions:"click on the + or - buttons to move the Boots Advantage Card character to show Boots Advantage Card’s relationship with you"
It’s a piece of plastic. It’s never heard of me and it doesn’t care about me. Even if you’re rather clumsily trying to ask what relationship Boots’ Loyalty scheme management have with me, it still doesn’t involve them smiling at me or holding my hand. This is SUCH a rubbish way to try to show business transactions and relationships, and it takes ages moving the stupid little character backwards and forwards till it looks neutral."Some brands capture people’s imagination, while others don’t. Please move your mouse over the screen to show how Tesco Clubcard affects people."
(This question was accompanied by a plain black rectangle. As you moved the mouse from left to right across the black, more and more little characters became visible, with a little white glow around them.)
How on earth am I supposed to know how a Tesco Clubcard "affects" people? I don’t have a Tesco Clubcard. I don’t have conversations with anyone about what cards they have and how they "affect"” them. Even the cards I do
have don’t "affect" me. They’re bits of plastic!
They may have occasional tiny effects on my shopping behaviour, but they don’t affect ME.
I didn’t understand how to use your strange graphic system to answer this question, unless it was designed to show in some way that possession of a Tesco Clubcard brings people out of the dark or something weird like that. So I left it dark because I couldn’t care less about Tesco Clubcard.
"Please use the + or - buttons to show what you think Tesco Clubcard is like." (The graphic for this one is described in my answer below.)
I don’t understand this - you’re asking me to tell you whether I think a Tesco Clubcard is running along a road looking happy, or walking along a road looking sad? I only persevered with this rubbish in the hope of giving my opinion at the end.
"It doesn’t matter how well you know the brands – it’s just your impressions that count."
And here is the fundamental fault in the premise. You’re assuming that I care enough - about loyalty cards from shops I never use - to have an impression or an opinion. I find these surveys very difficult to understand sometimes.
"Please click on the words you think fit. You may choose as many or as few as you think apply."
I chose none, because I don't have any knowledge or opinions about Tesco Clubcard. (One of them was 'Confident'. How can a piece of plastic be confident ffs? Please, this anthropomorphism is getting ridiculous.) So then I got this:"Please click on the words you think fit. You may choose as many or as few as you think apply.
Please check at least 1 box in this column (you checked 0)."
Don’t you ever READ your own questions?
"Which of these loyalty cards or schemes have you seen, read or heard anything about recently?"
Does that include in the past forty-five minutes, spent on this increasingly tedious survey?
"I worry about money and bills more than I used to"
What time period does 'used to' refer to? It makes a big difference to the answer.
"Which, if any, of these websites do you regularly visit? 'Other (specify)' "
What, ALL of them? There are too many to mention, but we could start with Twitter, LiveJournal, FindMyPast, BBC, MoneySavingExpert, my bank. Some kind of limiter would be useful here!
By this time I was too bored with the whole thing to fill in more than half a dozen, but perhaps I should have included Norad Santa, which I visit regularly, ie every Christmas Eve. Please, stop using 'regularly' when you appear to mean 'frequently'.
My kids laugh at me for the way I "go on" at companies when I think they're wrong or being stupid. I don't watch The Big Bang Theory myself (although I overhear one or two episodes most days), but I've never felt as close to Sheldon as when his friends told him he was being daft for doing the same thing and he said "But how else will they learn
?". I do my best...