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Customer Rating Survey: Don't Bother Me With It!




Did you recently buy a commercial product or a commercial service for your own use? Did someone then contact you about needing a perfect rating to satisfy headquarters?

It made me think about a cost-plus-award-fee rating system that is too generous. This entry isn't about a government system though, it's about a commercial system used by commercial entities. It isn't just a U. S. phenomenon since international firms are using it too.

For example, in 2004, I purchased an SUV built by a Japanese manufacturer. After the sale was complete, the salesman explained that the manufacturer would be sending me a questionnaire and that the manufacturer requires a perfect rating for the "sales experience." Fast forward to 2011. It was time for a new car and I decided to buy from a U. S. manufacturer. A week or so after the sale, I received a phone call from someone at the car dealership. Guess what? They needed a perfect rating for the saleswoman and the dealership to satisfy the U. S. manufacturer. I have it waiting in my e-mail now. Needless to say, I'm a little annoyed. It isn't just car manufacturers.

My cell phone is nearing its demise and I thought I would buy a new phone online. Of course, you need an online account for this and my original account was deleted in an overhaul of the cell service provider's web site. I was annoyed at that. Oh well, I could create a new one. The instructions were simple. I filled in the blocks carefully and pressed the button to register. Then, I called the phone number provided to ask questions about service plans. The PIN number I created during registration worked. Later, I tried to access my online account using my username and password but that part of my registration did not work. I waited until the next day and it still did not work. Nothing!

I called up the help number. You know what comes next. A fellow with a healthy accent was there to help me. After going through my account information with him, he explained that my account didn't recognize my registration. His advice was to register again. I said thank you, and through his healthy accent, I heard something about a perfect rating. That survey is waiting for me on my cell phone. Of course, I'm annoyed about the survey.

I don't complete these surveys. Maybe I'm preventing us from having a "perfect" world.

Don't commercial firms know what is happening? Maybe they know this is a sham and just want to be happy. What is it about perfect ratings?

I don't care what they do with such systems. Just don't bother me with it.


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Bob, in my latest "Consumer Reports" magazine, in the "Selling It" monthly feature, there was a report of a firm that offers some type of rebate for a high customer survey score.

My suggestion to you is to respond truthfully to the surveys, so that these firms or persons don't fool themselves. Make them EARN the high satisfaction survey scores. If you aren't totally satisfied, maybe the persons need replacing by someone who really wants a job and who will do what it takes to satisfy customers, so that they can keep it.

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