Do you know when you are filling in a Market Research survey?
Some people are happy enough to do so, but what if you do not know if you are doing so?
Today I was asked by a well-known retail chain for my email at payment. Okay – it is in the public domain. I was asked if I wanted a till receipt or an email receipt. I opted for the latter.
When the email arrived it gave me an opportunity to give feedback on my visit to the retail store. Being a keen believer in feedback I went through the ten-minute survey explaining what was good and where things could be improved. Only at the end did I discover that this was not the retailer’s survey as such, but it was a Market Research company acting on behalf of the retailer.
It asked if I would allow them to share the feedback with the retailer – well, that is why I completed the survey so I said, Yes.
I then sent the following email to the Market Survey company:
Your survey says at the end
“Thank you for your time today and for sharing your feedback with [retailer].
The survey is being conducted on behalf of [retailer] by [….] Research Ltd. If you have any queries or concerns about this survey please click here to email […] Research.”
This should have been put at the beginning as I thought I was supplying this information to [retailer], not to a Market Research company. If this is standard for the Market Research industry, it has put me off responding to such surveys in the future.
I will probably write a blog to alert folks to this practice.
The click “here” link does not work with my Firefox browser.
As we all know, emails and data are being assiduously gathered for marketing purposes. However, customers need to be in control of what is happening, and today’s post is the latest in a series of posts about consumers taking back control.
21 Aug 2017: the market research company has responded – not with any suggestion that it will change its practice – but simply removing me ‘from our internal mailing list’ and interestingly, ‘We have also sent your request to [retailer] who aim to remove you from their mailing list within 2-4 weeks.’ I never asked for the latter, so the question arises if this is a blacklisting exercise disguised as respect for the consumer. Note that there is no discussion to improve practices nor to educate the consumer whether they have the wrong end of the stick. ‘Retailer knows best’ is a corporate equivalent of human behaviour common in our broken society.
Politicians and main stream media are learning that the public feel disenfranchised. Other groups have still to catch up on this learning curve.
A summary of articles about consumers taking back control:
1 Aug 2016 Dealing with cold callers
2 Sep 2016 BT and identifying cold callers
3 May 2017: Jump to attention
7 Jun 2017 Gmail disarray
11 Aug 2017: Browbeating
17 Aug 2017: Cambridge Analytica and data manipulation
19 Aug 2017: Market search companies
22 Aug 2017: Fighting for consumers
24 Aug 2017: Disposing of electronic devices
16 Oct 2017: Do PDFs save paper?
29 Dec 2017: Built-in obsolence
27 Mar 2018: Taking complaints seriously
29 Mar 2018: Failing to believe complainants