Are you fed up with giving feedback?

Trish Burgess
Trish Burgess

TRISH TAKES FIVE: By blogger Trish Burgess

I received an email recently asking me to give feedback on some items I had purchased from a large department store. What did I think of my new plastic measuring jug and cereal storage box?

What on earth do they expect me to say two weeks later? I know the jug holds liquid and I can read the numbers on it. I’m not entirely sure how effective the cereal storage box is at keeping my Rice Krispies fresh until I reach the bottom. Give me a chance to eat some first.

I hadn’t even bought them online. I had gone into the shop, pondered all the jugs and storage boxes and made an informed decision at the time.

Quite frankly I haven’t the time or inclination to tell them what I think. If the products are poor, I will return them and they will know of any defects. If they are wonderful, I may buy some more, for my Cheerios this time. Their sales will increase and hopefully the shop will glean from this that it’s worth stocking them in the future.

It seems these days we can’t buy anything or experience a service without having to spend time completing a survey. If we go on holiday we are asked to fill in a questionnaire or encouraged to review on TripAdvisor. If we visit a restaurant we are asked ‘how did we do?’ with the chance to win a prize if we make the effort. Are we very satisfied or only fairly satisfied? Would we recommend to friends and family? Rate us from 1 to 10. It’s relentless.

Yes, feedback is invaluable if you are providing a service or product but public forums must surely be a double-edged sword for companies as the harsh review from a disgruntled punter who had to carry his own bags - “Call yourselves five star?” - can negate in an instant all the positive ratings.

We are so awash with feedback I do wonder whether we can really trust the results. Certainly the general public is wise to the fact that it’s best to ignore the best and worst reviews and make a judgement based on the ones in between. And honestly, hand on heart, haven’t we all found ourselves halfway through a survey, realised it’s taking too long and just ticked boxes willy nilly in the vaguely satisfied area?

I read this week that Amazon is going to sue over a thousand people for providing a ‘fake review service’ which has given certain titles a leg-up the bestseller lists. Well there’s a surprise.

As to my kitchen purchases, I’m tempted to review the jug after all. “This jug has transformed my liquid measuring experience. Before I purchased it, I had to catch the water coming out of the tap with my hands which was somewhat inaccurate. A truly remarkable product. 10/10.”

You can follow Trish on Twitter @mumsgoneto and read her blog at www.mumsgoneto.blogspot.com