In Research is Everywhere: Part 6, I talked about a survey I had just taken that had to do about bottled water. I commended the surveyors ability to keep the survey short and respect the participants time. In this blog I'm going to tell you all a story of why I refuse to take in person stories now.
Last year I was walking with my family in the Mall of America. We were stopped by a gentleman doing surveys about movies and he asked me to participate as they were looking for people specifically in my demographics (white, female, late teens-early twenties).
My parents pushed me to agree to take this "short, five-minute-tops" survey. Ha. What a joke. The guy dragged me over to a computer screen, handed me a pair of sketchy looking headphones (I am not a germaphobe, I grew up on a farm, but even *I* hesitated to put them on). Grudgingly I put them on and watched a couple of minutes of film clips, took a survey on the film clips and figured (Yay!) that I was done.
Nope, apparently I was only half done...next came a few more clips, surveys on the actors in the film and how I viewed and liked them...what other movies I had seen them in, what I thought about the film clips, what I noticed about the film clips ...etc etc etc...
Nearly a half hour later the guy finally declared that I was finished with the survey and could leave now. Thats it. No compensation for my time, no thank yous. Nothing. I felt so used.
Lesson to be learned: After that experience I refused to watch that movie (even though it had some of my favorite actors in it and it looked decent), I refuse to take surveys in person, and I'm skeptical about taking surveys that "only last five minutes"
So if you're developing a survey, make sure that is sweet and to the point, if its in person make sure everything is neat and clean. Be sure that you respect the participants and their time. And for the love of all things good, please don't lie to them about anything. It makes participants very bitter and upset. And besides, no one likes feeling used.
Thus concludes my rant about surveys.