Guy received an invitation from Staples to take a survey. Surveys can be tedious and not very fun, but five bucks is five bucks. He followed the link and completed what he calls a “long, redundant, poorly designed survey.” He kept going because there was a check for him at the end. Then he reached the end, and learned that there would be no reward for him.
Wait, what? Turns out that Staples already had enough responses to this survey, and there was no $5 check for Guy. Why did they put him through it, then?
Here’s the message that he received at the end of the survey:
Your opinions are extremely important to us. Unfortunately, we have reached the target number of completes from your group today. However, your time and efforts are greatly appreciated.
Thanks again for your support and participation.
“Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated” is nice and all, but it’s not five bucks.
We sent the survey e-mail and Guy account of what happened over to Staples HQ to find out what the deal was. Do they make a habit of putting customers through surveys and then refusing to pay out? No, a spokesman told us.
Staples values the input of our survey respondents. All respondents must qualify and complete the survey to receive any potential reward. Qualifications and target number of completes are confidential business information and unfortunately, some individuals may have completed the survey before we could validate their qualifications or after we had met our required number of completes for any specific target groups. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused any of our valuable customers.
That means that if, say, they need 500 small business owners to fill out the survey and 499 have already done so when you start it, the next one to finish gets the money. If that’s not you, well, that’s too bad.
Staples did offer to reach out to Guy and give him the survey reward that he missed out on. He appreciates that, but the money isn’t really the point. “Not so much about the $5 as it was the misleading promise,” he wrote to us. “Seems like a really bad process to promise an incentive and not deliver.”