One of the rock shops in Austin has a “Customer Survey” ongoing. Instituted in the last few months, each practitioner can be graded by the individual querent.

Since we’re all “freelance,” per se, a customer satisfaction survey is usually accomplished via one’s wallet. Or purse, or, in some examples, a “murse.” Still, the idea is that one votes with one’s expenditure, rather than anything else.

That’s how I see it.

Now, I’ve played the game of the “Customer Satisfaction Survey” for years. Back in the bad, old days, a certain Seattle chain had a deal, fill in the survey and get a free coffee, then it was two dollars off, or something. At one morning stop, the crew would save the surveys and and let me have them. They knew it was me filling out the surveys — all superlative answers — because I would note the counter help’s name by sign, “That Scorpio, a Taurus, The Leo,” and so forth.

When I pay at Nature’s Treasures, I do tend to hit the simple “rate this transaction” button and make a superlative comment about whoever helped me that day. That’s akin to stuffing the ballot box.


One app I’ve been using asks every few times I open it, if I like the app. If I answer yes, then it shoots me over to the app store, so I can leave a favorable comment. If I say nothing? Just keeps bugging me. I suspect a negative comment goes to a contact page for the company, the app developer rather than the app store. It’s another example of “stuffing the ballot box,” although, not in a typically Texan political way.

I’m sensitive to this kind of material because I’ve played the game so long. There’s a new outlet location from a familiar chain, just opened near me. Waitress gave me several of the surveys attached to receipts, and I filled them out, got $2 off the next sandwich, or whatever. I’m willingly stuffing their online questionnaire with good answers because I want to see them do well. Then, too, there’s a bonus someplace upstream. I hope my good will engenders good will should I ever encounter a problem.

While I appreciate constructive criticism, I find it rather (dishonest, disingenuous, dumb) to participate in such stuffing, if it’s for my own self-aggrandizement.

I prefer readings that are honest, reliable, and accurate rather than trying to win over the client, or foster a dependency upon consultations. I also know how hard hit some of the counter workers are when there’s flaming, negative response.

“The short one was abrupt with me.”
To be fair, you sneered and snarled at her, first.

The forever battle of good customer service. Front facing, front line, the hand-to-hand combat of the retail landscape.


The problem with the current “Yelp” setting? One negative review gets ten times as much weight as the other nine positives.

At that rock shop in Austin, a client walked away, heartbroken, but satisfied, and gave me a glowing review despite my bad news. I’m of the “whatever” category. For me? A vote with a wallet is far superior to any kind of words. I did try to collect some testimonials, but I abandoned the idea and its catalog some years ago. Too much trouble, too little reward.

Some years ago, I expressed a similar concern about ‘client feedback’ at the rock shop, because one negative can erase thousands of good.

Not long ago, I got yelled at by a former client. Person went off the rails, probably off his meds, and came close to assaulting me, not that I was worried, just shows a level of interaction I prefer to stay away from. One negative can erases thousands of good.

So the idea of stuffing the ballot box, or the customer satisfaction survey, any of that? I tend to stay away from it. and its family of websites participate in affiliate programs, which means there are material connections between the ads, and this site. for appearances —
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