Saturday, 15 March 2014

Feedback please

Have you noticed that almost everything we do these days is followed up with a request for Feedback? I suppose with retailers, I can understand then wanting to make sure their customers are satisfied but this need for feedback on every little purchase is getting a bit tiresome.

A few weeks ago I ordered odds and sods on Amazon. These days the stuff all comes from different distributors so instead of feedback on the whole order, I am now being inundated with requests from no less than four companies. I ordered a small, temporary greenhouse so I can start some seedlings before May (which is when gardeners in Chicago are advised to leave planting till). Along with the greenhouse, I bought some starter seedling trays, some herb seeds and some fertilizer/pellet stuff. I know I could have popped along to a local shop but I thought that since I was shopping on Amazon, I might as well order it all at the same time.

Wrong. As I said, it's coming from four different vendors, and not all at the same time. I keep getting delivery notifications for stuff I've already received, and nothing for the seeds that still haven't turned up. And now - e-mails asking for my feedback - on plastic seedling trays and seed packets fer cryin' out loud. (If they knew me they'd know I'd have been onto them if anything was wrong, but never mind.)

I was thinking about what might be driving the need for all this feedback, and then I spied a line in one of the e-mails -

Our goal is for you to be completely satisfied with this transaction. If this is not the case, we would appreciate it if you would give us a chance to address your concerns before leaving feedback.

Aha! In other words - if you're not happy - tell us, don't go shouting your mouth off on one of those review sites. I don't blame them really; some people on sites like Amazon and Yelp are so negative it's almost funny and I would hate to be on the receiving end of the criticism without being given a chance to rectify things.

Do forgive me if I don't leave any feedback this time though. You can be certain I'll let you know if I'm not happy.


  1. It's quite annoying, isn't it?

    We live in an age obsessed with evaluation. We'll soon be at the point where half the world is doing a job, and half the world is evaluating what the other half is doing. Retail is fairly straightforward, I think. Either the customer likes it or not, and the customer is always right. It's more complicated in other sectors, and sometimes I think it's just gone plain mad.

    Good luck with your gardening.

  2. ha ha I agree - companies just terrified of social media I guess. Lx

  3. I am not keen on being bombarded with e-mails and think that I should be free to leave any review where or when I like, however, given a lot of the reviews that I have seen for some items on sites such as Amazon, I can understand retailers thoughts. If you look for example at the reviews for the books by The Pioneer Woman, a lot of them are horrible, really mean, nothing to do with the books, just having a go at her for being too rich and doubtless by people who have not even bought the book. This is just one example. So if retailers can stop people leaving nasty comments like that by resolving any minor issues, I can understand why they do it. I would rather be offered the opportunity to raise any issues than not - as long as if I do raise an issue they then resolve it of course!! Good luck with the plant growing. xx

  4. It's funny, we were just having this conversation at the weekend, a propos of getting a feedback email from the dentist. I mean what can you say about a trip to the dentist? But my husband now is under obligation to get feedback from his own patients, and use it as part of his appraisal system, so he felt bad not doing the same for the dentist. Of course it's email that has made this all possible - no-one would have bothered before.

  5. And even if I'm in a shop and explicitly ask many times - don't email me, they do.

  6. I think I have gone native.I feel obliged to leave feedback on this post because of the title.I must not be truly British yet because I am not annoyed by this. ;)
    I kind of like leaving feedback, within reason.I even hit up my Dentist on Twitter! Maybe there is something wrong with me!

  7. Living overseas, we order from Amazon - a LOT. I think at least 50% of my inbox is requests from Amazon for feedback on my latest purchase...sigh.

  8. The feedback thing is particularly annoying in the US, where it can feel like virtually every shop/store you go into, they want to know all your contact details. Sometimes I just want to buy something, I am not interested in entering into any kind of personal relationship with a retail business.


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