No more surveys!

Helen Perry

Unbelievably another year has passed – is it really 18 years since we all joyously awaited the new millennium? Well, I hope we all have the same cheery expectations as we embark on 2018 – aspirations and New Year resolutions in hand!

Looking back on 2017, I’m still thinking how did the months flip by so quickly? We moved into our new house last February but it wasn’t until this summer break that I began hanging paintings and the like. Now, it’s looking like a home.

One thing has been noticeable since moving districts and, subsequently, gaining a new landline number. I’ve been mercifully free of charity calls that often come just we sit down to dinner after a long day at work.

It is rare for me to say ‘no’ to these very worthy causes but recently I’ve had to pare back a little and then felt absolutely terrible when a ‘help’ call has come in.

While my head tells me I just can’t support everything ñ phone requests, text requests via television programmes (I like those) and also my personal commitment to a handful of charities – guilt assails me and I end up committing even if it sometimes takes me a few weeks to fulfil my obligation.

While, I’ve now had a welcome rest from such calls, I haven’t been able to avoid the plethora of internet surveys every time I visit a bank, stay at a hotel, eat out, buy insurance, book airport parking or enquire from one or another agency or retailer. What’s more I have to wonder how these are monitored.

I am a frequent guest at one particular hotel and I really do tire of receiving a survey after each visit – sometimes only a couple of months apart. I like this hotel and have reviewed it on a number of occasions but I don’t feel the need to do so every time.

The one hotel question I really object to is: Would you stay here again? The only reply option is, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but it’s not that clear cut. If I could answer, ‘probably’ that might do, but the more accurate answer would be, ‘yes, if the price is right!’

My hotel stays are influenced by my budget. A special may allow me to book accommodation which is usually beyond my pocket; on another occasion I might stay at a cheaper option because high demand has pushed prices up elsewhere.

Then when it comes to my ‘free night’ (part of a hotel rewards plan) I like to choose an upmarket option as a treat. So, a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer doesn’t reflect a true response, yet because it is always a mandatory field it cannot be avoided unless one declines the survey. I wonder how readers feel?

With that, it’s time for me to depart – 2018 is here and already I don’t hold much hope for my New Year resolutions – I do hope yours have a better chance than mine! And if you don’t want to think about them at all, just grab a cuppa and enjoy this month’s EastLife.

A very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to all