National Feedback Month

This morning I made two discoveries. The first was that my Jeep had a flat tire. That was unfortunate because I was due for a business appointment at another location in 10 minutes from when the discovery was made. So I got to try out my AAA membership for the first time. It worked very well–fast, efficient, no hassles.

The second discovery was that the service was not entirely without strings. Almost simultaneously with the departure of the man who had been dispatched to change the tire, I received an e-mail asking for feedback on the service. And that was not the beginning or the end of the bigger story.

Later I had to call tech support for my computer–a minor problem that was quickly resolved. Within 3 minutes of hanging up the phone I got an e-mail request for feedback on their service.

Then, not to be left out, later this afternoon, a request from eBay to please “Be an eBay Star” (is this something I want to be?) and to complete feedback on the $18 purchase I made a month ago.

Two weeks ago I stayed at a hotel that is part of a national chain. Five days after I checked out I received an e-mail asking for feedback on my stay. Five days after that–when I had not responded because I was too busy trying to catch up on other feedback demands, I got a ‘reminder’ (a vaguely veiled threat) that if I didn’t respond they were going to think they had done something wrong and therefore I had not been satisfied…and how could I ever sleep at night with knowing that? Who were they kidding? The people that send ‘feedback’ the fastest–and without prompting–are those that are dissatisfied.

Six months ago I ordered custom business cards from a company that I dealt with online and over the phone. Last week I got an e-mail asking me to give feedback on their service. From 6 months ago?

Is this National Feedback Month? If it is, I can’t wait until it’s over. But on second thought, maybe we should take advantage of the time that’s left to send some feedback to some of those that could really benefit from it.

Let’s see…how about weather forecasters? My feedback for them would be that before announcing the current weather conditions, they should first look outside. It might make them appear a bit more in touch with reality if they didn’t talk about high winds occurring at that moment when not even the smallest branch can be seen to be experiencing even the slightest quiver.

How about car dealerships that advertise on TV? They really need feedback. Most, if not all, seem to think that good TV advertising is LOUD, and delivered at the speed of the space shuttle re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. I have already offered feedback to some of them on that point, and one that had ads I found particularly offensive seems to have gone out of business–or at least it is no longer advertising on TV. Perhaps others gave similar feedback.

How about leaf blowers? Companies that manufacture and sell them need to have some feedback telling them that a dumber invention has never been invented. For all the air and noise pollution they produce, what good do they actually do by blowing leaves to another location, usually 6 inches away from where they were originally, just so they can blow around all over again?

And then there are the men who use the leaf blowers. They need feedback. You can’t expect leaf blowers to blow leaves, or anything else, when they are all wet and stuck to the surface you are trying to blow them from. Perhaps I am the one missing the point. I need feedback. Does this have something to do with men and their penchant for toys that make noise?

And how about the Department of Homeland Security? I just went to their website and right up front they ask for feedback. How handy, because do they ever need it, given that they are supposedly the umbrella department for all related federal agencies, including the now infamous FEMA. If their handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is any indication at all, none of us are safe and secure from anything, including them. I wonder if they ever think–or dare–to read their feedback.

So, let’s take advantage of National Feedback Month–I have just officially named it that in case no one official has. Maybe there should be a competition for the entity–singular or collective–that is in most dire need of our most earnest feedback. Do I hear nominations?

Internet Explorer 6 or older browser detected. This website is functional only in Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 7+ and other internet standards compliant browsers. Please visit this site using a current browser.