• gabba (unregistered)

    I guess the 'six' thing is a horribly misguided attempt to exclude bots? Dunno.

  • SlyVenom (unregistered) in reply to gabba

    That was my best guess as well.

  • Chucara (unregistered)

    Simple CAPTCHA maybe, but I think it is more likely that it is to try to detect which users just slams in a random number to get on with the survey. Hence the quality control remark.

    That's not really a WTF in my opinion.

  • anonymous (unregistered)

    Not Bots. People who just blindly check a line down ok, good, or bad. They want to know you are actually reading and giving thought to your answers.

  • Jon (unregistered)

    The home depot one isn't a WTF, and in fact it's kind of smart because it's seeing if you actually read the question ... you're a WTF at life for posting it as a WTF.

  • ObiWayneKenobi (cs)

    Ah ha, so if someone doesn't pay attention and checks 10 instead of 6, they know they aren't reading the survey and can easily discount their opinion.

    I like that.

  • DoggettCK (cs) in reply to anonymous

    Or people who use Chickenfoot or Firebug and custom-written scripts to pick random entries in a very successful attempt to earn metric assloads of Amazon.com gift certificates.

    Not that I'd know anything about that.

  • misha (cs) in reply to Chucara
    Chucara:
    Simple CAPTCHA maybe, but I think it is more likely that it is to try to detect which users just slams in a random number to get on with the survey. Hence the quality control remark.

    That's not really a WTF in my opinion.

    Except that if I took that survey, I'd almost certainly not pick 6 out of sheer contrariness. Am I the only one?

    I think the bigger WTF though is the idea that anyone thinks shopping for DIY stuff could ever be "fun".

  • anonymous (unregistered)

    So that first picture is a WTF because of the "quality assurance" question? Or am I missing something else?

    Full disclosure: I work in Marketing Research

    Bots are a problem, but at my company we haven’t yet seen evidence that they’re a big problem. The real problem is that there are people who commission 90+ minute studies, and actually expect the data they get back to be meaningful.

    But the Real WTF is that in general there people exist who take these surveys "professionally" creating the need to add things like that to ensure that the data isn't just some guy clicking randomly in order to get a free sample.

    Yes, I have seen people take the same online survey 7+ times to get a free shampoo sample. At least that's the current record recognized from inputting the exact same address, for all we know someone else might be higher but was smart enough to alter their address a little each time.

  • misha (cs) in reply to anonymous
    anonymous:
    So that first picture is a WTF because of the "quality assurance" question? Or am I missing something else?

    Full disclosure: I work in Marketing Research

    Bots are a problem, but at my company we haven’t yet seen evidence that they’re a big problem. The real problem is that there are people who commission 90+ minute studies, and actually expect the data they get back to be meaningful.

    But the Real WTF is that in general there people exist who take these surveys "professionally" creating the need to add things like that to ensure that the data isn't just some guy clicking randomly in order to get a free sample.

    Yes, I have seen people take the same online survey 7+ times to get a free shampoo sample. At least that's the current record recognized from inputting the exact same address, for all we know someone else might be higher but was smart enough to alter their address a little each time.

    So did they get 7 free samples? 'cos if that works I'm going to stop buying my own shampoo.

  • Corporate Cog (unregistered)

    Hope depot? Therein lies the problem. Derive your hope not in retail outlets.

  • Daz (unregistered) in reply to Corporate Cog

    That 'Job Satisfaction' survey is exactly the kind of thing our officious HR Monster would make us take...

    Daz

  • Erik (unregistered)

    If I'm on a website taking something as meaningless (to me) as a customer satisfaction survey, and I see a question telling me to pick a certain option, the temptation to pick any option other than that one is just too great to resist. So, even though I am a perfectly legitimate survey user who probably has valid opinions, I may click something other than 6 just because I have a subconscious need to subvert authority whenever necessary, or even just to see what happens.

  • Tony (unregistered)

    Quality control question is very smart, fair cop.

  • speaking of wtf's (unregistered) in reply to Erik
    Erik:
    If I'm on a website taking something as meaningless (to me) as a customer satisfaction survey, and I see a question telling me to pick a certain option, the temptation to pick any option other than that one is just too great to resist. So, even though I am a perfectly legitimate survey user who probably has valid opinions, I may click something other than 6 just because I have a subconscious need to subvert authority whenever necessary, or even just to see what happens.

    Actually, I work in market research, and if you didn't pick 6, we would specifically want to exclude the rest of your responses as well. I think that quality control step is an excellent idea.

  • Sgt. Preston (unregistered) in reply to Tony
    Tony:
    Quality control question is very smart, fair cop.
    Not understand what sentence mean.
  • Hognoxious (unregistered) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Ah ha, so if someone doesn't pay attention and checks 10 instead of 6, they know they aren't reading the survey and can easily discount their opinion.
    Or they're a git who reads it but clicks somethng else on purpose.
  • NiceWTF (unregistered) in reply to speaking of wtf's
    speaking of wtf's:
    Actually, I work in market research, and if you didn't pick 6, we would specifically want to exclude the rest of your responses as well. I think that quality control step is an excellent idea.

    I fully agree that it is a great idea to include some obvious 'control' question. One might try to make them just a tiny little bit less obvious though.

    But indeed, that's not a WTF at all. On the contrary, it's brilliant (no...not brillant indeed).

  • gabba (unregistered)

    If you're trying to exclude randomly selected answers, you would ask a few similar but subtly different questions and see whether the user's answers are consistent. You wouldn't do the 'six' thing. So yes, it's a WTF.

  • Bobble (unregistered) in reply to Erik
    Erik:
    If I'm on a website taking something as meaningless (to me) as a customer satisfaction survey, and I see a question telling me to pick a certain option, the temptation to pick any option other than that one is just too great to resist. So, even though I am a perfectly legitimate survey user who probably has valid opinions, I may click something other than 6 just because I have a subconscious need to subvert authority whenever necessary, or even just to see what happens.

    You are not a legitimate survey user as you believe customer satisfaction surveys are meaningless. Your desire to click something other than six is at least anecdotal proof that that is not at all a WTF and serves a very useful purpose in weeding out, well, people like you.

  • wtf (unregistered)

    yep agreed, not a WTF.

  • Sgt. Preston (unregistered) in reply to Bobble
    Bobble:
    You are not a legitimate survey user as you believe customer satisfaction surveys are meaningless. Your desire to click something other than six is at least anecdotal proof that that is not at all a WTF and serves a very useful purpose in weeding out, well, people like you.
    Yes, it's a valuable technique for restricting your survey participants to only obedient customers. And after all, why would you want feedback from non-obedient customers?
  • Andrei (cs)

    The one about the customer service is a classic psychological trick. When I took a test for the army, they gave me a similar thing. Another trick is to ask the same questions but in other form, to see if the responses coincide.

  • Vechni (cs) in reply to speaking of wtf's
    speaking of wtf's:
    Erik:
    If I'm on a website taking something as meaningless (to me) as a customer satisfaction survey, and I see a question telling me to pick a certain option, the temptation to pick any option other than that one is just too great to resist. So, even though I am a perfectly legitimate survey user who probably has valid opinions, I may click something other than 6 just because I have a subconscious need to subvert authority whenever necessary, or even just to see what happens.

    Actually, I work in market research, and if you didn't pick 6, we would specifically want to exclude the rest of your responses as well. I think that quality control step is an excellent idea.

    Hence, because you want to (rather, can only) market to people who follow orders.

  • IV (unregistered)

    Just reasking questions isn't good enough, even if you re-word them in the negative. I could just pick middle of the road all the way down to give the most consistent responses and finishe the survey in the fastest amount of time. I am guessing 6 is the least chosen option on the other questions, which would be a good reason to use it as a control.

    Captcha: paint (another DIY necessity)

  • rbowes (cs)

    I like how "Homicide" is 404. Murderer not found?

  • ArashiNK (unregistered) in reply to Chucara

    Number one, I like home improvement. I like making things, be they websites, programs, or furniture.

    Number two, you don't have to take the survey. You get a passcode to take it with your receipt, go to the website, enter it in, then spend a few minutes picking answers. They bribe you to take it with the chance to win $5000 at Home Depot. Chances are, if you don't pick that particular 6, they wouldn't enter you for the drawing. I know if I was running this operation, I'd discard the data and the contest entry.

  • Phlip (cs) in reply to rbowes
    rbowes:
    I like how "Homicide" is 404. Murderer not found?
    And 405 Arson Not Allowed?
  • Fuji (unregistered) in reply to Sgt. Preston
    Sgt. Preston:
    Tony:
    Quality control question is very smart, fair cop.
    Not understand what sentence mean.

    "Fair cop" is British slang, meaning roughly "I agree". Literal translation would be closer to "you've caught me fair and square".

  • Fuji (unregistered) in reply to Corporate Cog
    Corporate Cog:
    Hope depot? Therein lies the problem. Derive your hope not in retail outlets.

    When you go there, you "hope" what you want is in stock.

  • Mark (unregistered)

    Years ago, I read about a bank that was sending out some sort of lengthy material to existing customers and they felt it was probably not being fully read. In order to test what percentage of people were actually reading the materical they inserted a statement that said something like "Customers may receive a one-time one-hundred dollar deposit into by calling 1-8xx-xxx-xxxx". They sent this to a small batch of customers and the results were that almost nobody was reading the material.

  • Mike (unregistered)

    I am with the other people who don't think the Home Depot one is a WTF. I actually think it the opposite of a WTF. (i.e a good idea).

  • SuperousOxide (cs)

    Haven't we seen the Home Depot one before?

  • el jaybird (unregistered)

    The job satisfaction survey makes perfect sense if you treat the headings as categories -- "job security" and "company procedures" and the questions ("capriciously fired") as not actual questions but definitions for the term.

    How satisfied are you with your job security (e.g. do you feel you might be fired at any moment?) -- My job security meets my expectations (1-10) -- I feel motivated because of my job security (1-10) -- I am satisfied with my job security (1-10)

    ... etc.

    They just administered a similar survey at my workplace. Looks like the same company. Not the same questions, though, otherwise I'd be looking around to see which Andy it was...

  • Fuji (unregistered) in reply to Mark
    Mark:
    Years ago, I read about a bank that was sending out some sort of lengthy material to existing customers and they felt it was probably not being fully read. In order to test what percentage of people were actually reading the materical they inserted a statement that said something like "Customers may receive a one-time one-hundred dollar deposit into by calling 1-8xx-xxx-xxxx". They sent this to a small batch of customers and the results were that almost nobody was reading the material.

    Hey, I got that same message from a bank in Nigeria!

  • Synonymous Awkward (unregistered) in reply to Vechni
    Vechni:
    Hence, because you want to (rather, can only) market to people who follow orders.
    Instructions, not orders. Try not to turn it into a soapbox where you can proclaim what a beautiful and unique snowflake you are, or your unswerving belief in anarchism, or whatever the current popular way is to describe that sort of thing.
  • Generic Phil (unregistered) in reply to Mark
    Mark:
    They sent this to a small batch of customers and the results were that almost nobody was reading the material.
    The results were that almost nobody believed they would get something for nothing.
  • poochner (cs) in reply to Sgt. Preston
    Sgt. Preston:
    Bobble:
    You are not a legitimate survey user as you believe customer satisfaction surveys are meaningless. Your desire to click something other than six is at least anecdotal proof that that is not at all a WTF and serves a very useful purpose in weeding out, well, people like you.
    Yes, it's a valuable technique for restricting your survey participants to only obedient customers. And after all, why would you want feedback from non-obedient customers?

    It's not so much that they don't want the feedback; it's that you've shown you won't give them feedback. That is, they asked for your opinions, and you've just kicked the survey-taker in the nads.

  • Anonymous (unregistered)

    If you won't even pick 6 on the quality control answer, then chances are you didn't spend any time at all on the other questions, or you did, then you felt the "irresistable urge" to choose one that's not what you decided.

    Do you have a family history of mental illness?

  • Bobble (unregistered) in reply to Sgt. Preston
    Sgt. Preston:
    Yes, it's a valuable technique for restricting your survey participants to only obedient customers. And after all, why would you want feedback from non-obedient customers?

    This board only wants feedback from obedient users. The CAPTCHA test isn't testing for robots, it's testing your ability to OBEY.

  • PerdidoPunk (cs)

    I've taken that Home Depot survey, and it took me a few minutes to figure out why that's there. By throwing that in the mix, they can filter out the responses of people who just select random values for everything... If you didn't take the time to at least inspect the questions, your answers are thrown out. They could do even better by making one that says, "Choose a factor of the number 35 to request that we don't sell your email address to spammers."

  • poochner (cs) in reply to Mark
    Mark:
    Years ago, I read about a bank that was sending out some sort of lengthy material to existing customers and they felt it was probably not being fully read. In order to test what percentage of people were actually reading the materical they inserted a statement that said something like "Customers may receive a one-time one-hundred dollar deposit into by calling 1-8xx-xxx-xxxx". They sent this to a small batch of customers and the results were that almost nobody was reading the material.

    A company called PC Pitstop did that with their EULA a few years back. It took four months and 3000 downloads before anyone sent a message to the specified email address. That was for $1000.

  • dlikhten (cs)

    This makes sense so that someone does not write a script answering 0 to everything, he would have to parse the question and look for "six" :) Those sneaky survey evil-doers

  • Belcat (unregistered) in reply to misha
    misha:
    Chucara:
    Simple CAPTCHA maybe, but I think it is more likely that it is to try to detect which users just slams in a random number to get on with the survey. Hence the quality control remark.

    That's not really a WTF in my opinion.

    Except that if I took that survey, I'd almost certainly not pick 6 out of sheer contrariness. Am I the only one?

    I think the bigger WTF though is the idea that anyone thinks shopping for DIY stuff could ever be "fun".

    I guess you don't like too look back on a project and say, it looks great, it's better quality than most contractors would use out there, it's exactly the parts I wanted to use (not some inferior parts), it's FUCKING AWESOME and I did it myself.

  • misha (cs) in reply to Belcat
    Belcat:
    misha:
    Chucara:
    Simple CAPTCHA maybe, but I think it is more likely that it is to try to detect which users just slams in a random number to get on with the survey. Hence the quality control remark.

    That's not really a WTF in my opinion.

    Except that if I took that survey, I'd almost certainly not pick 6 out of sheer contrariness. Am I the only one?

    I think the bigger WTF though is the idea that anyone thinks shopping for DIY stuff could ever be "fun".

    I guess you don't like too look back on a project and say, it looks great, it's better quality than most contractors would use out there, it's exactly the parts I wanted to use (not some inferior parts), it's FUCKING AWESOME and I did it myself.

    Nope, because anything I build falls to pieces at once, usually with near fatal consequences.

    I do see the attraction of DIY itself, I just don't believe it can be fun to shop for bits of wood and nails and stuff.

  • RH (unregistered) in reply to gabba

    It's obvious that the purpose of the fourth question in the Home Depot survey is to "motivate" people to get a virtually impossible perfect score. Even if everyone picks 10 for every question except that one, it will still make the survey only about 96% satisfactory.

    Boss: "Alright people we are sooo close to 100%, but we need to work harder to get it. I just [laughs aside] don't know what it is that's preventing this 100%!"

    The boss can even tweak it... one month make them select "one" and another month make them select "ten". Just to mess with the workers.

  • Calli Arcale (unregistered)

    The Home Depot one is a WTF. By that I mean it makes you go "what the [flugelhorn]?" when you read it. Sure, when you think about it, you can see why they did it. But the fact that they need to do it indicates that something, somewhere, is farked up. Hence, WTF.

    Why do so many folks automatically assume that the only reason to post something here is to poke fun at the developers who created it? Why can't we poke fun at the things that cause developers to have to do things like this?

    Take captchas, for instance. They're too ubiquitous to merit inclusion in this site, but the mere fact that they are needed indicates that there is WTFery going on in this world. That's the nature of this world, and I find that a good way of learning to live with it is to find the humor in it. ;-)

  • Michael (unregistered) in reply to poochner
    poochner:
    It's not so much that they don't want the feedback; it's that you've shown you won't give them feedback. That is, they asked for your opinions, and you've just kicked the survey-taker in the nads.
    I've worked in Market Research and Field Service before, and I can authoritatively say that even if you _did_ kick the surveyor in the nads, we would still take your answers. At minimum wage, nobody really cares what happens to the surveyor, your one response earns the company more than their entire day's pay.
  • ParkinT (cs) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Ah ha, so if someone doesn't pay attention and checks 10 instead of 6, they know they aren't reading the survey and can easily discount their opinion.

    I like that.

    Yes. That was my immediate thought. I have fallen victim to the situation where a survey becomes longer than expected. When I become impatient, I begin choosing all TENS just to get to the end.

    That is a technique I will remember and use in my work.

  • Northerner (unregistered) in reply to poochner

    You say "kicked the survey-taker in the nads" like it's a bad thing. I'd answer surveys truthfully if there were anything in it for me, but the opposite is true. By indicating an opinion or preference, I've most likely earned myself more harassment and unwanted advertising.

    Leave me the [heck] alone. Go get real jobs and stop making money off the effort of people who do actual work.

    Captcha: "burned" as in "I got burned by the fact that the Do Not Call list doesn't apply to survey takers".

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