Monday, July 2, 2012

Will you rate your transaction at

No. No, Amazon, I will not. I would like to give your sellers full credit -- and generally, the shipping/billing process goes exactly as it ought to -- but you are asking too much.

In your e-mail requesting feedback, you tell me I can click on five stars, meaning "Excellent -- Item delivered on time, was as described, great customer service (if contacted)" and so on. Or I can click on "My experience was different" and enumerate my complaints. But you won't let me just click on "excellent" and leave it at that. No, you demand that I enter a comment, or at least a couple of typed characters, into a text box. I can't just bestow an A+ -- no, I have to add some inane attempt at amplification.

I thought you had seen the error of your ways, Amazon. Last fall, I reported that you had abandoned this silly practice, but apparently I was wrong. I don't get it: How can it be good for sellers if you annoy the most satisfied buyers by telling them they can only award five stars if they consent to waste their time adding superfluous  compliments?

For a smart organization, this is a very stupid policy. Customers should be able to give good sellers the best rating -- "Excellent -- five stars" -- without being forced to put a cherry on top.


Jonathon said...

On Ebay, it's not uncommon to see feedback like "*** Awesome Buyer!!!! A+++++ Come back again! Fast payment!!!!!!!! PROMPT!! ***" (an actual piece of feedback I recently received for buying a three-dollar USB cable and paying for it immediately).

This isn't real feedback—it's just meaningless noise. I really hope Amazon doesn't go down that road.

Julia said...

"You like me? You really like me? What do you like best about me? Is it my shipping time? I bet it's my shipping time, right? Or maybe it's my packaging? Is that it? Is it my packaging? Come on, just tell me what my best feature is!"

Herm said...

I make a point of writing a comment that firstly expresses my satisfaction/dissatisfaction with the service, and which then goes in to more detail, explaining how superfluous, inconveniencing, and irritating I think the feedback *requirement* is.

Having the option to write feedback, I think, is a good thing. Making it a mandatory field, however, is not.

Languagehat said...

Funny, this never bothered me. I usually wait till several items have accumulated, type "Item arrived promptly in promised condition" for the first one, then copy-and-paste for the others. It's an easy enough little pat on the back.

bibliophile said...

I agree. This annoys me every time I am asked to leave feedback--to the extent that I sometimes just ignore the request, even though the service was "excellent."

T. Roger Thomas said...

As someone who buys things on Amazon regularly, I would much rather just leave a 1 to 5 star rating for the seller.

Unknown said...

I just put, "This space intentionally left blank.", and leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

Every time I interact with my car dealer, I get an actual living human calling me a few days later wanting me to take a survey about how the interaction went. If I don't pick up, she leaves a message. And calls back again the following day.

My dealer's great - the staff are courteous, they have free Wi-Fi and coffee in the waiting area, they offer shuttle service to and from the train station. The only thing that would keep me from giving them a 5-star rating is how annoying the surveys asking me to rate them are.

Getting feedback is fine. Assigning your customers tedious chores isn't.

Unknown said...

Amen to that! That's exactly why I delete Amazon's e-mails for buyer feedback.

Everything is answered in the check boxes. Requiring a narrative is stupid.