We’ve noticed something that seems to have become unnervingly common practice at car dealerships. After you’ve bought a car, or even if you’ve just taken it in for service, you get a speech that goes something like this from the salesperson or the service manager:
I just want you to let you know you’ll be getting a survey in your email in the next few days. It’s really important that we get a positive review in the survey. So, if you have any problems, please call and let me know.
Every time we hear that, we want to do this.
Is it really necessary? Are these folks so insecure, so uncertain of their abilities to perform their jobs satisfactorily, that they have to warn us about the survey and try to pre-determine a positive review? And if the salesperson has gouged you on the price — or if the service manager has charged you for two gallons of blinker fluid and a new set of muffler bearings — what are they going to do if you call? Are they likely to admit they fleeced you? If so, what do you do with the survey then?
Well, the salesperson [or service manager] originally hosed me. But when I called him on it, he said he thought I’d just fallen off the turnip truck. That made everything okay.
And how much of this reviewing business is enough? If you go out to eat or stay at a hotel, you could be expected to write reviews on Yelp, OpenTable, Urbanspoon, and TripAdvisor, just to name a few. If you assign any kind of dollar-value to your time, the amount of time you spend writing all those reviews probably would have covered the price of gourmet meals for a month or a week’s vacation on St. Kitts (don’t forget the sunscreen).
This seems like a perverse twist on two already-perverse notions: (1) Floggings will continue until morale improves and (2) suing to get your job back. If you have to be intimidated into compliance — or if you have to litigate — are these places you would choose to be or people with whom (or for whom) you’d choose to work?
Not so much.
If you’re under the threat of mayhem for a positive review, there’s something very wrong with that picture.