Airing my grievances

As part of my job I run a large research panel. We send weekly 5-minute surveys out to these respondents. In exchange for completing these short surveys, they are entered to win prizes every week like $50 to $100 gift cards to places like Amazon or Best Buy, department stores, movie tickets, and we've even given away a few iPads and Kindles.

And on a weekly basis, I receive an email that reads something if not exactly like this:

"You need to compensate me for my time. If you don't start paying me, I'm going to stop taking your surveys."


"#%*& you. I've been taking your stupid surveys for a month and haven't won anything. Take me off your $#%&*@$# list."

Threats and swearing and endless berating. I hate opening my panel email account.

This is how I'd really like to respond every time:

"Yes, that was incredibly rude of me to ask you for 300 of your precious seconds each week and then giving you a 1 in 200 chance of WINNING AN AWESOME PRIZE for sitting in front of your computer and reviewing these new, interesting, sometimes wacky and entertaining, never before seen products. How quickly that sense of entitlement kicked right in. How quickly I all of the sudden owed you something. Well sir, you are not as special as your kiddie soccer team led you to believe and every participant does not receive a trophy. In fact, I have thousands of other respondents that are very happy with the current set up. You may leave."

But this is how I always respond:

"I'm sorry you feel that way. You may unsubscribe from the panel at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email. Have a nice day!"

Can you tell I'm really trying to kill murder them with kindness?


  1. Gmail allows you to do canned responses if you enable it in the "labs" function. It might be worth your time to set one up and then you can just auto-generate it rather than waste your 300 seconds to write a nice response ;)

  2. Ugh...rude people should have an island of their own. (Unfortunately, I might occasionally be sent to the island after awhile in traffic .)

  3. killing them with kindness... always the hardest thing to do haha love it :)!

  4. Super frustrating. Way to take the high road. I know that you would even IF your job DIDN'T depend on it. :)