Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Survey Says......."

I know there's a reasonable explanation for this (because Amy reasonably explained it to me*) but I have to admit it stumped me when I first read it.

I guess the new trend for merchants is to hand you a receipt for whatever you've purchased and then add, "There's a code on there and a web address. If you go to that website and put in the code, you can win X number of dollars in our weekly/monthly/daily drawing simply for filling out a short survey."

I don't win any money, but lately I've been littered with these "survey receipts."

Yesterday I received three of them. One from Starbucks, another from Target, and yet another from a restaurant where Amy and I had a rare lunch "out" thanks in large part to the gift card my youngest daughter, Lisa, gave me for my birthday.

So this evening I thought I'd do myself a favor and empty the junk out of my wallet (it's full of receipts not cash) and since the computer was nearby the trash can, I filled out those various surveys.

I'm a little wary of such things, but with multiple email addresses and phone numbers I have few worries about getting more spam than I already receive, or calls from solicitors. Still, I do at least give a cursory glance to the privacy statements and the contest "rules."

I can't remember which survey it was, but one of them had this caveat buried in all the jargon - and this is a direct quote:

"If a potential winner is a Canadian resident, such person must correctly answer a mathematical skill-testing question prior to awarding the prize."

I must admit that I laughed when I read it. I mean there wasn't any additional explanation in the "rules." It's like the contest organizers were saying, "Well, before we give a Canadian money we better make sure they're not too drunk or stupid."

I don't mean to offend Canadians - if that were my intent I'd compare them to the French - but isn't that kind of an odd line to drop in the middle of the usual fine print of a contest?

If I were a Canadian, I'd be offended...of course I'd also be embarrassed, but that's another story....Oh lighten up, I'm just

To any Canadians I might have ticked off by this little bit of levity I'd ask that you count to ten and calm down.

Okay, maybe five.

Alright you can just count to three, but that's my final offer.

* Oh you want the reasonable explanation? In Canada, at least according to Amy, you can't have contests that give away money. I'm sure the 'official' explanation contains more legalese, but in essence games of 'chance' are a "Non Non." Thus, to win the big bucks from the Starbucks/Target/Chili's survey you have to win a 'game of skill.' Math is a skill...filling out surveys on the Internet is not.

Hey, that's Amy's explanation and it works for me.

I wondered how Dudley Doright was staying busy these days...