Mac Marginalization: Surveys
Jan. 19, 2009
Apr. 11, 2009
Apr. 13, 2009
Apr. 18, 2009
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Jun. 12, 2009
Jun. 13, 2009
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I just received a survey from Wells Fargo Bank via Decipher, Inc. It only allows Windows users to complete the survey:
Dear Wells Fargo Customer,
You are specially invited to participate in a Wells Fargo survey! Surveys like this one help to improve customer satisfaction and enhance our website. Your feedback is critical to this process.
Decipher, Inc. and Keynote Systems are independent market research firms that are partnering to administer the survey on behalf of Wells Fargo. If you qualify and complete all questions and tasks in the survey, you will receive a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate.
In order to complete the survey, your computer must meet the following requirements:
Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows XP Services Pack 2 or Windows Vista
Internet Explorer 5.5, 6.0 or 7.0
Pentium processor, or better; 500 MHz or faster
1MB or more available hard disk space
Cookies must be enabled
Please open the link below in *Internet Explorer* (you may need to copy and paste the link into your browser) to answer some preliminary questions that will determine your eligibility for the survey.
If you are eligible to participate, you will immediately enter the full survey:
- The survey will take roughly 30 minutes to complete
- Your responses will remain strictly confidential and will only be used to improve products and services at Wells Fargo
- You will not be asked for any personal identifiable information
Questions about survey authenticity? Please contact Wells Fargo Online Customer Service at (800) 956-4442 and mention the "Wells Fargo Online Prototype Evaluation".
Thanks so much for your time.
Decipher, Inc., an independent market research firm, is conducting this online survey for Wells Fargo. We respect the personal nature of e-mail communication. If you do not wish to receive any further e-mail communication from Decipher, Inc. in the future, please click here:
is that one of those surveys where you get to complete one survey after another, till you realize it will take you 4hrs to qualify for that so called free laptop?
I have but compliments about Wells Fargo's online accommodation of Safari and the Mac. Everything on their online site has always worked perfectly. Is it possible that the survey may have been just an effort by Wells Fargo to determine the user experience of Windows users?
I belong to a survey group called e-rewards (http://www.e-rewards.com/). I just received an invitation to a survey and when I tried to open the link in Safari I was told that it only ran on Windows with IE or Firefox.
I fired up Parallels to access the survey which asked questions about my opinion of Microsoft and the value of their products. One question was "For the price of one Macintosh, you can buy 2 Windows PCs. How does this affect your opinion of Microsoft?"
It's kind of interesting to see a survey about Microsoft products that only can be accessed on a Microsoft platform. Is that stacking the desk or what? I can't wait to see the results of this 'independent' survey!
Marian Petrides, M.D.
"For the price of one Macintosh, you can buy 2 Windows PCs. How does this affect your opinion of Microsoft?"
My answer: 2 times zero is still zero.
"I belong to a survey group called e-rewards"
and read the posts. Seems to me this is more of a targeted advertising scheme than real survey. In that case giving access only to those using Windows makes perfect sense. Got to stop them switchers!
[Re: New Egg rebate and Fujisu]
I did not go back and read the [whole] thread but I have been doing e-rewards surveys (on and off) for years and on a Mac so not sure [of] the reference above by Steve.
Now, I have yet to cash in my points, so I can not address anything other than fact that it is not Windows-exclusive and [I] have used Safari on a Mac for entering the data.
Let me add to my other posting on e-rewards, I just checked my account:
I joined in 2000 and have $160.00 listed as my account balance.
I lost no points.
A few days ago I switched to a new plan on Virgin Mobile, and subsequently received an e-mail asking me to participate in a customer service survey. So I filled it out using Firefox, and it refused to let me submit my answers, so I tried using Safari, and it too refused to allow the submission. I used a MacBook Pro, running 10.5.6.
I'm curious if anyone has had the same problem.
I got an email from keynote.com recently. They are requesting I take an online survey to help evaluate the FedEx.com website with the reward of a $10 Amazon gift card as enticement.
My first problem with this email is that despite keynote.com being a legitimate company (to my knowledge), they do not have any business relationship with the company I work for. As such, their solicitation is SPAM! Obviously, we DO use FedEx, and that is obviously where keynote got our name from.
But that's a minor detail compared to the next two issues that got me riled up. They say that the survey will take 20 - 30 minutes. Hmmmm... who in the business world has that kind of time to spend on surveys? And for what - a TEN dollar gift card!? Big whoop....
This is the deal breaker: If you take the survey using a Mac, chances are that you will be unable to complete the survey properly. It says it right there in black and white. They require an Active X something-or-other be downloaded - and that of course requires a WinPC.
Here is an excerpt:
Your opinions and experiences are very important, and will be used by FedEx for future Web site development efforts. Because of this, you must agree to NOT browse other sites, read e-mail, or otherwise open a different window or exit the evaluation while you are taking it. We require that you take the evaluation in one sitting, and spend the time needed to ensure thoughtful and complete answers.
You will be asked to download a small ActiveX application called the Keynote Connector toolbar, which will sit on top of your browser and assist you during this evaluation. Additional information describing how it works will be provided shortly, prior to the download.
You must attempt the tasks on the Web site and complete the evaluation fully in order to be eligible for the reward. A progress bar will be shown to indicate your rate of completion during the survey.
Please close all browser windows prior to beginning the study. In order to participate in this study, you must have the following system requirements: 1. Windows 2000, XP, or XPSP2 and Vista 2. Internet Explorer 5.5, 6.0, or 7.0, Firefox 3.0 or higher on Windows only 3. Pentium 500MHZ or faster 4. 1MB disk space 5. We also require that cookies be enabled in your Web browser
Please note that you will experience problems completing evaluations if you are using a Mac or a Netscape or AOL browser. An Internet Explorer or Firefox browser must be used at this time to successfully complete an evaluation.
To participate, please complete the survey as soon as possible. Panelist slots will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis -- so please take the survey soon.
I find it very ironic that this would be the case - as I'm being asked by a web-based company to give my thoughts on another company's web site experience - but I'm unable to do so because of technical limitations on the part of the company running the survey.?
As a Mac user in a Mac-based design studio - where we rely on websites like Fedex.com to do business - I find it appalling that in 2009, keynote.com has deliberately decided to not fully accommodate Mac users. It does not serve their customers (ie: Fedex.com) well if keynote can't give them proper feedback from Mac-based users.?
Perhaps it would be best for keynote to reevaluate the decision to support only Windows users and consider tapping into Apple's multi-million strong Macintosh user base for the feedback they are requesting.?I might add that fedex.com happens to work just fine on a Macintosh running Safari!
I sent a reply to their support address telling them what I think of their anti-Mac stance. We'll see what I get back besides an auto response.
Is David S. sure that "FedEx" survey is legitimate? I've lately been getting spams asking me to complete surveys for companies including - if memory serves - FedEx. Some were for $100 or $50, enough to make me suspicious that they actually were phishing scams for identity theft. The request to load some ActiveX software to complete the form is EXTREMELY suspicious -- that sounds like malware to me.
Would suggest you also send your comments to FedEx, since they apparently contracted for the survey work.
I suggest that you contact someone at FedEx instead of (or in addition to) someone at Keynote. This company won't care unless the people at ITS CLIENT care. If you can explain to FedEx that the company is getting statistically skewed data because part of the user base is being artificially excluded from the survey group, that might get the company's attention. Of course, it might also be someone who doesn't understand survey methodology and won't care.
"I got an email from keynote.com recently...."
It seems like this is an open invitation to fill ones' computer with spam or worse. I look at their lack of mac support as a blessing.
Please close all browser windows prior to beginning the study. In order to participate in this study, you must have the following system requirements:
1. Windows 2000, XP, or XPSP2 and Vista
2. Internet Explorer 5.5, 6.0, or 7.0, Firefox 3.0 or higher on Windows only
3. Pentium 500MHZ or faster
4. 1MB disk space
5. We also require that cookies be enabled in your Web browser.
While I'm not an expert, Microsoft's Windows Update will scan a PC and tell you that IE8 is a "high priority" security update and this survey doesn't claim to work with IE8.
Seems odd to me. Anybody do a legit update for Fedex or other commercial site would be very foolish not to make it IE8 compatible. (And equally foolish not to support Macs but they are used to doing that.)
Keynote.com is legit. I've been doing their surveys since 2001. I've gotten probably about $150 worth of Amazon.com certificates out of it. I've never had any spam that I would say is traceable to my participation there. And yes, I have to use Windows in order to take the surveys.
A few more comments on Keynote. I went through my history, and I've gotten $175 worth of Amazon gift certificates.
Secondly, I don't think they just randomly spam people, asking them to take the surveys. You have to sign up for the surveys and provide demographic data about yourself. Then, as Keynote has companies come to them asking for feedback about their website design, they send survey invitations to people who fit the demographic for the target audience.
It's probably likely that David S. signed up for this a long time ago. Depending on your demographics, it can be a long time between survey invitations. I've gone almost a year without getting an invitation, at times. He may have even signed up years ago under the company that Keynote acquired for this survey business. I believe it was called Vividence.
During surveys, the ActiveX control watches your web browser activity and interacts with the web pages sometimes. This was programmed a long time ago, during the Vividence days. The ActiveX control is largely unchanged from when it first started in 2001 or so. I don't think they're intentionally excluding Mac users, but ActiveX was probably the "best" way to do what they needed back in the day (and Mac had such a small marketshare then), and they've never bothered to update it.
Just as a followup on my post last week regarding the FedEx/Keynote survey email I received:
While I'm not 100% positive, it sure does seem like it was a legitimate email from a legitimate company. I had checked out the email headers and they all point to a keynote.com server. The contact address in the email matched the info on their website - yes, I typed in the URL myself and did not click the link in the message.
As far as there being any adware/malware in the Active X download - I have no idea, nor do I care really. As another person mentioned, it's probably better that I don't find out.
I also checked their record with the BBB in San Mateo where they are based. Keynote has a record on file, but they are not a BBB accredited company. They have a rating of "F" with the BBB for 7 complaints being filed against them in the past.
Ironically, I got a phone call recently from our FedEx account rep (to discuss other issues). As suggested here on Macintouch, I'll definitely mention this situation to them next time they call as they like to check up on us frequently for any problems or concerns we may have. I think this so-called survey qualifies!
I got this same Keynote survey and was also a bit riled by it. Although appalled that they thought a half hour of my precious time was worth only $10 (maybe that's about right, hmmm), I was, paradoxically and at the same time, emotionally hurt that as a Mac user I was excluded from the process.
I actually contacted Keynote to see if this whole thing was legitimate (it is, apparently) and then complained to a tech person there that by excluding Mac users and foisting so many conditions on the survey takers they are likely to end up with a survey pool consisting almost entirely of people both unimaginative and subservient in nature. Making the entire expensive and time-consuming exercise of dubious value to clients like FedEx. (You can see why a half hour of my time may only be worth $10.)
You'd think the Keynote people by 2009 would have figured out how to include Mac users in what is a fairly standard internet application. If I were a company, I'd certainly think twice about giving Keynote any business.