4 November 2010

A competitor for the US landing card as the most ridiculous questionnaire of all time

Back in June, when I asked the question 'Is the US landing card the most ridiculous questionnaire of all time?', I'd seen few serious competitors.

But I hadn't then seen the latest issue of Your Mendip, a magazine distributed free to 45,000 homes (where 'free' = £0.30 per copy 3 x a year) by Mendip District Council, who are trying to get readers to fill in a questionnaire - tempting us by giving us a chance to win £100 of shopping vouchers.

CAPITA, Mendip District Council's 'business support partner', boast that they design and print the magazine. If, as seems likely, they also designed the questionnaire, it looks as though their market researchers could do with a bit of methodological training.

Look no further than Q5 in this set of options and ask yourself how you would be able to insert a tick if you hadn't read it and had already thrown it away.

The only good news is that it rather looks as though Mendip District Council and/or their 'business support partner' are hoping to discover that no one will notice if they stop publishing the magazine, thereby saving us about £40,000 a year in council tax.

Whether they get enough replies to justify such a daring decision will, I suppose, depend on how many people read far enough to put a tick in box 5. Even then, there would be a serious methodological problem - as anyone who puts a tick in the box would obviously be lying on both counts.

Maybe Mendip should now commission their 'business support partner' to do some further research into the matter ....


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