Unfaithful Survey Companies

paid_surveys22_809x540

So, it took over 5 months of regular follow-up emails to GlobalTest Market (to be referred to as GMT from this point onwards) but I was finally rewarded the 550 Lifepoints I had never received after completing a 45 minute survey.

For those of you who don’t do online surveys as a means to earn some extra money, that missing 550 Lifepoints is a SIGNIFICANT amount to be missing. I immediately opened a Support Ticket (# 5298032) on July 20th, 2018 and requested that the matter be looked into.

It took GMT/FrontDesk 11 days before getting back to me

“Support Team (GlobalTestMarket)
Jul 31, 20:47 BST

Dear Member,
Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
We have escalated your issue to the correct team. Once there is an answer we will update this ticket.
We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Support Team”

In early August, I finally got what I first thought was some good news.

“Support Team (GlobalTestMarket)
Aug 3, 21:23 BST

Dear Panelist,
We apologize for the delays in getting back to you.  However, we have just heard back from our Project Team and they are reviewing once confirmed your account will be awarded. 

Support Team”

Huzzah, I shouted inwardly, pleased that this had been one of the faster Support Tickets I had opened over the years which had been resolved.

However, on August 8th when I logged online to my GMT Account Dashboard, I discoved that not only had my Lifepoints not been rewarded, Support had closed my Request Ticket. Confused, I reopened the ticket and politely asked what the heck was going on?

Now, I don’t know about how any of readers feel, but I absolutely hate is when a company’s Customer Service department resorts to formulated replies to support requests. I consider the use form letters to be insulting and beyond disrespectful to a concerned consumer. Yet, for the next 4 months THIS was exactly how GMT representatives and their FrontDesk dealt with me while I pursued my remuneration.

The first formulated response was received 2 weeks after I reopened my Support Ticket.

“Support Team (GlobalTestMarket)
Aug 23, 20:12 BST

Dear Panelist,

We apologize for the delays in getting back to you.  However, we have just heard back from our Project Team and they are reviewing once confirmed your account will be awarded.
Support Team”

When I replied to their email, complaining that this excuse had already been used once before, and that I had essentially been told I would be rewarded my outstanding points shortly thereafter, that’s when the situation started to deteriorate.

GMT/FrontDesk suddently went dark, with no acknowledgement of any my follow-up requests, starting on August 28th:

“Christopher King August 28, 2018 10:49
Well?
Where are my points!!!!!!”

and a second time that same day:

Christopher King August 28, 2018 11:30
Still waiting for a final resolution. When will I be receiving my outstanding 550 points?”

and then once again in September:

Christopher King September 18, 2018 17:23
Well, it’s now September 18th. Still no sign of the 550 points owed. No follow-up either from your end. Do you actually intend to honour your commitment, or are you just going to cross your fingers and pretend that I’ll go away, because that’s not happening.

I really want my 550 points!! Thank you”

On September 25th, I decided to play it smart and use a new Support Ticket (# 5403717) to see if I could get their attention.

“Christopher King
Sep 25, 22:06 BST

You realize that I still have outstanding support requests for more than 2 months now regarding a missing 510 points that I keep getting the run around?”

Unsurprisingly, that Support Ticket went unanswered as well until all of a sudden, out of the blue onOctober 30th, I received a surprising and completely unsatisfactory reply to ticket #5403717

“Support Team (GlobalTestMarket)
Oct 30, 18:05 GMT

We apologize for the issue you experienced regarding this survey. However, please be assured, your concerns have been escalated to our Project Team and they are looking into them.
Also, we have now requested that this study be audited. If you completed this study you will be credited once the audit has been completed. Please keep in mind this is a very time consuming process since it’s done manually. If points are awarded, they will post to your account within the next 4-6 weeks.
If the 6 weeks has passed and your account still hasn’t been credited, this means our Project Team determined that your participation in this study did not qualify to be awarded.”

To say I that was extrememly unimpressed 🤬 is being polite. So after GMT/FrontDesk pretty much told me I was going to receive my rewards back in July, now without any apologies for ignoring me they were now asking me to be patient and wait 4-6 weeks for this Project Team to allegedly go over that survey.

Even more insulting was the caveat thrown in that GMT/FrontDesk would not get back to me if the Project Team ruled in GMT’s favour.

Still, I’m a fairly understanding person when it comes to delays, as long as those delays work out in my favour, so I decided to try and gracious but by the time yesterday, November 20th rolled around, I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I emailed a follow-up request on the original Support Ticket 5298032 thread.

“Christopher King Yesterday at 10:22
Survey #5298032
It is now Tuesday, November 20th. Almost 5 months since I first created this Support Ticket regarding the missing 550 points I was supposed to receive upon completion of a 45 minute survey.
The Survey #5298032 consisted of 4 parts, all of which I did, thanked me for my time, then told me my session had expired. At that time, I figured this would be a no-brainer, that GlobalTestMarket staff would check things out and I would eventually receive my 550 points.
Yet here I am, still waiting and extremely p***ed off by the lack of progress and communication from your survey company.

I have been a member of this survey site now for more than 8 years now, I believe. I think I deserve just a little respect when it comes to a Support Ticket that has been outstanding SINCE JULY!!!!

WHERE THE HECK ARE MY POINTS!!??”

Barely 15 minutes later, which had to be a new world record when it came to replies from GlobalTestMarket, I got this Copy/Paste AGAIN as their response:

Support Team Yesterday at 10:37

We apologize for the issue you experienced regarding this survey. However, please be assured, your concerns have been escalated to our Project Team and they are looking into them.
Also, we have now requested that this study be audited. If you completed this study you will be credited once the audit has been completed. Please keep in mind this is a very time consuming process since it’s done manually. If points are awarded, they will post to your account within the next 4-6 weeks.
If the 6 weeks has passed and your account still hasn’t been credited, this means our Project Team determined that your participation in this study did not qualify to be awarded.”

I cannot recall my facial expression upon seeing that form response email, or if I muttered something truly dripping with the profrane, but my dog Jasper, who had been sound asleep up until that point, woke up with a start and quickly vacated my room for somewhere else in the house.

In any case, my next email was a tad angry and perhaps a wee bit aggressive:

Christopher King Yesterday at 10:59
DEAR GLOBALTESTMARKET SUPPORT TEAM,

I AM SO TIRED OF THE LIES AND FORM ANSWERS I COULD SCREAM!

THE ORIGINAL SUPPORT REQUEST IS DATED JULY 20TH, 2018. YOU HAVE HAD FIVE F***ING MONTHS NOW TO INVESTIGATE, AUDIT AND USE EVERY OTHER BULLSHIT EXCUSE YOU CAN COME UP WITH TO DELAY THE PROCESS.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! I DEMAND THAT YOU COUGH UP THE 55O LIFEPOINTS THAT I EARNED FAIR AND SQUARE.”

That finally earned a genuine response from whomever was sitting at GMT/FrontDesk that afternoon, because that’s when they tried to play hardball with me by threatening to close my account, which would also forfeit all of my earned and outstanding Lifepoint rewards

“Support Team Yesterday at 15:07

Dear Panel Member,

According to our records, your account was not in compliance with the User Agreement, notably Section 6 – Appropriate Communications:

If you communicate with FrontDesk or other GlobalTestMarket personnel (“Personnel”), you agree to do so in a respectful and appropriate manner. You shall not send, share or otherwise distribute to Personnel, Personnel affiliates or other users of the Services any communications having obscene, vulgar, sexually-oriented, threatening, hateful or illegal content.

GlobalTestMarket reserves the right to terminate any account suspected of User Agreement violations and further forfeit all awards earned from said account.”

I quickly opened up GMT’s User Agreement and read section 6 carefully, but after careful consideration at how the section had ben worded, decided they would have a hard time proving my email fell under that.

Add to the fact that the majority of User Agreements are filled with legalese non-binding nonsense that no court would or could enforce, and it’s game on.

So I sent a purportedly contrite email which used their own Section 6 against them:

“Christopher King Yesterday at 17:37
I’m sorry if my email felt “threatening”. I’m upset and frankly annoyed at how long this Support Ticket has gone outstanding.

In all honesty, it is me who feels that FrontDesk already voided the User Agreement, notably Section 6 – Appropriate Communications by failing to to resolve a consumers complaint in an appropriate length of time, and then proceeded to further exacerbate the situation by disrespecting said consumer (me) by refusing to respond to previous emails over a period of 5 months in an appropriate and timely fashion.

The fact that this is the first email I’ve received, clearly a direct response to my most recent email, demonstrates that FrontDesk and GlobalTestMarket representatives are in fact, capable of responding to consumers with more than just form answer replies.

So why have I been left hanging for 5 months now? Back in August your reply to my Support Ticket update request was this

Support Team (GlobalTestMarket)
Aug 23, 20:12 BST

Dear Panelist,

We apologize for the delays in getting back to you.  However, we have just heard back from our Project Team and they are reviewing once confirmed your account will be awarded.
Support Team

It’s not fair at all to tell a consumer that their account will be awarded, and then fail to uphold that commitment month’s later. Can you blame me for being angry when I send a follow-up email only to receive an excuse that had already been used twice before to delay things?

Anyways, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. My apologies for any hurt feelings, but I do want an honest and genuine answer once and for all regarding my outstanding 550 points.”

Throwing it back in to their faces must have worked, because today, five months after this bullshit started, I was finally rewarded my 550 points.

Don’t be afraid to stand up to these types of companies. They need us more than we need them. We’re their bread and butter, and should things get heated make certain you have all your documentation and take a good hard look at their useless User Agreements to determine tactics.

Advertisements

The conventional wisdom about not feeding trolls makes online abuse worse – The Verge

“In many cases, ignoring a troll can carry just as dear a price as provocation.”

Source: The conventional wisdom about not feeding trolls makes online abuse worse – The Verge

So true. I’ve lived through many situations where by staying quiet, I allowed a situation to impact my life for year, instead of confronting it.

4 Features for Desktop Privacy

The Web is pretty happy place full of puppies, clouds and rainbows (and cats, of course). Unfortunately, there are also some big meanies out there who don’t play nice with people’s private information. Here, then, are some tools to help you keep your info your own.

Do Not Track
Many sites track what you do online and then sell that data to advertisers; Firefox lets you tell them you want to opt out. This doesn’t yet make you invisible to all advertisers, however, and while not everyone is on board yet, we’ve seen a lot of interest and progress. If you haven’t already, show your support by enabling Do Not Track on your desktop or mobile today.

Private Browsing
This feature does exactly what it says. Turn it on to keep your browsing history private from others who use the same computer. Sometimes it’s nice to go undercover.

Clear Recent History
Forgot to turn on Private Browsing? No problem. You can delete the most recent sites you visited with just a few clicks.

Forget This Site
If you’re having second thoughts about visiting a specific site, but don’t want to lose your whole history, you can remove any trace of it from your browser. It’s like it never existed in the first place. (What site? Exactly.)

From Mozilla, creators of Firefox and Thunderbird

Stop The Meter

The CRTC just decided to let your Internet Service Provider put a meter on your Internet!

Bell Canada and other big telecom companies can now freely impose usage-based billing on independent Internet Service Providers (indie ISPs) and YOU. Big Telecom companies are obviously trying to gouge consumers, control the Internet market, and ensure that consumers continue to subscribe to their television services.  

This means we’re looking at a future where ISPs will charge per byte, the way they do with smart phones. If we allow this to happen Canadians will have no choice but to pay more for less Internet.

This will crush innovative services, Canada’s digital competitiveness, and your wallet. 

We need to stand up for the Internet.

Sign the Stop The Meter petition at: http://StopTheMeter.ca 

Want to know more? Here’s the lowdown: 

This decision is a blow to consumer choice, to access, and to free expression. Independent Internet service providers (ISPs), such as TekSavvy, pay incumbent telecoms like Bell for access points in their networks. In applying usage-based billing (UBB) to these indie ISPs, the CRTC has allowed Bell to determine and limit how many gigabytes of usage their independent competitors can provide to their customers.

– This severely limits competition in the telecommunications market, which is bad for innovation and diversity of content.

– This also means that the cost will necessarily be passed down to you, the consumer. 

– Usage-based billing, or metering discriminates against certain forms of information insofar as it charges consumers more for content that requires the use of a large amount of gigabytes, such as audio and video.

– This also means that those who produce media-based art, and depend on the Internet to show the world their work, are less able to produce and disseminate their content freely. This means less innovation and more control of art, film, music, and other forms we may not yet know of!

Sign the petition and save the freest medium we have ever known (again!). Stop the Meter and save our net!

Read more at SaveOurNet.ca: http://saveournet.ca/content/what-does-usage-based-billing-mean-net-neutrality

Read more at OpenMedia.ca: http://openmedia.ca/blog/crtc-decision-all-bell-and-usage-based-billing-all

Read TV Versus The Internet by Steve Anderson: http://thetyee.ca/Mediacheck/2010/10/06/TVversusInternet/

Read more at CBC.ca: http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/10/28/crtc-usage-based-billing-internet.html

Catch-up

Goddess, it has been a while hasn’t it?

I try to write whenever the urge comes upon me, and believe me there have been plenty, but somehow those events have yet to be transferred to the actual blog here. Sigh. You’ll have to forgive me for the extra lengthy meanderings as I attempt to catch you up with the events of the past month and a bit.

Before I go on however, I would like to point out that I briefly took my blog off of the public domains, due to a rather nasty comment made by some anonymous person called “Laughing at Others Idiocy“. I realized later that anyone who has to remain anonymous in order to prove his superiority by pissing on someone else has some really deep issues (SEEK HELP!!) I’ve left his comments elsewhere in my space for others perusal, but now realize just how pathetic this type of person truly is, and will no longer let their juvenile antics affect me.

No word from Kenny since I wrote my last blog (April 6th), and although I still have him in my email contacts, etc.. And do send stuff to him, I have to wonder if this is it between the 2 of us.

When I first met Ken, he had long since been already diagnosed with a life altering illness and was still pretty much living on the street. There’s a lot of that going on these days. One of the biggest indicators that there is something wrong with society. http://www.covenanthouse.on.ca/web/facts_and_stats.html

Moving on, I briefly dated Kenny. He was my first OFFICIAL boyfriend, and not fully understanding his problems, but still wanting to give it a try, I asked him to move in with me. This was the beginning of a repeated pattern that would continue for years after we broke up where I would take him in, feed him, clothe him, make certain that he took his baths, and when he decided that I was becoming too overbearing he would fuck off and disappear.

One day he even bought  me a PS2 game console as a sort of Thank-you gift http://eu.playstation.com/pdcf/index.jhtml , which  of course I wound up selling a couple of months later to feed my addictions.

I just hope that I will eventually bump into him again at some point and we will pick up from there.


April 7-10: Easter Weekend http://www.holidays.net/easter/eadates.htm (I did mention that there would be a lot to catch up on) was a wonderful success.

My sister Laura and her husband Jon finally decided to go pay a visit to my parents and grand-folk in Quebec http://www.bonjourquebec.com/ca-en/accueil0.html. Last time they had been there was July of 2005, a source of considerable consternation on my parents part.

Laura and John picked Corky and myself up on Good Friday http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/holydays/goodfriday.shtml. Jon had already doped himself on anti-histamines for the drive (he’s allergic to dogs, poor boy.). The drive itself was uneventful aside from a few detours through the 1000 Island Parkway http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thousand_Islands, as the 401 for some reason seemed to get busy around the Watertown http://www.watertown-ny.gov/ exit. Who cares though, the drive is so much nicer that way, and John had apparently never been that way.

We made good time, and arrived at Mom & Dads in Ste Lazare http://www.ville.saint-lazare.qc.ca/welcome with no problem. A good time was had by all, with Saturday being spent at a sugar shack for a buffet style Quebec dinner in celebration of Jon’s 29th birthday on Monday the 10th. We left stuffed to the max.

Regretfully, we had to leave on Sunday, as both Laura and Jon both had to work Easter Monday http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/eastmond.html. But Laura was able to rush into Montreal http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/B2C/00/default.asp?cookie%5Ftest=1 before we left to see Noreen and Nana. I know how happy both of them would have been to see her.


April 29: A few weeks passed and the next thing I knew I was at the Toronto National Trade Center http://www.ntc.on.ca/, attending the Community Housing Representative Forum http://www.torontohousing.ca/events/default.asp?articleID=375. There are now 375 people including 17 youth, which is something new, all representing the over 1 million tenants in Toronto Community Housing http://www.tchc.ca/. We all want to play a valuable part in our communities as well as help shape policy and the future hoping to help shape the future in North America’s largest subsidized housing project.

There were a number of exciting classes available throughout the day, but regretfully not enough time to attend them all. So I focused personally on communications and finances, as these areas are where I need the most help.

The one thing the organizers failed to remember was for a lot of the Representatives this was the first time any of them of them had the chance to sound off regarding some of their individual problems. Because of this, peoples bitching regretfully took up time that could have been spent on the courses.

Understandable, even if the timing was inappropriate. Maybe TCHC will remember that for next year. It was all part of the learning experience however, so it was something to value and incorporate.

**** On a different note, received an email from Now Magazine http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/current/, informing me that I had won in their drawing for a CD Prize Package.

The cd’s I won were Van Morrison’s “Pay the Devil”, Willie Nelson’s “You Don’t Know Me: the Songs of Cindy Walker” and SheDaisy “Fortune Teller’s Melody”


May 5th….            UGHH! This was not a pleasant day. I was to attend the TCHC kick-off of Asian Heritage Month http://www.toronto.com/attractions/event/000-369-969 but the only thing that had my complete attention was a box of Kleenex. Damn these allergies.

Everything was going so well, but then I had to leave the safety of my apartment and go to Social Services, dragging along Pamela (pamelalovesbailey@hotmail.com) with me. Somehow my drug card never came, and I had to go retrieve a new copy of it. I should have taken note of the itchy eyes and nose right away, but I had other things on my mind.

Coming home, we passed through Yonge Eglinton Centre and dropped by the pet store. Pamela wanted to see the puppies, and I needed to grab a few essentials from Dominion http://www.freshobsessed.com/.

However…. by the time we stepped off the bus coming home, I couldn’t breathe without having to punctuate it with a resounding sneeze.

Within an hour I was down at Davenport Pharmaceuticals to grab several boxes of tissue, and then locked myself up inside for the rest of the weekend, except for the occasional walk of the dog, which only served to remind my nose why I hated it.

May 8th: Our first official Tenant Rep Meeting for C.H.U. 25. This was kewl since all the sitting members were present, plus we got to meet all the support staff and extra-curricular staff in order to get a better idea of all areas we will need to cover in the coming months.

I’m trying not to over-reach myself, but it’s hard. There’s just so much that one could get involved in, and it’s not like the TCHC couldn’t use all the help it could get.

For example, RepsLink (repslink@yahoo.ca). This is something I could get involved with easily.

RepsLink has secured 400 used computers, all outfitted with Linux http://www.linux.org/ (a free OS) and free internet service through Bell Sympatico http://www.bell.ca/shopping/en_CA_ON/PrsShpPromo_LandingInt.page?ADV=ON_CND_EN_PDL_SYM_GOOGLE_bell-sympatico&GCID=S17110x001KEYWORD=bell+sympatico, all to help the 380 Reps keep in touch with each other, share ideas and problems and gain support and experience. It also allows the Reps to network and determine key areas that need strengthening when we make our annual report to the TCHC as a collective. I am also hoping that it will allow other organizations to network with the CHU’s as well, such as local churches, individuals with garage sales, Scouts Canada, etc…. all to help promote that sense of community that seems to be disappearing in today’s ever-growing metropolis.


May 9th: I have decided to go back to CAMH http://www.camh.net. I thought I was able to handle most of my life again, but recent events have led me to re-assess that thought and get some help. I don’t consider that a weakness in character. Truthfully, it is a poor man who thinks he can do everything on his own.

I was able to get in touch with Intake Services finally, after leaving several messages since the previous Thursday. Ironically, the person who is going to be my primary therapist this time is Sunil (sunil_boudhai@camh.net), who was doing his internship with Dale Keuhl (dale_keuhl@camh.net) , my previous therapist a year ago. I’m hoping he proves more trustworthy than Dale wound up being, and not go and make false promises of continuing individual service which can’t be backed up due to a lack of available finances.

It has been over a year now since I walked out of the Donwoods, and although things have been good since my return to Toronto, they also could be better. So with Sunil’s help, as well as many other competent individuals that fall under the CAMH umbrella, I am going to take some refresher courses, and get reacquainted with some of tools that can help keep me on the path to recovery.

I’ll be attending “Getting Started” classes either Mondays or Thursdays, depending on my schedule, and we shall see where things go from that.

**** On a different note, I mailed my first genuine Mother’s Day Card http://www.holidays.net/mother/story.htm in years. Normally I’ve been just sending eCards, but I wanted to send something “real” this year. I got a phone call from Mom and based on her reaction, will now make certain to repeat this action more often. It’s incredible what a little thing like a card can do to make a persons day.


May 12-14: My friend Drew (handsome_davis@sympatico.ca) stayed over this weekend.

He had an appointment up at Humber General Hospital http://www.hrrh.on.ca/patients/visitors/generalservices.html  Saturday for a CT scan. Sooner or later he is going to have to have his feet broken and then put back together.

He also had to start packing up his stuff at his old apartment that he has been sharing with his now ex-boyfriend Darcy (darcy_malley@hotmail.com). Seems they broke up about a month and a half ago. Darcy now has a new flame(r) sharing his life, and Drew is now going to go back and live with his parents in Port Perry http://www.discoverportperry.ca/, at least until after all the surgeries.

This may seem like a sad state of affairs, but Drew seems to think it is for the best.

He’ll be back at the end of the month to retrieve his stuff, and drop off a copy of WindowsXP http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/default.mspx for my new computer when Laura has a chance to pick it up from her office building.

**** On yet another note, Friday I received a phone call from Sun Media/Canoe.ca http://www.sunmedia.ca/, who run a free daily newspaper called 24hrs http://www24hrs.ca and was informed that I had won the IPod Nano http://www.apple.com/ipodnano/ and was a contender in the finals for the 2006 Dodge Caliber http://toronto.24hrs.ca/Contests/DodgeCaliber/ on June 1st.

This means I have a 1:14 chance to win the car, but these odds could be changed since they’re dependant on the number of contestants that show up at the BBQ Picnic where everything will be finished off at Sun Newspaper HQ http://www.torontosun.com/ on King Street.

All I need to do to make the odds more in my favour therefore is to let the air out of some of the other finalists’ car wheels. Let’s see them get CAA http://www.caa.ca/english/english%20home.html  to help them on a late Thursday afternoon during rush hour, bwahahahaha!

www.manaddict.com

Cannot recommend this webpage at all. There doesn’t seem to be anything there beyond the sign in, and once you get past that, all I ever seem to encounter is this “Webpage out of service for maintenance. Please try again later” note.

I would be ok with this. manaddict.com is after all just another cheesy hook up site for men, except this message is the only one I’ve seen in well over a week. normally i would care less except i won a gold card membership from www.mancandy.ca. YAY!! problem is, i can’t use it, damnit!!

and as for contacting CSR at www.manaddict.com, don’t even bother. they don’t return emails. www.manaddict.ca tried to help. their employee Marc was even able to access my account, but he’s the only one. even after I started over with a new account, all i experienced was the same thing.

so, big thumbs down to www.manaddict.com. You Suck!!

y1peePlLGiOUkMsS2k29XKy5lqtUtK4UpRH8mUNBgvRnxfmufE9nP71QtDtOwG_KIJrJCwW6gAcK11KVQyHr3m3YEousmGvXGE8