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After our central heating had been installed, we received a survey form through the post to fill in and state whether we had been happy with the work carried out.  I dutifully completed it and sent it off, after receiving a couple of prompts from the manager of the central heating company, who had remained rather agitated until I informed him that the survey had been posted.

Last Thursday I took my granddaughters to the cinema, after booking tickets online.  I sat with them through a film which I thought would never end, and then we spent a pleasant afternoon shopping.  The next day I received an email from the cinema asking me to fill out a survey of our experience, which had been duly attached for my ‘convenience’.

Today Sam and I took five minutes out to have a green tea in the Bury St Edmunds branch of a chain of shops in the market square.  On the wall was a polite notice asking us to go online and fill out a survey form to tell of our experiences at their establishment.  When I visited the toilets I somehow expected to see pre-printed loo paper asking me to complete another survey after I had washed my hands.

What is it with these bloody survey forms?  Every time I publish a paperback or change any details of my book, a compulsory survey form pops up.  I HAVE HAD IT WITH SURVEY FORMS!  It seems that whenever you book or buy anything online then you know the obligatory survey form is going to rear its ugly head within a few hours.

I expect that many people are like myself and are sick of the sight of surveys. This has encouraged the powers that be to offer us fantastic rewards for the privilege of receiving our forms.  So far I have been offered the chance to win £1000, a Caribbean holiday, a new car, and a year’s worth of cinema visits at a reduced price, but I remain unconvinced that these prizes actually do exist.  Have you ever known anybody who has won such a reward for filling in an online survey?  As far as I’m concerned it’s all a ruse to gather our names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses.  Armed with this information Big Brother can then bombard us with junk mail and more survey forms for the rest of our natural lives!