We’re all hoping that the Kings Langley Parish Plan will help improve the future of our village, but it might come as something of a surprise to learn that it has already helped improve the future of one of the world’s leading Hi-Tec corporations! Yes, we have spotted a big, but hidden problem with Survey Monkey’s product, brought it to their attention and got them to work on solving it. Let’s put this in context:

Kings Langley is a village of about 5,500 people. Survey Monkey has 60 million registered users in 190 countries. 99% of Fortune 500 companies use it. Its estimated worth is over $2billion. Not so much a Survey Monkey then, as a proverbial 800 pound Survey Gorilla

Yet, as many among you may have noticed, the survey we embedded into this website will not load onto mobile Apple devices – i phones and I pads. When we first became aware of this we contacted Survey Monkey Support. A few emails later, on Jan 10th we received this reply:

Hey Andrew

Based on the screenshots, you’re using a 3rd party browser — can you provide me with the name of it, along with which iOS version you have installed? I’ve just tested the embedded surveys on your website using the latest iOS version and the 1st party Safari browser and it’s loading properly.

Best,
Erik
Sr. Technical Support Engineer

Having checked and re-checked with other Apple users I emailed back on Jan 14th:

Dear Erik,

Thank you for this. I have the latest ios version with the latest updates on my i phone and have tried to load the survey from the klpp.co.uk web site on both my i phone and i pad, using both Chrome and Safari. Neither will load past the first page. It works fine on my iMac and on my Apple lap top. My other colleagues with Apple devices are having the same trouble. Also, we have had 151 responses to the Residents survey and 67 of them have come via the web link – suggesting that a significant number of respondents have had problems with the embedded survey. The good news is that the web link has saved us from having a serious problem – nevertheless, it isn’t ideal. Any further thoughts?

I received this reply on the same day:

Hey Andrew,

Actually, on closer inspection, I was able to load them but it wouldn’t let me begin the survey after clicking OK. Unfortunately we don’t directly support these collectors on mobile yet (see https://help.surveymonkey.com/articles/en_US/kb/Website-Collector), but that’s something that’s planned before mid-year.

Best,
Erik

I was unimpressed with this and I’m afraid it showed in my next email on Jan 15th:

Hi Eric,

Please don’t take this personally as I am grateful to you for your responses and help, but my understanding is that Apple has something like 45% of the mobile phone market and 26% of the tablet market. 52% of internet traffic is via smart phone and around 10% via tablets. i phones and i -pads therefore make up over a quarter of all internet traffic. So, when you say ‘we don’t directly support these collectors on mobile yet’ this is not an insignificant omission on Survey Monkey’s part. Don’t you think, for something as major as this, potential Survey Monkey users should be warned that they won’t be able to embed their surveys onto a web site for Apple users to access on their mobile devices?

Also, apparently this is a problem that you, in ‘Support’ were not aware of – as your first advice to us was to check we were using up to date browsers and ios installations and that you assured us (wrongly) that it loaded perfectly on your Apple devices – you can probably guess that we have wasted quite a lot of time; our developer has wasted quite a lot of time (expensively for us) and we have had the embarrassment of a number of our target audience complaining of problems.

Is there a line manager or someone else who I can pass my complaint on to?

Thank you for your help so far.

Andrew

I fully expected to get some anonymous ‘corporate’ non-committal response, but instead, got the following surprise:

Hey Andrew,

Nothing personal, and completely agree with you! Having this in our documentation isn’t sufficient enough, so I’ll work to get a warning added into the UI. I’m terribly sorry that we’ve not prioritized this work sooner.

Best,
Erik

Completely disarmed by Erik’s openness and sincerity, I replied:

Well Erik,

That’s something I never expected to receive – an apology from a big corporation! Thank you for this and congratulations on dealing with a customer complaint with such honesty. You have put Survey Monkey back at the top of my list of good organisations.

Andrew

And got this commitment in return:

Andrew,

Glad to hear it. Thankfully we’re not *that* big yet, so we’re willing to go the extra mile whenever possible. Mobile-friendly website collectors are still in the early days of design/planning, but it will definitely be a priority for this year (in addition to an improved mobile app).

Best

Erik

Who’d have thought a Parish Plan in Herts England could have such an impact on a major technology company in San Francisco Bay?

As John Morrish observed: ‘Kings Langley probably hasn’t played such a prominent role in world events since, in the late 1340’s the seat of government was briefly moved here to escape the Black Death.’

(By the way, Apple users, please just use the link to get to your survey.)