Consumer Reports recently published a survey asking people to rate a list of 21 common annoyances. Obviously they had to limit the options to their own pre-selected gripes in order to do this. It would have been interesting to see all the suggestions and discussion before they settled on their final list, but I’m too cheap to re-sub just to see if there’s a full article talking about that.
I’m guessing, too, that they might have chosen to skip things included in previous surveys. One article I came across included a survey of gripes between doctors and patients, and another was based on a survey of airline passenger complaints. Both areas certainly deserve their own surveys, but it’s a shame these topics didn’t get more representation in this general poll.
Anyway, with 10 being “annoys you tremendously” and 1 being “does not annoy you at all,” the rankings came out this way:
- Hidden fees
- Not getting a human on the phone
- Cell phone use by drivers
- Incomprehensible bills
- Dog poop
- Unreliable Internet service
- Discourteous cell phone use
- Waiting for repair people
- Shrunken products
- Very slow drivers
- Unreliable cell phone service
- Traffic jams
- Noisy neighbors
- Poor airline service
- Shouting on TV or radio shows
- Checkout lines
- Speeding drivers
- Passwords and PINS
- Inaccurate weather forecasts
The report noted that, demographically speaking, women seemed more irked than men by speeders, passwords and PINs, and paying the same amount for shrinking products. People over 50 were more irritated by spam, speeding, and discourteous cell phoning than were younger folks, and Democrats complained more than Republicans about shouting on radio or TV.
In apparent acquiescence to the coarsening of America, one of my biggest complaints, “foul language” didn’t make the list. Evidently it has become so common and so widely accepted that people don’t even think to mention it anymore. Sad, that.
Another of my top peeves, “telemarketers and telephone pollsters,” also wasn’t on the CR list. Not surprising, considering such polls are usually conducted by phone. I wonder how many people hung up on them before they finally g0t their 1,125 actual respondents?