On May 9th I received a call from someone identifying himself as my Bell Canada Service Representative. He asked if I was satisfied with the level of my telephone service (I was). He tried to sell me some additional services (I declined). He then offered me insurance protection for my interior phone lines and jacks, which could be damaged by any number of things at any moment without any notice, and which I would have to pay for myself if repairs were required. Only $6 a month. I declined.
Finally he asked me if he could give himself a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 for the quality of his service during the phone call. I told him he could (although I did think it a bit presumptuous of him to specifically request a 10).
Last night I got a follow-up call from another Bell Canada representative, to inquire about my level of satisfaction with the first representative’s call.
“I only have two simple questions for you,” he said, “And I’m not selling anything.”
“Ok,” I said.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being extremely dissatisfied and 10 being extremely satisfied, how satisfied were you with the representative who called you on May 9th?” he asked.
“10,” I said.
“Thank you,” he replied, “And now for my second question: Using the same scale, how satisfied were you with the quality of the representative who called you on May 9th?”
I paused, puzzled. I waited for him to realize he’d just repeated the question. He continued to wait for my answer.
Finally I said “You just asked me that question.”
“No,” he said, “It’s two different questions.”
“What was the difference?” I asked.
“The first question was how satisfied were you with the representative, and the second question was how satisfied were you with the quality of the representative.”
“Isn’t that essentially the same thing?” I asked.
“No,” he said firmly, “It’s two different questions.”
“I don’t understand the difference,” I said.
“The first question,” he explained patiently, “is about the representative. The second question is about the quality of the representative.”
I took a moment to digest that, and to wonder if one of us was stupid.
“I see,” I said at last, “In that case, I’d give him a 10.”
“Thank you very much for answering my questions tonight,” he said, “Have a beautiful evening.”
I’m still grappling with the distinction between the two questions. If anybody can help me with that, I’d appreciate it, because I’m pretty sure I will be called in the near future by a third representative asking me to rate my satisfaction with the second representative and the second representative’s quality, and I don’t want to sound like a moron next time.