Here is an e-mail I sent to the “ask-us” link from the JD Power web site about their survey methodology for “New-Home Builder’s Customer Satisfaction Survey”. I haven’t heard anything back from JDPA, but I will update this post if I do.
Be careful how you interpret the results of this survey as it is currently conducted.
From: [Hidden] Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2014 9:09 AM To: [Hidden]@jdpa.com’; [Hidden]@jdpa.com Subject: Builder Satisfaction Survey
I took part in one of your builder surveys (the Canadian New-Home Builders Customer Satisfaction Survey) a number of years back; in fact, results of an earlier version of the survey formed a large part of the reason I bought my house in the first place. The idea of the survey is a very good one, but the survey methodology is fatally flawed. You send out the survey within the first year of occupancy, when the builder is still on the hook to fix deficiencies. A longitudinal survey would be far more useful. Similar metrics, but taken at the 6 month mark, the 2 year mark, the 5 year mark and the 7 year mark (just as the Tarion warrantee expires). This would help you see what owners think about their builder once the hidden problems start to rise to the surface.
I gave my builder, [Hidden] , a glowing reference when I responded to your survey, but if I were asked again, my response would be far different and I would be able to provide real examples of poor service and cut-corners.
Without this type of long term look at satisfaction with home builders, the survey is misleading at best.
“In the past three decades, says Michael Sandel, the US has drifted from a market economy to a market society; it’s fair to say that an American’s experience of shared civic life depends on how much money they have.”
Another great TED Talk by Michael Sandel that highlights once again that thinking in the 2 dimensional box that is provided for us by economics leads to 2 dimensional thinking that ends up with us buying our way to the front of the line.
If there is one thing Bell is good at, it is creating an unfair playing field, always tilted in its own corporate favour. Whether it is about unilaterally changing user agreements after you sign up for them or collecting your usage information without your consent, Bell behaves as if it was immune from the social norms that govern transactions between people.
In this case, Bell seems to be tilting the playing field so that it’s content is available to its customers far more cheaply than that of its competitors, violating the net-neutrality provisions of the internet.
I have thought a lot about the vocabulary we use when we speak about issues. Much of the language we use comes to us courtesy of Economists. We speak of consumers or clients rather than citizens. We speak of economic debt and deficit to the exclusion of the discussion of social, cultural, environmental or infrastructure debt and deficits. We speak of healthy economies rather than healthy people, or healthy environments. And we rarely ever focus on important issues like fun or happiness.
This vocabulary poses a number of real problems for us. One very real problem is that if we use economic terms to describe our problems, the solutions we find will be limited to those that offer economic value. This is the old problem where having only a hammer in your tool belt tends to make every problem look like a nail. In the long-term, if we are to really deal with important issues in a constructive way, we have to change the way we speak to reflect our real values. This type of culture change takes time, and, if science is to be believed, we don’t have a lot of time before the chaos starts.
In the meantime, we can at least frame our economic arguments in terms that demonstrate that sustainability is at the heart of long-term economic success, and that is done brilliantly in a TED talk (embedded below) by Chris McKnett from 2013.
If you are annoyed enough by the planned #BellDataGrab to want to switch, you may find it harder than you imagine. If, for example, you have a contract with Bell for one or more of their services, it may not be easy to get out of the contract. Don’t lose hope.
You should be aware that this is an industry funded office, but their mandate is reasonable. Their mandate is:
"To provide outstanding dispute resolution service to Canadian consumers
and telecom providers, and always to adhere to our core values and
They cannot help you get out of your contract as long as the service provider provides the services according to the agreement you signed. The question is, is this new #BellDataGrab a significant change to the agreement you signed. This is the question that they can help you resolve. If so, they may be able to help you get out of your current contract.
It may be an advertising pitch, but there is some truth to it. The Rainforest Alliance has put together a cute pitch that TED.COM has nominated as one of the 10 best ads of the year. The ad shows you what you don’t want to do to be green, and then goes on to show you one thing that you can do to make a difference. The advertisement is to “Follow the frog” which refers to purchasing goods that bear the Rainforest Alliance’s frog logo which indicates that the product was made in a way that meets the certification standards set out by the group.
Rainforest Alliance is a non-profit with the mission to “… works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.”
Now, you may note that this approach runs counter to the approach promoted by the “Story of change” people but I think the green movement is probably large enough to embrace more than one strategy for saving this beautiful world.
Why not visit their site or just watch the ad here:
This video is all about empowerment. It is all about acting on our commitments…to the environment, to social justice, to each other. It is about supporting our government’s initiatives for becoming a “World Class Regulator“.
As with other “stuff” video, this one makes its point in the same clear logical fashion, taking us from being environmentally conscious but isolated islands to empowered actors in a movement to make a better world for us all. It does it using the same cheeky style, replete with stick figure art and snappy dialog.
Here is an unusual article from CBC about how Amazon.com is making use of Japanese goats to get rid of problem weeds on the company’s Japanese office grounds. Companies don’t always get it right, but when they do, they should get kudos from the rest of us.
Oh, and by the way, goats and sheep aren’t allergic to poison ivy, so they are a great way to get rid of that particularly pesky weed. See this interesting page describing how goats can be very eco-friendly. I am not certain how eco-friendly goats are in times of drought though…I had heard that the very things that make goats eco-friendly from a herbicide perspective can make them less sustainable in times of drought because they tend to denude the landscape, even eating the roots of the plants.
This is another great TED talk about a subject of real importance…how market forces change our society and the cost of those changes. The comment about hollowing-out of discourse is most apt. Everything these days seems to be about the sound-bite, about quick fixes for complex social problems. We seem incapable of communicating a long-term vision. Great talk. Thanks TED!
Political philosopher Michael Sandel — the second “Michael from Harvard” this session — returns to TED in the last session of TEDGlobal, “All Together Now,” to address the marketization of our culture.
These days there’s very little money can’t buy. If you ever wind up in jail in San Diego, CA, and you find your cell uncomfortable, don’t fret; simply pay $82 and you’ll be upgraded. Or if you find yourself in Washington, DC, en route to a Congressional hearing, but you hear that the line is around the block, don’t give up; you can pay someone through a line-standing company to wait in line for you. You just have to show up at the last minute and take your seat.
In the past three decades, says Sandel, we’ve undergone a quiet revolution, drifting without realizing from a market economy to a market society, where almost everything is…