This Monday’s Mistake has an obvious punctuation error. Do you see it? More importantly, it is wrong overall in a much bigger way. Do you see why?

First, the punctuation error: the comma before please.

Verizon values your feedback and please take this 15-minute survey about your overall experience are two independent clauses. Neither needs the other. Therefore, we can’t use a comma. It should be a period and look like this:

  • Verizon values your feedback. Please take this 15-minute survey about your overall experience.

But the bigger error matters more because of the way this was written. If the writer wants people to take the survey, they need a better reason than Verizon values your feedback—especially when you’re asking someone to take 15 minutes out of their day to do it!*

But I don’t know why anyone would take this survey because there isn’t any “What’s in it for me?” It’s all about Verizon. And how is that serving the reader at all, let alone getting people to actually take the survey and give the company the feedback they need? This is just wasted space and wasted time. It works against whatever kind of goodwill the company is trying to build with their customer base because it’s Verizon-centric. And it’s unproductive because Verizon is not going to get the feedback they need to improve.

This is a classic example of someone simply checking an item off their to-do list vs. trying to communicate and accomplish a task (i.e. collect data).

It wouldn’t be hard to improve this. It could start with any of these choices:

  • Please help us improve!
  • How can we serve you better?
  • Tell us how we’re doing.
  • Do you have feedback for us?

Although I still think 15 minutes is too much to ask. How about you?

*They do get points for including the 15 minutes. That’s important when asking people to do something like a survey: When they know upfront how long it will take, they are more likely to do it.

Sharon Ernst is a freelance editor and writer at, a teacher and coach at And a farmer and planet saver at