I do sympathize with the OP in regards to the surveys being their livelihood. If something goes awry, though, what other recourse do we have? For example, a long time ago, I pre-ordered one of the new, hot vehicles at the time. Talking with the salesperson, I agreed with $500 over invoice. Not great, but I enjoy being an early adopter sometimes.
When my car came in, the salesperson didn't work there anymore and the dealership "lost" my paperwork where we agreed for $500 over invoice. They said they want $2000 over invoice or they're not selling the car to me. I had just sold my previous vehicle to a private buyer so I was pretty much over a barrel. I ponied up and took the car since I knew they could sell the car for the same price to someone else, so there was no disadvantage to them if I walked away.
When I got the corporate survey in the mail, I gave them all "1"s. I felt bad about giving the "1"s to the service department, which was very good and helpful, but I wanted to inflict the maximum damage I could to these bastards. Sure enough, about a week later the owner of the dealership called me, quite irate. Tough s--t. I told him if I wasn't screwed by his dealership, he wouldn't get such a poor review.
The dealership lost their "5 star" award for that month and, shortly thereafter, was sold to another owner. While I don't think I had much to do with it, I feel good that my bad survey actually had an effect.
I feel bad for poor reviews on surveys when they are not warranted and their effect on salespeople, but don't take that away from us as consumers. If something is truly wrong, we still need some method of making our displeasure known. If surveys have a 1-10 rating, maybe the scale should be less granular. Make a 1-5 scale or even a 1-4 scale.
2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV ES (lease ended) • 2015 Nissan LEAF S • 2019 Kia Niro EV EX
Mods: Matte black Juke wheels, LED headlights and accessory lights, horn, CarPlay receiver