I just received an email from Amazon inviting me to provide feedback on their Web Services:

The survey’s maximum length is 29 questions and should take less than 15 minutes to complete. This survey can be taken anonymously, but if you provide us with your e-mail address, you will be entered into a drawing for one $500 Amazon.com gift certificate, or for one of 50 $10 Amazon.com gift certificates.

Great! Not only do they want my opinions, I could also win money by doing so!

Oh, wait.

The Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 or older.

There may be legal complications that preclude them from offering the sweepstake to all respondents, but I don’t care. Amazon is, after all, quite happy to take my money no matter where I live.

Perversely, their $500 prize feels like a disincentive: my opinion is less valuable to Amazon than that of someone who lives in the US. If they’d just asked me for my opinion with no enticements, I’d probably happily have given it. Now, I’m not so keen.