YESSSSS!!! lol I have done some that ask for that and do exactly what you said. It's like, huh? For gosh sakes, if you are limiting the characters say so, and if you don't really want detailed, don't waste my time by asking for it!!
I just let the story frow from the beginning to the end with exact quotes and in some cases a reiteration of timing between phases when appropriate. I used to be a journalist so I just kick into it and let 'er rip.
What I detest (and I just did one) are the ones which ask for a detailed narrative from start to finish. I easily write 4000 characters, and when I submit it, find out that the narrative is limited to 750 characters. I hate that. Why can't they tell me the word or character limit in advance?
I can only see recording when you need to do an extremely detailed narrative with exact quotes. But can't you just take notes on your phone for other shops? I suppose it would be good to have a recording if you ever got sued by someone who was fired because of your report, though.