Do telephone research survey people always call at suppertime?

joyfulguyApril 21, 2003

Hi all,

I've often said that every retired person in good health should have a part-time, self-operated business, as it gives some fine tax deductions. Part of car, phone, computer, internet connection, books, possibly some of house expenses, etc.

Here's some food for thought.


Is it true that telephone research people know when your supper hour/visiting the bathroom/having a (well-deserved) nap, etc. times are?

When one calls me at a time that I'm feeling mischievous, the person identifies him-/herself, tells me whom they represent, and asks me if I'm willing to give them a few minutes to conduct a consumer research project, etc.

I ask them how much I'm to get paid for my cooperation.

Oh, we don't pay the participants.

When I tell them that their employer sells the information for buckets of money, they assure me that this is confidential, that my information is not being sold.

I ask them if their company is not selling the information, who's paying the rent, fuel, light, phone bill - and paying them?

If their company is reputable, they are not selling information that can identify me - but they sell the aggregated information. For high prices.

I tell them that their employer is paying for their time, wisdom, voice and skill. Their company is asking to use my time, wisdom, voice and skill, also. But - is paying them, but not me. What's fair about that?

They say that they've never heard that kind of response before.

And rather act as though, in their mind, I have two heads.

I say that I've been a financial planner and retirement consultant for nearly 20 years. I sell no financial products, so am totally committed to serving my clients' needs. So - I have no conflict of interest. That means also that I have nothing to sell but my time. And skill.

I say that I've told lots of my clients that when they give something of value, they should expect some value in return. Unless they are cleaning up the junk on the street to make the city look better, or giving to charity, which I, as a former clergyperson, recommend.

But this research company is a profit-making enterprise, not a charity.

They have asked for some of my time, at a time of their convenience, not mine: they don't have an appointment, do they? In which case - I charge $60. per hour, $35. per half hour, $20. per quarter, or $2.00 per minute.

Please give me a postal or email address to which I can send the invoice, and how much time do they wish to contract for? Or do they wish to calculate the time at the conclusion of the interview?

Sometimes I get referred to a supervisor - and I have yet to find one of them that can give me a reason why their company should be well paid for my information, but pay me, the source, nothing.

And why should that person be paid for the use of exactly the same kind of contribution that they expect from me - but they expect that my contribution should be free.

Usually I end up giving them the information.

Occasionally one is so flustered that they fall all over themselves while giving the questions - and I sit there laughing to myself.

If I choose to participate in online surveys, at least I have free choice as to whether to participate.

And can choose to do it at a time that's convenient to me.

But - if I have half a dozen or so chances in possibly (how many?) thousands of having my name pulled out of the hat as the one to get the substantial prize, the possibility of being paid there is rather slim, as well.

Maybe better to participate in a survey system where each participant gets paid (a small amount) for each survey completed.

I use that argument with the telephone guys, as well: if I'm to do a survey, why not choose to do one where I may possibly get paid (a significant amount), or be sure of being paid at least a little? And can choose to participate in the survey when it's convenient - not while supper is getting cold.


Don't think along the usual lines - be willing to think out of the box.

I (think that I) saw a sign beside a clay road on the Prairies, that get really muddy and rutty after a rain, "Pick your rut carefully - you'll be in it for the next ten miles".

How often in life have we got used to travelling in ruts?

Be willing to think out of ruts, all.

Good wishes for a glorious spring - the best you've ever had. Find something each day to be thankful for.

Much easier here where we've never in 138 years (in the U.S. - in Canada 185 years) had a military-style bomb dropped on us than in dozens of countries - including Iraq.

joyful guy/Ed

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No, sometimes they call at 8 in the AM!

However, I love your method of dealing with them. You and my husband must have been hatched from the same egg!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 2:48PM
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Hi leel (and husband)

At 8 in the morning is when my old step-uncle that still keeps (a few) beef cattle, despite having bad back, hip and leg at age 86 (and who lost his wife just over a year ago) would be having breakfast.

I'd more than likely be still in bed. Phone by the bed - but I think they'd find me at least rather crusty, if not downright cantankerous, about then.

I was hatched in Jan 1929. How about you, hub?

Good wishes for a sweet temper when the researcher calls.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   April 22, 2003 at 1:37AM
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Aha! I was right! The same year, if not the same egg. You make a pair of bookends; he was born in December. And he also jousts with callers. God help those who call offering a "free" phone. When he gets finished with them, I think they're finished for the day. Fortunately I'm not usually around to hear the cruel & unusual punishment being meted out.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2003 at 1:50PM
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Joyfulguy...LOL, love the whole post! In fact I'm printing it out and will do a little rehearsing, rewrite(for me) and give it a shot. I've run out of patience these people and another thing....I finally got a Spam Killer for p.c. and now I'm getting more Spam than ever.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2003 at 3:33PM
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My husband was born 20 years later than you, but is cut from the same cloth-- he often tells them that he is a paid house husband that isn't allowed to make decisions! One phone person became so frustrated with him that he suggested that my husband learn to be a man and get a real job! That call took place during husband's lunch break from work. I usually start asking the people personal questions; what products do You use? things like that. They might say we can't talk about us, and I say You want me to??? I keep them on the phone a really long time ---they hang up on me! Retirement happens this year---can't wait to see what my husband thinks up then.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2003 at 7:52PM
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Hi calpat,

I was crying about getting 40 or so spam a day - until I talked to my neighbour getting over a hundred ... A DAY! She let that box drop and is opening another.

I've told some people unwilling to do legitimate surveys to get a different e-mail box - just for them. So if they get connected with a spammer, they just let the box go.

Hardly any making these wonderful offers ever have a real address that they send from.

By the way - had any offers of a potion to enhance the size of some of your female/male parts?

Some of the over a hundred or so that I've got offer guaranteed overnight results.

I've replied saying that I'd be afraid that would be painful. If I were a working person - I'd want to take it on the weekend - so I could stay up all night to watch the growth.

If I subscribed to all of the hundred or so offers - how would I deal with the monster - backpack? Not big enough, wrong location.

Kid's stroller? Can't put it on escalator in stores.

Sling? Would be too heavy for my shoulders.

Shopping cart? Too deep.

Wheelbarrow? Now - that might just be what the doctor ordered!

Need a *full-siized* van, of course, for longer trips.

But - where could I find a partner who could accomodate my needs?

Probably need to seek a mare, elephant, etc.

Would need a pad to keep track of when they came in heat - they wouldn't want to talk to me at other times.

Do the guys selling potions - also sell stepladders?

I sometimes reply trying to sell them my newsletter about money management, as I've become concerned over the years in the personal financial planning business that so few know much about money management, that I'm keeping the letter going after retirement.

Single copy free to anyone with e-mail address, they can subscribe if they wish.

Should save them hundreds, more likely thousands, in their lifetime - unless they have one foot in the grave, now.

Often people who get something at no cost give it little respect, this letter distills many years of experience, expensive training, etc. so it would be a mistake to give it away free, though I could afford to.

I don't like to be arbitrary - so price of the newsletter is negotiable.

Having been a number of years a clergyperson, I've tried not to be greedy, either - so will likely ask them to contribute most of the fee to charity, especially worldwide ones, as there are huge needs in many countries, these days.

They can negotiate to send my newsletter to their friends, relatives, colleagues in community, sport, church, at work, etc.

Will build their group of friends, make them famous - and help them raise some money, as they keep some of the (negotiated) fee, send most to charity - and send some to me, of course.

This story is real, as a matter of fact - and it's all true.

As for all of these guys who have these great money-making ideas ...

what kind of business is such that the fellow working there, who wants to encourage you to do the same, is so proud of it that he tells you almost nothing about it in the original message - apart from how much one may possibly make?

A company that keeps their door locked, and has an unlisted phone.

Most of them don't give me an address to which I can send a message, go to ask a question, etc. - their front door is locked.

Few give a phone number to call - and most who do have it lead to an agency.

The email address that they use when sending the message is false - unlisted phone.

Not only is the phone unlisted - the guy who sent the message is a liar.

The only way that I can contact them - is to fill in a form, telling quite a bit about myself ...

... to leave your resume in the mail box, please ...

Which quite a few may use to assemble a database - that they then sell - to other spammers.

What chance does such a recruiter think that he may have - of getting me interested in his offer?

About one chance in 19,999.

Have a happy spring/summer weekend, all.

joyful guy/Ed

    Bookmark   May 31, 2003 at 8:41AM
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