About three weeks ago, I received a post card in the mail telling me I had been selected to participate in a consumer survey and someone would be calling me in the next week. The card assured me it was not a solicitation and no one would try to sell me anything; they were simply interested in my daily activities and decisions. I have participated in written mail-in surveys before regarding household products, and I have answered political phone surveys, but I decided I wasn’t interested in having some stranger get me on the phone and ask me dozens of questions about what I do every day.
Sure enough, the call came the following week. I said I didn’t want to participate and promptly hung up. The next night, I got another call from the same company. I again said I didn’t want to participate, and the questioner tried to be persuasive. I hung up. A few days later, I noticed on my caller ID that the company was continuing to call, nearly every day. So I answered the phone the next time they called and firmly (rudely) told the lady I had been called three times and did not want to participate and PLEASE not to call me again. She started telling me I would have to take several steps to be removed from the list. I said, “No, don’t call me again!” and hung up.
Guess what? Yep, they continue to call. So last night, I answered the phone, and politely told the woman that since I had tried to decline taking the survey but they continued to call, I was going to participate but they better not count on any of my answers. (I had plans to tell them I earned 14 trillion dollars a year if that was one of their questions.) She said if I was uncomfortable answering any of the questions, to just state that. So that’s just what I did… to every question.
SURVEY: Did you look at a news sites on the internet last week? ME: I’m not comfortable answering that.
SURVEY: Did you watch any TV shows last week? ME: I’m not comfortable answering that.
SURVEY: Did you shop in any grocery stores last week? ME: I’m not comfortable answering that.
SURVEY: Did you read any magazines last week? ME: I’m not comfortable answering that.
and on and on…
I have to admit she was a pretty great sport, and was even giggling a bit the end of the survey. She assured me that I would not be called again. We shall see.