Phone survey - be careful what you wish for

Posted in: Real life

What's your attitude towards over-the-phone surveys? You know, the kind where they always manage to ring you in the middle of making dinner / eating dinner / watching your favourite show, and ask whether you have a few minutes to spare to answer some survey questions provided you are of the demographic they are trying to extract answers from. I imagine most peoples' attitudes are similar to my mum's or my guitar buddy's whom I talked to recently about this, where they'd politely/impatiently decline to take the survey and hang-up.

My attitude probably on the opposite end of the spectrum - I'd be happy to answer a couple of questions over the phone, even if it does happen that I'm in the middle of eating dinner (if I'm not eating with someone else) or during my show (the only TV I really watch is just stuff from my computer, so can be paused and resumed at any time).

I quite like filling-out surveys, or answering questionnaires, particularly the ones that could tell you something about yourself that you probably already knew or aspired to actually be, ie: personality tests. I'm still looking around for how one goes about getting a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test done, just so I can earn that big fat I-for-introvert that I already know I possess; somehow just having it written down on paper or validated by a third party makes it all the more official.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop talking

So last week, just as I was finishing dinner and on my way to cleaning-up so I could watch the next episode of Game of Thrones, I got a phone call (initially dreading that it was one of those over-the-phone oh-no-there's-something-wrong-with-your-computer scammers that have been doing their rounds in NZ) from a market research company asking if I'd like to take part in their survey. "Yes!" I replied enthusiastically.

This survey was a bit different from all the others. I wouldn't be asked the questions over the phone, rather they wanted me to fill-out a media diary that they'd send me where I'd tick/cross boxes saying that TV or radio shows I watched / listened to over a week-long period. "Sure!" I replied again. A survey I can complete in my own time? Even better, I thought.

I received the media diary a couple of days ago, but the large envelope it came in seemed especially thick. When I opened it, there were 2 'books' to fill out: the smaller of the two was the media diary; the larger one, a 123 page book, was full of general we-want-to-know-all-your-spending-habits-and-deepest-darkest-secrets-and-how-often-you-poop questions!

Large book
Surprise!

Well played market research company... well played.