Thursday, February 11, 2016

Polling the Public?

I very rarely will answer my phone if I do not recognize the number.  On the rare occasion that I do answer, I find that Rachel wants to lower my credit card debt (of which I have none), some schmuck from the IRS is threatening to send me to jail if I do not forward them money immediately, or that a virus has infected my computer (which is not even on) and that I must give them access to fix it. Right.

So a couple of times this week I did answer.  Now, if you watch or listen to the political news (which I try to avoid), you will hear who is leading whom in the 'polls'.   I have always wondered how accurate any of the polls are, since in my own state I have seen election upsets completely opposite of what pollsters were predicting.  The calls I answered this week were from a polling company.

Actually, I received the exact same call from the same company with the exact same questions.  Twice.  So, how accurate can the poll be?  I answered the questions the same both times.  The caller's name was blocked, but the number was the same.

Now, besides a company calling the same number more than once and receiving answers, how about the folks who are not truthful with their answers?  I expect this happens a lot.  I know I have done it just to mess with the human who is asking the questions (this time it was automated).

I imagine a lot of folks are like me and do not answer calls from unknown numbers.  So, you have to wonder how they get a representative cross-section of the public.  Plus, the only folks they should be calling have land lines so that would eliminate a whole bunch of folks I know.

Do you always answer the phone when it rings?  Have you or anyone you know ever fallen for one of the scams that are so prevalent nowadays?  I must admit that a few times I have answered one of these scam calls, if it was a real person and not a recorded message, I have used some not very lady-like language.  I hate talking on the phone to start with and certainly have no time for scams and questionable political polls.  How about you?

14 comments:

  1. We get the same scams in Australia! Too bad if someone with an "overseas" number is legitimately trying to call us as we don't answer!

    Someone I know, when in the right mood, gets great satisfaction by speaking in a non existent made up language, which makes the caller hang up!

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    1. Sometimes I wish I could speak Klingon. lol

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  2. We let our answering machine pick up almost always. My mother in law received the IRS scam over a year ago;she answered the phone and was threatened unless she went to Rite Aid and bought a gift card that someone would pick up. Fortunately she had the presence of mind to call her elder care attorney that she had last used over 10 years before - he was in the office. Another one of these folks called my cousins - her husband just happens to be an enrolled agent and it got reported right to the IRS for whatever they could do. I would love to answer the phone on some of these folks just to get nasty. But I don't. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Glad to hear that your mother-in-law did not fall for the scam. It is a shame that so many do. I always Google numbers I don't recognize. Once it was my credit card company telling me that someone was trying to use my card to buy electronics in Brooklyn. Glad they stopped them.

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  3. I am disgusted with the scammers because I have had elderly people taken advantage of. We often don't answer the phone when we don't know the # or it is blocked. Sometimes we have fun...I kept talking as if I didn't understand what they were saying. Another time I repeated every thing they said but in asking a question. My hubby talked as if he didn't order pizza. Hahahaa it was fun!

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    1. There is a Seinfeld episode where he tells the caller he is busy and asks for a number so he can call him back. Seems like we all want to get whatever little revenge we can on these scammers.

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  4. I wonder the same things about the polls. I can't remember having answered a phone call from an unknown number, EVER, when I lived in California. If someone didn't leave a message, they also never got a call back. I know I'm not the only one... but at the same time, the internet news sources discredit online polls, too. I just don't believe them anymore.

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    1. I answered one call yesterday and it turned out to be survey about supermarkets. You have to wonder how any company can afford to conduct polls that may be, probably are, useless.

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  5. I also hate talking on the phone, Denise. I don’t answer unless I know who it is. If the caller has a legitimate reason for calling, they’ll leave a message. Polls in general infuriate me. I may be a sociologist, but my focus was research design and statistical analysis. I know how skewed polls are, and I refuse to participate.

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Back in the 80's I conducted a poll along with some other community folks on what our residents desired. We selected areas we would survey, went door to door to talk and drop off the surveys and returned to pick them up. It was an interesting approach as some people had no interest at all in participating or even opening the door.

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  6. I've always wondered how accurate the polls are too. I hate scammers. That's why I never answer the numbers I don't know. If it is important, they'll leave a message.

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    1. Seems that none of us with any sense are answering the phones.

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  7. I don't answer the phone if I don't recognize the number. Hell, half the time I don't answer it when I DO recognize the number. I hate talking on the phone...and yet, I'm not antisocial. It just feels like a huge time suck to me.

    Those political robo-calls are the worst. I've had to block those numbers.

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    1. My phone only lets me block 25 numbers. I've actually looked into buying one that blocks 200. I have friends who are always talking on the phone. I barely find enough to blog about, so what would I be talking about?

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