The Price of Quality Research

Last week I received a telemarketers call who identified herself as a representative from a national market research firm located in new Jersey. She explained that she was working for a large mortgage lender who was conducting a survey of homeowners who recently financed or refinanced their home. After qualifying me as a target she indicated that I would received $25 if I participated in an online market research study. She indicated that I would received an email with an internet address of a secure and private website where I could take the survey at my leisure.

Some background. First, I did just refinance my home. Second, I haven't received a call like this in the last two years since my last financing. I'm confident this survey was commissioned by my lender, but I'll never know for sure. Finally, I balked at the survey and showed no interest in the $25. The telemarketer couldn't understand why. I simply explained that I don't like to hand out my email address.

After practically begging me to take the survey I abruptly ended the call. This was exactly one week ago on Tuesday.

Today my phone rang again. Typically I won't answer when the caller ID indicates “private caller” or “out of area”. But this call came from a familiar area code so I picked up the phone. Once again, it was representative from the New Jersey-based market research firm. This woman was certainly a higher level telemarketer and she was very careful not to be intrusive and explained to me that she knew that I'd rejected the $25 and the survey opportunity. I told her I'd been happy to take the survey if they'd simply give me the URL of the website. She explained that their client didn't offer that as a method of taking the survey.

the purpose of her call? She was upping the ante. She asked if they paid me $50 would I be willing to part with an email address and take the survey. I tried to reason and make her understand the issue had nothing to do with dollars. But she insisted in making the offer again.

I finally caved. And when I gave her an email address that was the name of the firm she worked for at one of my more dormant domains she was stunned. “How'd you do that?” She couldn't believe I'd make an email address just for this survey. I said that I hope it would keep them honest and faithful.

Moral of my story? Hold out. If they want you or your product/service, they'll always offer more.