Push Poll!!!


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Profile AngelaProject donor
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Message 1299222 - Posted: 27 Oct 2012, 4:41:19 UTC

Hello political people!

I hardly ever post here and I ask that you please be kind to one another when responding to the topic in this thread.

I answered the phone this afternoon and I experienced something that I had never experienced before. I was the "victim" of a "push poll".

A youngish sounding man identified himself as a pollster and, like a good con man, he first put me entirely at ease. He asked if I would be willing to participate in a poll. He asked how likely I was to vote in the upcoming election. He asked if I or any member of my household worked in politics, for a polling company, in advertising etc, etc, etc. This was all to convince me that I was a participant in a real poll. Following this, he asked me a couple of general political questions to keep me at ease. Then he got into reading me statements about a congressional race. I was supposed to respond to these statements with a designation of how likely or unlikely I was to favor a candidate who might exhibit these stated behaviors or traits.

Now we have a congressional race going on in my district between a highly experienced incumbent and a challenger who is struggling with the basics of name recognition. Full disclosure - I happen to be highly biased towards the incumbent.

The so called "pollster's" first two questions about the congressional race were incredibly biased towards the challenger. After hearing the second statement, I questioned the "pollster" about this obvious bias and asked him who was paying for this so called "poll". He told me that as an employee he was kept blind to this information so that he would be able to conduct the poll in a neutral fashion.

The third congressional race statement he read me just made me laugh. It was something like "If you knew that Congressman So & So spent more time at his home in Maryland than in his home in California, would you be more or less likely to vote for him?"

Well of course Congressman So & So spends the bulk of his home time in Maryland! He's my gosh-diggly-dog-gone congressman!!! Last time I looked at a map, Maryland is pretty darn close to where this guy's freakin' job is!!! We, his constituents, sent him there, so no - it does not surprise and/or bother me that he spends the bulk of his time there!!! In fact, I happen to LIKE that in a congressman!!!

At that point, I insisted that the "pollster" tell me who was paying for this so called "poll". The guy gave me that same line about not knowing because he had to stay neutral when delivering these statements.

I tried to reason with the "pollster"... silly me. I told him that he sounded like a bright young man and that, while I did not blame him for taking this job, he should perhaps THINK about whether or not his current line of work reflected who he was as a person. The poor kid pleaded with me to complete the poll and told me there were only three more questions left. I told him that I was unwilling to respond to even one more statement unless he told me who was paying for this poll.

This concluded our phone interview.

I told Eric about this conversation and he said, "Oh, a push poll! Those things aren't new."

Well it was new to me!!!

I was furious at myself for even participating in this "poll" for as long as I did. I consider myself to be reasonably well educated and reasonably politically informed and it took me three biased statements before I cut the thing off. Imagine the effect this tactic might have on a person who is less skeptical or less of a political junkie? What a dirty trick!!!

My friends, a legitimate pollster will always tell you who is conducting their poll.

I am a big, big, big fan of free speech, so I am certainly not saying "push polls" should be banned. I'm just saying that, as a thinking person and as an extremely regular voter, I am offended by the use of this tactic. Now, and in the future, I would weigh the use of "push polls" strongly against any political candidate who resorted to such methods.

Message 1299234 - Posted: 27 Oct 2012, 5:01:35 UTC

I have caller ID, and 999 out of 1000 times I do not answer the phone, because of what the ID is telling me.

I would not hold Push Polls against A Candidate.

I would use 4 years of EPIC FAIL against a Candidate.

The DEMON...ella
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Message 1299279 - Posted: 27 Oct 2012, 7:55:03 UTC

Since most of the phone calls are polls or "surveys", I simply say "I am sorry, I do not do (polls/surveys)".

Political polls already have the response they want to arrive at, and most other surveys are an attempt to get personal information. This reduces the junk
phone calls I receive to .. Well Rachel with "cardholder services" currently.


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Message 1299298 - Posted: 27 Oct 2012, 9:08:11 UTC

Oh we have had those for years over here, but we call them consumer surveys not push polls. They are usually conducted by out of work students working for an agency who get paid a commission for each survey that gets completed. They monitor brand loyalty and brand awareness, and its fairly obvious from the slant of the questions who they are working for.

Politically the parties here rely upon knock-ups to ask people face to face what they are likely to vote. Most people tell Labour callers they'll vote Tory, the UKIPs they'll vote Lib Dem, then go and vote Labour. Or other combinations, just to confuse the stats.

To be fair pre-election polling is useful for a party to judge whether extra canvassing needs to be done, and exit polls gauge how things are going and if a last push is needed. Trouble is the public hate them!

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Message 1299308 - Posted: 27 Oct 2012, 9:39:35 UTC

Hey Angela, looks like the UK has now got a way of dealing with it at last!

Sue them for compensation!

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Message 1299337 - Posted: 27 Oct 2012, 11:39:13 UTC

Politically the parties here rely upon knock-ups to ask people face to face what they are likely to vote. Most people tell Labour callers they'll vote Tory, the UKIPs they'll vote Lib Dem, then go and vote Labour. Or other combinations, just to confuse the stats.


You've obviously door stepped me four times in the same week....


As for telesales/polls/surveys, I find having a portable radio tuned to BC radio 4 keeps them amused for a long time - have you ever tried to interrupt Jim Naughtie or Eddie Grundy?
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Message 1299393 - Posted: 27 Oct 2012, 15:01:51 UTC

Ohhhh focus group by phone

find out what works best for the muck slinging ad

the marketing exec in me likes it


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Message 1299465 - Posted: 27 Oct 2012, 20:15:55 UTC

The PPI calls reflect our experience, and up to 7 per day, despite being registered with the Telephone Preference System years ago. That don't stop them ringing.
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Message 1299469 - Posted: 27 Oct 2012, 20:30:54 UTC
Last modified: 27 Oct 2012, 20:31:36 UTC

[phone machine message] Hi, you've reached the Johnson residence.(pause) Due to all the politicians and telemarketers with auto-dialers, we're sending all our calls to the answering machine. Please leave your name and number, and we'll get back to you as soon as we are able.[/message]

The pause triggers any automatic recorded message, so it usually ends about the same time my message does. I find many messages with the tail end of a recording, or dead air. And I set the ringer volume low so it won't interupt my naps.
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Message 1299569 - Posted: 28 Oct 2012, 0:16:35 UTC

I answered one push poll and I had to get rude with the caller.

Basically, it was a gun lobby pushing an agenda. The questions were so slanted that by disagreeing with a remark you appear to weak on crime and anti american. I basically told the individual that I couldnt answer his questions the way he wanted. THis threw him off. He told me it was an up or down question. I disagreed insisting that the question was invalid on its face. The call devolved from there.
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Message 1299582 - Posted: 28 Oct 2012, 0:37:08 UTC - in response to Message 1299569.

I answered one push poll and I had to get rude with the caller.

Basically, it was a gun lobby pushing an agenda. The questions were so slanted that by disagreeing with a remark you appear to weak on crime and anti american. I basically told the individual that I couldnt answer his questions the way he wanted. THis threw him off. He told me it was an up or down question. I disagreed insisting that the question was invalid on its face. The call devolved from there.


LOL Skildude!!! You are one tough customer!

I wish I had known more about the young man who called me. If he was a volunteer working for the campaign of the challenger, and willingly using these obnoxious tactics, then I wish I had really chewed him out. If, however, he was just some young person trying to do his job, then I probably shouldn't have tried to make him feel guilty about doing it. A job is a job sometimes.

I imagine most of us have compromised our principles at least a few times in life because we could not handle the consequences of not doing so. With age and some degree of financial security it becomes easier to stand up and consistently trumpet one's core values. It is difficult to judge behavior out of context.

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Message 1299586 - Posted: 28 Oct 2012, 0:42:24 UTC - in response to Message 1299582.

I love playing with words and I really hate when people try to get me to say something I dont intend. I have to assume some lawyer carefully crafted the questions. I also dislike dishonest...well all lawyers
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Message 1299603 - Posted: 28 Oct 2012, 1:31:56 UTC - in response to Message 1299582.

I answered one push poll and I had to get rude with the caller.

Basically, it was a gun lobby pushing an agenda. The questions were so slanted that by disagreeing with a remark you appear to weak on crime and anti american. I basically told the individual that I couldnt answer his questions the way he wanted. THis threw him off. He told me it was an up or down question. I disagreed insisting that the question was invalid on its face. The call devolved from there.


LOL Skildude!!! You are one tough customer!

I wish I had known more about the young man who called me. If he was a volunteer working for the campaign of the challenger, and willingly using these obnoxious tactics, then I wish I had really chewed him out. If, however, he was just some young person trying to do his job, then I probably shouldn't have tried to make him feel guilty about doing it. A job is a job sometimes.

I imagine most of us have compromised our principles at least a few times in life because we could not handle the consequences of not doing so. With age and some degree of financial security it becomes easier to stand up and consistently trumpet one's core values. It is difficult to judge behavior out of context.


When I get such calls, I start singing like some combination of Axl Rose and James Hetfield into the phone, plus hit the phone against the wall, until they hang up.

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Message 1299694 - Posted: 28 Oct 2012, 8:50:56 UTC
Last modified: 28 Oct 2012, 8:51:38 UTC

If its during accepted business hours of 9-5 I just put the phone down. During the evening I tell them that it's illegal to harass people in their personal leisure time and that I'm reporting them to the police and trading standards.
Click, brrrrrr ......

The trouble is that a lot of them withold their number so they can't be traced.

A couple of years ago we had a home improvement company on a massive marketing campaign in Southern England, and pushy salesmen would ring up on Sunday mornings. I reported them both to the police and local Trading Standards, who took up the case, as they had received other complaints. They were prosecuted and the matter was even reported in Which? magazine.

I don't care if they are trying to earn a living, don't mess with me, I'm a fully paid up professional NIMBY!!
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Message 1299982 - Posted: 28 Oct 2012, 22:53:00 UTC

In the US they have the no call list but Not For Profits and Political agencies are exempt from that list. So every 2 years we get inundated with political crap on the phone.
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Message 1300167 - Posted: 29 Oct 2012, 10:18:37 UTC

In the UK we have the TPS, Telephone Preference Service, but it doesn't always work. The big pest at the moment are these Eastern Europe based call centres that get around the regs. These "silent calls" are where the call centre computer rings up dozens of numbers when they only have 2 or 3 operators available. You see "international" on the caller display, and when you answer it's dead. There is nothing UK based telephone companies can do about it as they are outside UK legal jurisdiction.

The other sort are "customer care" calls.

This is the ABC Company, can I speak to Mr ......
Speaking
You have a policy XYZ with us
Yes I do, so?
Well this is a quarterly customer care update to let you know of some new products that you might be interested in.
Just stop there. This is not customer care, this is a sales/marketing call to try to get me to spend more money with you. Don't cold call me again or I'll cancel the policy I do have with you.

Then I throw the phone down. Its the only way to deal with them. I think that marketing calls should be made illegal, and firms should be fined for doing it.



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Message 1300258 - Posted: 29 Oct 2012, 16:27:29 UTC


When I get one of these calls, I ask who is calling. If it is someone I don't want to talk to I tell them I'll get the person they are asking for. I then put the phone down and walk away. When I go back to the phone in 5 or 10 minutes they are gone.
I fight back.
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