how to opt out of telephone surveys . . . tell the truth ?

I was sitting here at my desk last night not doing anything useful, just fiddlin’ around as Hubby calls it, and the ‘phone rang. I hate talking on the phone but I knew Hubby was in his easy chair watching sitcoms so–since I was sitting right next to to it–I lifted the receiver to my ear. A perky young voice explained that she was conducting a survey of some kind–she explained it but I only half-listened–and at the end of the explanation she said she was hoping to get a wide range of public opinion and would I like to share mine on a variety of subjects? or something similar. It wasn’t a recording, there was a real person on the other end of the line.

Opinions? Well . . . usually when these types of calls come in I feel like they must be important research, otherwise why would they be doing it, right ?! so I’ve always said yes and been sorry later. Often the questions are worded in such a way that if you tell the truth–such as the recorded one I participated in a couple years back–it makes you sound like a baby killer, but to answer the way they obviously want you to, you’d be lying. It’s not a yes and no answer in these situations. (What I did was answer truthfully–since it was recorded–that I was FOR abortion*, and then I laughed maniacally so they’d never call me again.)

So, it’s the end of the day when my energy is lagging way behind anyway, and before I knew what was what I heard myself say, “well, to tell you the truth I don’t actually don’t have many personal opinions . . .” and while I was floundering around trying to think what else I could add (since I was sure that was ME who’d answered), I heard a giggle and then she said, “. . . so you’d rather not take part in the survey then?”

“Nah, not really!” Now I could have added, “at least not at this time of day” but I didn’t. She thanked me for my honesty and then hung up. I felt my face absolutely beaming! Who knew it could be so easy to opt out of these surveys? I never did. Now I think I’ve created a monster and I can only warn telephone solicitors from here on out, “Don’t call me. I’ll call you when I have opinions worth talking to a stranger about.”

*Of course there’s a lot more to the story than “yes or no”, if you really want my opinion just ask, because in fact I have very definite opinions about a lot of things.

10 thoughts on “how to opt out of telephone surveys . . . tell the truth ?

  1. Excellent response from you, even if you were feeling mentally fatigued. Here is another response you can add to your arsenal…ask to be paid for your input. You can come up with some clever phrasing, ie, “I’m a professional consultant, and I get $250 an hour for my opinions.” Normally, I just tell people I’m the babysitter and can’t tie up the phone line. That works, too.

  2. Terri from Cedar Key asked her readers to stop by and wish you well, so I’m here. Hope you’re doing better. Once you get past 50, it’s a minefield out there so far as your health is concerned.

    I got that survey about abortion just last night. I think Mike Huckabee was the robo-caller. I hung up just as they were asking for money to continue some pro-life campaign. Can you imagine how many mailing lists I’d be on if I gave money to one of those groups?

  3. That is hilarious.
    i am going to take my opinions on a little running excursion since i did not bother to ride my bike in the rain.

    i hate those surveys.

  4. Love your response!
    We have caller id and I consider it money well spent. If there is no name and we don’t recognize the number, then we don’t answer. If they don’t leave a message then it must not have been too important.
    Glad you’re back to hitting the keys!

  5. Lies, White lies and Statistics. The cute voices engaged by the surveyors are capable of cooking up the data whether you have given your responses or not to the yes or no questions like ‘Have you stopped beating your wife?’ All bureaus whether marketing ones or the state ones constantly strive to rise in the ladder of lies. N

  6. Lovely solution. I usually don’t mind doing them online, but the phone is so disliked by the two of us that we have to take turns answering it. I don’t think I have actually ever heard G do a phone survey.

    We are very proud of you.

  7. I’ll keep that in mind, Alice. I also like the consultant at $250 an hour. Mostly, I don’t answer the phone unless I know who’s on the other end.
    Looks like you’re back to being very sharp.

  8. “I’m terribly sorry, but I’m all out of opinions right now. However, if you have any questions about the dinner I served tonight, I’m sure my 3-yr-old will be glad to provide plenty of fodder ad nauseum, at no cost to you…”

    I think I’ll borrow your “I really don’t have any opinions line” the next time I get one of those phone calls.

    Glad your back and writing.


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