December 12, 2009

Mori Poll On Swine Flu

I often wondered just who the hell Mori speak to when they gather information about a subject.

Now I know. I received this call about an hour ago.

They ring you, randomly, it seems, without even a cursory nod to your privacy requirements.

Here, to the best of my recollection, is how the conversation went:

(Phone rings, I answer).

"Hello, I am carrying out a poll for Mori. Do you have time to answer a few questions".

Capt Ranty: "Where did you get my number?"

Mori guy: "It just popped up on my screen".

CR: "I am ex-directory. It shouldn't "pop up" on anyones screen".

MG: "Well, erm, did on my screen".

CR: "Never mind. What is this about".

MG: "Swine flu".

CR: "Crack on then".

MG: "Thanks. Have you heard about the swine flu pandemic?"

CR: "I wouldn't call it a pandemic, but yes, of course I have heard".

MG: "Where did you hear about it?"

CR: "It has been rammed down everyones throats for months. I read about it all the time".

MG: "What was the last thing you read about the swine flu pandemic".

CR: "The last thing I read about this scare story was a report concerning that idiot responsible for panicking the nation. He, Liam Donaldson, admitted that he had exaggerated the anticipated number of deaths. By several million".

MG: (Beginning to sense how this conversation is going to proceed) "And do you believe everything you read or hear about the pandemic".

CR: "No"

MG: "How many people live in your house".

CR: "Four"

MG: "How many of them have been vaccinated against swine flu?"

CR: "None"

MG: "How many of you will get the vaccination?"

CR: "None"

MG: "If you notice that you have the symptoms of swine flu, will you visit your nearest A&E department?"

CR: "Is that a serious question?"

MG: "Yes"

CR: "No, I would not"

MG: "Would you look online for advice?"

CR: "No"

MG: "Would you call a helpline?"

CR: "No"

MG: "Would you visit your GP?"

CR: "No"

MG: "Would you self medicate?"

CR: "Yes"

MG: "Would you stay at home and protect your community by so doing?"

CR: "No. I would visit as many crowded places as I could while coughing all over everyone, particularly the very young, and the very old".

MG: (Incredulously) "Really?"

CR: "No, I am kidding"

MG: "Phew! Next question. Do you think the government has acted correctly during this outbreak?"

CR: "I don't think the government has acted correctly since 1997".

MG: "Ha ha. Good one. Shall I put "No" for that question then?"

CR: "Absolutely".

MG: "I am going to play you a TV advert, it will last about ten seconds then I will ask you a question, mkay?"

CR: "Let 'er rip"

There follows some people whispering, "I haven't got time for the jab", "I haven't got time for this" over and over again, sounded a little sinister, and overly dramatic to me. It ends with advice (or an order) to "Get the vaccination! Make time!"

MG: "Have you heard that on TV recently?"

CR: "Nope"

MG: "This is a similar advert but this time for radio"

He plays a recording of the same scary sounding guff urging peeps to run, now dammit! to their GP and queue up like good little Borgs for this life-saving jab.

MG: "Have you heard that one?"

CR: "Nope"

He goes on to ask another 10-15 questions which sounded to me slightly loaded. They were all in a similar vein and the right responses would have guaranteed Donaldson some sort of major prize. I answered all of them in the negative.

He finishes up with with this:

MG: "Can I ask your first name? It is so that we can prove we spoke to "real people", ha ha"

CR: "Sure"

MG: What is it then? Your first name..."

CR: "Sven"

MG: "And your surname?"

CR: "Ulrikasson"

MG: (I think he has twigged but he doesn't say anything) "And to which ethnic group to you belong?"

CR: "None of them"

MG: "Well, how would you describe yourself? White Irish, White Scottish or..."

CR: "White Chinese".

MG: "Ah. Okay then. Thank you very much. May we call you again?

CR: "Knock yourself out. Now that you know how to get by that little ex-directory rule, I can't stop you".

MG: "Ye-es, well, I 'm sorry about that, you just popped up"

CR: "So you said. Bye bye now".

I could have lied to every single question that he asked. I suppose it depends on the mood they catch you in. It was very easy to lie about the non-important stuff, and I am certain he did not tick "White Chinese" because no such box would have been there to tick. And I am sure he knew my name. If he found my phone number he would have seen my name alongside it. For clarity, my name is NOT Sven Ulrikasson.

I also wondered how many people just answered "Yes" to everything? The "No" answers led, I think, to further questions.

Not exactly riveting material, I just wanted to let you know how these things are done in case you have never experienced it before.


Shit! Gotta run! I just sneezed. I'm off to my nearest A&E for drastic treatment.

Talk to you later,



Witterings from Witney said...

You have just shown Cap'n why I find it almost hilarious that political commentators, bloggers and jounalists can spend so much time disecting voting intention opinion polls!

Dick Puddlecote said...

Great answers, Sven Ulrika-ka-ka-ka-sson, especially the 'since 1997' one.

We can expect another round of flu ads, paid for by our taxes, soon then.

Mark Wadsworth said...

I actually LOL'd at this

MG: (Incredulously) "Really?"
CR: "No, I am kidding"

Keep up the good work.

microdave said...

I rarely give market researchers any time, but I do remember having a very enjoyable chat with a Dutch lady a couple of years back. She was calling on behalf of Microsoft, who I had been foolish enough to ring a week previously.

It was the usual "how did would you rate your experience" type of thing, and initially I didn't really feel inclined to be very helpful.

But after a couple of minutes I warmed to the caller. Unlike the useless tossers at MS's Indian call centre she spoke perfect English, and more importantly understood it too. We ended up having quite a long chat - it turned out she had lived here for a couple of years. Suffice to say most of my answers were pretty negative!

Anonymous said...

The swine flu pandemic! I have just been summoned to attend my GPs surgery for the pleasure of having an untested & dubious substance pumped into me - I won't be going. Funnily enough I live in Dorset & my GP is in Dorset, however, the letter is from some address in Hampshire. Same EU region?