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The Telecom Digest for Sat, 25 Jun 2016
Volume 35 : Issue 93 : "text" format

Table of contents
Senate bares frustration with customer service of cable industry, including ComcastHAncock4
Re: Are telephone surveys statistically valid?Gordon Burditt
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Message-ID: <b3c0cd9c-ac40-4abf-8431-f1c8f13b6e28@googlegroups.com> Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2016 12:26:53 -0700 (PDT) From: HAncock4 <withheld@invalid.telecom-digest.org> Subject: Senate bares frustration with customer service of cable industry, including Comcast The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that U.S. senators blasted Comcast, AT&T, Charter Communications, and Dish Network over millions of dollars in pay-TV billing overcharges, promotional pricing, bill haggling, and other loathed customer-service practices during a hearing on Thursday that included officials of those companies. The hearing aired the findings of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which reviewed 93,000 documents and spoke with dozens of company executives over the last 13 months. Senators said the companies should simplify bills, be more transparent, and refund overcharges. For full article please see: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20160626_Senate_bares_frustration_with_customer_service_of_cable_industry__including_Comcast.html ------------------------------ Message-ID: <OJWdnRwRD7ui3fbKnZ2dnUU7-U3NnZ2d@posted.internetamerica> Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2016 20:49:51 -0500 From: gordonb.qboph@burditt.org (Gordon Burditt) Subject: Re: Are telephone surveys statistically valid? > My question: These days, lots of people have abandoned > their residential landline. Given that, are landline > surveys still statistically valid since so many voters > no longer have a landline? Are *any* telephone surveys statistically valid? I see a number of problems (even if they call land lines and cell phones): - People self-deselect themselves by hanging up when they hear that it's a survey. This is probably correlated to how much they are pestered by telephone solicitors giving surveys disguised as sales pitches, which relates to economic status. - Some people won't "talk" to a robocaller, which may be correlated to how much they are targeted by robocallers, which may be correlated to economic status. - Calling random phone numbers may result in more calls to the (relatively) wealthy families with more phone numbers than the (relatively) poorer families with only one phone number (landline or cellular). Of course, some of them may belong to teenagers and children, who generally aren't wanted in political polls. - Certain people on the lower end of the economic spectrum (e.g. the adult(s) who doesn't/don't usually carry the only cell phone) may not be reachable by an incoming call unless you know who to ask for, and maybe not even then, if the phone is at someone's workplace. - Some people won't give out personal information on the phone, which likely correlates to the person's perception of how much they have to lose by giving it out. Identity theft is a much bigger issue than it used to be 10-20 years ago. - Many surveys won't continue if you don't give them personal information (age, sex, family size, income level, political party, etc.) (the survey taker hangs up) Some surveys apparently require that I tell them whether I'm a man or a woman even though it's quite obvious from my voice and even if they have my first name (some names could be male or female. As far as I know, mine isn't one of them). One survey asked whether I had a phone, and I asked in response if they intended to steal it. (They didn't take that as a "yes".) What did this guy think I was using to talk to him? A carrier pigeon? - Some of the questions are horrible, and I'm likely to interpret them literally, like "what would you say your age is: 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, ...". The correct answer is that I'd say nothing. I'd *never* say it as a range. - There are so many people asking you to take surveys now (including most salesclerks urging you to take the survey on the company website) and so much blatant campaigning for a higher rating (say, "highly satisfied" or "5 stars") that the word has gotten a bad image. I don't trust the results of such surveys because of the bribes (often coupons) given for a good rating (particularly bad for the Facebook "like"). - Some people may still have a landline but not necessarily answer incoming calls on it if their cell phone is working. It's for calling 911 in a power failure or if your cell phone battery is dead, and because the phone company hid the option to order DSL without phone service on it. - Even (especially) surveys that include cell phones can get the caller's number onto a (personal) block list which, after a few dozen calls, might start to block a significant number of calls. I don't know the extent to which block lists are exchanged on the Internet. I do know that I can look up missed-call calling numbers on the Internet and find out something about why they are calling, and perhaps block them. - Some people (cell phone users especially) don't answer calls from numbers they don't recognize. Isn't Caller ID (number) available on pretty much all cell phones? And even if you don't pay for Caller ID (name) a smartphone (or even not-so-smart phone) looks up the phone number in your contact list and displays it. - I won't allow a survey taker to put words in my mouth. So if I don't like the choices, I'll make up one of my own and stick to it. "If the election were held today, which Presidential candidate would you vote for?" Richard Nixon, deceased. He's much better than any of the live candidates. Smells better, too. Question: Some low-income people (in the USA) can get a subsidized cell phone with a limited calling package for almost nothing or nothing. Can they still get a subsidized landline? Or does the program give out only cell phones now? Could it be that all of the people with subsidized phones have cell phones only? That would be a significant bias for landline-only surveys, although there are other biases that might partially cancel that one out. ------------------------------ ********************************************* End of telecom Digest Sat, 25 Jun 2016

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