Frequently Asked Questions
Why did you call me?
Voter Consumer Research is involved in the public opinion research business.   We contact people on behalf of a variety of clients, but we always do so to measure public opinion on a specific topic or issue, not to sell anything.
We are not a marketing or sales organization.
How did you get my number?
We obtain lists from a variety of vendors who themselves purchase, compile and maintain lists in their own ways. However, most of our telephone lists fall into two broad categories: voter lists and RDD (Random Digit Dialing) lists.
Voter lists are typically compiled by state bodies such as a Secretary of State or Board of Elections and are available for purchase.
RDD dialing is more complicated, but essentially involves taking a known working "block" of telephone numbers and then randomly generating new numbers from them.  Traditionally, the main advantage of RDD dialing is in reaching households with unlisted phone numbers.
Wikipedia has a brief entry on Random Digit Dialing here.
I signed up for the Do Not Call List, so why did you call me?
The National Do Not Call Registry applies to telemarketers and sellers of goods and services. Since we do not sell any goods or services over the telephone, nor do we solicit money in any way, our activities are not covered by the National Do Not Call Registry.
However, we understand that some people choose to not participate in opinion surveys.  While we value your opinion and would like to include you in our survey, if you do not want us to call you just let our interviewer know and we will do everything possible to remove your number from the calling list.
How can a survey represent the views of everyone?
The idea that a survey of, say, 1,000 people, can accurately measure the views of all Americans on a given topic can seem far-fetched at first glance.  However, statistical sampling tells us that it is not necessary to interview an entire population to obtain an accurate measurement.  This applies not only to public opinion research but virtually ever endeavor of mankind:  sampling is used in fields as diverse as wildlife biology, manufacturing quality control and the social sciences, for example.
For public opinion research, this requires us to make our best effort to reach a random sample of the population, which we typically do via RDD telephone selection and by making multiple attempts to reach respondents.
Also, as we are conducting our surveys we carefully monitor the respondent pool to make sure it is appropriately balanced by various demographic variables. These may include such items as gender, age, race, and geography.
If you have more questions about public opinion research, the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) has a good overview of the subject: http://www.casro.org/survandyou.cfm