Called by RED C

We make 1000′s of calls every month to conduct our polls.  Here are some answers to some of the regular questions we get about being called by us.

 

Why am I never called to be polled?

You have the same chance of being called as anyone else living in Ireland.  The chances of being called, however, is only about 1 in 3000 , as the adult population in Ireland is over 3 million. Telephone numbers for RED C polls are generated randomly so that every phone number has the same chance of being called. This process is conducted separately for each poll.

 

Can I volunteer to be polled?

Unfortunately we can’t base our polls on volunteers. A survey of volunteers is a “non-probability sample” and the results would be true of volunteers but not of the public as a whole. The key to survey research is to have a random sample so that every type of person has an equal chance of having their views captured.  The kinds of people who might volunteer for our polls are likely to be very different from the average Irish voter – at the least they would probably be more politically interested and engaged.

 

Why don’t your surveys ever reflect the opinions of people I know?

This is simply because the group of friends you have represent one part of the population of Ireland, but not the average views of all adults in Ireland.

 

Why should I participate in surveys?

You should participate in surveys for many reasons. Polls are a way for you to express your opinions. Public officials and other leaders pay attention to the results of polls and often take them into account in their decision-making. If certain kinds of people do not participate in the surveys, then the results won’t represent the full range of opinions in the country.

 

What good are polls?

Polls seek to measure public opinion and document the experiences of the public on a range of subjects. The results provide information for academics, researchers, and government officials and help to inform the decision-making process for policy makers and others.   Without the representation of all the people then media sources and governments would make decision based on their views, rather than the views of the whole country.

 

How did you get my number?

Telephone numbers are generated at random using a computer programme, that gives everyone in the country anequal chance to be called.  Numbers are not stored on lists and are not associated with your name or address.  For each poll the computer randomly generates a new set of numbers.

 

I am ex-directory, so how did you get my number?

Unfortunately, being ex-directory just means you are not listed, but doesn’t mean you can’t be called.  Because all our telephone numbers we call are randomly generated by a computer we can end up calling people who are in and not in the directory.

I’m on a “Do Not Call” Direct Marketing Register. Doesn’t that prevent you from calling me?

No.  Legitimate survey research is exempt from the ”Do Not Call” Rule.  The rule covers marketing and sales, but not opinion polling or market research that does not involve an effort to sell you something.  Nonetheless, our call centres will honor any request not to be called if you provide them with the number you wish not to be called it will be included on our own “do not call” register.

 

Do pollsters have a code of ethics? If so, what is in the code?

The major professional organizations of survey researchers have very clear codes of ethics for their members. These codes cover the responsibilities of pollsters with respect to the treatment of respondents, their relationships with clients and their responsibilities to the public when reporting on polls.  Professional pollsters will be members of AIMRO, MRS or ESOMAR and follow the codes of conduct set down by these organisations.

 

What if I only have a mobile phone – am I represented in your surveys?

Around a third of the adult population of Ireland only have a mobile phone.  As such RED C use a dual methodology, with some of our sample being reached through landlines and half through mobile.  The same random number selection is used in both cases.

 

Do people lie to pollsters?

The best answer to this is – Why lie?  It’s a lot easier to be honest when asnwering polls than lie.  There is a chance that some people may lie, but the great majority do not.  If they did then polls would not accuratley predict events as well as they do.

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