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  #1  
Old December 26th, 2009, 06:17 PM
Walkoff Balk Walkoff Balk is offline
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Default SMS Research

Anyone received a survey call from SMS Research located at 1042 Fort Street Mall, Suite 200?
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  #2  
Old December 26th, 2009, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: SMS Research

I have in the past but not recently. They're legit if that's what you're wondering!
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  #3  
Old December 26th, 2009, 06:45 PM
Walkoff Balk Walkoff Balk is offline
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Default Re: SMS Research

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Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
I have in the past but not recently. They're legit if that's what you're wondering!
My mom did their survey. I told her not to be nice to callers she doesn't know and just hang up.
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  #4  
Old December 26th, 2009, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: SMS Research

They exist, but if one does get a phone call asking you to be part of survey you can decline.
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  #5  
Old December 26th, 2009, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: SMS Research

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Originally Posted by Walkoff Balk View Post
My mom did their survey. I told her not to be nice to callers she doesn't know and just hang up.
It's also ok to take the high road and nicely decline to participate in the survey.
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  #6  
Old December 26th, 2009, 11:18 PM
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Default Re: SMS Research

Tough call. We've been called many many times. I can sympathize with those
employed to do said surveys. Someone very dear to me did that while in college to make money and while doing so it helped to learn interesting and valuable skills to deal with people on all levels. It's not an easy job and like others have said it is legit. Having studied survey design I know how those
surveys work and understand it's not the most pleasant way to earn money!
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  #7  
Old December 27th, 2009, 02:37 AM
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Default Re: SMS Research

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Originally Posted by leashlaws View Post
[...]It's not an easy job and like others have said it is legit. Having studied survey design I know how those surveys work and understand it's not the most pleasant way to earn money!
They're tele-marketers which tend to be the bane of our dinnertime existence! I always cut SMS callers some slack, tho', because they're local. Yep, a tough way to make a living. Gotta have thick skin.
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  #8  
Old December 27th, 2009, 04:28 AM
Kaukura Kaukura is offline
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Default Re: SMS Research

SMS, Omnitrak,QMark and a few others are Honolulu based employing local residents. After I was laid off from my 'real' job, I took a PT position with one of the above for 3.5 months. It's not an easy thing to do, and tutusue is right, a thick skin is needed. I was screaming to get out but was trapped there until I found another PT job as per Unemployment rules. The rejection was just too much for me, as I was used to a work environment where I could control it through my work, artistry or design, and not whether or not someone wanted to do a survey with me. We were required to complete a quota each night. Usually 2-3 per hour give or take. You cannot make someone do a survey, but the companies theory was "dial more and faster" and eventually someone will say yes. I am no longer there but I have a much more 'soft spot' for people who do this type of work and, to be honest, was flabbergasted at how people could be so rude on the other end of the line. Yes, I know they call you when you are eating or getting ready for bed (they cant call after 9 pm), or when you have company over, but they are just trying to earn a living and have some income or extra income. The people who work at these places are just like you and me. They are mothers, wives, husbands, sons and generally good people who are trying to keep afloat, send their kids to school, or earn some extra cash. Most people have full 8 hour jobs in the day and work the 5 to 9 pm shifts. If you dont want to do the survey, all anybody has to do is just say "I'm not interested thank you". Then you'd be marked as Not Interested. But the hang ups, the whisltes blown in the ear, the screaming at us to not call them again, made we wonder where common manners went. Yes, again I know we were calling you, but still... just be polite and say no thank you.

These mostly are public opinion surveys. These are surveys that "tend" to benefit the state, or a particular island. surveys such as Honolulu Board of water, Kamehameha schools, travel industry, Health care in the islands, Hawaiian Telcom internet, or phone if it pertains to you were among the surveys adminstered. Never do these surveys sell anything. After doing it, I'd always wonder why the community was not interested in helping out with these, at the very least, help keep someone employed by just taking 5 to 10 minutes for a survey. But we're busy and we have our reasons for not wanting to participate. That is understandable.

The Hilo side of the big island was generally the most gracious, maui was atrocious, Kaneohe and Laie were very good as well. North shore people were not interested. People of Native Hawaiian ancestry tended to want to be involved. and you guessed it, seniors as well. I dont know what the future is for these types of survey taking with people getting rid of land lines. you really are anonymous, as these numbers are randomly generated. anyway, just thought Id share my experience with this type of work. Im glad Im not doing it anymore, but there are those who have done it for years. I guess they thrive on that.

edited to say: The above companies are considered survey takers (Marketing Surveys) and are exempt from the Do Not Call List. Telemarketers sell something and can be placed on the do not call list.
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  #9  
Old December 27th, 2009, 08:55 AM
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Nords Nords is offline
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Default Re: SMS Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaukura View Post
edited to say: The above companies are considered survey takers (Marketing Surveys) and are exempt from the Do Not Call List. Telemarketers sell something and can be placed on the do not call list.
FWIW I've asked survey callers to place us on their do not call list, and I've never heard from them again. I almost never get a second call. They don't want to waste their time on us any more than we do.

Sure it's a nasty job, and that's why people only take the work out of perceived desperation, but no one enjoys being accosted by phone strangers. It's an invasion of privacy. (Remember when they used to ring doorbells?) This is why we leave our ringers turned off, and this is why people screen caller ID.

I'll offer a plug for Ward Research. Several years ago Jeff Mikulina (formerly of Sierra Club fame) was researching his master's thesis on what would motivate "ordinary consumers" to install grid-tied photovoltaic solar systems on their houses. He contracted Ward Research to set up a couple of focus groups. They used HECO's list of net-metering customers to send me a letter. (At the time there were only a couple dozen of us net-metering consumers.) We PV geeks got to sit around for a couple hours quaffing chilled beverages and sampling the cold-cuts plate while bragging discussing our reasons for going solar... and we got paid $100 for what we usually did for free.

Ward asked if they could add us to their list, and I get called for a focus group every six months or so. It's usually $40-$60 for a couple hours' discussion. One focus group was done by The Learning Coalition (which we eventually figured out afterward) and another was hired by a group testing out a new method to preserve powdered milk. Ward is very well organized, they run their participants through pretty quickly, and I've always enjoyed the topics.

Ward also offers various phone and website surveys. They don't usually pay cash but they do offer "bonus points" or other coupon-type incentives. Our teen loves getting together with her group of friends to offer their opinions.
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  #10  
Old December 27th, 2009, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: SMS Research

I was once on a focus group for five minutes. They let me go because I knew who the mayor was.
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  #11  
Old December 27th, 2009, 07:52 PM
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Default Re: SMS Research

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Originally Posted by buzz1941 View Post
I was once on a focus group for five minutes. They let me go because I knew who the mayor was.
Sounds like jury duty! I was let go because I said I don't have prejudiced against long haired men and don't always trust that the police are right.
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  #12  
Old December 27th, 2009, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: SMS Research

SMS works with many of Hawaii's Advertising and Marketing agencies. My sister worked for them once.

I was asked to be in one of their marketing studies asking us if we'd like to see Zippy's chili, S&S saimin and other name-brand items sold at other venues. We were told to rate their suggestions as well as come up with others. I suggested they sell frozen Zippy's chili on the neighbor islands where it's not available. I guess they took these suggestions seriously. We were paid $50 for our time and we left with cash in our pockets after a 4-hour session.
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  #13  
Old December 28th, 2009, 08:02 AM
Sharilyn Sharilyn is offline
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Default Re: SMS Research

I don't mind participating with SMS (or other local surveys), except for two things: (1) they always call at the worst times, and (2) I can't tell if they're really legit -- they could be a scammer trying to trap personal info. So, I always just politely refuse and hang up.

Just wondering, is there a reason why they don't send surveys by mail or email/website? I would definitely participate in those.
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  #14  
Old December 28th, 2009, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: SMS Research

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Originally Posted by Sharilyn View Post
Just wondering, is there a reason why they don't send surveys by mail or email/website? I would definitely participate in those.
I don't know, but I'd bet the response rate is far higher on the telephone than it is via USPS mail or email/web. For one thing, the latter two are opt-in, whereas the phone is a little more opt-out in that you're already responding by answering the phone. You don't have to mail the survey form back or go to the website unless you decide you want to.
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  #15  
Old December 28th, 2009, 03:28 PM
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mapen mapen is offline
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Default Re: SMS Research

I worked the phone taking surveys for one of SMS Research's competitors in Honolulu for over 4 years while I was in college.

It paid better than a minimum wage service job and was more mentally engaging. Although there are alot of unpleasant aspects about the job, I kind of liked it for its flexibility (you only work when the company is contracted to do a survey).

Like others said, the people who work this job are all local folks trying to make a living. They are young students, mothers of all ages, and folks doing this as a second (or even third!) job trying to make a few more bucks to support their family.

If you don't want to do the survey, just say so, and we would "thank you for your time" (and I would wish you a nice day/evening) and hang up.
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  #16  
Old December 28th, 2009, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: SMS Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharilyn View Post
[...] I can't tell if they're really legit -- they could be a scammer trying to trap personal info.[...].
One suggestion would be to have one or more questions in mind to ask the caller. This, of course, takes some pre-planning. If s/he can answer them to your satisfaction, then you'll participate in the survey. I, personally, have one factual question I ask that pertains to the company and is public knowledge. The employee/caller should know the answer. If they don't or they refuse to answer, I decline to participate.
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  #17  
Old December 28th, 2009, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: SMS Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
One suggestion would be to have one or more questions in mind to ask the caller. This, of course, takes some pre-planning. If s/he can answer them to your satisfaction, then you'll participate in the survey. I, personally, have one factual question I ask that pertains to the company and is public knowledge. The employee/caller should know the answer. If they don't or they refuse to answer, I decline to participate.
The surveyee asking the surveyor a survey.....hmmmmmm.....how intriguing!
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  #18  
Old December 28th, 2009, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: SMS Research

I occasionally get called for surveys. I've never been asked to provide specific personal info. They will ask general questions to classify me into a certain "group" and many survey questions are geared to certain groups such as registered voters, seniors, etc. If it's convenient - I take part. and trying to figure out who commissioned the survey from the questions they ask is also fun! I also participate in the Zoogby Surveys which are done online - also have never been asked a personal info specific question.
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  #19  
Old December 29th, 2009, 02:08 AM
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Kaonohi Kaonohi is offline
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Default Re: SMS Research

I don't recall ever getting telephone surveys - but MAIL surveys I get regularly, from:
The American Civil Liberties Union
The National Rifle Association
The Brady Campaign Against Handgun Violence
An organization for 'The Preservation of Social Security and Medicare'
Some tree-hugger group of which I forget the name

If I have spare time (that is if it doesn't keep me off HT), and they have pre-stamped return envelopes, I participate. So much for 'random sampling surveys.'

"This Random Sample Survey comprises those participants too cheap to provide their own stamps, who don't have something better to do at the moment."

Oh yes, all of the above, no exception, ask for donations - usually starting at $25.

Go figger their motivation.....

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  #20  
Old December 29th, 2009, 11:09 PM
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AlohaKine AlohaKine is offline
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Default Re: SMS Research

I don't mind taking surveys and kind of enjoy them. The only ones I don't like are the ones that ask a lot of boring questions, such as my opinions on banking or airlines. The ones having to do with hot politcal issues are the most fun.
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  #21  
Old December 30th, 2009, 02:15 AM
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Default Re: SMS Research

FYI since it hasnt been mentioned yet, i came across this earlier today "Sam Slom is a professional consulting economist, president and executive director of SmartBusiness Hawaii’ (SBH), and owner of his own business, SMS Consultants. He is also a Republican State Senator (8th District Oahu), Hawaii Kai to Diamond Head."
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  #22  
Old December 30th, 2009, 04:10 AM
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Amati Amati is offline
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Default Re: SMS Research

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Originally Posted by escondido100 View Post
Sam Slom is a professional consulting economist, president and executive director of SmartBusiness Hawaii’ (SBH), and owner of his own business, SMS Consultants
The two business names are similar but not the same business.

http://hbe.ehawaii.gov/documents/search.html

The registrant for SMS Consultants is SAMUEL M. SLOM
PRIVATE BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC CONSULTING FIRM

The registrant for SMS Research is HERSH SINGER
PUBLIC OPINION RESEARCH

I think Sen. Slom is off the hook for the phone solicitations.
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  #23  
Old December 30th, 2009, 01:55 PM
Bobinator Bobinator is offline
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Default Re: SMS Research

I did an on-site survey once, somewhere on Merchant Street, and got paid $35. That was cool.

On the other hand, I spent 30 minutes once doing an extensive survey by one of these companies for Zippy's. The gal was nice enough, and I was single at the time. Okay, I got suckered!

The bummer part was that I wasn't even offered a gift certificate or coupon or anything like that. Just a big thanks. I decided never to do those type of surveys again, unless I get something in return. I think it's fair to expect at least something small in return. After all, these research companies are getting paid.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: SMS Research

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Originally Posted by Bobinator View Post
I did an on-site survey once, somewhere on Merchant Street, and got paid $35. That was cool.

On the other hand, I spent 30 minutes once doing an extensive survey by one of these companies for Zippy's. The gal was nice enough, and I was single at the time. Okay, I got suckered!

The bummer part was that I wasn't even offered a gift certificate or coupon or anything like that. Just a big thanks. I decided never to do those type of surveys again, unless I get something in return. I think it's fair to expect at least something small in return. After all, these research companies are getting paid.
She did offer you a thank you and she did ask if you would like to participate. She obviously didn't ask you if you'd want a gift certificate or coupon, so I don't understand why you'd expect something that wasn't offered.
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  #25  
Old January 4th, 2010, 03:09 PM
Bobinator Bobinator is offline
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Default Re: SMS Research

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Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
She did offer you a thank you and she did ask if you would like to participate. She obviously didn't ask you if you'd want a gift certificate or coupon, so I don't understand why you'd expect something that wasn't offered.
No, I didn't mean to imply I was scammed or misled. I just had afterthoughts after the testosterone levels stabilized. One answer led to another question, til it got to the point where I had to just finish the darn thing.

Maybe I thought she'd offer me for a date...
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