1 EAGLETON NOTES: Silly or Annoying Questions

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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Silly or Annoying Questions

On attempting to buy a perfectly mundane item recently the website asked for some information including my date of birth.

My date of birth?

None of your business. Clicked to confirm purchase without completing said question.

"You can't proceed with the transaction without completing all the boxes marked with an asterisk."

But you don't need my age to sell me a thingumabob: it's not like I am trying to buy pornography.

"You can't proceed with the transaction without completing all the boxes marked with an asterisk."

Impasse.

Solution: fill in fictitious date of birth making the day my 104th birthday.

Generally speaking I answer questions with a true answer when I'm asked market research information. I wonder what that did for their market research.

It's the multiple choice question/answer scenario that elicits the really silly results though.

"Does that taste of vanilla, persimmon or cardamon ?" " It tastes of nutmeg. Very definitely nutmeg." OK I'll put you down as a 'don't know'. But I DO know. Wotthehellarchiewotthehell.

26 comments:

  1. What did the Queen say four years ago in her telegram?
    I don't think they have telegrams anymore sh probably sends an e-mail.
    PC World ask those silly questions at the check out. It's not often I use them but when I do I order at the discounted on-line price and tick collect from store.

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    1. Not only do you get a telegram (if someone informs the Palace) but you can also get one for a Diamond Wedding if your relatives know to tell the guy with the smart suit...

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    2. Unfortunately Adrian I can't remember the future but I'll email you when I get there.

      Well that's one telegram I'm never likely to get CJ.

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    3. John, can I add two marriages and several one night stands together. If you have to let the palace know then I wonder do they check?

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  2. Like you, I like messing with the market research questions, especially when they get too personal or irrelevant.
    It's nice to know that I have a centenarian amongst my blog friends.
    Adrian cracks me up. Please post the Queen's congratulatory telegram/email that you received, I'm curious to read it myself.

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    1. It's not so much that I like messing with them Virginia it's more that I dislike unnecessary questions that I am obliged to answer - and it that that I really object to. If I choose to respond to a market research survey and the questions are silly then they may well get silly responses.

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  3. And people pay a lot of money for this information, and people are paid a lot of money for devising those questionnaires. I suppose.?? Maybe not. Maybe they get kids on work experience to do it really !

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    1. I think it all depends, Jenny, on what the information is being used for. Just about everything we are and do now is of interest to someone. Drawing up age profiles of your customers is, of course, potentially a valuable marketing tool. However to make it compulsory when buying something to give your date of birth is just not on in my book.

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  4. No one gets my phone number despite so many people requiring it. They get the fax number of a Council off me. That must fristrate all the people they sell their lists to!!

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    1. Not many people get my date of birth either CJ.

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  5. Not just silly and annoying, but very intrusive. It will be interesting to see what offers will now inundate your in-tray, as a man of 104. Do let us know!

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    1. I don't know Frances but I bet they'll still be making the offers when I'm 114.

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  6. And you said you were becoming more reasonable as you got older?

    Some time ago, I went into a well-known book shop - I thought, to order a book. Conversation went thus:-

    Me - can I order XXX, please?
    Person on till - no, it's only available for pre-order.
    Me - does that mean I have to come back and order it?
    PoT - no, we'll send it to you when we have it in.
    Me - so, can I not just 'order' it now?
    Pot - no, we don't have any copies yet.
    Me - I know, that's why I want to order it. If you had copies, I'd have bought one.
    PoT - blank look

    Unlike you, I'm becoming more unreasonable as I get older. Well, you have to get your fun where you can.

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    1. Oh Marcel what can of worms are you taking the lid off with that one?

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  7. I love the subversive ideas you and your brother have about giving out phone numbers and birth dates. I must try that next time!! xoxox

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    1. Fair game if you ask me Carol.

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  8. Since my work is all about data protection and IT security, I am very much aware of this kind of unnecessary (and sometimes illegal) collection of personal data. Only too often, though, people don't think twice about what they are doing online, and simply type in whatever is asked of them.
    On the rare occasions where I need to leave a phone number (in spite of knowing very well that these people really have NO need to EVER ring me), I usually type in the one that I used with my former provider. It is still registered under my name, but phone calls do not get through to me because I have blocked the number on my router.

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  9. Fantastic. Ways to buck the system, and yes, I meant 'buck'. Lots of food for thought here. As for the 'Librarian's' solution, a phone that doesn't ring....now that would be bliss. It would save my having not to answer it.

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    1. Marcel I must admit I often wonder why you have a phone. Mind you you're not as bad as CJ!

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  10. In Sweden we have ID/social security numbers based on date of birth, and I think giving that out is always required here if you want to pay by invoice. There are other contexts on the internet where I have tried to get away from filling in the exact date of birth though. Like when I registred for my first email address - it might actually have been the one I still use for my main private email. (That was before I even had internet connection at home.) Instead of my year of birth I think I put down "00". Later, when for some reason I wanted to create a "profile" to go with that account, having tried to get around giving the correct year of birth turned out not to have been a good idea. It resulted in the message: "You are too young to have a profile." (And one was not allowed to change the basic registration.) I have not checked lately... Now that I have turned 13, perhaps I am old enough to actually create a profile! :)

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    1. That very interesting about your ID number Monica. Yes I have been very careful when it comes to some things and have either used my real DoB or have made a note of the one that I used.

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  11. I'm pretty sure I've gone ahead and given this information, but after reading your post...no more! Ha! I may also be 104 from now on!
    Way to go, GB!

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    1. Perhaps, Lisa, we will get lots of market researchers scratching their heads.

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