Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Old Tricks: Pushy Poll

Somebody is up to old tricks. Cox or BS/AT&T or both are back at the polling game; trying to find ways to push the buttons of local citizens.

Lafayette has had experience with push polls--we saw two ugly ones during the fiber fight; one early on and one in the run up to the referendum which was recorded by a local and made the two incumbents who had collaborated on it a national laughingstock when it was made available on the internet and was widely linked to in broadband forums. The later "poll" contained both the ridiculous--a claim that TV would be rationed to alternate days since lawn-watering is limited in the summer months--and the irresponsible--claiming that only the southern (white) side of the city would get the service.

User Hoov in a comment on the Advertiser site revealed that he's got a "push poll" call over the weekend. I talked with Hoov and he says that the call last weekend opened with 12 or 15 questions about standard, marketing sorts of things--his service, his satisfaction, etc. But then, abruptly, the tenor of the quesitons changed and the next 7 or 8 questions were probes intended to lead him to to be uneasy about government involvement with his telephone, internet, or cable connection. One question went something like this: "Are you comfortable with the government having access to your internet service?"

He said that the questions were clearly intended to scare.

Hoov, like other Lafayette citizens in the past, pushed back, making it clear that these weren't fears that he had and that he didn't think they were reasonable. A question about who the survey was far elicited only the initials of the company the young woman questioners was working for.

I'd be very interested in hearing from other readers who have been called for this survey. (It may be that this is exploratory; in that case only a relatively few will have been called. In a full-fledged push poll all or a large percentage of the population is called in an attempt to plant the misinformation widely.)

Did you get such a call?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

With regard to the question "Are you comfortable with the government having access to your internet service?". What was his answer?

John said...

As Hoov related it to me he said something along the lines that he was ok with it "in this case."