Phone survey flummoxes Nelson couple
A phone survey seeking opinions on immigration and retirement has perplexed one Nelson couple.
However, the company commissioning the questionnaires say they’re merely ‘‘testing the waters’’ of Nelson’s financial needs.
Nelson couple Deanna Clement and Matt Millar have expressed concerns over the reasons for a recent call that Millar answered from someone from New Zealand Informative Solutions several weeks ago, asking to do a survey.
Clement said the range of topics in the survey had her questioning the purpose of the call.
‘‘It was really weird, they started asking about what you think of immigrants in terms of their effect on the economy .’’
‘‘Then it moved into mortgages and it just sounded really weird and we were thinking, ‘whats this survey for’? Why do they need information about immigration to make good financial advice?’’
A request to send out some more information about mortgages was declined by the couple. However, a calendar from NZIS turned up in their mailbox a few days later.
Looking for more information, Deanna found a post on social discussion website Reddit querying the legitimacy of the surveys with a photo of the calendar and accounts of a similar line of questioning to what her husband had experienced.
A follow-up survey a few days later enabled Clement to establish that they were ringing on behalf of financial advisors Quantum Strategies Group.
Clement then asked what the information was being used for.
‘‘She said ‘I’m not sure I am just there to do the follow-up surveys’ – they ask a whole lot of personal things in the second phone call, investments schemes and that sort of stuff.’’
Clement wanted people to know what their information was being used for before giving out personal information over the phone.
Quantum Strategies Group is an established financial services company with offices in Auckland, Wellington and its head office in Christchurch.
QSG managing director Craig Patterson said his company contracted NZIS to carry out market research on their behalf, although he stressed they were two completely separate entities.
Patterson said the standard protocol was that the client which the marketing company was working on behalf of needed to be identified from the start of the call.
‘‘We’d normally give infor- mation about what we do, someone will ring [clients] up and have a chat and then send out a flyer with some information on what’s going on in NZ and then they’d answer a couple more calls.’’
‘‘If they want to come and see us thereafter through the marketing division they’ll book an appointment for us and we’ll send out an in-home person and see if there’s anything that they want to invest in.’’
Cawthron Institute scientist Deanna Clement wants people to watch how much personal information they give away to phone surveys.