Phone sur­vey flum­moxes Nel­son cou­ple

The Leader (Nelson) - - FRONT PAGE - TIM O'CON­NELL

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.’’

MARTIN DE RUYTER/ THE LEADER

Cawthron In­sti­tute sci­en­tist Deanna Cle­ment wants peo­ple to watch how much per­sonal in­for­ma­tion they give away to phone sur­veys.

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