AARP New Jersey Telemarketing and "Do Not Call" List Survey

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  • 1. AARP New Jersey Telemarketing and “Do Not Call” List Survey Data Collected by Southeastern Institute of Research, Inc. Report Prepared by Katherine Bridges Copyright AARP, 2002 Knowledge Management 601 E Street NW Washington, D.C., 20049 http://research.aarp.org Reprinting with Permission
  • 2. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people 50 and over. We provide information and resources; advocate on legislative, consumer, and legal issues; assist members to serve their communities; and offer a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for our members. These benefits include AARP Webplace at www.aarp.org, Modern Maturity and My Generation magazines, and the monthly AARP Bulletin. Active in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP celebrates the attitude that age is just a number and life is what you make it. Acknowledgements AARP staff from the New Jersey State Office, State Affairs, and Knowledge Management contributed to the design of this study. Special thanks go to AARP staff including Douglas Johnston, New Jersey; Laura Polacheck, State Affairs; Gretchen Straw, Knowledge Management; and Joanne Binette, Knowledge Management. John Fries, Southeastern Institute of Research, insured a timely and high quality survey. Katherine Bridges, AARP Knowledge Management, managed all aspects of the project and wrote the report. For more information, contact Katherine Bridges at (202) 434-6329.
  • 3. Background Telephone solicitations have increased greatly over the years and often people find these calls annoying and intrusive. Many states have passed statewide “do not call” list laws to protect consumers against unsolicited telemarketing calls. The federal law is not effective in preventing such calls, as consumers must give a “do not call” message to each caller on an individual basis1. In addition, the federal telemarketing law does not adequately address potentially deceptive practices, such as the debiting of bank accounts by telemarketers without written consent, or the failure to disclose the terms of the sale. It also does not require telemarketers to be registered or bonded. By creating a statewide “do not call” list, states give consumers the right to have their names placed on a statewide registry that telemarketers must buy before doing business in the state. By law, telephone solicitors cannot call anyone on the list and can be prosecuted if they do so. Most states, however, exempt certain callers from the law, such as charities and non-profits. Certain types of calls, such as those for ongoing business relationships, are also allowed under most “do not call” laws. The AARP 2001 New Jersey Telemarketing and “Do Not Call” List Survey investigates the degree of support for strengthening the state’s telemarketing legislation to include the option of a state-wide “do not call” list. Specifically, the survey explores New Jersey residents’ • Impressions of telemarketing calls • Ability to determine the legitimacy of telemarketing calls • Support for New Jersey telemarketing laws to include a “do not call” list • Probability of putting their name on a “do not call” list • Support for New Jersey telemarketing laws to specifically require disclosure and consumer protection laws • Rating of the “do not call” list as a priority for the 2002 legislature Highlights !"Nearly three-quarters of New Jersey residents receive telemarketing calls more than once a week. Most respondents find these calls to be an invasion of their privacy and an unwelcome intrusion. !"Nearly all New Jersey residents support a law that would give them the option of placing their name on a “do not call” list so that telemarketers would be prohibited from calling them. Nine in ten respondents would be very likely or somewhat likely to place their name and phone number on this list. !"The vast majority of respondents would support a law in New Jersey that would require telemarketers to tell them at the beginning of the conversation that they are trying to sell something and to tell them the total cost of a product before the sale is made final. !"Nearly nine in ten respondents would support a law in New Jersey requiring that telemarketers be registered and bonded. !"The majority of New Jersey residents would support a law that requires telemarketers to obtain written permission before gaining access to one’s bank account even if it meant a delay in receiving the product or service. 1The Federal Trade Commission recently proposed creating a national do not call registry, but it would not be as comprehensive as many state laws, and may not be in effect, if adopted, for quite a while. AARP New Jersey Telemarketing and “Do Not Call” List Survey: January 2002 3
  • 4. Findings New Jersey Residents View Telemarketing Calls As Intrusive Nearly three-quarters (74%) of New Jersey residents receive telemarketing calls more than once a week. Ninety-one percent of respondents express negative impressions toward telemarketing calls: 77 percent view them as an invasion of their privacy and an unwelcome intrusion, 10 percent say they are a consumer rip-off, and 3 percent say they are annoying. Impressions of Telemarketing Calls (n=900) Invasion of privacy/ 77% intrusion Consumer rip-off 10% Other 4% Annoying/nuisance 3% Unsure/refused 3% Great consumer 2% opportunity Valuable consumer 2% information 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Ability to Detect Legitimate Telemarketing Calls Varies Four in ten New Jersey residents find it very (22%) or somewhat easy (22%) to tell whether a telemarketing sales call is legitimate. However, nearly half of respondents find it very (21%) or somewhat difficult (25%) to determine legitimate calls.
  • 5. New Jersey Residents Strongly Support a “Do Not Call” List Most (94%) New Jersey residents strongly (89%) or somewhat support (5%) a new state law that would give people the option of placing their name and phone number on a “do not call” list so that telemarketers would be prohibited from calling them. Support For "Do Not Call" List (n=900) Somewhat support 5% Strongly oppose 2% Somewhat Strongly oppose support 2% 89% Unsure/ Refused 3% Residents Will Place Their Name on a “Do Not Call” List Nine in ten residents say they are very (78%) or somewhat likely (13%) to place their name and phone number on a “do not call” list if given the option. Intent to Use "Do Not Call List" (n=900) Somewhat likely 13% Not very likely 3% Very likely 78% Not at all likely 5% Unsure/ refused 1% AARP New Jersey Telemarketing and “Do Not Call” List Survey: January 2002 5
  • 6. “Do Not Call” List Should Be a Priority for 2002 Half of residents think that it should be either a top (20%) or high (30%) priority for the new governor and legislature to make provisions for a “do not call” list in 2002; another third (36%) believe it should be a medium priority. New Jersey Residents Strongly Support Telemarketing Legislation that Requires Disclosure and Consumer Protection Laws !" More than nine in ten respondents support, either strongly (82%) or somewhat (12%), a law in New Jersey that would require telemarketers to tell you at the beginning of the conversation that they are calling to sell you something. !" Support is equally as strong for a law in New Jersey that would require telemarketers to disclose the total amount consumers will have to pay for a product or service before the sale is made final: 85% strongly support and 7% somewhat support. !" The majority of New Jersey residents strongly (76%) or somewhat support (11%) a law that would require telemarketers to be registered and bonded in the state. !" Almost all New Jersey residents strongly (91%) or somewhat support (2%) a law in New Jersey that would require telemarketers to obtain written authorization before gaining access to consumer bank accounts. Of those residents who support this law, 95 percent say they will still support it even if it means a delay in receiving their product or service. Support for Telemarketing Legislation (n=900) Identification of a sales call 82% 12% Disclosure of terms of sale 85% 7% Registration & bonding of telemarketers 76% 11% Written authorization for access to bank 91% 2% account 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Strongly Support Somewhat Support AARP New Jersey Telemarketing and “Do Not Call” List Survey: January 2002 6
  • 7. Conclusions The findings from this survey show overwhelmingly strong support for a new telemarketing law in New Jersey that would give residents the option of placing their name and phone number on a “do not call” list: 94 percent of residents in New Jersey say they strongly or somewhat support this legislation. More than three-quarters (78%) say they are very likely to place their name and number on a statewide “do not call” list. Most New Jersey residents (77%) surveyed view telemarketing calls as an invasion of their privacy and an unwelcome intrusion and four in ten (44%) find it very or somewhat difficult to detect a legitimate telemarketing call. The vast majority of residents strongly or somewhat support disclosure laws that require telemarketers to identify a sales call (94%) and to reveal the total cost of the product before the sale is final (92%). New Jersey residents are also highly interested in protecting themselves against fraudulent practices of telemarketers. Nearly nine in ten residents strongly (76%) or somewhat support (11%) requiring telemarketers to be registered and bonded. A vast majority (91%) of residents also strongly or somewhat support requiring telemarketers to obtain written authorization before gaining access to consumer bank accounts. Most resident think it should be a priority for the state government to make provisions for a “do not call” list in 2002. Methodology AARP commissioned Southeastern Institute of Research to conduct a random digit dial (RDD) telephone survey of adults in New Jersey age 18 and older. From a random sample of 11,500 telephone numbers, 900 interviews were completed from December 11, 2001 to January 6, 2002, yielding a 12 percent response rate and 24 percent cooperation rate. The survey has a sampling error of plus or minus 3.3 percent. This means that in 95 out of 100 samples of this size, the results obtained in the sample would fall in a range of + 3.3 percentage points of what would have been obtained if every person age 18 and older in New Jersey had been surveyed. Survey responses were weighted to reflect the actual distribution of age and gender in the population of New Jersey. Responses to all survey questions are in the attached annotated questionnaire. For more information about this study, contact Katherine Bridges, AARP Knowledge Management, (202) 434-6329. AARP New Jersey Telemarketing and “Do Not Call” List Survey: January 2002 7
  • 8. ANNOTATED QUESTIONNAIRE SIR # 6116 (JCF) SOUTHEASTERN INSTITUTE OF RESEARCH, INC. AARP New Jersey Telemarketing and "Do Not Call" List Survey November 2001 (Unweighted n = 900, Weighted n = 900, Sampling Error = + 3.3 percent) Responses weighted by age and gender. Percentages may not add to 100 percent due to rounding. Questionnaire # _______ Introduction Hello, this is _______________ from Southeastern Institute of Research, a national opinion research company. We’re conducting a study among New Jersey residents about telemarketing issues. This is not a sales call and you will not be asked to buy anything either now or later. We would really like to include your opinions in our study and assure you that all of your answers would remain completely confidential. The survey should take only about 6 or 7 minutes to complete. Screening 1. RECORD GENDER OF PERSON WHO 4. Then may I speak to the oldest female who ANSWERED PHONE: is at home right now and is at least 18 years 1) Male old? 2) Female 1) Person on phone is oldest female ! [SKIP TO Q.5] 2. RECORD GENDER OF PERSON WHO 1) Other person on phone is oldest female ANSWERED PHONE: and is coming to the phone ! [SKIP 3) Male TO Q.4] 4) Female 2) Person is not available ! 3. To make our study more representative, I [TERMINATE] need to speak with the youngest male who 3) Refused ! [SKIP TO Q.REFUSAL] is at home right now and is at least 18 years 5. In order to save time and ensure I only ask old. you questions relevant to someone in your 1) Person on phone is youngest male ! age group, could you tell me whether you [SKIP TO Q.5] are aged 50 or older, or are you under 50? 2) Other person is youngest male and is [PROGRAMMERS: WE NEED 350 coming to phone ! [SKIP TO Q.4] RESPONDENTS 50 OR OLDER.] 3) Person is not available Age 50 or older 4) Refused ! [SKIP TO Q.REFUSAL] Under 50 REFUSED AARP New Jersey Telemarketing and “Do Not Call” List Survey: January 2002 8
  • 9. 6. Thinking about telephone calls that you receive where a caller from an unknown organization asks you to buy something, enter a sweepstakes or contest, make an investment, or make a donation to a charity, about how often do you get these kinds of calls? Would you say you… 74% Get these calls more than once a week 19% Get these calls less than once a week 6% Never get these calls 1% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE --% REFUSED 7. Which of the following statements best describes your impressions of telephone contacts from unknown organizations: They are… 2% A valuable source of consumer information 2% A great opportunity to take advantage of consumer bargains 77% An invasion of your privacy and an unwelcome intrusion 10% A fraudulent consumer rip-off 4% Or something else? (SPECIFY: ________) 3% Calls are annoying/nuisance 2% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 1% REFUSED 8. How easy or difficult is it for you to tell whether a telemarketing sales call is legitimate or not? Is it… 22% Very easy 22% Somewhat easy 25% Somewhat difficult 21% Very difficult 11% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE .5% REFUSED 9. Would you support or oppose a law in New Jersey that would require telemarketers to tell you at the beginning of the conversation that they are calling to sell you something? 82% Strongly Support 12% Somewhat Support 1% Somewhat Oppose 3% Strongly Oppose 2% DEPENDS / DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE <.5% REFUSED AARP New Jersey Telemarketing and “Do Not Call” List Survey: January 2002 8
  • 10. 10. Would you support or oppose a law in New Jersey that would require telemarketers to tell you the total amount you will have to pay for a product or service before the sale is made final? 84% Strongly Support 7% Somewhat Support 2% Somewhat Oppose 2% Strongly Oppose 4% DEPENDS / DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE <.5% REFUSED 11. Would you support or oppose a law requiring telemarketers who call residents within the state of New Jersey to be registered and bonded in New Jersey? [DEFINITION OF ‘REGISTERED AND BONDED’, IF NECESSARY: If required by law, telemarketers will have to register with a state agency, that has oversight over the telemarketer’s activities and reporting. Bonding is required to have money with the state to compensate consumers in case the telemarketer engages in fraudulent activities that violate the law. Usually the telemarketer would pay directly if they were found in violation, but the bond assures that money is available for compensation to the consumer in case the telemarketer has left the state or is insolvent.] 76% Strongly Support 11% Somewhat Support 4% Somewhat Oppose 2% Strongly Oppose 7% DEPENDS / DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE <.5% REFUSED 12. Would you support or oppose a law in New Jersey that would require telemarketers to obtain written authorization before gaining access to your bank account? 91% Strongly Support 2% Somewhat Support 1% Somewhat Oppose [SKIP TO Q14] 2% Strongly Oppose [SKIP TO Q14] 3% DEPENDS / DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE [SKIP TO Q14] <.5% REFUSED [SKIP TO Q14] 13. Would you still support this law in New Jersey that would require telemarketers to obtain written authorization before gaining access to your bank account even if it meant a delay in receiving your product or service? (n=839) 95% Yes 2% No 3% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE <.5% REFUSED AARP New Jersey Telemarketing and “Do Not Call” List Survey: January 2002 9
  • 11. 14. Would you support or oppose a law in New Jersey that would give you the option of placing your name on a statewide “do not call” list so that telemarketers would be prohibited from calling you? 89% Strongly Support 5% Somewhat Support 2% Somewhat Oppose 2% Strongly Oppose 2% DEPENDS / DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 1% REFUSED 15. How much of a priority do you think it should be for the new governor and legislature to make provisions for a “do not call” list in 2002? (n=850) 20% Top Priority 30% High Priority 36% Medium Priority 11% Low Priority 1% Not A Priority At All 1% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE/REFUSED 16. How likely are you to have your name and telephone number placed on a “do not call” list? Would you be very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely, or not at all likely to have your name and phone number placed on a list? 77% Very likely 13% Somewhat likely 4% Not very likely 5% Not at all likely 1% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE/ REFUSED AARP Demographics D1. My last few questions are for classification purposes only. What is your age as of your last birthday? [PROGRAMMERS: RECORD IN YEARS] 26% 18 to 34 years 31% 35 to 49 years 19% 50 to 64 years 17% 65 to 92 years <.5% Unknown age (interviewer error) 5% REFUSED Mean 49.0 Median 45.0 AARP New Jersey Telemarketing and “Do Not Call” List Survey: January 2002 10
  • 12. D2. Which of the following best describes your marital status? (READ) 49% Married 26% Single, never married 10% Divorced/separated 3% Not married, living together 9% Widowed 1% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 1% REFUSED D3. Are you Hispanic, Spanish, or Latino? 6% Yes 91% No <.5% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 3% REFUSED D4. What race or ethnic group do you consider yourself? 72% White 12% African American 2% Asian 1% Hawaiian or Pacific Islander <.5% Native American or Alaskan Native 7% Some other race [SPECIFY: _________] 1% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 5% REFUSED D5. Which of the following best describes your highest level of education? 3% Some high school or less 19% High school graduate 29% Some college or technical school 29% College graduate 18% Post graduate studies or degree <.5% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 2% REFUSED D6. Are you currently…. [READ LIST] 56% Employed full-time 10% Employed part-time 19% Retired and not working 6% Homemaker 5% Unemployed and looking for work 1% Student 1% Something else (SPECIFY) <.5% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 2% REFUSED AARP New Jersey Telemarketing and “Do Not Call” List Survey: January 2002 11
  • 13. D7. Which of the following best represents your household income in the year 2000 before taxes? 8% Less than $20,000 17% $20,000 to less than $40,000 25% $40,000 to less than $70,000 30% $70,000 or more 4% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 16% REFUSED ! [SKIP TO D8] [SKIP TO D9] D8.We realize that income is a private matter and that many people do not feel comfortable sharing that information with others. Rather than identifying a particular income range, would you mind telling me simply whether your household income is below $40,000? (n=141) 10% Yes, Below 26% No, $40,000 or more 2% DON'T KNOW/NOT SURE 62% Refused D9. Thinking about your state elections for New Jersey Governor and Legislators in the last ten years, which of the following best describes your voting behavior? Would you say you always vote, sometimes miss one, rarely vote, or never vote? 51% Always vote 26% Sometimes miss one 8% Rarely vote 12% Never vote 2% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 2% REFUSED D10. Are you (or your spouse) currently a member of AARP? 27% Yes 70% No 1% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 1% REFUSED SIR Demographics D11. In the past seven days, have you accessed the Internet either to check email or visit a web site? 63% Yes 36% No ! [SKIP TO D13] 1% Don't Know/Refused ! [SKIP TO D13] AARP New Jersey Telemarketing and “Do Not Call” List Survey: January 2002 12
  • 14. D12. Did you access the internet from home, from work, from a school or public library, or from someplace else? [ALLOW FOR MULTIPLE ANSWERS] (n=562) 88% Home 44% Work 6% School 4% Library 1% Other [Specify_____________] 0% Don't Know/Refused D13. What is your zip code? _________________________________ D14. And may I verify that I reached you at: (_____)_________________________ Thank you for participating! Your Opinion Counts. D15. Respondent gender: 47% Male 53% Female [SKIP TO INTERVIEWER NAME] Interviewer Name: __________________________ Date: _______________________ Time end: _______________________ Length of interview: _______________________ Interviewer ID # _______ _______ ______ AARP New Jersey Telemarketing and “Do Not Call” List Survey: January 2002 13