Minnesota Telemarketing Fraud and "Do Not Call" List: An AARP ...
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  • 1. Reprinted March 2002
  • 2. Minnesota Telemarketing Fraud and “Do Not Call” List: An AARP Survey Data Collected by Southeastern Institute of Research, Inc. Report Prepared by Joanne Binette Copyright AARP, 2001 by AARP Knowledge Management 601 E Street NW Washington, D.C., 20049 http://research.aarp.org Reprinting with Permission
  • 3. 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 Minnesota State Office, State Affairs, and Knowledge Management contributed to the design of this study. Special thanks go to AARP staff including Keith Weigel, Minnesota; Michele Kimball, Minnesota; Laura Polacheck, State Affairs; Gretchen Straw, Knowledge Management; and Rachelle Cummins, Knowledge Management. John Fries, Southeastern Institute of Research, insured a timely and high quality survey. Joanne Binette, AARP Knowledge Management, managed all aspects of the project and wrote the report. For more information, contact Joanne Binette at (202) 434-6303.
  • 4. Minnesota Telemarketing and “Do Not Call” List: An AARP Survey 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 basis. 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 Minnesota 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 Minnesota residents’ !"Impressions of telemarketing calls !"Ability to determine the legitimacy of telemarketing calls !"Support for Minnesota telemarketing laws to include a “do not call” list !"Probability of putting their name on a “do not call” list !"Support for Minnesota telemarketing laws to specifically require disclosure and consumer protection laws. Highlights !"Over three-quarters of Minnesota residents receive telemarketing calls more than once a week. Most Minnesotans find these calls to be an invasion of their privacy and an unwelcome intrusion. !"Nearly all Minnesota 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. Nearly 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 Minnesota 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 Minnesota requiring that telemarketers be registered and bonded. !"The majority of Minnesotans 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. Minnesota Telemarketing Fraud and “Do Not Call” List: An AARP Survey 1
  • 5. Findings Minnesota Residents View Telemarketing Calls As Intrusive Over three-quarters (77%) of Minnesota residents receive telemarketing calls more than once a week. Ninety percent of respondents Impressions of Telemarketing Calls express negative impressions (n=1,000) toward telemarketing calls: 82 Invasion of privacy/intrusion 82% percent view them as an invasion of their privacy and Consumer rip-off 6% an unwelcome intrusion, 6 Other 6% percent say they are a Annoying/nuisance consumer rip-off, and 2 2% Opportunity for percent say they are annoying. consumer bargains 2% Unsure/Refuse 2% Valuable consumer 1% information 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Minnesotans Are Split in Their Ability to Detect Legitimate Telemarketing Calls Four in ten Minnesota residents find it very (22%) or somewhat easy (20%) to tell whether or not a telemarketing sales call is legitimate. More than two in five respondents find it very (17%) or somewhat difficult (29%) to determine legitimate calls. Minnesota Telemarketing Fraud and “Do Not Call” List: An AARP Survey 2
  • 6. Minnesota Residents Strongly Support a “Do Not Call” List Most (94%) Minnesota residents strongly Support For "Do Not Call List" (n=1000) (89%) or somewhat support (5%) a new Strongly state law that would give people the option Support of placing their name and phone number Somewhat 89% on a “do not call” list so that telemarketers Support Strongly 5% would be prohibited from calling them. Oppose 1% Somewhat Oppose 2% Unsure/ Refused 3% Minnesotans Will Place Their Name and Phone Number on a “Do Not Call” List Nearly nine in ten residents say they are very (75%) or somewhat likely (14%) to place their name and phone number on a “do not call” list if given the option. Minnesota Telemarketing Fraud and “Do Not Call” List: An AARP Survey 3
  • 7. Minnesota Residents Strongly Support Telemarketing Legislation that Requires Disclosure and Consumer Protection Laws !"More than nine in ten respondents support, either strongly (81%) or somewhat (13%), a law in Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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: 86% strongly support and 7% somewhat support. !"The majority of Minnesota residents strongly (75%) or somewhat support (12%) a law that would require telemarketers to be registered and bonded in the state. !"Almost all (94%) Minnesota residents strongly (91%) or somewhat support (3%) a law in Minnesota that would require telemarketers to obtain written authorization before gaining access to consumer bank accounts. Of those residents who support this law, 96% say they will still support it even if it means a delay in receiving their product or service. Support for Telemarketing Legislation (n=1000) Identification of a Sales 81% 13% Call Disclosure of Terms of 86% 7% Sale Registration & Bonding 75% 12% of Telemarketers Written Authorization for 91% 3% Access to Bank Account 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Strongly Support Somewhat Support Minnesota Telemarketing Fraud and “Do Not Call” List: An AARP Survey 4
  • 8. Conclusions The findings from this survey show overwhelmingly strong support for a new telemarketing law in Minnesota that would give residents the option of placing their name and phone number on a “do not call” list: 94 percent of residents in Minnesota say they strongly or somewhat support this legislation. Three-quarters (75%) say they are very likely to place their name and number on a state-wide “do not call” list. Most Minnesotans (82%) surveyed view telemarketing calls as an invasion of their privacy and an unwelcome intrusion and almost half (46%) 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 (93%). Minnesotans are also highly interested in protecting themselves against fraudulent practices of telemarketers. Nearly nine in ten residents strongly (75%) or somewhat support (12%) requiring telemarketers to be registered and bonded. A vast majority (94%) of residents also strongly or somewhat support requiring telemarketers to obtain written authorization before gaining access to consumer bank accounts. Methodology AARP commissioned Southeastern Institute of Research to conduct a random digit dial (RDD) telephone survey of adults in Minnesota age 18 and older. From a random sample of 6,600 telephone numbers, 1,000 interviews were completed from November 23 - December 5, 2001, yielding a 28 percent response rate and 41 percent cooperation rate. The survey has a sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 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 + 3.1 percentage points of what would have been obtained if every person age 18 and older in Minnesota had been surveyed. Survey responses were weighted to reflect the actual distribution of age and gender in the population of Minnesota1. Responses to all survey questions are in the attached annotated questionnaire. For more information about this study, contact Joanne Binette, AARP Knowledge Management, (202) 434-6303. 1 NOTE: An error in the weighting equation was discovered after the original release of this survey data. This report contains the corrected data, resulting in differences of less than .5% in most cases. Minnesota Telemarketing Fraud and “Do Not Call” List: An AARP Survey 5
  • 9. ANNOTATED QUESTIONNAIRE SIR # 6105 (JCF) SOUTHEASTERN INSTITUTE OF RESEARCH, INC. AARP Minnesota Telemarketing Fraud /"Do Not Call" List Survey November 2001 (Unweighted n = 1,000, Weighted n = 1,000, Sampling Error = + 3.1 percent) Responses weighted by age and gender. Percentages may not add to 100 percent due to rounding. Introduction Hello, this is _______________ from Southeastern Institute of Research, a national opinion research company. We’re conducting a study among Minnesota 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 ANSWERED PHONE: 1) Male 2) Female 2. To make our study more representative, I need to speak with the youngest male who is at home right now and is at least 18 years old. 1) Person on phone is youngest male [SKIP TO Q.5] 2) Other person is youngest male and is coming to phone [SKIP TO Q.4] 3) Person is not available 4) REFUSED [SKIP TO Q.REFUSAL] 3. Then may I speak to the oldest female who is at home right now and is at least 18 years old? 1) Person on phone is oldest female [SKIP TO Q.5] 1) Other person on phone is oldest female and is coming to the phone [SKIP TO Q.4] 2) Person is not available [TERMINATE] 3) REFUSED [SKIP TO Q.REFUSAL] 4. Hello, this is _______________ from Southeastern Institute of Research, a national opinion research company. We’re conducting a study among Minnesota 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.. 1) CONTINUE 2) REFUSED [SKIP TO Q.REFUSAL] Minnesota Telemarketing Fraud and “Do Not Call” List: An AARP Survey 6
  • 10. 5. In order to save time and ensure I only ask you questions relevant to someone in your age group, could you tell me whether you are aged 50 or older, or are you under 50? [PROGRAMMERS: WE NEED 350 RESPONDENTS 50 OR OLDER.] 34% Age 50 or older 62% Under 50 3% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 2% REFUSED 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… 77% Get these calls more than once a week 18% Get these calls less than once a week 5% 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… 1% A valuable source of consumer information 2% A great opportunity to take advantage of consumer bargains 82% An invasion of your privacy and an unwelcome intrusion 6% A fraudulent consumer rip-off 6% Or something else? (SPECIFY: ________) 2% Calls are annoying/nuisance 2% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE <.5% 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 20% Somewhat easy 29% Somewhat difficult 17% Very difficult 11% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 1% REFUSED 9. Would you support or oppose a law in Minnesota that would require telemarketers to tell you at the beginning of the conversation that they are calling to sell you something? 81% Strongly Support 13% Somewhat Support 1% Somewhat Oppose 1% Strongly Oppose 4% DEPENDS / DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE <.5% REFUSED Minnesota Telemarketing Fraud and “Do Not Call” List: An AARP Survey 7
  • 11. 10. Would you support or oppose a law in Minnesota 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? 86% Strongly Support 7% Somewhat Support 1% Somewhat Oppose 1% Strongly Oppose 5% DEPENDS / DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 1% REFUSED 11. Would you support or oppose a law requiring telemarketers who call residents within the state of Minnesota to be registered and bonded in Minnesota? [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.] 75% Strongly Support 12% Somewhat Support 5% Somewhat Oppose 3% Strongly Oppose 6% DEPENDS / DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE <.5% REFUSED 12. Would you support or oppose a law in Minnesota that would require telemarketers to obtain written authorization before gaining access to your bank account? 91% Strongly Support 3% 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 Minnesota 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=942) 96% Yes 2% No 2% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE <.5% REFUSED Minnesota Telemarketing Fraud and “Do Not Call” List: An AARP Survey 8
  • 12. 14. Would you support or oppose a law in Minnesota 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 1% Strongly Oppose 2% DEPENDS / DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE <.5% REFUSED 15. 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? 75% Very likely 14% Somewhat likely 5% Not very likely 4% Not at all likely 2% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE <.5% 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] 30% 18 to 34 years 31% 35 to 49 years 19% 50 to 64 15% 65 to 92 3% Unknown age (interviewer error) 2% REFUSED Mean 47.3 Median 43.9 D2. Which of the following best describes your marital status? (READ) 58% Married 22% Single, never married 8% Divorced/separated 3% Not married, living together 8% Widowed <.5% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 1% REFUSED D3. Are you Hispanic, Spanish, or Latino? 2% Yes 97% No <.5% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 1% REFUSED Minnesota Telemarketing Fraud and “Do Not Call” List: An AARP Survey 9
  • 13. D4. What race or ethnic group do you consider yourself? 93% White 2% African American 1% Asian --% Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 1% Native American or Alaskan Native 2% Some other race [SPECIFY: _________] 1% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 1% REFUSED D5. Which of the following best describes your highest level of education? 4% Some high school or less 20% High school graduate 38% Some college or technical school 25% College graduate 13% Post graduate studies or degree <.5% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 1% REFUSED D6. Are you currently…. [READ LIST] 54% Employed full-time 15% Employed part-time 19% Retired and not working 5% Homemaker 5% Unemployed and looking for work 1% Student <.5% Something else (SPECIFY) 1% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE <.5% REFUSED D7. Which of the following best represents your household income in the year 2000 before taxes? 5% Less than $10,000 8% $10,000 to $19,999 10% $20,000 to $29,999 11% $30,000 to $39,999 13% $40,000 to $49,999 17% $50,000 to $74,999 18% $75,000 or more 6% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 12% REFUSED [SKIP TO D8] [SKIP TO D9] Minnesota Telemarketing Fraud and “Do Not Call” List: An AARP Survey 10
  • 14. 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=121) 17% Yes, Below 34% No, $40,000 or more 2% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 48% REFUSED D9. Thinking about your state elections for Minnesota 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? 59% Always vote 28% Sometimes miss one 5% Rarely vote 7% Never vote 1% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE <.5% REFUSED D10. In the last five years, have you… a. Phoned, faxed, or written a public official to make your views known on an issue of concern to you? 39% Yes 61% No 1% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE <.5% REFUSED b. Contributed money to a candidate or political party? 28% Yes 70% No 1% DON’T KNOW / NOT SURE 1% REFUSED Minnesota Telemarketing Fraud and “Do Not Call” List: An AARP Survey 11
  • 15. SIR Demographics D11. In the past seven days, have you accessed the Internet either to check email or visit a web site? 66% Yes 33% No [SKIP TO D13] 1% DON’T KNOW / REFUSED [SKIP TO D13] 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=662) 84% Home 43% Work 8% School 4% Library 1% Other [Specify_____________] <.5% 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: 48% Male 52% Female [SKIP TO INTERVIEWER NAME] Interviewer Name: __________________________ Date: _______________________ Time end: _______________________ Length of interview: _______________________ Interviewer ID # _______ _______ ______ Minnesota Telemarketing Fraud and “Do Not Call” List: An AARP Survey 12