Why Is Someone in Chicago Calling Me? (BettySexton)

Talk about annoying. I've been getting repeated long-distance calls to my cell phone with the caller not leaving any voicemail messages. Who are you and and why are you calling?

  Maybe this has happened to you.  You miss a call and wonder... who could it be?  I haven't been to Chicago in a long time and don't know anyone who currently lives there.  So I googled the number "312-759-4899" and learned it was NORC, National Opinion Research Center, a survey company.

  Who wants to take a survey over their cell phone?  I don't.... and neither do a lot of people who have been complaining online about calls from NORC.

   The next time I was called, I was able to talk to the surveyor and politely asked her to take my name off the list.  That didn't work!  I kept getting calls!  Again, no one left a message.  Just the readout of "312-759-4899."

    After two weeks of this I decided to call the company and talked to its head of communications,  Cathleen Savage.  She politely told me her non-profit company is paid by Uncle Sam to conduct surveys for the Centers for Disease Control.  Cathleen says the CDC relies on NORC to pick a scientific sample of the population to monitor the spread of certain diseases.  Because it's a "scientific sample" the surveyors are told to get a high completion rate.  That's the reason the calls never stopped. 

  Because it's a company calling for the government being on the No Call List doesn't help.

  Still Cathleen took down my number and promised I wouldn't get any more calls.  She says others who want the calls to stop should call the NORC switchboard at 312-759-4000.

  I realize the federal government needs information from us... but this is a voluntary survey, not a mandatory one.  If you don't want to participate, you can decline.

  My suggestion to NORC,  call folks at home... don't bother them on their cell phone.  I realize a lot of people are moving away from having a home phone, but when I'm heading to work, driving my kids to school, or tooling down the highway... the last thing I want to do is take a telephone survey.  My opinion... it's just not safe.  I would be happy to take a survey at home... but not when my concentration is supposed to be on the road.


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