Every year, it seems, we receive a survey in the mail from some outfit called the Laura David Consumer Research Center, and the survey is apparently sponsored by another entity called Shopper’s Voice. You may have received one of these obnoxious surveys yourself. We never fill them out, but we have somehow made their mailing list and will, no doubt, be on it for eternity.
We don’t mind answering the questions about what products we might use, but the surveyors include a full page of personal and downright nosy questions. Such as:
They want to know what preferences you have in reading, music, collectibles, travel, sports, and hobbies. They ask you to provide your email address(es). They want to know what electronics you own, what investments you may have, and what credit card(s) you use. They inquire what type of vehicle you own and what insurance you carry. They ask what your occupation is and to what charitable organizations you give.
They wish to know how many people and pets live in your household, and what their ages are. They even wish to know if anyone in the household is pregnant. They ask about your marital status, your dwelling, and your household income.
Even the census forms that we must occasionally fill out don’t require this much information. This would be perfect data for an identity thief to have, especially if they were able to acquire your Social Security number, mother’s maiden name and credit card account numbers.
And what do you receive for providing every detail of your lives to complete strangers? A chance to win $500 for "Early Birds" and a chance to win $5,000 or a Caribbean Vacation Cruise! plus 10 drawings of $100 each. And, of course, valuable money-saving coupons.
These people even tried to bribe us. Yesterday we received in the mail an envelope containing samples of S.C. Johnson products. There was no obvious indication that this came from Laura David, but the printing and code numbers matched exactly.
Granted, the questionnaire is voluntary, but still ... the notion of supplying such personal information to people we don’t know is objectionable to us. And if we were to go on a trip, someone would know just what valuables we own. This might seem like paranoia, but nowadays, you just never know ...