The telephone in consumer research

Date of publication: September 1, 1974


If someone asks for a recommendation on interview technique the consumer researcher will probably mention personal, postal and telephone in that order. If someone ask specifically about telephone interviewing the researcher will probably say "quick and cheap but, since ownership is so low and biased toward upper income households, its use is invalidated". Consequently the aim of this paper is to demonstrate that the telephone has greater potential as a tool for consumer research. The paper comprises a note on the development of the telephone, then a review of relevant literature followed by consideration of the benefits and disadvantages of the telephone as a tool for communication. Representativeness and sampling procedures are next briefly considered and finally three practical cases are discussed.

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