Total Research Associates: ‘Survey Is Legitimate’

October 8, 2019 | 1 Comment

The police said they welcome the “clarification from Total Research Associates Limited that their legitimate phone survey of Bermuda residents utilised the telephone number 441-405-9999,” and TRA noted that calls made from the number are “part of a legitimate survey conducted by a reputable market research company.”

Police Statement

A police spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Police Service welcomes the clarification from Total Research Associates Limited that their legitimate phone survey of Bermuda residents utilised the telephone number 441-405-9999.

“In an abundance of caution, an advisory was sent out on Monday, October 7th regarding the possible fraudulent use of 441-405-9999, after several calls were received from concerned members of the public on Saturday, October 5th.

“Red flags included residents being asked for personal information such as their name and year of birth as well as the automated message that was initially received when calling back 441-405-9999 stating that the call cannot be completed as dialled – which has since been updated to let callers know that the telephone number is used by Total Research Associates Limited to conduct regular public opinion and market research surveys.

“Personal details are valuable and although they can be requested for legitimate purposes – as in this case – members of the public should remain wary of divulging such sensitive information over the phone or online to unknown persons.”

Total Research Associates Statement

A spokesperson said, “Calls made from 441-405-9999 are part of a legitimate survey conducted by a reputable market research company – Total Research Associates [TRA], and we promise that our research adheres to the highest ethical standard, namely:

  • “We safeguard the privacy of those who take part, and never asking for any personal information that could be used to identify someone.
  • “We ask for year of birth – not exact date – so that we can ensure we are obtaining completed surveys from a representative sample of the public.
  • “We ask for first name only at the end of the survey, in order to have a record of who we spoke with, in case the call needs to be verified later in the survey period by a supervisor – we want to know who within the household we spoke with.
  • “We ask for a few other demographic details from respondents, again in order to ensure we are accurately reflecting the public across a number of dimensions [by education level, for example]
  • “All information we collect – which is primarily public opinion aimed at identifying the important issues in Bermuda – is stored on secure servers.
  • “Individual-level information we collect is never shared with a third party.
  • “We report on aggregated data only to our subscribers.
  • “We never contact someone if they ask not to be contacted again.
  • “We only contact individuals for research purposes [we never market or sell anything].

“We are doing our best to ensure that our purpose in calling residents is clear. Here is why it’s important for people to consider answering the phone.

“Public opinion research – the collection of opinion-based information from the public – is an important contributor to public discourse, and supports decision making. People who participate in research studies often cite a desire to take part in big conversations, and to ensure that their voices are heard.

“At Total Research Associates [TRA], we regularly conduct research – by phone, online and in person – to gauge where opinions stand on important issues affecting the public. The Bermuda Omnibus® Survey, running for over 20 years, is one of our regular studies conducted on a quarterly basis. This ongoing survey is one of the only ways that decision-makers can know what is important to residents of Bermuda, where consumer confidence stands, or how many people are employed on the Island.

“Gathering this important information is not easy, and we take the practice seriously. We are grateful to all those who take part in our research for the time and focus they pay to share their opinions with us. Respecting privacy is an essential part of our commitment to individuals who take the time to give us their opinions. Here are some of the things we do to ensure privacy is protected, and that the opinions you are giving us are safe:

  • “When you participate in survey research conducted by our organization, you can be confident that any information that you share with us will stay with us.
    • “Any time you participate as a respondent in one of our surveys, whether in-person or by telephone, mail or Internet, you can be assured that your individual responses will be kept confidential and is never shared.
  • “We never ask for more information than we need to help us accurately reflect the population.
    • “For example, we ask for year of birth, or ask people to tell us an age bracket they fit into, to ensure that we are gathering survey responses from a representative sample of the population, across all age groups. We never ask for exact date of birth or full name.
  • “Your participation is voluntary.
    • “You are free to choose whether or not to participate in a survey and free to discontinue participation at any time. We will not contact you again if you ask us not to.
  • “We have anti-fraud measures in place to protect your privacy.
    • “All survey data we collect is securely stored on our servers for a short period of time only.
    • “We never report on individual responses – we analyse data to understand the views of the population as a whole.
  • “We only contact individuals for research purposes [we never market or sell anything].

“Public opinion research is an essential part of public discourse, and we are grateful to all who take part in our studies.

“More information about our work and company standards can be found here or at our sister company, Narrative Research’s website, including our privacy policy.”

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Comments (1)

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  1. frank says:

    is it wrong for the service providers to give your phone number to these people no one could give me a simple yes or no

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