Monday, July 30, 2007

So the folks at AC Nielsen are pissed off at me...

...which is kinda what I was going for, but not like this.
Let me explain.
A while back, on the referral from a friend, I signed up to serve on a research panel for the AC Nielsen company. I know that they're the company that records ratings for television shows and I thought that this would be an opportunity to have some sort of impact in that regard. I get so tired of good tv shows like 'NewsRadio', 'Arrested Development' and 'The Knights Of Prosperity' getting cancelled because they have poor ratings while mind-numbing dreck like 'According To Jim' gets renewed perpetually. I don't take a stand on many issues (just yesterday R was talking to me about the presidential debates on YouTube; I told her worrying about the presidential election now is like worrying what place the Devil Rays are in during April) but when it's something important, damn it, like television, I am a force to be reckoned with.
As it turns out, AC Nielsen does all kinds of market research and they wanted me to do consumer shopping instead of tv viewing, so they sent me a hand-held bar code scanner and told me to go shopping. I was disappointed but figured what the hell. Because I'm a closet anarchist who's always fantasized about bringing The System to it's knees, I figured maybe I could artificially skew some sales trends and cause some chaos:

President and CEO of United Business Company, Inc.: "Look at these marketing reports! Blank VHS tapes, clamato juice and lutefisk are suddenly incredibly popular in the southeast, specifically the Tampa Bay region!, triple our production and distribution of those products there!"

Ha ha! Anarchy!

Alas, this was not to be either. For one thing, it's impossible to cheat The System; you actually have to buy the stuff you scan in and I ain't wasting my money on that crap. Too expensive. Secondly, you don't get to scan everything you buy. They tell you from week to week which products they're looking for and which stores to shop at. One week it might be cleaning products from Publix, the next it might be pet foods from Albertson's. Screw that. Too regimented. Thirdly, the scanner doesn't work very well. I tried several times...well,I tried once, for several minutes...but I could not get the thing to work (and I happen to be excellent at scanning things). It would scan maybe every fifth item or so. Too difficult and time consuming. So I just didn't do it. The scanner sits in it's box on the floor in my kitchen. The AC Nielsen people started calling every couple of weeks, wondering why they weren't getting reports from me. I would lie and tell them I hadn't been shopping. That worked for about two months.

AC NIELSEN: "What do you mean, you haven't been shopping?"
ME: "Yeah, I had an accident. Doctor says I'm not allowed to shop."
AC NIELSEN: "How is that possible? What do you do for groceries and supplies?"
ME: "I eat at other people's houses. And I go to the bathroom at work and stuff"
AC NIELSEN: "Oh. Ok. Well, take care."
ME: "See ya."

I couldn't believe that even worked once. But they either eventually figured out I was full of crap or just got tired of not getting any info from me.

AC NIELSEN: "Hello, Mr. Brooks"
ME: "Yeah, hi. Listen, I'm still laid up and haven't been able to..."
AC NIELSEN: Mr. Brooks, you've been dropped from the program."
ME: "Dropped?"
AC NIELSEN: "Yes sir. We want our scanner back."
ME: "Oh. Ok. Well, sure. Sure thing. I'll get that right out to you."

That conversation has taken place about four times now because I never sent it back. It's still sitting there. The last time they called, they pretty much begged for the return of their scanner, even offering to send me a pre-addressed, postage paid box to ship it in.
Ha ha! Anarchy!


Rooty-Tooty said...

.... thanks for the info on Nielsen's surveys. I'm gonna chuck my invitation immediately. I never did trust their data anyway.

Cheers, Fight the system ! ! !

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

Anonymous said...

got same issue but me i dropped the scanner and it broke the power connector now i fixed it but now theres no green light . so no info goin AC N calling me every day nearly so i stopped picking up lol been getting letters too. i looked on the cipher lad site where they get their scanners from it cost like £209 so no wonder they want it bak lol

Larita paban said...

Air conditioning company Tampa Bay started this business when he realized he was a contractor and rather working for another contractor he could start a business and provide jobs to many people looking for work. That is exactly what happened and today he employs great people who take ownership of their part in the company and know how important the service industry is to the community they live in.