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Don’t have a landline? Then you’re changing an industry

We know plenty of people who have done it (us included), but we didn’t know the number was this great: “13 percent of all households in the country” have rid themselves of a landline in favor of an all-cellular lifestyle. There is little doubt that this number will increase with fervor over the next few years.

And it’s killing the polling industry.

“This is probably the biggest change for the industry since when I came into the Field Poll in 1978, when the industry was changing over from door-to-door surveys to telephone surveys,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll.

If you do have a landline, you may not be receiving many polling calls, even in the upcoming election year. Why? Because of the imbalance in wireless-only households. Recent surveys (though we don’t know how they were conducted) revealed that 29 percent of 25 to 29 year olds and 25 percent of 18 to 24 year olds are wireless-only. So this demographic would be underrepresented in any kind of telephone survey (because they can’t yet hit you on your cell phone), thus skewing the results.

Fret not, though: pollsters are trying to get through to your cell phone. They just have to hurdle the object of cost. After all, it wouldn’t be fair to have someone take a survey if they have to pay for it, right?

For instance, many surveyors are opting to reimburse respondents at least $5 to pay for used wireless minutes, a practice that encroaches on traditional notions of avoiding payments to participants.

Something tells us that this simply won’t be enough to entice cell users to open up their phones to pollsters. Half the reason we’re switching to wireless-only is for privacy reasons, right?

[ScrippsNews]