Sunday, November 9, 2014

NaBloPoMo, 09 Nov 2014 edition - Surveys

I was completing one of those on-line surveys yesterday. While the topic is irrelevant, one question is not: "How many vehicles are in your household?" OK, how am I supposed to answer that? There is one car in the driveway, true; I suspect "1" is the answer they were looking for.

But it isn't accurate. In our house, three entirely different modes of transport, that are not cars, provide at least half of the family's travel needs -- bicycles, a motorcycle, and public transit -- and two of those are technically household vehicles. Even if I lump all the bikes as one, that would bump that answer to "3".

I want to contact the survey company, A.C. Nielsen, and ask them why they would even ask that question, and point out that our non-car travel fleet results in a lot of money being spent on goods and services related to them. Further, our non-car travel methods results in a skew of where we shop. Getting in the car to drive to the mall is so 1980s. We don't do that, even with the car.

But the vehicles are the focus of my complaint. I want to ask them, why aren't you asking about the non-car vehicles? I know that you are asking about vehicles for reasons other than demographics. I know you make your money by selling information about people's travel habits to potential advertisers. So, ask! There is money in us non-car-drivers, and our numbers are growing.


  1. Survey companies ask how many vehicles are in the household. They mean cars, of course. Why not bicycles?

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