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(92,618 posts)
Tue Oct 18, 2022, 07:20 AM Oct 2022

Most Americans don't answer cell phone calls from unknown numbers. [View all]

This is from 2020, but with all the spam going on, I doubt that has changed much


“ Americans just aren’t picking up the phone much anymore. Eight-in-ten Americans say they don’t generally answer their cellphone when an unknown number calls, according to newly released findings from a Pew Research Center web survey of U.S. adults conducted July 13-19, 2020.”

It also says, those that do answer those calls are mostly men.

I wonder how this poll was conducted?

Polling is a business, and pollsters get money from conducting polls


“ There’s a dirty little secret that we pollsters need to own up to,” wrote polling expert David Hill, president of Hill Research Consultants and a 2020 fellow at the University of Southern California’s Dornsife Center for the Political Future, in The Washington Post in 2020. “People don’t talk to us anymore, and it’s making polling less reliable.”

Now, that is a strong statement.

The PBS Public Editor’s office caught up with Hill to discuss the email we’d received from Stevens.

“There’s a whole class of Americans who don’t answer calls with caller IDs that they don’t know,” Hill said. “If we’re honest … this is all a complete mess today because we can’t really have a true random sample anymore because we can’t get a random sample or anything close to that to cooperate.”

This partially mirrored what Stevens told us. “My opinion is that polling data is generally useful,” Stevens wrote in a followup message to PBS. “I just have concerns about who answers phone calls in 2022.” Poll data “does not account that most people do not do not pick up the phone anymore,” he added. “Who does? And, why do these people get to represent the sum of American sentiment?”

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Yes. Random Sampling over "Convenience Samples" is largely becoming a thing of the past. hlthe2b Oct 2022 #1
I don't either, and from the PBS link above, this section implies it is an issue JohnSJ Oct 2022 #3
Me neither. triron Oct 2022 #79
BLUE TSUNAMI Obvious85 Oct 2022 #67
Same here lunatica Oct 2022 #92
I never answer unknown numbers ... Auggie Oct 2022 #2
As the OP claims, 80% don't JohnSJ Oct 2022 #4
If they have something important to say, leave a name and detailed message dalton99a Oct 2022 #5
That is my reasoning also JohnSJ Oct 2022 #8
exactly! rurallib Oct 2022 #16
Do they spoof numbers in your home area code? A HERETIC I AM Oct 2022 #86
Oh yea rurallib Oct 2022 #87
And some people don't even check their voicemails! thesquanderer Oct 2022 #38
I never set mine up. 2naSalit Oct 2022 #50
I had 6 of them yesterday. And I don't answer them. Liberal In Texas Oct 2022 #6
I always answer it. 3Hotdogs Oct 2022 #31
I think you'd need to contact Ed McMahon with an Ouija board not a phone. Liberal In Texas Oct 2022 #80
I answered one recently, because the caller i.d. looked like it might be a pollster. ShazzieB Oct 2022 #68
I have quite enough car warranties, gutter screens, and Medicare advantage plans TYVM. Hugin Oct 2022 #7
Allow me to add to your list.. agingdem Oct 2022 #36
Early on I would reply with... Hugin Oct 2022 #45
The only time I answer an unknown cell phone call is if I get repeated calls from doc03 Oct 2022 #9
I hate those bogus polls! ShazzieB Oct 2022 #70
If I get repeated calls from a number that I don't know, wnylib Oct 2022 #72
Mostly Republicans have the leisure time to answer unknown calls - or participate in polls bucolic_frolic Oct 2022 #10
It always is about turnout, and I think Democrats will come out in large numbers JohnSJ Oct 2022 #11
I usually don't answer the phone the majority of the time even if I know who is calling me Victor_c3 Oct 2022 #12
lol JohnSJ Oct 2022 #13
Yes. mwb970 Oct 2022 #55
.... BumRushDaShow Oct 2022 #69
Yes, with email available treestar Oct 2022 #75
Polling is broken PuraVidaDreamin Oct 2022 #14
Got that right . ... Lovie777 Oct 2022 #15
I do that for the most part. ananda Oct 2022 #17
Voice mail works for me. If the unknown Emile Oct 2022 #18
More accurate would be pollsters who build a demographic microcosm of the electorate bucolic_frolic Oct 2022 #19
I got a lot of missed polling calls when I was commuting 4 hours a day IronLionZion Oct 2022 #20
Why would anyone answer unknown numbers? radical noodle Oct 2022 #21
Many are PUSH polls if not sales calls. mackdaddy Oct 2022 #22
How many Americans are on the "Do Not Call" list? dlk Oct 2022 #23
Political calls are excluded from banning by DNC statute. brooklynite Oct 2022 #33
Of course dlk Oct 2022 #84
Every now and then I get a wild hair and answer a call from a number I don't recognize ToxMarz Oct 2022 #24
if you have done phone banking you knnow this to be true dembotoz Oct 2022 #25
I have told several campaigns I will not help with phone banking. former9thward Oct 2022 #91
If the number is not in my contact list, they can leave a message. The only time niyad Oct 2022 #26
This message was self-deleted by its author niyad Oct 2022 #27
The PBS article is from September - October 2022 BlueSky3 Oct 2022 #28
the majority of calls I get barbtries Oct 2022 #29
Not Specific But Relevant Rant Roy Rolling Oct 2022 #30
Yeah, if you answer you pay for the call on your cell Farmer-Rick Oct 2022 #41
Phone Companies Refuse To Make A Good-Faith Effort To Block Spam smb Oct 2022 #54
Is polling more difficult? Yes. Is polling still valuable? Yes. brooklynite Oct 2022 #32
The question the OP asks is how do they account for those who don't answer phone calls from unknown JohnSJ Oct 2022 #34
Yes... the question would seem to be whether you can assume that the 20% who do answer the calls... thesquanderer Oct 2022 #40
Presumably, People Who Don't Mind Being Scammed Are Still Answering Calls From Unknown Numbers smb Oct 2022 #57
Ohh, that makes a lot of sense! ShazzieB Oct 2022 #73
Disappointing isn't it? treestar Oct 2022 #78
Sometimes DownriverDem Oct 2022 #35
I thought I would get some relief when they went after the extended warranty scammers. bluedigger Oct 2022 #37
Depends on area code. multigraincracker Oct 2022 #39
The problem with behavior-dependent surveys, in a nutshell... thesquanderer Oct 2022 #42
What if it's a family member in the hospital? mtngirl47 Oct 2022 #43
If it's important and legit, they will leave a voicemail. MrsCoffee Oct 2022 #44
If they're family they'll know to text first because you wont answer. oldsoftie Oct 2022 #48
that's what caller ID is for any of these calls I would pickup.nt. drray23 Oct 2022 #49
voicemail JI7 Oct 2022 #59
your family member will be identified, not a strange number treestar Oct 2022 #77
Unfortunately, answering often reveals the moonscape Oct 2022 #90
I never answer, if it's important they PXR-5 Oct 2022 #46
I get 4-6 a day wanting me to sell my property. oldsoftie Oct 2022 #47
Same here! Pinback Oct 2022 #62
I suspect that republicans answer these calls because they either aren't smart enough not to or Augiedog Oct 2022 #51
My interesting conspiracy theory ecstatic Oct 2022 #52
I usually don't answer cell phone calls from KNOWN numbers either. mwb970 Oct 2022 #53
Are you my son? Pinback Oct 2022 #65
Spam calls The Wizard Oct 2022 #56
"Stevens," the author of the email sent to NPR, Pinback Oct 2022 #58
Polling often wants a yes / no or 1-5 answer to very complex issues. LakeArenal Oct 2022 #60
I answer so I can call them Jake and ask what they are wearing Major Nikon Oct 2022 #61
+1 multigraincracker Oct 2022 #71
This has been the case for YEARS..... And most polls have been meaningless for a long time getagrip_already Oct 2022 #63
I never answer unknown calls and I advise my elderly friends and family to do the same. Handler Oct 2022 #64
Many smartphones now won't even ring unless the number is in your contacts JonAndKatePlusABird Oct 2022 #66
Nearly 100% of calls are from Medicare Advantage scumbags. LiberalFighter Oct 2022 #74
There needs to be legislation requiring phone companies to block phone calls from scammers spoofing. LiberalFighter Oct 2022 #76
I can always tell when latest polls are good or bad Sympthsical Oct 2022 #81
I like to answer unknown numbers by saying, "Hi, Bob". Dysfunctional Oct 2022 #82
Yep, never answer "Unknown" or Caller Info Blocked calls - never. lark Oct 2022 #83
When I'm in the USA, my US phone rings constantly DFW Oct 2022 #85
It's usually not a live person FakeNoose Oct 2022 #88
I'm one of those Americans. Progressive dog Oct 2022 #89
I don't care about the polling as much as I enjoy not GoodRaisin Oct 2022 #93
I don't either and am in Canada. Three calls floored me, a suspicious package has been mailed akbacchus_BC Oct 2022 #94
I use a spam call blocker. "Caller hung up before we could record Roisin Ni Fiachra Oct 2022 #95
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