The Consumer Price Index conducts two types of in-person surveys. One is a household survey which measures changes in rent and the other is the commodities and services survey which monitors changes in retail prices. For the housing survey we follow the address and not the respondent. Cooperation issues come from resistance encountered during the first housing visit. We also use a variety of Housing respondent types and the cooperation tools are not the same for each type. Cooperation tools include all types of letters, hiring local people, addressing privacy-time concerns, 2 day cooperation workshop mandatory for all employees. Sample address is kept for 5 years, so good relationships can be developed. C&S survey issues are based on perceived business risks such as the disclosure of pricing information.

PDF of Clark's presentation at the RC Workshop.

Topics covered outside of the lecture:

Locked buildings. How to get into them and what are some approaches. We attempt to contact the landlord/manager of the building with letters/phone calls. No easy answer. 

Language. Discussion of some steps being taken to overcome language barriers.  It was clear that the government has been slower to respond to this issue. Opinion research companies have approached this from a number of directions including hiring Spanish speakers, translating surveys.  The concept of losing a structured survey in translation was discussed.

When to set an appointment versus just showing up for an in-person survey. Discussed the fact that company size for us influences our approach. For mom and pop storefronts we just show up, versus large corporations that would require and expect an appointment. 

We discussed the various reasons for using in-person surveys for different organizations. In our case it is part of our verification process for product changes. For others it is the nature of the questions.  Some just find it faster and cheaper to grab people on the street or in a mall.