Lifestyle surveys are where a call centre conducts telemarketing calls to UK consumers to ask a series of questions which are normally conducted from offshore call centres due to the low revenues which can be achieved and low skill levels required. These are normally conducted on behalf of a number of companies but often there is an aggregator (often known as a data broker or alternative names) who contract directly with the clients. They typically ask a series of questions relating to a number of different areas but some of the most common ones are home improvements, solar panels, insurances, ppi reclaims, personal injury claims. gas & electric bills and funeral plans. The consumers are cold called but sometimes the data is profiled against factors such as geographical location, age and sex. The telemarketing company follows a script which normally follows the process of asking a number of profiling questions (such as age, sex etc) followed by questions relating to the companies who ultimately buy the leads. Leads are generated when a call recipients gives a positive response to 1 or more of these questions and certain criteria are met. For example, a utility company might want leads of people who are in certain geographical locations and would consider switching their current provider. These leads are then called (or occassionally) mailed by the client company by telesales agents. The whole concept is that these leads should be more easy to convert for the telesales agent than randomly calling unqualified prospects. The client will pay a fee for each of these leads varying from a few pence to several pounds for each lead type.
Lifestyle surveys have been the subject of criticism from all concerned parties. From the call centre outsourcing company, there is often concerned that this type of service generates very low revenues per hour & many are concerned that they struggle to get paid especially when a data broker or middleman is involved in the payment process. From the clients perspective, they are concerned that the quality of the data received is often poor and question whether the lifestyle survey has been effectively executed. Consumers and consumer groups have also complained that the companies conducting these lifestyle surveys have failed to follow rules relating to The Telephone Preference Service and silent calls. Call centres often mistakenly believe that these calls are not subject to The Telephone Preference Service due to their offshore location or because they are based overseas or because they belive they are market research calls. These are not market research calls.
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