Research War Stories: When MR meets America’s most wanted.
In the popular “War Stories” column, which has run sporadically in the magazine “Quirk’s Marketing Research” since 1994, Art Shulman, president of Shulman Research in Van Nuys, Calif., presents humorous tales of life in the research trenches, based on his own experiences and those of researcher friends and colleagues. Each month in Quirk’s they feature a few anecdotes from past War Stories columns…
Mark Michelson relates that a number of years ago his company sent a mystery shopper to evaluate an optical store in Florida. The shopper seemed like a nice guy on the phone and his references were good. For the shop he had to get an exam, buy glasses and return to pick them up.
In between his shopping trips to the store, he was featured on America’s Most Wanted. The store manager recognized him and had him arrested after he picked up his glasses.
He still managed to send his report in, though.
Gerald Linda was mystified once when a respondent, upon being told the group was being videotaped, hid his face and fled the room. Pity! Fugitives from justice have opinions, too.
Another time, Linda reports, one member of the “dissatisfied” group recruited for a focus group tried to get the other group members to sign an affidavit. It turns out he was in the midst of a lawsuit against the client.