Refusal Conversion

The process of converting terminations and refusals, once they had occurred, involved the following steps. First, there was a diagnostic period, when refusals and terminates were reported on a daily basis and the Project Director and Operations Manager reviewed them after each shift to see if anything unusual was occurring. Second, after enough time had passed to see a large enough sample of refusals and terminations, the Project Director and his staff developed a refusal conversion script. Third, the refusal conversion effort was fielded with reinterview attempts scheduled about a week after the initial refusal. Fourth, the Project Director and Operations Manager received the outcomes of the refusal conversion efforts on a daily basis. Minor revisions of the script and the procedures were made, as needed. The final refusal conversion script is shown in Figure 3, on the following two pages.

Refusal Conversion Script

Hello, my name is __________________________________. I am a field supervisor with SRBI, a national research organization in New York. I believe that someone in your household may have been contacted by one of our interviewers concerning a public policy study that we are conducting for the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C.

Yes, respondent...........1
Yes, other................2
No, don't recall..........3

1. In order to assess the effectiveness of current traffic laws, the U.S. Department of Transportation is conducting a study of Americans' attitudes about current driving laws. It is a public opinion study that will help the government to consider traffic laws in light of what the public really wants and does. It only takes about fifteen minutes and it's strictly confidential.

Willing to proceed........1 GO TO SELECTION GRID

2. I understand. My job as a field supervisor is to find out if there are any problems with our surveys or interviewers that are discouraging people from participating. Could you tell me if we have done something wrong or is there something about the interview that concerns you?

IF: I don't do surveys.
ANSWER: I understand, but this survey examines whether our traffic laws are realistic and appropriate in terms of what people really want and really do. The results may affect laws in your state. It is really important.

IF: I don't know if you are who you say you are.
ANSWER: I can give you our 800 number to call and confirm the authenticity of the study.

IF: I don't know how the results will be used.
ANSWER: The Department of Transportation has been charged to collect information about public opinion and behavior related to traffic laws, in order to assist them in determining whether certain laws should be changed or not. That's why we need to talk to you.

IF: I don't drive.
ANSWER: Then the interview should only take a few minutes. Even if you don't drive, we need to get your opinion about some traffic laws that may affect you as a pedestrian. We also need a little background about non-drivers, but it won't take long at all.

IF: Don't know enough.
ANSWER: This is an opinion survey about driving, traffic safety and traffic laws based on your experience. We need to talk to all kinds of people to get a true picture of what ordinary Americans think, not just what "experts" say.

IF: I don't want the government to know about me/ what I do.
ANSWER: The interview is strictly confidential. Your telephone number was selected at random. As soon as we complete the interview and verify it, we destroy the phone number. No one will ever know who you are. We do this so that you can be comfortable in telling us what you really think, not what you think the government wants to hear.

IF: It's a bad time.
ANSWER: We can schedule a callback for a time that would be good for you.
Date _____________ Time _____________________

IF STILL HESITANT SAY:It is really important that we represent the views and experience of people like yourself so that the findings will be fair and accurate. You don't often get a chance to participate in studies that may affect the laws in your community. It's really important and we really want to represent your household in the study. If now is a bad time, we can schedule the interview during the day, in the evening, or on the weekend whenever is better for you.

We are supposed to finish the study by the end of (February/March). Could we find some time this week (or next) to do the interview?)
Date _____________ Time _____________________

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