I received a call on my mobile from a pleasant sounding person with a heavily accented voice claiming to be calling to conduct a survey in relation to the cost of living. I asked the name of her organisation. She said it was “Research Direct”. I was on my computer so I looked it up as I had never heard of this company. Sure enough, no entry apart from the millions of google search results with those very common words in them.
I then asked if the company was a member of the Australian Market and Social Research Society. She hung up.
While AMSRS is an industry lobby group, it does at least have a code of conduct - see https://www.amsrs.com.au/professional-standards/standards
Quite simply, do not give any information to anyone else as they will be collecting personal information for commercial purposes to hassle you with unsolicited advertising and heavy handed pressure sales calls.
As the number came up as private, I cannot even report them to the rather toothless Do Not Call Register people.
Second pointer, if they are genuine market researchers, they will willingly give you a contact number to validate their call and usually (though not always) the phone number for the caller will appear on your phone if it has caller ID.
Some more information for those interested.
AMSRS is the professional organisation of researchers.
It has a web-page that explains market research conducted by organisations:
and in particular how calls for market research purposes cannot be used for telemarketing purposes - i.e. selling a product or collecting details for the purposes of direct marketing. This is unlawful.
The industry association is the AMSRO - Association of Market and Social Research Organisations. Its link is (not surprisingly) - www.amsro.com.au.
Its membership is at http://www.amsro.com.au/list-of-members/
There is a common link to the Research Industry Council of Australia - www.rica.com.au
Anyway, hope this helps.
Good job spotting the rouse @gds. Hopefully the experience also helps a few others
For the really retentive types:
The AMSRO’s code of conduct is registered by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (formerly the Australian Privacy Commissioner) - see
Members of AMSRO are bound by the code which has the force of law as a legislative instrument (similar to a government regulation).
Its main purpose is “The provisions of this Code seek to give effect to the APPs (Australian Privacy Principles) in a manner that is tailored to the research context, while providing the public and business community with the assurances needed to encourage informed and willing participation in market and social research activities.”
I have had a few calls from these folks, they are very pushy, very unpleasant to deal with.