Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I have been a Nielsen family for the last few years. I've had some paper surveys they sent once in a while in the past, but this time we became an official family. They hook up equipment to all of your televisions, VCRs and DVD players, and monitor your usage. This helps advertisers see which shows are popular, etc.

I received a phone last week or the week before. "We're calling to set up an appointment to pick up our equipment." There is no notice or announcement that our relationship is being terminated. After I asked, she said that the maximum they keep a family is 5 years, and at 3, I've had a pretty good run. When they first put it in, I was surprised they didn't call me in six months to take it out, so I guess I am happy with 3 years.

They come once a year to check on their equipment, and at least one other time in the year, something or other went wrong, so they had to come in and fix something, and once I wanted to move the tv to another room. It was nice when I got the converter boxes, they installed everything, and I didn't have to figure out which wire went where. There is no pay, although they give you a small amount quarterly to pay for the additional electricity.

They took away the stuff yesterday. The picture is clearer now on my televisions. I've had my share of paranoia over the equipment. "Is this station fuzzy today because they want me to watch a different station?" "Am I sure they aren't recording my conversations?" Stupid things, so now I am wondering if I was rejected because I didn't watch the big shows like the Super Bowl game or the Academy Awards.

Or maybe it is my willy nilly television watching habits. I don't look for particular shows anymore. Even my favorite shows, I won't make sure I watch every week. Whenever I want to watch tv, I just turn it on, and flip through the stations and choose the best one. If there isn't anything I want to see, I'll put in a DVD. If I've already watched the same show last week or yesterday (why are they doing reruns so soon?), I'll watch it again, particularly since I can do other things, like clipping coupons, cleaning out paperwork, or handwork, while I watch tv.

I should have taken photos of the equipment before they took it away. There were a lot of wires! It is strange watching TV now. Nobody cares what I watch anymore.


Michele Bilyeu said...

I remember you talking about this once before. It's really quite interesting. You're the only member of the Nielson family I've heard about and I'd be a bit paranoid, too!

Knowing how online advertising is used and how every keystroke we make on a computer, every site we visit, and every ad we click on...is kept track of by Isp if nothing else, makes me want to be use ccleaner every time I sign off!

And tell us what you watch, so we can care instead of them. Tonight, I'm watching V and Dancing With the Stars...high brow all the way;)

Allie said...

Hmmmm.....with DTV, are they still doing this? I found it so odd that the gov't would get involved in telling people what kind of tv they had to have, and wondered if there was some way to track what people were watching on it.

I don't watch tv hardly at ALL. I tried watching V tonight but didn't care for it. I do like the old movies, but we don't have cable so I only get them on some of the sub-channels. The only show I like is Lost, and that will soon be over [I hope]. They'd never get their money's worth out of me, lol!!!!