American Community Survey from the Census Bureau

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by peg2, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. peg2

    peg2 Member

    I am reluctant to fill this out because of the questions I have heard are asked. What has anyone else done who has gotten it in the mail? I have heard people comment, they can't even document you got it in the first place unless it comes certified mail.
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Peg - I got this thing last year. Seriously, I thought it was a scam. Why on earth would the gov't be asking me how many flush toilets I have? Why do they care how many times I've been married? What computers/mobile devices I have and how long I drive to get to work?? A sink with running water?

    They also wanted to know market value of home and some other stuff that is public record - they can look it up.

    Unfortunately, it is not a scam. They actually expect you to fill it out. Completely.

    I refused. Got several letters and then started getting the calls from the Census Bureau. I spoke to the guy the first time they called, told him in no uncertain terms that I would *never* be completing this survey. The Census Bureau has, in my humble opinion, way overstepped their mandate. Guy got snippy with me, told me it was important for community planning. When I pointed out the # of times I've been married has got zip to do with community planning, he gave me some BS about "support services" for divorced families. So I reaffirmed that Hades would freeze before I would fill it out and ended that conversation. The next umpteen times they called, I just turned the phone on speaker phone and left it sitting on the coffee table.

    They do like to threaten you with jail time and big fines. Important to note 2 things - there has never been anyone arrested or fined for not filling it out *and* there are several conservative think tank/law firms that are just itching to represent anyone prosecuted for not filling it out. (I'm polar opposite from conservative, which is why I point that out, LOL - I was a bit queasy at the thought of dealing with the other side.)

    Ultimately they sent a Census worker to our home. Old guy, Vet, nice. I told him that I would not be providing any information requested on the form and if the Census Bureau was so keen on getting information, they could check out the 10-year form that I did fill out. So he asked if I would tell him how many people lived in our home. Sure. husband was here and he did ask if husband was a Vet. husband said yep. And that was that.

    I have heard some Census Bureau workers can be quite difficult - if you google American Community Survey, there's a wide range of experiences. I had my "No Trespassing" signs ready and local police dept on speed dial.

    But I can tell you this - I will never again fill out a long form 10-year Census questionnaire nor will I ever *ever* fill out the ACS. They get to count heads for districting purposes, period. They really crossed a boundary as far as I'm concerned.

    by the way, I did write my congressman and got the sappiest "help your country make plans" response. Took all my self-control not to point out to him that this is IL for heaven's sake, and our elected officials of all parties couldn't plan their way out of a paper bag. And if you're going to talk about needing this info to plan for providing "services", perhaps you ought to provide services in the first place!!!

    I also wrote every congressman who is on .... some committee, can't remember now... but anyway, there's an ongoing bill to make participating in the ACS voluntary - never makes it to the full house, but maybe someday.

    I figure the worst they could do is arrest me and send me to federal prison - for not telling them how many times I've been married. Bring it.

    (difficult child does come by some of his stuff honestly, LOL.)

    ETA: If you don't answer the first survey, they'll send you another one, plus a half dozen or so postcards with a convenient web addy so you can fill it out online. And then the phone calls will start - like several per week. They're persistent.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014