Some Jamaicans were left baffled late last week by telephonic questionnaires where they were asked to provide answers about their personal life, as well as their perceptions of the United States and Jamaica. The callers appeared to be calling from overseas.
Several Jamaicans told The Sunday Gleaner that the questions were asked by a male-sounding voice with a deep foreign accent.
Persons were particularly perturbed, given the attention on Jamaica by the international community over the extradition request involving Tivoli Gardens strongman Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.
Our investigations suggest that some of the calls were made from 1-877-200-3208 between Thursday and Friday.
Got call on friday
One Jamaican male told The Sunday Gleaner that he received the mysterious call on Friday at 4:38 p.m.
“I was at home when the phone rang. I had been anticipating a call, so I quickly grabbed the receiver to answer the call. My annoyance was palpable when the person on the other end of the line identified himself by a name and said he was calling from Costa Rica,” the man said.
The Jamaican said he was unable to recall the foreign-sounding name the caller used to identify himself.
“He asked me if I was willing to participate in a survey and, despite my protestations, claiming that I was busy, the ‘foreigner’ persisted,” the Jamaican said.
The Jamaican told The Sunday Gleaner that he reluctantly relented.
“He began by asking me my age, and I lied and told him I was 40,” said the Jamaican.
“The correct sequence of the questions he asked I am unable to replicate. But they were something like this:
What do you think of the US’s presence in Haiti since the earthquake?
Do you think it was quick?
Which country do you think res-ponded quickest?
What do you think of the US?
What do you think of the response of other countries?
What do you think of Brazil?
What do you think of Venezuela?
If Jamaica should be hit by a disaster, who do you expect to respond first?
What do you think of Iran?
Do you have cable TV?
How often do you use the Internet?
Where in Kingston do you live?
Which political party do you support? (He cited the Jamaica Labour Party, the People’s National Party, the National Democratic Movement or the Workers’ Party of Jamaica, now defunct.)
Do you think the USA should remain in Haiti to continue the reconstruction? Do you think Jamaica should continue its assistance? What do you think of Russia? What do you think of China?
“I flatly refused to answer personal questions and told him so in no uncertain manner. I then asked him his name about three or four times but, try as did, I could not catch on to it,” the Jamaican told The Sunday Gleaner.
He said the exchange lasted for about 12 minutes, after which the caller politely thanked him for his time, before hanging up.
The Sunday Gleaner called the number but got a recording that said, “Sorry, that extension does not exist.”