Adventures in Focus Groups-
Directions stated that to get from the train station to the building was about 25 minutes, so I gave myself an extra 10, because I walk slow, on top of the recommended 15 minute early arrival period. The train arrives on time, I exit the statement and it’s literally the building next to the station. I could exit the station, fall over a hobo and be at the building’s door. I’m now 50 minute early and everyone of the three people I had to check with were like “you’re 50 minutes early”, “your 48 minutes early”, “your 30 minutes early” (I got lost but got to use a profoundly nice bathroom). Entering the waiting room I sat and read my US News and World Report magazine while the woman across from me with very nice hair but dressed in a cult-like jogging suit stared at the blank wall next to me. As the room started filling I also noticed an unusually large number of people with limp.Focus group members were called and we sat around a circular table when our group leader told us to relax and that we may be monitored. I looked around at the wall length 1-way mirror, 3 cameras, a tube slot for sending notes between the mysterious mirror people and our group leader “Thad”, and finally a hand held tape recorder. We each received a name card and names like “Wysal”, “Tbor”, and “Tchatcka” appeared breaking the room into three parts: 1) non-native speakers, 2) limpers and 3) me. We were then asked basic questions about our Vonage service and Dave (a limper) kept responding with really philosophical answers:
Thad: Why did you chose Vonage.
Dave: I didn’t choose Vonage, my choice was merely the outcome of the facts at the time, things over which I had no control and necessities of my family life.
Thad: What would the idea phone service provide?
Dave: The idea phone service would supply a continuous stream of communication freed from physical constraint of the primitive concept of “phone”.
Wysal pointed out a problem Vonage had with dial-up connections over digital phone service. Why would you get digital phone service, which requires a broadband connection so you can connect a 56.6Kbps modem to your 1.5Mbps cable connection?
When all was done a shady black man paid us with envelopes full of dirty 5s and a 50. The only shadier method could have been either narcotics or sequential 20s with red dye on them.