Merits and Demerits of Mailed Questionnaire Method

Mailed questionnaire method of data collection is quite popular. In this method, a questionnaire is sent usually by post to the persons concerned with a request to answer the questions and return the questionnaire. This method is most widely used in various economic and business surveys.

The main merits of mailed questionnaire method of data collection:
  • This method is useful when the field of investigation is vast and the respondents are scattered over a wide area.
  • This is the most economical method in terms of money and manpower.
  • It is free from the bias of the interviewer.
  • Respondents have adequate time to give will thought out answers.
  • Large samples can be made use of and thus the results can be made more dependable and reliable.
  • Respondents, who are not easily approachable, can also be reached conveniently.
  • Uniformity in the data collection can be made.
The main demerits of this method can be listed as follows:
  • It cannot be used for illiterate or uneducated respondents.
  • Rate of non-response is high in comparatively with other method.
  • If there is any confusion in the questionnaire, they cannot be solved.
  • There is inbuilt inflexibility.
  • The control over questionnaire may be lost once it is sent.
  • It is difficult to verify the accuracy of the answers given.
  • This method is likely to be the slowest of all.
  • There is no scope for asking supplementary questions for cross checking of the information supplied by the respondents.
  • Informants are not willing to give written information in their own, handwriting as certain personal questions like income, property, personal habits and so on.
  • Many questionnaire returned may be incomplete, haphazard as well as inaccurate.
  • Pilot study is necessary in this method.