The phenomenon of declining response rates is a major challenge for empirical social research. Should the loss of response units be non-random, population estimates may become biased. A rising share of the “unreachable” may lead to an increased probability of non-randomness of the loss. Exploring the process is therefore crucial to understanding what can be expected of our achieved samples. In a recent study, we investigated patterns of response unit loss by conducting a lagged recontact survey based on the European Social Survey (ESS) Round 8. We found that before one arrives at a premature verdict of unreachability, it is worth trying again: the combined reach of the original and the recontact surveys rose to over 63.6%, from the initial 41.1%. The proportion of total ineligibles in the two surveys was 6.5% (compared to 10.7% in the ESS), and the rate of stable non-responders (i.e. those who refused to answer in both surveys) was only 11.3% (29.7% in the ESS). The joint profile of the original and the recontact sample may be more balanced in terms of the representativeness of what we believe to be the “reality”. Regarding the explanatory factors of successful interviews, the research shows that several factors “pull” the sample of successful interviews toward the centre, compared to the gross sample: the chances of a successful interview are worse if the neighbourhood is run down, among those with a lower level of education and among those in higher income categories.