Thursday, 1 November 2012

Review of Toluna

Toluna evolved from Ciao and other well known companies. It is big, has many survey participants to choose from and many clients ordering survey results. It claims to have members in 39 countries, while the rewards are posted from France. Toluna uses its market leading position to pay tiny rewards for the surveys. They disguise it with a massive amount of points given even for 10 minutes work. Often they would send invites for a 7 minutes survey rewarding 1800 points. The points have no monetary value and can be exchanged for high street vouchers, amazon credits or similar. Thus Toluna saves on average 5% more from the retailers it buys these vouchers.

80000 points give £15 in a Love2Shop high street vouchers, making a 1800 survey worth £0.33 + the inconvenience to use vouchers. The vouchers expire after some time and as I ordered several a long time ago, it became urgent for me to use them. I looked at the retailers logos and hurried to Focus DIY to buy something. However, Focus DIY went into administration and disappeared from the retail space. I thought that I could always find something useful at Woolworths, which also accepted these vouchers. The Woolworths met the same fate as Focus and was no longer available. I turned to Peacocks, which I could find absolutely everywhere, but Peacocks went into administration as well, was sold to another company and stopped accepting any vouchers. The Comet went the same way. The best I could do, was to buy some cleaning materials, which I didn't really need, at Wilkinson and get maximum cash value from these vouchers - £1. This is the maximum amount given in change.

Those, who complain about the long time until the rewards are credited and then even longer time until the vouchers arrive - don't worry, at the end credits will appear and vouchers will arrive. It is all part of the process to spend as little as possible and to delay any payments as long as possible.

Apparently, Toluna does have a problem to find enough respondents for their low paid surveys. They keep sending invites with headers like, "We've got a fun & interactive survey", "Here's your chance to voice your opinion!", "You've still got some time left to give your opinion".‏ When nothing helps and they can't find enough respondents to fill in a 40 minutes survey for a few pennies, they would subcontract this survey to another survey company, pay decent rewards and get enough respondents.

Once in a while one could get a survey with a decent reward. Still, the electricity and broadband used to fill in Toluna surveys might cost more than the reward itself.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Review of GlobalTestMarket

The GlobalTestMarket is a global company as the name indicates, recruiting members in many countries, including Russia. It gives points for surveys. Each point is worth $0.05, while most of the surveys give between 30 and 40 points.

The GlobalTestMarket used to give fair rewards, screen outs were rewarded with 5 points and all surveys had a monetary value. However, lately they decided to save money and screen outs give only an entry to sweepstakes. Their sweepstakes, similar to other lotteries, reward one person for the work of others. The chances to win are less than to be involved in a traffic accident. It doesn't stop the GlobalTestMarket to send more and more surveys with a reward of three entries into sweepstakes. Apparently, there is always someone who will participate, hoping to win.

Even considering the latest changes, it is still a good company, paying when one reaches a balance of 1000 points. It is achievable during two - three months on average. Many surveys in the UK are cinema related, so to qualify one has to tick that they are regular cinemagoers.

The money comes in the form of cheque outside the US and the GlobalTestMarket pockets a few dollars by offering below the market exchange rates into the local currency.

However, despite all their small tricks, one can still earn a fair payment for performed work, compared to others. Highly recommended!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Review of Springboard UK

Springboard UK claims to be "one of the UK's leading online research communities." They are not, but who cares, as long as they give the opportunity to earn some cash. They do set cash values for their surveys, which is more straight forward than some other companies, which will give a reward of 300000 points and somewhere in the small print state that it is equivalent of £0.25.

Some surveys are rewarded with a prize draw, but I always avoid these, as chances to win are non-existent. The surveys come usually about two a month. The average value of each survey is £0.50, But there are some for £0.25, £0.75 and £1.00.

One cannot redeem less than £25, so the Springboard UK figured out that with the average earnings of £1 a month not many people would stay so long to redeem anything. However, they were wrong. I stayed several years, duly filling in the 50p surveys. It was not such a hard job - most of them could be done in 10 minutes or so, while I was waiting for a train, flight, etc.

After several years, I looked at my balance and saw that it well exceeded the required £25. The redemption page gave me two options - Paypal or cheque. Great, I chose Paypal and got a confirmation email, which stated -

Congratulations! You have now successfully redeemed your Survey Cash!
If you chose to receive a cheque, you should expect to receive it within the next 6 - 8 weeks.  

If you choose to receive your payment via Paypal, you should expect to receive it within the next 3 to 4 weeks.

Three weeks passed, then another three weeks, yet another three weeks and so on. There was no transfer and I decided to write to the customer services. The confirmation screen stated that they would get back to me within one working day. Needless to say that they didn't do it within this timeframe. In fact, they never did (so far). Their confirmation email said -

Thank you for emailing support. We have received your ticket and will respond to you shortly. Thank you for your patience and your continued interest in our panel.

'Shortly' is a relative term. How long is shortly -  a day, a month, a year?

Since then I can't see any reference to Paypal anymore on their website. Are they preparing a cheque for me? Am I the only customer who dared to redeem £25 from this 'leading UK company'?

They did pay after several months, but the surveys definitely changed. Most of them nowadays are worth only 25p.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Review of Cashback Research

Enter the search text in google - 'online surveys UK' or similar. Very often the featured ad of the Cashback Research will appear. They promise £20 a day for completing surveys online and 'You won't get rich' sounds realistic. The site even will give you £2.50 bonus for signing in. Here is what happens if you take their offer.

After the signing in process, which is more or less straight forward, you do get £2.50 at your account. However this money is virtual, to get any money out of them the balance has to be £10. There is an 'Interest Survey', a simple profile survey which will pay £0.50, so this will bring the balance to £3. The rest are daily surveys, very long and look more like a marketing ploy, the questions are too personal. Each one pays 25p, and believe me, it is easier to find 25p on the street than to complete a survey like this. By the end of each survey 5p will be wasted on electricity for the computer, and even if 20p is earned, to complete 20 or so similar surveys is a very big job. Furthermore, even for these surveys to appear, one has to complete something on the right side of the page, e.g. Survey Central. They will try to sell hundreds of products on 20 pages or so. At the end the details will be sold further to different scammers. They'll need your telephone number 'In case you win'. Everyone 'wins', as if they do get your number, the scammers will start calling. From fake companies trying to sell non existing shares to the more sophisticated Club LaCosta pushing you to spend many thousands of pounds through different promotional tricks.

After each time one of these Survey Central questionnaires is filled, the email address always falls in the hands of the scammers from West Africa. I still can't figure out how do these guys get it, they are not paying for it, one of the Survey Central 'bonuses' perhaps.

There are other ways, like to sign up to eight other panels for £5. The balance is still £9 then, and there are others on the internet offering more for the same sign up. Or £4 for Mega casino, but then you have to spend at least £10 and give them your credit cards details.

The conclusion: Time wasted, the reward is way below the national minimum wage, no guarantee of payout, your details will be sold further. Avoid!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Earn money with online surveys

Many people are trying to make money online. The internet is full of catchphrases - 'How to make money online', 'Working from home', 'Part time jobs', 'Flexible hours'. It is possible to make money online by completing surveys, but it is difficult and a lot of research has to be done.

Each week I am going to review a company offering online surveys in the UK. Most of them are dishonest in a sense that they take a lot of information, waste a lot of your time but don't pay out anything. Surely they do promise to pay but eventually the limit to achieve is too high, or the number of surveys is too low, or each survey is worth 1p. One thing is sure - within a couple of days you'll start getting emails from Nigerian scammers. However there are a few decent companies and there is money to be made. Please watch this space for reviews.