Online Surveys: Real or Steal?

Is doing online surveys a legitimate way to making money -- ScamBusters.org subscribers speak out...

ScamBusters.org subscribers feedback on online surveys

As we predicted, we got a LOT of feedback from subscribers on our article on online surveys. Here are a few of the best comments we got on doing online surveys:

From Blake:

I work for a legitimate online survey market research company. But you can't just cruise over to our site and take some surveys. Surveys are by invitation only, and the invites are only sent directly to our client's customers. And we certainly don't pay anyone to take our surveys. Either of those factors would make the data so tainted as to be useless.


From Jo Ellen:

You gave some good advice!

I've been filling out online surveys for several years. I do so because I enjoy it. Once in a while I'll get $5 or $10 for filling out a survey but those types of surveys will generally take 30 - 45 minutes. (The time it takes also depends upon how quickly your computer can change from one screen to the next).

Not everyone will qualify for every survey. For example, there might be a survey regarding a man's product and they only want men to answer the questions. Survey sites will offer you money only IF you qualify to finish the survey. Lately, I've been getting a lot of surveys regarding investing or financial services. I'm told I don't qualify shortly after I tell them the income category I fall under. :-)


From Tom:

What i missed in your article about online surveys, is that there are real companies out there that collect date for commercial companies. I use [Names deleted].

Although it doesn't pay as much as the scammers claim, it is a fun way to spend some time.

Some companies have other things than money. You can get new products to test before they actually hit the stores (great way to impress friends), you can do a tasting for various products, or you can be entered in a savings program (points redeemable for gifts).

I agree that it is not a sure way to earn an income, but it IS a sure way to have some fun, and keep something from it :)

In 5 years of me doing online surveys, i have gotten an amount of roughly US$ 500 in cash. BUT, i also got software, (MS office 2000 & XP complete, Windows 98 and XP home complete) A travel voucher for $250 .. and about $100 worth in gift coupons. Fun thing is, my wife has joined me the last year, and we see an increase in surveys, and in points and gift coupons.


From Marge:

There are some legitimate survey companies where you do not get paid in dollars but in points.

I've been doing 3 for a couple of years now. After accumulating a certain amount of points, have been able to choose what I want from groups of products. Have never had a problem with any one of them, and have been sent name brand telephones, clock radios, toasters, gift certificates that I've redeemed, etc.

The surveys that I've filled out for these companies do not take that long... anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes of my time. My email address or home address have never been given out by these companies either as I coded each one differently, so I would know if they did. :o)



From Dianne:

I was surprised by the statement in your newsletter (Issue #150 October 26, 2005) that doing medical transcription is a scam like stuffing envelopes or doing surveys and that you can't make money doing it. This is definitely not correct.

There are legitimate, reputable companies who hire medical transcriptionists to work from home over the internet. I have been working for one company (MedQuist) for four years (and know at least four other women in my city who work for the same company) and also worked for a different company for a short time. It's not a "get rich quick" scheme, it's a real job with a regular pay cheque based on production. You can make a comfortable living doing it, but it is work, and you have to have training and experience. It's not a scam. (I'm sure there probably are companies out there that take advantage of people, too.)


From Karen:

As a medical transcriptionist who has worked on line for the last 7 years, I take slight exception to your statement that you can't make money on line doing medical transcription. I assume that you are referring to those spaham ads that say you can make over $5000 a month doing medical transcription - which is absolutely not correct, you won't make that much unless you own the company. Those are definitely illegal setups, and I have never dealt with any of them.
However, it really wasn't clear from your newsletter that you were referring to that particular setup, as opposed to the many legitimate companies that have online setups.

Thank you very much for listening.


[Editor's Note: We were talking about the spam medical transcription offers. This is a huge area of Internet fraud. Sorry for any confusion.]


From Diane:

This isn't a claim for a scam, i have been doing online surveys for several years, if i have to pay them, i don't do them.

There are several out there that you CAN earn money doing, and like you said, it takes time and patience. There are several online survey companies that are legit, and you earn points, which can be cashed in - that's the main type i do. I also do several that pay me real money through paypal.

I have earned a lot of money doing them, would like to earn more, but most i don't trust, especially the ones YOU have to pay a fee to get the surveys. Those i agree these are scams. That's all i have to say, thank you for the opportunity to put in my 2 cents.


From Bob:

I'd only add one thing to your article on avoiding online survey scams. I have participated in some legitimate surveys from Harris, A.C. Nielsen, and other, so I do know a bit about these things.

Like many folks, I get a lot of these spam/scam messages from bogus survey companies and the easiest way to tell which are legit is that they promise almost nothing. At best, they offer to enter your name in a drawing for some sort of reward, but you're even given a chance to opt out of that.

The rule of thumb is that if they promise you any sort of significant reward - be it cash, an iPod, a laptop computer, or whatever - they're bogus.

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