I have just recently added another survey panel, MindField Online, into my review list. I have been a member of this site for quite some time already, so I thought it would be a good time now to comment on how this survey site measure up against other online panels.
MindField Online as a Company
McMillion Research, LLC is the company behind MF Online. The parent company is a leading player in the data collection field in the US.
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Both parent and subsidiary company are registered members of some of America’s most reputable and largest marketing organizations that include the CASRO.org and American Marketing Association.
The Better Business Bureau has also assigned an A+ rating to both companies. Such credentials gives the highest score possible as far as credibility goes, at least according to my book.
McMillion Research has been around for close to 30 years. Today it holds market leadership position in quality data collection services and the customers consist of international corporate clients.
In the early years, the company was focused on strictly door-to-door surveys. It has since grown from strength to strength.
The first major breakthrough came in 1980 when the company set up its first data collection center and focus group facility. Starting from West Virginia and surrounding states, the operation expanded as more facilities were built.
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Soon McMillion Research established itself as a prominent data collector on national scale. This recognition came right after the company was named as one of the top producing consumer centers in the country.
McMillion Research set up the online panel site in 2000 as it announced its entry into online quality data collection and survey panels.
Sign up Process
The site does not charge you a fee for registration. It is not their intent to make money out of you or try to sell you things. The signing up process is straightforward and does not take more than just minutes.
First, you get yourself a new account, and they will follow up with an activation e-mail to complete the registration. What you have to do is just simply click on the link inside the e-mail and you are done.
What you do next is to complete the member questionnaire. Even though this is not a prerequisite (an unpaid), it is advisable that you fill it up so that they can match your profile with survey opportunities. The result is you have more invitations to surveys and you make more money over time.
Invitations to survey are sent out regularly via e-mail. You might want to make it a habit to regularly check your e-mail and try to get as many surveys done as possible.
If your e-mail system has tight policy on spam, make sure you do some tweaking so that e-mails from [email protected] can get through.
You can find out the incentive attached to matching quantification and successful completion of the survey from the e-mail.
Assuming you pass the qualification criteria and complete the survey on time, the stated incentive would be credited into your account. This usually takes two business weeks upon completion of the survey (note that the time frame is not in relation to when you completed the survey).
There are specific criteria for survey participants and there could be situations where you get disqualified. If that is the case, you will be automatically entered into their monthly sweepstake with winning of $500 in cash and/or prices.
For me, the frequency of e-mail invitations average about five to six every month. And as you can see from the screenshot below, I have been with them since 2005 and have made only $134. But to be fair, I wasn’t active for a few years in there, so it’s not that bad.
MindField pays in cash. Unlike some other online survey panels such as Opinion OutPost, they do not use a points-based system to keep track of credits or rewards. In that sense, you don’t have to worry about conversion as you straightaway see the dollar value in your balance.
The site states that the majority of the surveys can be completed inside 5 to 15 minutes, and depended on the time required to complete a survey, the pay scale will get adjusted accordingly. So that is a cool feature!
On rare occasions, you may get invited to participate in focus group. This is a more interesting proposition, as it can potentially earn you $100.
- Minimum cash holding is just five dollars before you can cash out. When your account shows a five dollar balance, the system would flash out a link on the right side of the page, just beneath the “Member Summary”, as an indication that you may cash out anytime.
- Preparation for the check happens on the same day of cash out request but the check will only be sent to the check writing service in California every Monday. Delivery lead time is about four to six weeks, but you can expect it to come in the mail sooner.
- If you request for PayPal payment, the request is processed on the same day but submission to PayPal would happen every Monday. For PayPal to credit that money into your bank account, that will take another 5 to 10 business days.
Other Reviews of MindField
The biggest complaint from members is that survey invitations don’t come frequent enough. It is usually no more than a handful every month, and the value ranges from $1-$3. For a large pool of members, the opportunity to participate in more lucrative surveys is really rare.
Another bugbear with members is the tight qualification criteria. Some complained about the process to accredit your skills simply takes too long. But overall, most concede they do get paid whenever they complete the surveys.
1. Fake Check (Mystery Shopping) Scam
I have already mentioned this on my review of Pinecone Research where I have warned about the fake check scam. Apparently, scammers are using Mindfield’s name as well in trying to scam people into believing its the real company conducting a real study.
Thankfully, MF has caught up with this and has put a page warning people about this scam. It reads:
Be advised that neither McMillion Research nor MindField Online send checks to consumers or professionals that are not already opted in to do research with our company and respond to legitimate survey requests. We never send money in advance of someone’s full participation in research study.
Here is an article about this fake mystery shopping check scam on MSNBC that further explains the whole deal. Please be careful and remember, legit research companies do not send you a check, then ask you to wire transfer it to someone else.
2. Visit the Real Site
Careful with the URL when you are about to get started. If you enter the address without the “www” part into your address bar, you could be led to a site called “Paidsurveys.me”, or a redirect to a fishy page where a pop up text will tell you to “update your flash”.
Be extremely careful with this, as spammers and hackers often use these tactics to full you into opening a page where they insert malicious stuff on your computer.
When you visit the site, make sure to start the address with “www” so you can land on the real thing and not a fake. Or you can simply click on the link I provide at the end of this post.
As I have mentioned in this review, there is no risk in signing up with Mindfield as it is completely legit. But don’t expect to make lot of money here since survey invitations are quite infrequent.
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