One intriguing fact about Springboard America is that it is much heralded by industry players, but at the same time this marketing research company is also the least known to survey panelists.
Which is why I thought it would be a good idea to do a review of this survey panel and find out what it’s all about.
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Springboard America: Is this a Reputable Company?
If you just skim on the surface, this appears to be just another survey panel, backed up by marketing research efforts, that collects and analyzes public opinions and consumer spending habits.
However, appearance can be misleading, as many fake survey sites such as Bigspot and Panda Research have used online survey panels as a front to propagate their scams.
But I became less paranoid when I learned that the company behind Springboard America is Vision Critical, one of the most trusted brands in the marketing research field.
The fact that this company has over 14 offices internationally has convinced me that this Springboard USA-based company is by no means some dubious setup to con people money.
Nothing else is as legit as it is. According to the website, on average they have about 2.5 million surveys to be filled out, that is every month, by the way!
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Vision Critical, a strategic global market research and technology firm based in Vancouver, Canada, was founded in 2004 by Angus Reid, one of the most famous market research industry leaders who had previously founded the Angus Reid group.
That company went on to become one of North America’s largest research enterprises. Then in 2000, ARG was sold to Ipsos SA, yes the same company behind the Ipsos I-say panel.
Vision Critical boasts of some of the finest organizations as customers, counting corporations in the like of Lonely Planet, Golf Digest and even governments among them. They provide insights about the stakeholders tied to these corporate clients.
I have a habit of looking out for accreditation from the Better Business Bureau whenever I stumble upon new online survey panel. That explains my disappointment when I realized that Springboard America has none.
Just so you can be clear: I am not suggesting that is the single biggest indication of the legitimacy of the company, it is just that this is the very first thing I look at whenever evaluating business.
In addition, any rating that is less than an A can get my alarm bell ringing. It is only natural to wonder if the user experience was so lousy that the site can’t even warrant a decent rating (by the way, the highest score is A+).
Upon further digging, the reason for the less than satisfactory rating is because the company has not been really cooperative in term of opening up its business.
While there is no rule that stipulates all businesses need to be completely upfront with BBB, the organization has an inclination to penalize those refused to do so with a low rating; the same way it penalizes businesses which engaged in fraudulent activities.
A handful of complaints were also spotted on the BBB website, but I noticed all were successfully resolved. It certainly looks to me that they are committed to examine customer’s complaint and follow up with satisfactory resolution.
Overall, given the fine reputation of the parent company, and what I found out from the BBB website, I think I am comfortable to say that the company has earned its legitimacy.
But the rating here over at Survey Satrap does not end with just legitimacy alone. We take our recommendation seriously in order to help survey panelists.
So factors such as how well a survey pays, fair and equitable compensation and promptness on payment would have to come into the equation. To get to the bottom of this, I have signed up as a panelist.
Survey Panel Participation
Springboard America has certain ground rules before participation in surveys can take place. First off, you have to be an American of at least 15 years of age. Next, you should not be in a job that is market research related (this has become an industry norm lately).
But they certainly take on a somewhat different approach with their registration process. Unlike most survey panels which like to get started with some personal information from prospective panelists, I was asked about my views on a number of subjects.
I have no clue why this is so. Is this done for the sake of being different? Maybe they figure this is the best way to fish out personal information (getting started with some generic opinions may help warm people up) and correspondingly boost the sign-up numbers.
perhaps it is meant to be fit into the bigger scheme of things.
could it be that it feels that this is the best way to keep people interested, even as they are entering such mundane information about themselves?
Regardless, I put myself through this line of questioning, unusual but also refreshing at the same time.
I must say that I am pleasantly surprised when survey panels make a concerted effort to improve the user experience. No matter how I enjoy my job, it can get really boring when I keep on checking off boxes about myself (something that I have to repeat whenever I register with a new survey panel).
In this instance, the site uses a very interesting visualization to help you get through the questioner easier and with much more enjoyment.
So round and round it went and I finally hit the spot where I was notified that I was about to get a confirmation e-mail. As a welcome bonus, I was also promised entry into a $1000 sweepstakes upon e-mail confirmation.
Nowadays, I make it a practice to furnish as much details as possible around my personal profile (that is one sure way to have more survey invitations coming your way).
From my experience, most invitations offer around three dollars for individual survey that lasts between 10-20 minutes. What is perhaps more significant is that of all the survey invitations that got to me, I qualified 90% of them.
Another attraction at Springboard is their focus groups. At $100 up, they do really pay well. I was involved in one such focus group when I first joined. And I received that $100 check three months from first getting involved in that exercise.
It is a great thing that the site can now pay to your PayPal account as well, which is obviously faster and easier!
For every completed survey, you earn cash which is my preferred method of getting paid for taking surveys. The site calls these paymnets “Survey Dollars”.
You can expect to earn anywhere from $.50 to $5 for each survey to qualify for and successfully complete.
In addition to check and PayPal payment options (when you reach your payout amount), members can also choose to donate to charity causes. I love this option as I dedicate myself to quite a few charities.
The flip side here is that the minimum required to cash out is set to $50. $50 Threshold is definitely high in the market. It is quite challenging to hit that number when one is paid a measly few dollars for every survey.
There are reports of cases on people who quit the survey panel as frustration sets in before they reached their payout amount.
What Others Say?
In trying to write a balanced review of this site, I started reading reviews and forum posts related to Springboard.
To be honest, there were many mixed signals, so it’s hard to swing the vote one way or another when it comes to what most people think of the site. But to put it into perspective, here is a rundown of people’s opinion about the site:
- Some people were complaining that they rarely receive survey invitation. One guy was saying in 2 months of being a member, he has only been invited twice.
- As expected, most people don’t like the $50 minimum cash out requirement.
- On one occasion, I read a forum post where a member was complaining that his balance and earning were simply wiped out after not checking into his account for a while, and no matter how many times he tried, he couldn’t get in touch with the support team. But when I checked back a while later to the same forum to see if anything new had happened, the same person was saying that the support team got back to him apologizing, saying that they were on vacation. Needless to say, they also restored his earnings.
Should You Join?
Personally, I would not go out of my way to recommend people to this survey site, and I think the high minimum payout threshold is a major showstopper.
For those undeterred by this opinion, go ahead and join Springboard America. Just stay cool as you will need time before you accumulate the required minimum threshold to get compensated.
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