When it comes to paid survey sites, there are scams and legit sites. But in some cases, as you are about to read in this Survey Spot review, it’s not that black and white.
There are positives and negatives with most legit sites. Which is why here at SurveySatrap I try to give you both side of the story, so you can have all the information you need to make a conscious decision on whether or not to join a particular survey panel.
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Survey Spot: the Company
Survey Spot was launched in 2000 by Survey Sampling International, aka SSI, as its first online research panel.
SSI, a Shelton, Connecticut based firm was founded in 1977 by Tom Danbury and Beverly Weimanand. Company’s current President and CEO is Chris Fanning.
Although the parent company provides market research expertise to customers around the world, it has made this survey panel available only in America.
SSI is a member of many marketing research associations worldwide, from ESOMAR (European Society of Marketing and Research), an internatinal research group, ARF (The Advertising Research Foundation) and CASRO (The Council of American Survey Research Organizations) in the US, to MRS (The Marketing Research Society) in the UK, to Japan Marketing Research Association (JMRA) and more.
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As always, I looked at company’s profile on the Better Business Bureau’s site. The panel is listed under the parent company, Survey Sampling International. And although SSI is not a BBB Accredited business, it does get an A+ rating on a scale of A+ to F.
In total the company has 209 “Product / Service” complaints, of which all are resolved.
While seeing the resolved status on all complaints is a good sign of a company caring about its customers, the number of complaints is a bit too much for me. But, I have to keep in mind that not all products / service related complaints are actually coming from panelists. Some of those could be coming from their clients (i.e. companies and businesses who the firm conducts research for). And that is normal with any business regardless of the industry.
And the fact that the BBB rates them A+ shows that the company is legit and there is no Survey Spot scam going on here.
Becoming a Panelist
Becoming a member of Survey Spot doesn’t entail any charges as it is with all legit paid survey sites such as SurveySavvy.
Joining is as easy as filling out a quick form detailing your email address, name and a few other info that is required by all survey panels.
Once you register and become a member, you can login and enter your secured dashboard area. There you can see a list of available surveys, access your reward points, redeem your earnings etc.
They will also email you invitations to surveys. The survey invitations talk prominently about the survey topics and the rewards behind them.
The site also carries a few surveys that have cash incentives. There are also many others that offer one instant win game play as well as free entries into sweepstakes carrying top prizes of $25,000.
Most of the surveys on the site will get you 50 points upon completion. The threshold for cashing out is 1,000. Although there are some surveys on Survey Spot that carry 1,000 points, they are more of an exception rather than the rule.
The site rewards all members for their efforts in completing surveys. Survey Spot claims they also give out cash rewards for a few surveys. However, the standard mode of rewarding seems is an entry into the sweepstakes the site conducts.
As for sweepstakes prizes, weekly winners stand to pocket $250 while quarterly winners can take home a cool $25,000. Members can also choose to play the instant win game after completing a survey. This gives you a chance of winning something instantly, which is most often cash.
If in the event of you earning a cash reward, be prepared to wait at least 4-6 weeks for the money to reflect in your account.
The company does that to ensure no participant gets credited before the survey in question gets completed and the until the minimum participant count has been met.
You can join Survey Spot for free. You are also free to take surveys at your convenience. The site doesn’t require you to take a minimum amount of surveys for earning your rewards.
As for the duration of surveys, most of them can be completed in 5-20 minutes.
Cash Out Methods
- PayPal Payment
This is my preferred mode of cashing out and it’s good to see this option available with Survey Spot. You can redeem your collected points (at least 1,000) for an amount of $10 to your PayPal account. This payment method is also instant.
- WebShop Rewards
This is your option if you don’t want to be paid cash and are open to gift certificates instead. The site allows you to redeem your points (again, 1,000 minimum) in exchange for certificates from big online stores like Dell, Lowe’s, Gap and many others. This gift certificate is in the form of a code which is sent within 48 hours to your inbox. These codes can then be used for shopping online. Some of the codes can also be printed and used in physical stores.
- Amazon.com Gift Cards
You can also redeem your accumulated points (1,000 minimum) for an Amazon gift card. You’ll get a $10 Amazon gift card for every 1000 points redeemed.
- iTunes Gift Card
This is my least preferred option to cash out that the site offers. Again, 1,000 points will help you get an iTunes gift card worth $10. You can use this gift card to buy different stuff from the iTunes store like music, TV shows, movies, books, games and so on. You can also use the gift card to shop in the App Store, Mac App Store and iBookstore.
Other Reviews of the Site
I also did some reading on various forums and review sites to find out what other people had to say about SS. There were lots of conflicting reports, but the bulk of the reviews can be summarized with the following pointers:
- Lots of Surveys
Survey Spot, as a known provider of market research services, works with many different businesses and companies all the time. This is good for members like you and me in the sense that the company has a huge database of surveys to choose from. This range of surveys helps you avoid surveys that you don’t qualify for. The end result is a huge saving of time and effort as you spend time in a better manner by answering surveys that actually pay you. Because of this, I found that I breached the 1,000 points mark rather quickly and within no time, started work on the next level of surveys.
- Nice Selection of Rewards
The rewards offered by this panel are just as diverse in range as the surveys put up by the company. You can either gain entry into a prize draw or even get cash prizes. The site also has in place a virtual store where you can redeem your accumulated reward points for various stuff from the stables of (but not restricted to) Amazon, Foot Locker and Barnes & Nobel. They also have a system known as “Spot Challenges” that allows members to earn additional drawing entries.
- Smooth and Quick Payouts (Certainly with PayPal)
When I did wish to get paid, the site was very prompt with my request and assured me of a quick and safe payout. This was heartening and what further confirmed my belief was the quick payout via PayPal, which also happens to be my preferred option. Certainly, you can choose from the other options as well.
- Responsive and Quick Support
During my time with Survey Spot, there were a couple of occasions when I wasn’t rewarded with points after completing surveys. However, contacting the customer service ironed out those wrinkles immediately. Now, if you are new to the world of online paid survey sites then let me tell you that a good customer service makes a whole lot of difference.
- Issues with Certain Browsers
The site does suffer from some error screen issues at a survey’s completion, which is attributed to the site’s compatibility issues with the older versions of some of the popular web browsers out there. If you are faced with such issues, first make sure to update your browser and if the problem continues to persist, contact the customer service.
- Wrongful (Occasional) Account Suspension Issues
Although I didn’t experience any such problems, there have been a few instances whereby some users’ accounts were suspended in the absence of any sound reasons.
- Problem with Reward Points
A few members of the site had complained of unauthorized claims with regards to the reward points accumulated by them. However, the entire issue was handled rather smoothly by the customer service folks of the site.
- No Room for International Panelists
The site imposes some restrictions on members regarding their geographical location and age. Firstly, you have to have completed 18 years of age to join the site. Secondly, you cannot be a panelist if you live anywhere apart from Canada, UK and USA. This is in contrast to Survey Savvy, which allows international panelists to join in.
Is Joining Survey Spot Worth Your Time?
The best judge of that decision is you. All the information to help you make that decision has been laid out here including my own personal take on what is good and bad about the company.
However, if you are among those that prefer the thrill of entering into prize draws or aiming for the grand prize, then join Survey Spot, you will like it!
That said, the site is also quite fair towards those intending to earn cash rewards. And the fact that SS pays a lot more than competing sites only makes it sweeter. This higher payout helps you take home more for every survey completed.
Taking into account all the positive as well as negative experiences I’ve had with the site, I would assign Survey Spot an average rating compared to other paid survey sites.
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