When you join a survey site, you do so with the understanding that you will be compensated for your time. Whether you’re taking surveys for cash paid by PayPal, gift cards, or other rewards, you are agreeing to trade your opinions for an incentive. At some point you may encounter a hurdle when trying to collect these incentives, but there are things you can do to make sure you get your hard-earned rewards.
Note your confirmations
After completing surveys or requesting a rewards redemption, there are two kinds of confirmations you can receive. At the end of academic studies for instance, there is often a debriefing page. The requester puts their contact information there which is helpful if you need to get in touch with them to confirm when you will receive your reward.
More commonly, another confirmation method is the email you receive when you make a redemption for a reward from an online survey panel. The email should generate the day you made your reward request, and you can then cross-reference this with processing times listed on the survey website.
If, when you make a rewards request, you don’t get a confirmation email, make sure you note this date on your calendar by writing it down, taking a screenshot, or better yet, use the free SurveyPolice Survey Tracker Tool.
Check your spam and log on
If you requested a digital reward (such as an e-gift card), make sure it didn’t end up in your email spam folder, and make sure you go through your emails slowly; rewards are not always issued by the survey website themselves, and often go through third party rewards processors such as Perks.com, who will appear as the sender. Ensure you’re not just skipping over your incentives which are in fact, sitting in your inbox!
If you requested a Paypal payment, log in directly into your account; checking your email for confirmation email from PayPal is less effective than just checking your PayPal account itself for a payment.
Get your mail
If your reward was sent via snail mail, make sure you’ve given the postal service a generous amount of time to get it to you. Physical rewards such as plastic gift cards, or checks have longer processing times associated with them compared to digital rewards. Make sure you wait a few weeks before expecting to see these.
Retrace Your Steps
If your incentive can’t be located, retrace your steps. Go back to the survey website and check your account. Look for the following things:
- Is your redemption request listed?
- Were you properly credited for all the surveys you’ve completed?
- Did you meet the requirements to receive your points?
If you answered “No” to point 1, then the solution is to simply re-submit the request and make sure it goes through properly. With point 2, contact the survey site and inquire about any missing points or cash balances. If you’re unsure about point 3, review any site requirements you may have missed, and again contact the survey site for clarification; sometimes the issue can be as simple as a technical glitch.
Stop taking surveys
If you’re communicating back and forth with a survey site about a missing reward, put your survey taking with them on pause; if in the end, you are unable to collect your reward, don’t meanwhile risk your continued support for them by answering their surveys.
Last resort options
If you can’t collect your rewards for completing surveys, then it might be time to consider more serious action. Emailing the support department of the company is naturally the first step, but if your inquiries go unanswered, or you’re provided with unsatisfactory replies, it’s time to escalate things.
Tell the survey panel that you will leave a negative review of their panel on SurveyPolice and other review sites if you don’t receive your reward in a timely manner. Even mentioning this one point can be effective in getting action.
If the site is owned by a company who’s a member of the Better Business Bureau, tell them that you will file an official complaint; no company wants to see an ‘F’ rating on their BBB listing.
If the options above fail, more aggressive tactics include obtaining the survey site’s corporate phone number and speaking directly with someone at the company about your issue. Although your phone call is unlikely to be positively received, if you are courteous and keep your cool, you will have better luck at a resolution versus being hostile and angry.
Similarly, if you use LinkedIn, you might be able to find and get in touch with a panel manager at the company. Do a search on the website for the parent company (you can find out who the parent company of a survey panel is on SurveyPolice by visiting a survey panel’s listing, and looking at the ‘Operated by’ text near the top of the page) who operates the survey panel in question, and again, if you do find a helpful contact, ensure you remain respectful. Remember, the people who you end up speaking to or getting in contact with are unlikely to be behind your problem; these are front line employees who will only help if you treat them respectfully.
Keep track of all the surveys you take. Don’t fully rely on the survey site to keep of track of things for you. Maintain a second record, either using your own spreadsheet, or use our free survey tracker tool.
Simply don’t take surveys for companies that have bad reputations, or, do so knowing that you’re risking running into problems when it’s time to receive your reward. You can find the top user rated survey sites here.
At the end of the day, it’s important that consumers keep bad companies in line; companies who don’t play fairly and don’t compensate their users will eventually run out of survey takers if everyone shares their experiences about who the bad apples really are.