What is Valued Opinions?
Valued Opinions is a site that pays panelists to participate in surveys, market diaries, and product tests. The goal is to gather marketing information for their clients.
This information is used to improve current products and help develop new ones to better give consumers what they want.
They are one of the better-known names in the paid survey taking world. Founded in 2004, their parent company, Research Now has been around since 2000.
Though Research Now was purchased by E-Rewards in 2009, their Better Business Bureau Profile is still listed at Research Now.
This is important to know, because the BBB ratings get a little sketchy here. Research Now is not accredited by the BBB, and neither is Valued Opinions.
While Valued Opinions has a BBB grade of an F, Research Now has a B-.
There were some complaints against Valued Opinions in the first half of 2017 related to panelists having their accounts frozen or shut off and account balances being lost.
If you only look at the account for Valued Opinions, it looks like there are only 3 complaints. All of them occurred during this time.
There are many more on the Research Now account, and most if not all of them are related to Valued Opinions. A large majority of these complaints also occurred during this time period.
The BBB addressed the issue with Research Now by posting a notice on their profile as follows:
On July 20, 2017, BBB notified Research Now Group of its concerns prompted by patterns in complaints alleging the business closed, deactivated, froze, suspended, locked-out, or terminated the consumers’ e-Rewards accounts without warning, notice, or cause, making it impossible for consumers to redeem their e-Reward currency/opinion points. While some complaintants who were able to redeem their points alleged the business failed to deliver the promised compensation. Many complaints also alleged that Research Now Group failed to respond to customer calls and emails.
BBB requested the firm’s voluntary cooperation in eliminating the identified patterns.
On July 25, 2017, BBB received a response from Research Now Group advising BBB that the firm had implemented some changes in policy to address the underlying cause of these types of complaints.”
It is important to note that I only see two complaints after the July 25, 2017 date mentioned, one on each account, so it appears that there has been some resolution to this problem.
Judging from the timing of the complaints all coming in within relatively the same time, it does seem that there was some internal issue that needed to be addressed, and it appears, based on the lack of complaints after, that it was.
This all looks bad, but don’t discredit them altogether yet.
They seem to have responded and worked to resolve complaints, and until that point, Valued Opinions had a decent reputation in the survey world.
The sign-up process is standard for the industry. They ask for your name and email address, and then you start fleshing out your profile with demographic information.
The profile can take a while to work through. You do not have to complete it before you start taking surveys, but you do earn badges for completing certain percentages.
The more of your profile you fill out, the more likely you are to get surveys that you qualify to complete, which is how you earn money, so the end goal should be to finish it.
It just doesn’t have to be right away or all at once.
They do not ask for credit card information or payment.
Valued Opinions makes it clear that the privacy of their members is of the utmost importance. Their commitment to fair data use is certified independently by TRUSTe.
Also, they are members of The Market Research Society (MRS).
As survey sites go, this one seems to be pretty safe as far as keeping your information private.
Surveys are sent to your email and posted on your dashboard.
They are typically between 15 and 20 minutes long and pay from $1 to $5 in general.
There are some surveys that pay less or more, but you will know before you start how much they will pay as well as an estimate of the time they will take.
Other Ways to Participate
There are also opportunities to participate in market research diaries and product testing.
Market research diaries are different from surveys as they last longer. Participants are asked to log on for a certain time period and answer various questions.
These may be questions about items currently in their cabinet, what they have purchased, or what they had for dinner. It depends on the project.
Since these last longer, they often are worth more money.
Product testing involves being sent a product that you try for a short time. After trying the product, the participant must answer questions about it to receive credit.
A lot of time you will see complaints about these types of sites related to product testing and not receiving credit it.
While these complaints are sometimes warranted, often the member just did not follow through and complete the survey as required.
This is not a point based system, unlike what most other survey sites have begun doing. Your account is credited with cash.
Don’t be confused, however. You will not actually get cash.
When you reach a balance of $10, you can use it in to purchase gift cards or airline miles.
There are many gift card options available. They range from merchant cards to Visa gift cards, and those are almost as good as cash as they can be spent anywhere Visa is accepted.
If you chose the e-gift card option, you should have it within 24 hours, but be certain to keep an eye on your email and spam folders.
If you choose a physical gift card, you may have to wait for up to a month to receive it.
You can also trade in your balance for airline miles.
Valued Opinions has a badge system that it uses to encourage panelists to remain active and loyal. It is a recognition of your hard work and loyalty to the company.
The first level is Bronze, and from their, you can move up to silver, gold, platinum, and diamond.
You move up through the levels by continuing to fill out your profile and complete surveys. For the bronze level, all you have to do is sign up and activate your account.
To move up to silver, you must have completed 25% of your profile, have taken one survey in the past week, and have completed your first survey.
Gold members have completed 50% of their profile, completed their 10th survey, and taken surveys in 2 consecutive weeks.
To earn platinum, members must complete 75% of their profile, take surveys in 3 consecutive weeks, and finish their 25th survey.
Diamond panelists have to be completed 100% of their profile, take a survey for 4 consecutive weeks, and complete their 50th survey.
You can earn badges in one area and not others.
For example, once your profile is 100% complete, you will have a Diamond profile badge, but until you take a survey for 4 consecutive weeks and complete your 50th survey, you would not be a full Diamond member.
While the badges show how consistent and dedicated you are, there is no real benefit that is mentioned on their website.
It is basically just recognition from Valued Opinions for being active on and loyal to their site.
Is Valued Opinions Legit or a Scam?
While there seems to have been a rough patch in the first half of 2017, they are definitely legit. They do not ask for money, and people have received rewards they have claimed.
Their response to the notice from the Better Business Bureau and the decrease in complaints after the fact seems to lend credence to the idea they are not a scam.
They do not show any of the red flags that are common to scam sites.
Have you been using Valued Opinions for a while?
We would love to know your experience.
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