MindField Online is the latest addition to my series of reviews on the online survey panels.
And I certainly think that my years of experience being a member of this particular survey panel have added weight to this review.
I sincerely hope that the information you can learn here is useful enough for you to evaluate if this MindField is the survey panel you should join.
MindField is a wholly owned subsidiary of McMillion Research, LLC, itself a prominent US-based company specializing in the data collection business.
The parent and subsidiary companies make an impressive pair in the market research field, with both of them being registered members of some of US most established and reputable marketing organizations, including the massive CASRO.org and American Marketing Association.
McMillion Research boasts of a track record of 30 plus years in the market research business. Its particular strength lies in its quality data collection services and it has been servicing major international brands for years.
It has certainly come a long way since they first got started, when they focused on primarily door-to-door surveys.
They got their first major break in the 1980s when a switch in focus brought them to data collection and focus group services.
From a modest outfit based in West Virginia, the company quickly expanded its business into the surrounding states, as more and more data collection and focus group facilities were built.
It was just a matter of time for McMillion Research to establish itself as a major player in America data collection business.
Soon accolades followed and the icing of the cake came when the company was announced as one of the biggest producing consumer centers in the US.
With the emergence and proliferation of the Internet, McMillion Research started to venture into the online panel market in 2000, the same time that it declared that it was going to do online quality data collection business.
Better Business Bureau’s Rating
If you look over at the Better Business Bureau website, you will find that both are registered with the business rating agency, and impressively both managed to score an A+ rating from this no nonsense agency.
No one can go above A+, so that score is pretty symbolic in how the BBB endorses its business.
Registration Process & Membership
There is no sign-up fee here!
The clearest indication that the company is not out to make money from members is that it never sends out any sort of solicitation e-mails on any product or service.
Membership registration is simple enough and you can get done in just a matter of minutes.
At the end of the registration on the site, your new account will be created.
To formalize the whole sign-up process, you will be sent e-mail just so you can activate your account. Just click the link embedded in the e-mail and you will become the latest registered member.
You will then be asked to fill out a member profile page.
You may not feel obliged to fill this out since they don’t pay you for it. But my advice is that you stay compliant to this requirement (even though it is not mandatory), as the profile you are going to create will make their jobs easier as they attempt to find qualified candidates for the various survey opportunities.
If you prove to be a good match, then invitation e-mails will be extended to you. As more opportunities are made available to you, you will have better chance to make more money.
Because the invitations to participate in surveys are only sent out through e-mails, it is advisable that you check your inbox from time to time, so as not to miss out on any survey opportunity.
Some e-mail providers impose pretty tight control on spams. If that being the case, you will have to do some settings on your e-mails so that those coming out from firstname.lastname@example.org would not end up in your junk box.
Usually the invitation e-mails would spell out clearly what would be the desired qualification criteria, as well as the reward associated to the related surveys.
Let’s say that your profile matches that requirement and you are allowed to get to the survey. Assuming again you can complete the survey on time, the promised incentive would go into your account.
It sounds all good except that you would only get to see the incentive in your account only two weeks later (just to reinforce this point, the timeframe mentioned is not right from the moment you complete the survey, but on factors that I shall describe in the later part of this review).
Even for survey invitees, the subsequent screening criteria are still going to be tight.
In view of this, you can expect to get disqualified at one point or another. But the good thing is that every rejection from the company will be compensated with an entry into some sort of sweepstakes that are conducted monthly and a top prize that could be valued at $500 in cash or prizes.
Personally, I’d probably have five to six invitation e-mails come through my inbox every month.
My track record here is really nothing to shout about, as I only make a grand total of $148 from all the time I am with this particular survey panel, and I have been a member from 2006.
But I guess I must hold up my hand to say that my activity was not exactly that intensive throughout the last few years.
MindField employs a cash reward system.
This certainly represents a clear departure from what other online survey panels like Global Test Market do.
Indeed, most play around with what is called a points-based system as a form of compensation to members.
To me, the cash system is always clean and neat.
You know exactly what you will earn, and that exact dollar value will pop up in your account when you complete the survey on time.
MindField also makes it a habit to inform members on the duration it takes to complete a particular survey, typically between 5 and 20 minutes.
Subject to how long or how short a survey is, the payout rate will vary.
I see this as a good feature of the site.
There will be times when you are going to be invited to be part of focus group.
When such opportunities arise, grab it!
This is one excellent way to earn more money, as participation in focus group could possibly earn you a cool $100.
Minimum Required for Cashing Out
The cash out threshold is set at just five dollars.
Every time you accumulate at least five dollars in your account, a system-generated link would appear just next to the available balance, as you access the “Member Summary”.
This is a reminder to you that you are able to cash out if you so wish.
The site claims that it will start preparing the check the moment you like to cash out, but the check will then lay idle until it is sent to the check writing service in California every Monday.
Normally, you can expect the check to come your way only after four to six weeks, but sometimes you do get it earlier, when you are lucky enough.
You can also opt for PayPal payment.
Again, the company will process that request on the same day, but actual credit into PayPal takes place only every Monday. Naturally, you know PayPal will take another five to eight business days to credit that money into your bank account.
Other Reviews of MindField from Around the Web
- Most past and present members are unhappy with the rate they make surveys available.
On average, do not expect to have over a handful of invitation e-mails come to you every month, and most payout rates are not exciting to see this, with mostly falls into the $1-$3 bracket.
You can certainly hold out your hope of landing a real lucrative survey, but don’t count on it.
- Another grievance that is commonly expressed is the very stringent qualifying criteria.
True enough, there is some form of skill accreditation program but some disgruntled members feel that it is a long and tedious exercise.
But all in all, majority feedback that the company really does pay out if you hold your end of the bargain by completing surveys as promised.
1. Visit the Real Site
You have to stay vigilant as you navigate yourself on the Web. If you try to access MindField website minus the starting “www.”, you could have been inadvertently being directed to a “Paidsurveys.me”, or some phoney website that tempts you to “update your flash”.
I can’t say this often enough. When anonymous or suspicious websites trying to induce you to do something, the objective is invariably trying to plant some sort of malicious software into your PC.
So the next time you visit MindField on the Internet, don’t be lazy and avoid the “www.” prefix.
It could be the start of a real messy problem with your computer. If you really like convenience, then click on the link I have embedded at the end of this review.
2. Fake Check (Mystery Shopping) Scam
Even though this is probably among the oldest tricks used by scammers (they used to focus on Pinecone Research), many still fall prey to the fake check scam.
Basically, it revolves around fake studies that scammers claim to have originated from the real legitimate company (in this case, MindField).
It is a good thing that MF pays attention to what is happening in the market and they have set up a page to warn people of such trick:
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.
If you are interested enough to learn how people can pull off fake mystery shopping check scam, you can read from this article.
I don’t want to repeat what is reported over there. But as a reminder, no good legitimate research company would send you a check and subsequently ask you to transfer money to someone, all in the name of research.
My Final Take
At the end of the day, MindField is fully legitimate and correspondingly your risk exposure here is about zero.
But if you are in this survey market to look for respectable income, then very likely you will not find it here.