The name, Valued Opinions, would probably bring hallow to some part time online survey takers, and there is a perfectly legitimate reason behind this.
Being a fairly new entrant to this crowded online survey market, it is no surprise that Valued Opinions still have yet to register with these folks, especially new players still fresh on the entire survey panel industry.
Consistent with other new entrants to the business, Valued Opinions has also been challenged over its legitimacy, as questions raised if this is yet other scam.
For my review on Valued Opinions review, I will attempt to leave no stone unturned in my effort to reveal what this company is all about and I will address the scam issue head on.
Hope you have an informative and entertaining read here.
Valued Opinions is the brainchild of ResearchNow.
The London-based parent company was originally founded by Chris Havemann and Andrew Cooper in 2000, but today this well-known research firm belongs to e-Rewards, Inc. (co-founded in 1999 by Hal Brierley, a loyalty marketing expert, and Mort Meyerson, the former president of Electronic Data Systems Corp. and Perot Systems Corp.), after an acquisition exercise in December of 2009.
As the name implies, e-Rewards, Inc is no stranger in the internet play.
It is the same company that owns e-Miles, LLC, an interactive advertising channel that pays people for watching ads online (the users’ feedback will be consolidated for research purposes) and Peanut Labs, Inc. a technology and social monetization company.
The first visit to VO was impressive.
To start off, it boasts of a healthy membership, with some 600,000 US based residents signed up as members, and last month alone, there are more than 13,000 who signed up!
Internationally, Value Opinions says that it has some 6 million panelists, spanning across 37 countries!
While popularity is no certain hallmark of quality (based on popularity alone, you would imagine Panda Research being ranked as the top player in this game), it is proof that the company has been around for long time and there is less worry about trustworthiness.
And it is no lacking in term of research credibility.
Better Business Bureau’s Rating
The Better Business Bureau also sees it good enough to warrant a D+ rating to the company.
The surveys are made available in over 15 different languages, and the company is active in 20 countries around the world.
The company employs a reward system that pays cash but it can be redeemed for vouchers with every completion of survey. In addition, there are also the quarterly lucky draws, which help to boost members’ income.
Membership and Taking Surveys
Membership enrollment is fuss free and cost free at Valued Opinions.
Go to their home (index) page, and supply some personal information about yourself during the sign up.
The website will send you a link through email to conclude that application process.
But there are some more information waiting from your side.
It is expected of you to further work on your personal info, as they would need that to refine the job matching on their side.
It was tedious but the good thing is that once they got that pinned down, they would send you the right surveys, assuming in an ideal world, so that you would not waste time checking on surveys that don’t suit you.
There could be situations where they think they need more info, especially with regards to “hot topics” surveys.
BTW, they don’t pay you for that!
But it is useful nevertheless as you have a chance to furnish more details about yourself, so that the future surveys invites (hopefully) can work more seamlessly.
If everything goes smooth, you will begin to receive email invites, which declare what surveys are available and the kind of time estimated to complete each survey, typically they don’t last longer than 20 minutes.
For the rewards, expect the average payout to be in the $1-$5 range on average for individual survey. But you stand to make $50 or more if the survey happens to be pretty niche and you qualify for it (though this happens rarely).
The waiting time is less friendly.
It could be a long wait of up to 28 days until the money features in your balance.
The only consolation is that they have an efficient status report, which keep members informed of what they have done and the corresponding (and pending) payouts.
VO’s Rewards System
Everyone at VO has a fair chance to claim an iPod Touch on monthly basis. This is done through sweepstake draws so it is all down to luck.
I dogged further on this sweepstake draw and realized that the published date for the next draw is 10th of March, 2009, which is great as it shows that the company no longer concerns about publishing up-to-date information or that they do away with the draw simply.
It is stated that every job completed has a corresponding cash value attached to it. But that does not mean cash payment, as member would use this cash value to buy gift certificates or merchandise.
Taking out the cash payment option, my next ideal redemption option would have to be the Amazon.com gift cards.
The reason is simple enough…
As I can get these gift cards right after my requests through emails.
That does not mean that I am pleased with VO for not providing that PayPal option.
There is a threshold on cash out and the amount is $20 at least.
Despite my disapproval on the lack of cash out options, I have to admit that they really have a strong partnership program to support cash out.
Some notable names include Macy’s, Visa, Amazon, and Blockbuster.com.
In fact, the list does not end with what I just described. But by including these prominent players above, the website certainly have almost all bases covered.
There is hardly a thing I can’t imagine buying from these brands above.
And the good thing about digital gift certificates is that they pop up in your email almost as quickly as you made these conversions.
As part of this review exercise, I also took time to check out pending rewards that I was entitled to.
Just the other day, I found a new option for point redemption. The surprise I got is that I can now exchange my $15 balance for a $50 Restaurant.com eCard!
I like Restaurant.com gift cards because these are often values for money.
Almost without fail, I can get these gift cards for a fraction of money they represent (not sure if this is due to programming glitch or marketing oversight, I always have this covered).
There is only one catch…
your bill should be at some minimum value before you are able to use that gift card at any participating restaurant (you have to give restaurants.com due credits, as all of the restaurants I have been to are all part of this program.
So, the message is you can take advantage of the gift card anywhere you go).
The bottom line is that I may have to spend $10 of my own money to take advantage pf a $50 restaurant gift card. But what is $10 when you can use the $50 card.
Thanks to VO, I get to eat out more often and spending less at the same time.
I apologize for this distraction. But that shows my appreciation of VO’s reward program.
Now, we switch to the review again.
What Others Said About Valued Opinions
In general, this site compares well with Ipsos I-Say, one of the all-time darling of panelists in general.
There seems to be lots of good things to talk about it with the strongest accolades attributed to it fantastic programs.
I try to summarize what the Internet is thinking about this company below:
- People are generally pleased, but the strongest objection about this company is the lack of enough surveys (most agreed that they could do at least one survey a week).
- Some complained that Valued Opinions takes too much time before crediting the compensation into members’ accounts, but invariably, most agreed that Value Opinions honors its commitment and all works are paid accordingly.
- The US folks love it because they can access the site without problem anytime anywhere. For residents in Canada, the UK, New Zealand and Australia, there is still a way to go around by accessing the respective sister sites of VO. But good luck to you if you happen to be outside of these 5 countries. You just have to look else where for survey work.
- Some would like the amazon vouchers to be ever present at this site. I experienced this myself. My balance was more than enough to get an Amazon gift certificate, but they said they run out of stock (whatever that means). In the end, I had to wait 2 days to get my gift certificate, and correspondingly my merchandize. It did little to my inclination to shop at Amazon but surely this is something that can be improved on immediately.
- Most also held the view that the payment system is outstanding. They indicated that it is easier to make money here than anywhere else. On the specific surveys, most rate them as enjoyable work and it took short time to complete.
- In general, the gift certificates are presented to them almost as soon as they asked for it.
- The site also gets a big thumb up in term of work ethic and professionalism. More importantly, most feel that they are treated well here. And the customer support was simply outstanding.
Is Valued Opinions Safe?
Being a seasoned participant of the various survey panels (that is just my nature of the job), I must say that this panel is one of a kind.
I love the enthusiasm projected by the staff, and I admire the way the program runs.
I would not hesitate to recommend Value Opinions to anyone who is looking for Internet work to compliment their income.
Of course, the prompt payment and the rich options in payment make it even more enticing for anyone looking to the online survey panels for work.