Internet survey companies are a dime a dozen. Some are “fake” in that they serve only as a front for collecting valid e-mails. Others are valid data collection agencies, but without any true benefit to those surveyed. Finally, there are some that provide benefits to both their customers – the companies seeking information – and also to their members – those contacted to complete a given survey.
Let’s examine one known once as “Greenfield Online” and most recently as “Toluna.com.” I’ve been a member of this company’s survey panel for five years now and it has shifted from primarily a predator to a much fairer “partner” in the survey process.
Depending upon your demographics, Toluna.com is a frequent to an almost stalking presence in your inbox. While some survey invitations are specific to you, a good percentage are odd “fishing expeditions” where you are asked to check boxes which apply to you, your family or your life. Toluna.com uses these types of surveys perhaps because they seem to have frequent technical difficulties linking your completed “profile survey” information to your account.
Toluna.com requires a hefty 60,000 points to exchange for $20 via a check or PayPal. Survey reward points vary widely, averaging from 1,200 to perhaps 7,500. However, the website itself allows members to gain “freebie” points by answering member polls or questions. Daily participation in this activity can add around 150 per day to your account for mere moments of activity.
Toluna.com does penalize members for screening out of surveys – you won’t be awarded the entire, or even part of the study point reward. You are, however, supposedly entered into a lottery chance
As with the vast majority of survey companies, you are responsible for signing into your account on their webpage to complete the “freebie” point questions and to request your payment. Although they you’re your email address to offer your surveys, they’ll hardly inform you that you have cash you can claim. After 5 years, I can only approximate what I’ve made as a participant due to the company change. I do know that I perhaps “earned” $2 to $3 total in the years that the company was “Greenfield Online.” Now that the name is changed to Toluna.com, I believe I’ve earned probably $60 over the last ten or so months.
Thus, Toluna.com is not a scam. With the recent company reorganization, they have begun to reward members a bit more fairly, but not completely in line with the number of survey invitations they send to you, as well as the time required to complete the often-lengthy questionnaires.
It’s your choice.