online survey message on a white smartphone

Once known as PCH Online Surveys, now known as PCH only (which is an abbreviation for Publishers Clearing House), this survey panel looks pretty confusing at first glance. When you look them up on Google, you will find different URL suggestions – the most notable is PCHOnlineSurveys.com, which currently doesn’t seem to work and will redirect you to plain and simple PCH.com. And when you visit that page, there’s literally nothing but a huge, scammy looking and sounding banner inviting you to win five thousand dollars a week for life. Is it a sweepstakes entry? Seems so! But why sweepstakes when you’re here for surveys? There’s no mention of surveys on this site.

In this review, I will try to decode this issue. What exactly does this company does? Is it a company at all or just another information hunter? Finally, should you feel comfortable about becoming part of it, and what do you stand to gain? Let’s see for ourselves.

Who Are These Guys?

If the acronym PCH doesn’t ring a bell, Publishers Clearing House might. They have been around ever since 1953, and are tied to direct marketing from the beginning. The fact is, they are famous – heck, they even have a Wikipedia page! Not that it’s packed full of very flattering info, mind you.

In fact, the company had serious legal issues during the 1990s, losing millions of dollars to lawsuits settlements across the US. What did they do wrong? Nothing much – they “just” allegedly tricked their customers into believing that they were very likely (not to say: guaranteed) to win various sweepstakes. Especially if they purchased multiple products.

Now, take a look at that banner again.

PCHonlinesurveys homepage preview

So, is this lucrative sum of $5,000 every week, every month of your life really guaranteed? Or is it just a perpetuation of that scammy behavior that had already cost them so much?

Yep. This company might have gained publicity. But contrary to the popular saying, not all publicity is good publicity. And not even their special prize award appearances on mega popular TV shows such as The Price Is Right and Family Feud can’t make that absolutely right.

However, we won’t pass judgments before we check out everything directly.

How Does It Work?

If you’re here for surveys (which I assume you are), get ready for a bit of a disappointment. Like I said, the site looks completely empty. Apart from that unfortunate banner that reminds me of the 1990s, there is only a single button – and it’s for signing in. What if you don’t have an account already?

Well, there is a solution to that, but it’s not that obvious. Hit “Sign In” and you will find an option to register for a new account there.

PCH sign in page preview

Once you fill out your basic info, the situation will change. No empty screen anymore – you will now see a lottery-like dashboard with an option to enter those dreaded sweepstakes.

pch client page preview

And it’s not very different from lottery. Apart from sweepstakes with winners announced on NBC, you will also notice daily slots tournaments and daily games tournaments, with top scorers winning $100 in cash.

Yes, It’s Sweepstakes Alright

Seeing that I couldn’t find any surveys anywhere, I decided to take my chances and test the sweepstakes so that I could report the results to you. As I clicked to enter the sweepstakes, I was redirected to one of their subdomains, spectrum.pch.com. The promise that “the winner is guaranteed to be announced” on the last day of the following August was still there (and I am writing this article in July). Then, I clicked on Official Rules and got to see the entry deadline (up to three days before the “guaranteed” announcement) and other details.

In this particular case, the winner would get $5,000 a week for life, with a minimum of $1,000,000 guaranteed. Also, the entries are free. Therefore, you don’t have to buy anything to get a chance to win this handsome amount of cash. Plus, they made sure to underline that buying anything won’t improve your chances. (Obviously, those legal actions did have an effect.)

If you’re wondering how likely you are to win, they have estimated anyone’s chances of winning. Mine were one in six billion for $5,000 a week for life, and one in 3,1 billion for one million bucks. That’s why I kinda dislike sweepstakes. Even when there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them, I know I don’t stand a chance to win.

Anyhow, I hit the “Continue” button, only to be presented with yet another banner. Nothing to populate, nothing to tick or untick except for the subscription button that would probably get me tons of emails.

When I finally went through the process, there I was in my dashboard again, with a single difference. I had 2,000 tokens now.

pch total number of tokens for exchange

Gift Cards Drawings

And on it goes with the lucky winners. You can collect these tokens and exchange them for chances to win certain gift cards or merchandize. Here are but a few examples that I’ve seen:

  • $100 Home Depot Gift Card (enter with 900 tokens)
  • Apple Watch Series 2 (enter with 2,500 tokens)
  • $250 Target Gift Card (enter with 1,500 tokens)
  • Cash toward a mini fridge (enter with 1,500 tokens)
  • $50 McDonald’s Gift Card (enter with 500 tokens)

And so on. Of course, these drawings are always timed, so you need to check your dashboard frequently if you want to choose. And that’s about everything you can do on PCH.

Final Thoughts – If You Want Surveys, Find Them Elsewhere

As you can see, the main problem for survey takers here is that PCH currently doesn’t even offer surveys to their users. They used to do it, and there was a website, but now it’s dead. And there’s no info when or if they will revive it at all.

Now, if you happen to be a fan of sweepstakes, be my guest. From what I’ve seen, I would say that this is a legitimate website. Even if the banners smack of the 1990s aesthetics. But they’ve been through thick and thin of American legislation. Just make sure not to buy anything, and take those “guaranteed” keywords with a grain of salt, and you should be fine. If you decide to go down that road, fingers crossed!