Let’s imagine this scenario: you’re looking for an opportunity to make a few extra bucks from the comfort of your home. You land on a website called ProOpinion, and it features an image of Neil Patel in the “Latest Articles” section on their homepage. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with marketing, Neil Patel is a famous marketer, growth hacker and NY Times Best Selling Author.) As you scroll down, you see a boastful caption that their research was featured on Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Huffington Post. What would you think?
The next logical step would be to click on the “Who Are We” tab. It says that they feature “exclusive research performed by the 15,000+ on the ProOpinion panel offering the tools, resources, and information necessary to grow as a business professional.” Plus, they feature top bloggers, industry leaders and influencers on their blog. Sounds fine and true so far. Then, the most pertinent information – you can share your business expertise in online surveys, in exchange for Amazon and App Store/iTunes gift cards, as well as PayPal cash. Sounds even better!
Let’s see if the site is as good as it promises to be. But first, we’ll need some basic insight about the company, so that we can decide if it’s legitimate or scam.
At the bottom of their website, you will see that ProOpinion is a subsidiary of the company Dynata LLC, formerly known as Survey Sampling International. It’s a comprehensive market research company based in Shelton, Connecticut, with over four decades of experience. They seem to have tons of subsidiaries such as ProOpinion – I recall trying out Opinion Outpost. A single look at the company’s file on Better Business Bureau will tell you that they aren’t accredited and have an F rating. This terrible rating is a consequence of the fact that they have failed to respond to 52 complaints. Pretty bad picture for a company that boasts of being an industry leader.
However, that still doesn’t mean that they are scam. It just means they aren’t very responsive to their users’ complaints and issues.
How Does It Work?
It’s free and easy to sign up. Which is, basically, the main sign that they are legit, since most scammers will usually charge you for even signing up. That being said, if you aren’t a US citizen, don’t even try – they are currently only accepting applicants from the US.
Upon filling out your basic contact information and validating your account from the email they sent you, you will get access to the welcome survey. However, a weird thing happened to me. As soon as I tried to enter this survey, I automatically bounced off and was presented with another screener survey. The questions are pretty conventional: to mark the types of magazines I read online or in print, whether I own different gadgets and which ones, whether I have health issues. If you’ve ever done any online surveys at all, you gotta be familiar with the situation. First, they have you answer multiple questions to qualify for a survey. Then, when you’re in the middle of it, you get the annoying notification that you aren’t eligible after all. It’s unfortunately very common, which doesn’t make it any less irritating.
However, my experience shouldn’t discourage you automatically. It all depends on your demography profile and what their clients are currently looking for. One of the surveys I entered was about pregnancy. Since I am not a woman, it’s only logical that I would get screened out. Another survey was about automotive, and I don’t drive or even own a car. It all varies from case to case.
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I’ll start with the good news. They really do offer an opportunity to cash out via PayPal, which is great. The cashout threshold is considerably high though. You need to have 1,000 points on your account (equivalent to $10) in order to cash out.
And that is pretty high, considering that most surveys will pay up to 100 points ($1) – that is, if you don’t get kicked out in the middle. But here’s another fact. There are available surveys ALL the time. Whenever you log into your account, they will have something in store for you. Those of you who happen to belong to the right demographic category will probably have more luck than I did.
- You can convert your points to cash or other attractive rewards. Amazon or App Store and iTunes gift cards are pretty nice alternatives to cash. There’s also an option to donate your earnings to American Red Cross, in case you prefer charity.
- Surveys are available all the time. There are survey panels that only offer a few surveys per year. Compared to that, this is really an ocean of earning opportunity – at least in theory.
- Most surveys are very short. Completing a survey will take you up to 15 minutes on average. Of course, the longer a survey is, the more it will pay. But there is a flip side to it as well. The longer a survey is, the more you will get angry if disqualified when you’re half way through.
- You will likely waste tons of time before you actually manage to complete a survey. And the fault is not with you. Screener surveys are one thing, and I can totally understand if my background isn’t the perfect match. But why do they let me pass the screener and then disqualify me from the actual survey? That’s on the verge of scammy behavior, and I definitely don’t appreciate it. As I know many of you won’t.
- They don’t pay well. Let’s assume you get a survey that pays 75 points in 18 minutes. That’s less than a dollar earned in a third of an hour, or a wee bit over $2.25 per hour. It won’t make you rich, and that’s fine – we’re used to that kind of money on average survey platforms. The main problem is, you don’t stand much chance to earn that either, considering the eligibility issue mentioned above.
- The cashout threshold is too high. With the above math in mind, it will take you quite a long time to hit the threshold.
- They aren’t very responsive to users’ complaints. I read some experiences where users got their accounts suspended the moment they tried to cash out. And the company didn’t answer their complaints, or even tell them what rules or terms they violated, if any. That is rude and unprofessional, to say the least.
Final Verdict – Is It Worth Your Time?
I will be completely honest: I don’t think this panel is worth your time. Even though the company is legit and won’t sell your information to third parties, it still doesn’t mean you should give it a try. Too many users are dissatisfied and/or angry with their broken surveys, poor screeners, and failure to respond to complaints.
There are many survey sites that make for a decent side hassle, but this definitely isn’t one of them.