If you are on the lookout for your next side gig, you are probably well aware that there are gazillions of online survey sites that claim they would pay for your opinion on certain products, services, or general topics. Yes, your consumer feedback matters, and they should pay for it. After all, their clients are going to make money thanks to the input from you and thousands of other people.
But is that really how it works? More often than not, those guys are full of promises that they will never fulfill. Even worse, some of them never intended to do it in the first place. There’s hardly an area so full of scam as online survey sites.
However, that is not to say that there aren’t honest ones. Even though they are the minority, some panels are still ready to share in a portion of the profits. It can’t make you rich, but it can definitely count towards some easy pocket money. After all, so many people take surveys for free. What’s the harm in getting a small incentive too?
In your quest for those good guys, you might stumble upon a survey site called YourVoice. Just like everybody else, they promise to reward you for your time. But before you hit that sign up button, you might want to find out whether it’s safe and worth your effort. Let’s do it together!
The company behind this panel is called Dynata. Don’t let it confuse you when you see Survey Sampling International, LLC in their footer. It’s actually an earlier name for the same company. Why they didn’t update it is beyond me.
In fact, Survey Sampling International merged with another international market research giant to become Research Now SSI. Earlier this year, they just changed their name and brand to Dynata. If you frequent survey panels, you will be familiar with at least one of those names, since they run a huge network of panels – OpinionWorld, Opinion Outpost, Opinion Miles Club, E-Rewards, to name but a few. And don’t take this huge market share as a recommendation – even though some of them are decent, most are just “meh” or downright bad. Yep, experience in the niche may be an asset, but it’s not everything. As for Dynata, their panels seem to be legit, but most of them could use some (or much) improvement.
How Do I Become a Member?
Even the first step has some issues here. If you try to look up YourVoice on Google, you will get many misleading results, and just two hits that will take you to the right place.
And the place is right only if you happen to reside in Australia or Malaysia. I’ve seen some user reviews coming from other parts of the globe, but they are probably just outdated. As hard as I tried, I just couldn’t find a subdomain for US users, not to mention Canada or Europe.
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So, here’s what Aussies and Malaysians can expect.
You don’t have to dig deep to find the signup button. A short form awaits you on the homepage, with gender, name, and email address to get you started. As soon as you populate it or just allow Facebook integration, you should get a confirmation email. Click through the link and that’s all you need to do during the first step.
There is a chance, though, that you never get this email. That’s exactly what happened to me. I looked up the Spam folder, added their email firstname.lastname@example.org to my safe senders list. Heck, I even wrote to them and asked for clarification. But so far, I haven’t got anything specific, except for a short automated message. (If I do get any usable info, I will update this article immediately.)
When or if you get that confirmation email, your next step will be to complete your profile. That means you should provide some more demographic information, so that they could send you more relevant surveys.
How Much Can I Earn?
Here’s how the rest of the process works, judging by other users’ experience.
Whenever a survey is available for you, you will get notification via email. If you are a match for the survey and manage to successfully complete it, you will earn a certain amount of points. Then, you can redeem those points for select retail gift cards. Sadly, there’s no cash via PayPal or check.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there is a cashout threshold, and it’s 200 points, or $10 AUD. For reference, that’s like slightly below $7 USD – quite a low threshold compared to other panels. Since surveys are typically worth anything between $1 and $10, it shouldn’t take too long to accrue that sum. That is, of course, if they send you enough surveys in the first place.
- Cashout threshold is comparatively low. Most other survey panels tend to keep it around $20 or even $25 USD, whereas here you only need to earn $10 AUD in points. That shouldn’t be too great of a feat. At least in theory. Practice, of course, depends on the number and frequency of new surveys.
- Only users from Australia and Malaysia are welcome to join. Americans, Canadians or Britons can hardly complain, since most other survey panels are focused on them. Still, it’s a pity that the panel is so exclusive that it doesn’t even include more Asian countries.
- Cash isn’t an option. It’s not that my expectations are too great, but many survey panels (even average ones) do offer cash. However nice gift cards may be, they can never beat money.
- Users often complain that their accounts were suspended when they requested a payout. Sure, we might want to take a few of these claims with a grain of salt. But when they are numerous, it’s probably not a mere coincidence. And it’s not even a wonder. In their Terms & Conditions, the company says: “Either party may terminate your membership with a Panel at any time, with or without cause, for any reason or no reason, and without liability for the termination.” Really? I have no objections if someone suspends my account because I’m lying or trying to trick the system. But I do have objections if they just shut it down because they feel like it. Or because they don’t feel like paying. That’s pretty tawdry, maybe even walking on the edge of scam.
Final Thoughts – Is YourVoice Good, Bad, or Ugly?
Even if you only skimmed this article, you will have noticed the three cons versus a single pro. And those three cons are not trinkets. On the contrary, they are the very basis of your user experience.
If you decide to give them a shot anyway, you may as well try to. But don’t expect miracles. In fact, it’s best to get ready for some frustration. On the overall, this survey panel isn’t the good the market research world, nor does it seem to be the ugly. To put it bluntly and frankly, they are just another shade of the bad. Not unsafe, not outright scam, but not worthy of your time either.