Valued Opinions New Policy--charging $5 fee on $20 visa code

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Valued Opinions New Policy--charging $5 fee on $20 visa code

Postby Huntress » Thu May 02, 2013 9:43 am

Anyone else upset about Valued Opinions new policy to:

1. charge a $5 fee to redeem your cash rewards for a Visa Promo Code--not a physical card you can use in stores, mind you--but merely a code

and then:

2. lowering the value of the amount you can redeem on this item from $30 to $20, resulting in a 25% loss of value.

This policy change came without warning and without allowing the rewards earned under the former policy to be cashed-out at face value--instead of 75% of face value, which is the new policy.

I emailed them about this and after 2 days received nothing but a form response:

Dear Valued Opinions member,

We appreciate any suggestions our members make and will forward your email to the appropriate department so that they may take your idea into consideration.


This used to be a decent survey company--now I feel ripped-off.
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Re: Valued Opinions New Policy--charging $5 fee on $20 visa code

Postby nt_eagle » Thu May 02, 2013 11:00 am

Expect a reply from that Bot Isabel in about a Month or two. It just took Six Weeks for them to reply to me about an uncredited Survey I took back in mid-March. They did credit my Account though, but anything over Two Weeks is ridiculous, imo. Just like their '28 Days to credit Pending Surveys'. I have about 5-6 Pending Credits that are easily over Two Months now. This Company has gone down the toilet.
I requested a Visa GC, and paid the extra $5, this past Monday. I almost have enough for a Amazon GC, so I will wait to get enough for that, and then I'm done. I can understand charging a buck or so for the Visa, but charging ANYTHING extra for the Amazon is Highway Robbery! :x
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Re: Valued Opinions New Policy--charging $5 fee on $20 visa code

Postby Sherry67 » Thu May 02, 2013 11:21 am

Huntress wrote:Anyone else upset about Valued Opinions new policy to:

1. charge a $5 fee to redeem your cash rewards for a Visa Promo Code--not a physical card you can use in stores, mind you--but merely a code

and then:

2. lowering the value of the amount you can redeem on this item from $30 to $20, resulting in a 25% loss of value.

This policy change came without warning and without allowing the rewards earned under the former policy to be cashed-out at face value--instead of 75% of face value, which is the new policy.

I emailed them about this and after 2 days received nothing but a form response:

Dear Valued Opinions member,

We appreciate any suggestions our members make and will forward your email to the appropriate department so that they may take your idea into consideration.


This used to be a decent survey company--now I feel ripped-off.



I'm glad you posted this. I joined VO not too long ago, when I saw that the required level to get a Visa code was $20. I thought that the $20 was reasonable, as I have already done about $14.50 in surveys (though some of them will take forever to credit). Honestly, when I see anything more than $25 for a cash-out requirement at any survey place, I usually assume it will take me at least six months (if not a year) to get to that point. But $20 and under has always seemed more attainable to me.

So for VO to charge a $5.00 fee on a $20 Visa code is crazy. That is highway robbery! I could understand one dollar. Maybe even 2 at most. But $5? So the $20 we earn has now been reduced to $15 if we want Visa codes? Wow. There are places like Quick Rewards who will (literally) deposit 3 cents into PayPal if we want them to and they do not charge a dime for it. But VO taking $5 off of only $20 in a gift code (not even an actual card that they have to mail out, as you said) is insanity...and that has definitely made me re-think doing their surveys when they come in. I suppose that since I already got to $14.50 I will ride it out and cash out at that $20 point, but after that first cash out I think I may dump them.

I wonder if people have been yelling at them on their Facebook page about this. I hope so!
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Re: Valued Opinions New Policy--charging $5 fee on $20 visa code

Postby avemaria » Thu May 02, 2013 11:31 am

it's interesting if you go to the other rewards section of their site that lists what you can get.. they forgot to change the $30 logo to $20.. so it's still showing. (click 'rewards' at the top.. and then 'what to claim' in the middle) you'll see the $30 logo for visa..

but yeah they also did this with the Amazon cards.. they charge us $20 for 'administration fees'... i wrote to amazon and there are no charges for these cards and they have software that allows it to be automatic distribution.. I cashed out yesterday and instantly got my code by email.. no human had to do anything. Their Facebook page is filled with posts of disgust over this but they just go on posting their stupid few times weekly questions for us to respond to about dumb issues not relevant to the site itself..

I posted numerous times on the site requesting on how those of us who do ok on the site would like the option of a larger Amazon card, for instance $100 that we can incur the 'fee' only once on instead of 5 times.. no one ever replies.. they should have just been covert in their shadiness like the other companies and hid the extra charges in slightly lower survey payouts..
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Re: Valued Opinions New Policy--charging $5 fee on $20 visa code

Postby Huntress » Thu May 02, 2013 4:24 pm

I see I'm not alone in resenting this new policy. I maybe could see a $5 fee on a $100 card--but only if it is an actual card, not merely a code. But $5 on a $20 card!? A fourth its value? Really? How do they justify this.

Like others, I am reconsidering devoting my time to Valued Opinion surveys. What's to prevent them in the future from upping the fee to $10 on a $20 code without warning. It seems the new policy is just a way to return the money we've earned to them. Unethical imo.

Also--where on earth are you supposed to use this $20 card. You can only use it online. Try ordering anything online for $20 or less--including shipping. Not many places I know of where you can even use such a small denomination. When the $30 codes were available, it was difficult enough to find a place to use them--I even emailed quite a few companies asking if there was a way to do a split transaction (one with multiple payment methods) so I could use a real credit card to make up the difference, but none of the places I contacted had this capability. So even if you pay the $5 fee, there are few places where you could actually use the $20 card online--and since it has an expiration date (6 months) maybe that's what they are counting on--paying for the card and then not using it). (by 'they' I don't necessarily mean Valued Opinions but whoever is responsible for issuing the card).
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Re: Valued Opinions New Policy--charging $5 fee on $20 visa code

Postby avemaria » Thu May 02, 2013 4:50 pm

i only got the Visa once but it was due to Amazon cards being out of stock.. so i just went to Amazon and bought a $20 card with it.. but i'd never do visa now on VO since they began charging for it.. it's a waste of 30 to 60 minutes in survey time.
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Re: Valued Opinions New Policy--charging $5 fee on $20 visa code

Postby Sherry67 » Thu May 02, 2013 5:41 pm

I've used Visa codes online before, but the key is to remember to tell the system you are using it on that you are paying with a credit card. As long as you say you are using a Visa credit card, the system will treat it as such. If you tell any system that you are using a gift card, that's when there can be limitations.

For the life of me I cannot recall who sent me the codes - which survey place, which rewards place, etc. It seems like it was a while ago. I think I must have won one of the codes. The Visa codes that I got were set up so that I could use them as credit cards.

Do you pay any of your bills online? I used one of the $20 Visa codes to apply towards one of my bills, and then paid off the remainder of the bill with a different card. I've done that even when I had $1.00 left on a card. And if I had less than a dollar I would call the pay-by-phone number and enter in the last few cents on the card! Lol. The Visa just has to be checked off as a credit card during payment and not as a gift card. Also, if you're into Disney, a lot of times the Disney Store (online) has good sales where their t-shirts are marked way down. I've gotten a couple of shirts for under $10 when they were about to be discontinued.

It's very easy to use those codes on Overstock.com or Amazon because there are plenty of little odds and ends you can get with $20 or less (like memory cards, flash drives, etc.). Just remember to always select the credit card option when using a Visa code.
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Re: Valued Opinions New Policy--charging $5 fee on $20 visa code

Postby footfree » Thu May 02, 2013 6:20 pm

So is it a survey card they mail or for online only?Now to go to a store and physically buy a Visa gift card it cost $5 so I could let that one slide.However the AGC they can kiss my behind.As soon as I have enough points then it will be time to bid adieu.
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Re: Valued Opinions New Policy--charging $5 fee on $20 visa code

Postby nt_eagle » Thu May 02, 2013 6:38 pm

footfree wrote:So is it a survey card they mail or for online only?Now to go to a store and physically buy a Visa gift card it cost $5 so I could let that one slide.However the AGC they can kiss my behind.As soon as I have enough points then it will be time to bid adieu.


It's online only. One more GC and I'm out as well.
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Re: Valued Opinions New Policy--charging $5 fee on $20 visa code

Postby 1957horses » Thu May 02, 2013 8:32 pm

This is a new low, it's like were paying them to do their surveys, and their laughing all the way to the bank. You figure just 1000 people cashing out a day that $5000.00........................... :twisted:
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Re: Valued Opinions New Policy--charging $5 fee on $20 visa code

Postby Huntress » Fri May 03, 2013 8:45 am

footfree wrote:So is it a survey card they mail or for online only?Now to go to a store and physically buy a Visa gift card it cost $5 so I could let that one slide....


I would agree if it were an actual physical card which it is not. It's merely a virtual credit card--i.e., a number and an expiration date of 6 months from the time you request it.

Sherry67 wrote:I've used Visa codes online before, but the key is to remember to tell the system you are using it on that you are paying with a credit card. As long as you say you are using a Visa credit card, the system will treat it as such. If you tell any system that you are using a gift card, that's when there can be limitations. ...


I do use it as a credit card. That's where the problem arises. If it were a GC code, the amount would merely be deducted from the total order amount, allowing you to use an actual credit card to make up the difference. But that's not the case--so to use it your entire order needs to come in at $20 or less--which is very difficult to do when you factor shipping into the order amount. There are some places that you can get GC's with the visa promo code, like Walmart.com, but this option isn't available at most of the places I shop.

The bottom-line for me is that Valued Opinions is clearly overcharging for either an Amazon GC (fee of 10%) and even more so for a Visa Promo Code at an exorbitant 25% of the face value--which simply cannot be justified by reality.

Also, I feel they failed to adequately take their costs into account when issuing the survey rewards and now are trying to make up for their failure on the backs of their panelists by not grandfathering the rewards earned under the previous policy or alternatively telling us in advance that if we wanted the full value of our rewards to cash out before the new policy takes effect. It's the lack of adequate warning for rewards already earned that bothers me most.
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Re: Valued Opinions New Policy--charging $5 fee on $20 visa code

Postby car9og » Fri May 03, 2013 9:14 am

Huntress wrote:Anyone else upset about Valued Opinions new policy to:

1. charge a $5 fee to redeem your cash rewards for a Visa Promo Code--not a physical card you can use in stores, mind you--but merely a code

and then:

2. lowering the value of the amount you can redeem on this item from $30 to $20, resulting in a 25% loss of value.

This policy change came without warning and without allowing the rewards earned under the former policy to be cashed-out at face value--instead of 75% of face value, which is the new policy.

I emailed them about this and after 2 days received nothing but a form response:

Dear Valued Opinions member,

We appreciate any suggestions our members make and will forward your email to the appropriate department so that they may take your idea into consideration.


This used to be a decent survey company--now I feel ripped-off.


Huntress - Thanks for the information. I will not be joining them. :twisted:
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Re: Valued Opinions New Policy--charging $5 fee on $20 visa code

Postby Sherry67 » Fri May 03, 2013 9:54 am

Huntress wrote:...I do use it as a credit card. That's where the problem arises. If it were a GC code, the amount would merely be deducted from the total order amount, allowing you to use an actual credit card to make up the difference. But that's not the case--so to use it your entire order needs to come in at $20 or less--which is very difficult to do when you factor shipping into the order amount. There are some places that you can get GC's with the visa promo code, like Walmart.com, but this option isn't available at most of the places I shop....


Maybe it works differently on certain websites, and the transactions/check out pages could be laid out differently. I don't know what to tell you other than the Visa code worked for me when I used one online, and I did a split transaction. And then I used the small balance that was left on another Visa virtual code for yet a different transaction (it was less than $10, I think.) There was a "card number" I could enter so that the system thought it was a credit card, and there was a 3-digit security code that mimicked the codes on the back of plastic cards. It was a while ago, though, so maybe the Visa codes work differently now. I honestly don't know what they do now, today, but it worked for me in the past with no trouble.

This is an example of what I did -- I went onto my wireless carrier's website to the usual Pay My Bill section. When I got there, I selected the box that asked me if I wanted to pay the "Other Amount" instead of the total monthly amount that it was defaulted to. I entered $20 (or $25, or whatever my Visa code was for) in Other Amount and then entered the "Visa card" information from the Visa gift code, as though it was an actual card. I completed the transaction.

Next, I went back to the Pay My Bill page and paid the remaining balance of my bill (I can't remember what the balance was, but let's just say it was $37 for the sake of this example) with another card, indicating that I wanted to pay $37 in the "Other Amount" section.

I had to break the transaction up that way and manually tell the system what I was paying for each payment, rather than just giving the card number and letting the website's checkout system try to figure out what could be deducted from the gift code/card. (This method was also recommended to me by someone else.)

There are a lot of utility, cable, etc., sites that will ask you how much you are paying or will have that "Other" box for a one-time payment, and that's where you could enter $5 or $10 or $15 or $20. You could even enter $13.67 or some odd number! Then you go forward with the transaction as though you were paying with an actual card. And then you go back to the page to pay the balance with another card.

I know that Valued Opinions is totally screwed up and shady. I agreed with you and posted my comments about that yesterday. I just wanted to make sure to let you know that the Visa code for $20 - or $15, or whatever it is by the time it gets to you - is (was??) manageable if you use it on one of the sites that has the "Other Amount" or the "How Much Are You Paying" types of boxes, and you enter in the amount you're paying manually.

I hope that helps somewhat. I'm a moderator on another forum (not a survey-related forum), so it's in my nature to give as much information as I can, especially if it is something I have experienced myself!
Last edited by Sherry67 on Fri May 03, 2013 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Valued Opinions New Policy--charging $5 fee on $20 visa code

Postby avemaria » Fri May 03, 2013 11:34 am

i know i saw somewhere they have a service where you can input all credit type gift cards combining them into one balance account.. not sure the name
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Re: Valued Opinions New Policy--charging $5 fee on $20 visa code

Postby avemaria » Fri May 03, 2013 11:35 am

serve.com which is from american express is one example.. you combine all cards into one account.. no fees or anything
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