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SPECIAL: Crowdology Market Research Q & A

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This week only, Crowdology has generously volunteered to answer your burning questions about market research. Get the inside take on how and why online surveys and market research panels operate the way they do.

Suggested questions include: why survey screenouts happen, if demographic bias really exists, why certain formats are chosen for particular surveys, etc. You're all pretty creative and surely have some very clever questions in mind!

Please go ahead and post your questions below! It's best to avoid questions regarding specific survey panels, and please also keep the tone positive - we feel very lucky to have Crowdology share their expertise with everyone here.

Looking forward to learning a lot! :D:D:D

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peach6

Do survey co really use your profiles? I am getting a lot of surveys lately that don't pertain to me for example Do you own a cell phone if they would see on my profile that I don't why are they wasting my time it is almost like there wanting you to lie so you can do the survey.

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Trueblue

I registered for your site and no response. What's up with that? :evil:

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1957horses

I tried to sign up but it said I already have an account. I don't have one with Crowdology, but have one with cent. So does that mean you can only belong to one site?? If not why does it say I already have one, because I have never received a survey from Crowdology.

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footfree

Well you can get mad at me if ya like but I saw a post about Crowdology in the rant and rave section here and this is what our moderator posted about them.So my thinking is that they want us to ask questions so they know how to have the right answers so people will join their site.I am a very skeptic person especially about ones motives or I guess you could say I have trust issues.Been doing surveys to long with dishonest survey companies.My question is why do survey companies have you join if they are only going to give you 20 minute surveys that pay $1. when they know the survey takers wont work for so little?

Re: Crowdology USA any good?

Postby ksedwar » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:31 pm

surveysite135 wrote:Do they pay well?

From what I found no, they don't.

It's a panel for USA members and the parent company is Redshift Research Ltd (redshiftresearch.co.uk).

Survey Police has a panel ranking for Crowdology. 4 stars but only 4 people have commented.

Crowdology has been mentioned a few times in our forums but mainly by users with just a few posts.

A little digging turned up some pretty severe complaints to do with Redshift Research Ltd about a cashiers check scam.

I can not verify any of these complaints are true or not. These people may have fallen for a scam that is commonly attempted. It may not be Redshift Research Ltd at fault but you do have to question how the scammer got the contact information for the panel members.

Redshift Research Ltd - Complaints Submitted by Users

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JD

There seem to be an untold number of survey companies. Why so many? What expertise do you bring to the market? What differentiates one survey company from any other.

Why do some survey companies pay out immediately and others take forever to give you credit?

Why do some survey companies give one one or two opportunities every month to do a survey and others can be multiple times a day?

Why does it take some companies 2 months to complete a survey on their end so one gets credit and others will credit you in days so that you can get paid.

What is a survey company's ideal demographic?

Why are so many surveys based on if a product were a person how do you feel about them? So many of those seem ridiculous to even ask. What's the point?

Why are there IMO so many really poor surveys? Long, boring, and beyond repetitious in many cases. People get bored and inattentive when IMO a survey goes beyond 20 minutes and they ask about every company/product you've ever used. What's the point?

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1957horses

Why does some survey sites charge extra to cashout and others don't............ :?:

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Crowdology

Hi everyone,

A big thank you to SurveyPolice for setting up this forum thread. I'm very excited to already see plenty of interesting questions that we will do our best to answer fully. :D

Firstly, please, if you have a question about Crowdology UK or USA please contact our respective support teams;

UK: [email protected]

USA: [email protected]

Any queries about us are best dealt with through these channels, so Trueblue and 1957horses (regarding your first question) please email us!

Secondly, Footfree, "Well you can get mad at me if ya like but I saw a post about Crowdology in the rant and rave section here and this is what our moderator posted about them" - please take a look further down this thread, I have posted a detailed explanation to the "cashiers check scam" which had nothing to do with ourselves at Crowdology or our research company Redshift. Also, it is a shame that you have difficulty trusting survey companies; hopefully some of the answers we provide on this forum will help you to trust us more.

Now, on to the questions;

peach6 - "Do survey co really use your profiles?" - Survey companies heavily rely on profiles as it is an effective way of surveying relevant audiences. However, sometime it may seem that these profiles have been ignored, and there can be a couple of reasons for this;

1. The profiling question may be slightly different to the screening question that a client requires. For example, a profiling question may ask " How many children live in your household?" but not "How many children under the age of 18 live in your household?", so an extra screening question may have to be applied. We understand this can be frustrating at times, but we also don't want to annoy our panellists by asking for thousands of profiling questions!

2. Extra responses are needed. If we are running close to a deadline and have only got say 95 out of the 100 responses needed, we may resort to assuming not everyone keeps their profile up to date. Many people don't, so sending out emails to everyone instead of just those who have something profiled can help us collect these last few interviews - unfortunately this can mean some panellists receive an irrelevant survey.

JD - You've asked lot's of interesting questions, thank you! I'll try and work through them one by one;

"Why so many? What expertise do you bring to the market? What differentiates one survey company from any other?"

First of all, the quantity of companies is largely down to the demand for responses. The more people that can be surveyed, the more reliable the results are so clients are always wanting more responses to their surveys - this means many companies are being set up to help fill that demand. As for expertise, many survey companies are owned by research agencies, for example, Crowdology is owned by Redshift Research, this means no external survey company has to be used, and we can design an online panel suitable for our needs. Many survey companies are differentiated, some concentrate on recruiting specific groups of people, e.g. "People 18-25", or "Business Decision Makers"

Why do some survey companies pay out immediately and others take forever to give you credit?

This can depend on a) the type of payment process and b) the quality procedures

a) Whilst I cannot comment on individual companies, there are a variety of ways they pay panellists. For example, some may automatically credit a panellist as soon as they submit a survey; others may wait until the payment from the client has gone through before incurring any costs.

b) Rigorous quality procedures may mean that companies look through responses to check if they're reliable. This process can take time and may slow down the rate at which respondents are credited

Why do some survey companies give one one or two opportunities every month to do a survey and others can be multiple times a day?

It depends on the size of the company and the business they're getting. Also, some companies may reduce the amount of emails sent out per week to avoid annoying panellists with too many emails!

Why does it take some companies 2 months to complete a survey on their end so one gets credit and others will credit you in days so that you can get paid.

I think this is answered in the other question on credit. But please reply again if you wish for more clarification.

What is a survey company's ideal demographic?

There's no ideal demographic as everyone is relevant, in fact to be a nationally representative survey we need all types. Just be honest and give as much detail as possible to maximise your chances of being selected

Why are so many surveys based on if a product were a person how do you feel about them? So many of those seem ridiculous to even ask. What's the point?

Haha, I agree this one is a bit ridiculous! This is known as a "projective" technique, these are often used to try and understand more about how someone feels about a product. Many clients are also keen to use "sound bites" for certain products that can help them with marketing.

Why are there IMO so many really poor surveys? Long, boring, and beyond repetitious in many cases. People get bored and inattentive when IMO a survey goes beyond 20 minutes and they ask about every company/product you've ever used. What's the point?

I agree with you on this. In fact it has been proved that when questionnaires go over a certain length, the reliability of the responses reduces. At Crowdology, we try to keep survey lengths short and snappy to avoid people becoming bored.

Sometimes a client can be insistent on keeping a survey at a certain length (to get the most for their money) even when we have warned them against it. However, at Crowdology (and I’m sure many other survey companies), we limit questionnaires to 25 minutes.

Hope that answers your questions JD!

1957horses - "Why does some survey sites charge extra to cashout and others don't?"

I'm quite surprised by this, are you sure you are being charged by the survey site? At Crowdology we pay people via PayPal. PayPal themselves charge 2% when you withdraw the money from your account. This may be the same for other survey sites.

That's all for today! Please keep the questions coming!!!

Thanks,

Andrew White

Crowdology UK and USA

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JD

Thanks Andrew for answering my questions. I have a few more.

1. What form of quality control do you employ before releasing a survey to the general masses?

2. Some surveys have questions at the beginning like have you had oil added to your spark plugs. I assume there is a reason for these off beat questions like seeing if you are paying attention. What is your take on these type of questions?

3. How do you guard against survey bias? In this case I am thinking about people liking a product more than they really do to please the people offering up the survey.

4. Do the questions where they say to select option A really work to weed out those just ploughing through a survey?

5. Related sorta to question 4. What is your rejection rate overall all for your surveys where you feel the survey taker did not do a thorough job in answering the questions? How many surveys do you have to have completed to determine if a survey is statistically meaningful?

6. How long does it take your company to create a survey for a company? Days? Weeks? Just talking on average here.

Thanks.

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Galomorro

Why can't survey companies learn to make surveys that give you enough choices. Just because most people have cars does not mean that *everybody* has one, for example. Why is it so diffifcult to provide a "not applicable" or "none of the above" or the like? Why can't they let you make comments in blank spaces below also, in case someone wants to explain something? One of my biggest pet peeves is that they don't provide enough choices, so therefore you either cannot finish the survey, if you're honest, or else you have to pick something that isn't true so you can get to the next question/finish the survey. I'd think by now they would realize this but I get one bad survey after another. I also would like to be able to instantly access that company whenever I have a complaint or problem. In these days of one survey site providing surveys put out by other survey sites, they send me form letter-type emails saying they have no control over what other companies do. And they make it difficult for one to even say something many times. I just quit one company in disgust because I got a survey that had errors so that I could not complete it. They sent me a form letter saying all these things about give us the survey number, etc. Since I was in the middle of the survey I could not find the survey number but I did give them my email and copied the question the best I could. They should be able to tell immediately what number it is. I mean, why can't they program the surveys in such a way that the number shows up for them if a person has problems. I will stop now as I have so many complaints about various companies that I could go on forever.

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Galomorro

P.S. My Survey was the one I just unsubscribed to. Could not easily report an error and they just send e-form letters asking for more information. Even though I will lose whatever points I have, they're never very many anyway. It takes forever to get enough points to get cash or gift cards. Not everyone wants various kinds of merchandise chosen by the company. Some people, like me, are low-income and need cash, no matter how small the amount. I quit another company recently because they do not offer cash or gift cards at all. Since I take time out to answer their surveys, and it takes forever to get *anything* anyway, why keep on if all you can get are things you do not want or cannot use? It bugs me especially if I have wasted a lot of time on a survey, then toward the end get an error message or have a problem with that they cannot/will not do anything about when you try to tell them of it. If you have a complaint, they should give you the points anyway for the time you took!

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footfree

1957horses - "Why does some survey sites charge extra to cashout and others don't?"

I'm quite surprised by this, are you sure you are being charged by the survey site? At Crowdology we pay people via PayPal. PayPal themselves charge 2% when you withdraw the money from your account. This may be the same for other survey sites.

Valued Opinion has started attaching a fee for paypal and getting a visa gc.I cant remember the details because I quit as soon as they started to do this.However I deduct money from my Paypal account monthly and have never been charged anything to do so.GTM use to charge 1000 points to receive a $50 check however they have outsourced their payment over to perks.com and now they have started asking for 1100 points to do so.Which is a $5. fee we have to pay to perks in order to get our money.Why I dont trust survey companies?The reason is, is that I have been stiffed many times.I do surveys in good faith and then they turn around and don't pay me for said time.I do trust a couple but I've been with them for awhile.The ones I dont trust are new companies.I have a list of them that I have started and have accrued money with only to be told I dont qualify for the 3 surveys sent per day. I can see my money sitting in their account dangling in front of me saying see what I have for you?Well ha, ha you cant touch it until you have a balance of $25 to $50 in you account,but how can I if I don't qualify for your surveys?So here I'm sitting around 75 % on my way to a pay out but no way to get it.Now if you pay me per survey I will gladly do them for you.So do you pay per survey or do I have to accrue a certain amount to get my earnings?I hope I don't come off sounding like your to blame for all of this .I am just trying to let you know what us the survey takers expect when we take are time to do surveys.Thank you for taking the time to explain the workings of survey companies and hopefully you can learn something from us also.

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ksedwar

With PayPal you can do a lot for free on personal accounts like transferring money or requesting a check. But if you are a business, like a research company, you have fees attatched to all or almost all transactions. I think it's something like 3%.

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1957horses

I can understand that but they never used to charge the fee for years. And as far as Amazon's it doesn't cost anything to get them. I've bought them from amazon for $5.00 to $200.00 and wasn't charged anything extra. So that are cheating us by charging a fee for amazon................. :twisted:

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somelady

HI,

Why have survey companies started paying so little for the surveys and charging us to get our rewards?

It seems to me that our opinion is very valuable and companies use this research to make more money, so why don't the survey companies charge the companies that pay for the research more money instead on taking money away from us?

Why are they so greedy?

Why do they ask questions where we have to choose between one to several options, what's more important, where none of the options are what we really choose in life and all or most of the options are equally important?

We don't shop that way, we - or at least I-take everything into consideration and if I have to choose like that I won't buy it, i'll go for a product that has all the options I want. How can you get accurate results with those kid of questions?

Why do surveys ask how many of the product we would buy the first time buying a new product when they should know that most of us would only buy one to see if we like it?

Why do they understate the time a survey will take?

And even if you tell them they never change the time or incentive?

For example the survey that asks what products you purchased that month. That survey says 10 minutes but it's 30 to 60 minutes depending how many products were purchased.

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