One of the survey sites that you don’t hear a lot about is ePoll Surveys.
The simple reason being that the survey works here is nothing to shout about as far as payment goes, and you seldom see it here on my blog.
Still it has been a long time player in the online survey panel market, and this fact alone deserves an entry into my review blog.
So there you go…
ePoll is the brainchild of entertainment market giant Bridge Entertainment Inc., but it has also earned a reputation for itself in the industry for its distinctive E-Score Celebrity Rating system, through its subsidiary (full name ePoll Market Research).
Briefly, it is a system that is capable of tagging over 40 unique attributes to every high demand showbiz personality. The results of such tagging are then transferred to particular brands, products, advertising campaigns etc.
In essence e-Poll Surveys first made its presence in this industry since 13 years ago and the company claims to have served clients of all sizes spanning industry, from automobiles to entertainment, television to pharmaceutical, etc…
Its market research in consumers study is widely known for its both qualitative and quantitative approach, and it has preached its research to companies in the media and entertainment business, top fortune 1000 companies and even other research agencies.
Back in 1997, e-Poll Surveys was among the pioneer batch of online survey panels, and it helped introduced the groundbreaking recruitment drive in the industry, which of course has become the de-facto method for the overall online market research industry.
Even though the company’s boost to have serviced a wide variety of industries, it is clear that it bread and butter group of customers is made up mainly of those in the entertainment and media business, and the panel regularly commission surveys to gauge the behaviors and attitudes of the public in relation to the wider industry it serves.
In short, it rewards people who are sucked into the fascinating entertainment & media business by enticing them to participate in its own brand of marketing research surveys.
And the rewards of e-Poll Surveys come in the form of gift certificates, with an impressive partnership network that comprises many formidable online stores.
Better Business Bureau’s Rating
Bridge Entertainment Inc. itself is a BBB accredited business, and its HQ is over at California.
BBB has accorded an A+ rating to the parent company, so effectively you can rule out this particular panel is involved on any sort of scam.
How it Works
Free membership is a strong feature of this site, but with a condition, that they only accept residents of the United States.
Application for membership involves the usual stuff:
- applicants fill out a form and furnish some personal details as required
- and the successful application is going to be confirmed via email.
Those should be straightforward stuff, and if you supply all necessary info to their requirement, your membership confirmation is almost guaranteed and your first survey will lay there in wait.
Take it up and you can see 100 points reward added into your new account at ePoll pretty soon, and you repeat this process as long as you wish!
To participate survey, you would be sent an invitation email.
Not much to extract from this email, as it inevitably would talk about potential compensation but share nothing much about the survey itself (well, they do make exception, only very rarely!)
There would be factors that govern the kind of frequency you would get such invitation emails, but it is safe to assume that your submitted profile and demographic would play a major role in deciding how much invitations you get.
Just for the record, on weekly basis I regularly get 2 invites.
Of course, the frequency would also be influenced by the number of projects they have.
My opinion is that surveys that involve TV shows are perhaps the most in demand ones, as we certainly have lots of folks addicted to the TV soaps in this country.
The problem is that these surveys do not come often enough, maybe once every couple of months. If you like such types of surveys, my advice is to grab them the moment these are made available, or they can go up in smoke pretty quick.
Counting out the surveys that require you to sit in front of TV, average survey duration is likely to be bout 10-15 minutes.
If TV watching is involved, it could easily stretch to one hour, including the time you spend video watching.
Very Interesting Surveys
As mentioned earlier, their surveys are especially geared toward the advertising and entertainment sectors.
Sometimes, they require you to watch certain TV shows (some complain that these are most often on cable, rather than the free-to-air TV channels).
So if you are an ardent TV fan, the appeal of epoll is obvious.
Take me for example, I enjoy talk and reality TV shows, and the gratifying part is that I would be a prime target if they are targeting these shows, and I make some nice earning along the way.
But the part I like most is being asked to watch a particular show, and after which, I am asked to express my opinion on the stuff I just watched.
Sure, you have to sit through the entire show while it is on air. Yes, you have to burn half an hour but you get to watch a nice program in exchange during the whole duration.
It is that understanding that you can keep yourself entertained and potentially use that time to good advantage (i.e. to make yourself some earning).
Sometimes they may require your inputs the moment the show is over, or they could wait for a day or two before they send out the actual survey. It should not matter to you, but just follow their instructions closely, if you don’t want to miss out such kind of opportunities that are in hot demand in FUTURE.
At times, they may be sending out DVDs of movies or TV shows for home viewing.
This is certainly a much welcome option compared to sit through a show at fixed time. But I can warn you first that such options come very irregularly.
You may get real impressed by now, but let me temper your expectation. Not all surveys coming out from ePoll are meant to be fun.
Once a while, you will come across surveys that query your intrigue and interest on celebrities, TV shows and characters, but most of the surveys are not designed this way.
More likely, a typical survey would start off by asking you what you know about the subjects (entertainment related, nevertheless).
If you give a positive response, you will next face a bombardment of really boring and repetitive questions, which seem intent to pick your mind on certain brands or topics.
I can tell you first hand that it is interesting to read all these glamor stories about celebrities, but it is another matter when you are asked to equate personality with character trait or brand.
Another factor that help form my less-than-positive mindset about surveys from this site is the time they take to complete.
My observation is that the duration is often long (subject to how much you know about the topics being bandied around).
So, the moment I see a survey that is both long and boring, I will just give it a pass, as the reward certainly does not justify the effort and time.
How Well the Surveys Pay
As is practiced across half the industry (you can count popular panels such as Global Test Market), ePoll employs a points reward system the means to pay out to participating members.
On average, you can imagine individual surveys would net you 500 - 1000 points.
Sometimes, the payout is really miserable and at times, your effort would be good enough to qualify for some sort of sweepstakes draws.
Regardless of what I said earlier, I really admire the site of its commitment to credit your points balance every time a survey is completed, right away!
To see how much your account has accumulated, simply navigate to your account and select “e-Poll Rewards”.
The points you have rolled in can be exchanged for gift cards or simply be credited into your PayPal account.
- Gift Cards / PayPal
If you like gift cards, there are plenty of choices here.
They have lined up an impressive partners network and you will find the likes of Best Buy, Amazon, Home Depot, Target and many more restaurants here. To cash out, you need to get to the $5 threshold (applicable to both gift card and PayPal deposit).
In order to get to $5, you need to accumulate an equivalent of 3500 points. On the other hand, the site also sees it fit to place an upper limit for cash out amount, which is $30 (again applicable to both PayPal deposit and gift card).
To get to that level, you must have accumulated 17250 points in your account.
What really turns me off is the waiting time.
It is amazing that the site insists on you waiting for some 6 to 8 weeks to get your deserved compensation.
It claims that this is the pre-requisite time to get the reward processed. This feature really pisses people off.
If you don’t count in the long lead time, there is nothing to complain about their points reward system. I mean it is not great but you can assume normal operation, consistent with one half of the entire industry, and the site does include PayPal option, which some sites conveniently choose to ignore.
I always think any respectable panels (or any general job sites) should include PayPal as a way to cash out.
- Donate to Charities
ePoll can help you on your charitable causes.
The income you derive could be channeled to any charity of you choice, so this may appeal to people who like to give back to society in one form or another.
The tie ups between the company and the various charitable institutions can be found on their website.
If you like to dig more about individual charities they support, check out their e-Poll Reward Store. There, it details down a comprehensive list of charities that may need your donations, including Humane Society, my favorite.
And ePoll undertakes to donate $3 from its own pocket when you donate 2,500 points every time, without question. So, that is a good way to channel fund to the charity you choose.
My Own Personal Observation of ePoll
e-Poll is fully legitimate company and it is a decent site though there are some perceived flaws with it.
1- Login Issue
I am also dismay with the login stuff. For some reason unexplained to me, I found my login password disabled (not by me!), and during my stay with ePoll, I had to request for 4 new passwords, and none of it is due to me!
Yes I never forget and misplace my password, the trick is to have a single password strategy to all survey websites (depending on your view on security breach, you may not agree with this approach). Somehow e-Poll has a system that resets password on periodic basis, and you have to be at their mercy to ask for this new password. No they don’t do the friendly stuff like asking you to change to a new password.
2- It takes points away as a form of penalty for being inactive
A couple of years back, I was getting real busy with my other aspects of life and I did not have the luxury of time to check into every survey sites regularly. Naturally, I had to be selective on those sites I went more regularly to, and ePoll was not among them. I have plucked the screenshot here, where they simply minus 2000 points off from my account.
Such foolishness never fails to astound me. This certainly does immediate harm to its reputation, and I never figure out what motivates websites to take such drastic action.
3- Lack of Information
Information is scarce on this website and most outrageously, you are prompted for your password in order to access the FAQs, even from the homepage itself.
4- User Navigation Left Much to Be Desired
The user navigation on this site can best be described as patchwork. There seems to be little thought put together on how user would move around here. The whole look and feel is pretty messy and this is not the kind of standard you would associate to a website that is backed by a quite reputable and popular organization.
Above are the things that really peeve me. When you think of the maturity and proliferation of internet, there is no excuse that can make their shortcomings acceptable. I have a few bank accounts, and none of their online interfaces are as clumsy as this one.
Quick Note About the epoll.com vs epollsurveys.com
For long time members, they have witnessed the transition from ePoll into ePoll survey, and the corresponding website address change.
To make this absolutely clear, the names ePoll and ePoll surveys both refer to the same online panel, with the latter one being the new name.
The name change also involved a domain migration. In fact, epollsurveys.com retains the same look and feel of the old site.
My Final Take
In my humble opinion, I say go join e-Poll Surveys when TV shows and movies really fascinate you, and you do loads of it anyway.
It would work even nicer if you subscribe to some kind of cable services, as their surveys are very likely focused on the content on cable television.
You would not get the best rate from this site and you would find email invitations don’t come that regularly, so these are the downsides to this website.
The upside here is obvious, some of ePoll surveys are both fun and engaging at the same time, especially when you come across those related to advertisements and TV shows.