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Paid Surveys And Deceptive Advertising

Apr 3, 2008
An announcement in 2008 that an online advertising and marketing firm would pay nearly $3 million in fines related to how they conduct some of their marketing campaigns should signal a cautionary tale for some paid survey sites.

After extensive personal research into the subject of these surveys I found several instances that were remarkably similar to the scenario that resulted in the fines that toped headlines.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) determined the practices of this organization essentially translated to deceptive advertising. Furthermore, personal data was not secured even though customers were assured their personal data was, in fact, safe.

Multiple paid survey offers operate on a similar platform. For instance if you are offered $500 for taking a survey you would likely be excited about the possibility. The problem, however, stems from the reality that in order to receive the funds you would actually need to make one or more purchases and then recruit someone else to do the same. In some cases the items you needed to purchase exceeded the survey payout.

This is the scenario that caused the fines listed above.

It is true that many of these firms will provide full disclosure in their terms and conditions segment, however, if you sign up for free paid survey offers you will not likely expect to find instances that require you to pay in order to receive a 'free' prize.

You might expect to see this in spam related email, but these offers are often found in paid survey sites, too.

I have also said that you will likely be waiting by your email box waiting for paid surveys. That remains technically the truth, however I want to elaborate the point.

If you are waiting for paid surveys you will not likely find them cluttering up your inbox. What you will find are more survey opportunities than you can fill out, but these opportunities are either exceptionally low in pay or lottery based gifts. In other words you can fill these out all day long and make poverty wages in the process.

You will be barraged by partner sites that want you to join them for more incredible opportunities that don't actually pay you any monetary compensation.

As part of my experiment I filled out three such offers and had more than 150 spam messages within an hour. My spam folder had been virtually free of spam messages previous to my decision to accept these 'fantastic' offers.

As I looked through that initial barrage of spam messages I should have been able to cash in on more than $2,000 in cash offers, have meals paid for into the foreseeable future, try shirts, shampoos and play games and get paid for doing so.

Oh, wait; the fine print says that I will earn fifty cents if I use my own cash to play online games. So, if I play games that cast $5 I can receive a couple of quarters. Say, now there's a great deal.

I think it's safe to say that the deceptive practices associated with paid surveys is most keenly felt among those who are trying to find a way to earn a little extra income and the idea of a paid survey commands a sizeable bit of attention.

As with most things in life if something can be exploited it will be. I think there remains ample personal and collective evidence to suggest that there are plenty of reasons to avoid these survey opportunities.
About the Author
Make A Website with HighPowerSites.com. Learn to Make Money Online at MakeMoneyFacts. Start a HOME BUSINESS and Resell Ebooks at BooksWealth.com.
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