About Opinion Square
According to their website, Opinion Square survey is an online market research firm that studies online trends and patterns with a consumer panel of over 2 million participants.
Users are enticed to join Opinion Square with an entry into a $100,000 monthly sweepstakes. Additional entries into the drawing are given by referring others from your social networks to join.
In exchange, members are requested to download an “optional” software program that will track their internet activity. OpinionSquare members are told that they have the opportunity to help companies in the financial services, consumer products, travel, health care, automotive, retail and other industries.
Additionally, members are asked if OpinionSquare can contact their TV service provider seeking information about their TV viewing patterns.
OpinionSquare promises confidentiality and to not collect any personally identifiable data.
Members can earn OpinionRewards Points by answering optional Surveys and redeem them for a variety of gift cards or merchandise. They are not redeemable for cash or via Paypal, although there are periodic cash incentive surveys.
Technical Issues and Missed Opportunities
I initially signed up for OpinionSquare without realizing that there was going to be a software download required. I was hesitant at first, but did to some research and discovered that is was registered with GRID (Goodware Resource and Information Database), which helps ensure that a company’s software isn’t malware and will not be mistaken as such by antivirus programs.
However, the download of the software was flagged as harmful by my pc’s firewall and the installation was aborted. In contacting the technical support department, they suggested that their site was having issues with my Google Chrome browser and to try another one. I swapped to my Firefox browser and experienced similar problems.
Their advice was that I needed to use Internet Explorer to participate and complete the download.
Considering that Chrome today has a bigger market share than all versions of Internet Explorer combined – 38% vs. 29%, and that Firefox has a 21% market share, for OpinionSquare to insist that I cannot use one of the browsers that make up 59% of the browser market was a bit concerning and made me wonder if their technology was outdated.
In fact, their online technical documentation provided instructions for only Internet Explorer and suggested that you phone them if you were using another browser, even if it was Apple’s Safari. Until recently, you could count on having online technical instructions for BOTH Internet Explorer and Safari, at a minimum.
Any attempt to access a survey on my Android mobile phone received a “this webpage is not available” message. At this point, I was discouraged by their technology that I did not attempt it on an iPhone or iPad.
OpinionSquare is missing out on an opportunity by not having mobile friendly applications. Just think of all of the time people are waiting and might answer a few surveys.
But the bigger missed opportunity is not tracking the data that their clients might see as more valuable from mobile device internet activity – they’re only seeing half the picture. According to KPCB Internet Trends, mobile internet access will overtake fixed internet access by 2014.
Additionally, as I was researching their site, I noticed that a lot of their content has not been updated since 2010; such as the “recent data” about Cyber Monday sales from 2010 as one of the top stories in their “News” section.
This did make me cautious and wonder if they were really keeping current and gave me even more wary about downloading their software.
Since I had already spent more than an hour troubleshooting the software and wasn’t in the end able to download the software, I focused my efforts on the OpinionSquare surveys themselves.
Fortunately, their software isn’t required to participate in the surveys. Every couple days I’d receive an email stating, “Dear OpinionSquare Member, We have a new survey for you! Please complete this survey and you will earn 200 OpinionRewards points!”.
To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, here’s an image of their Facebook page:
The minimum balance to “shop” is 1500 points, which would be 7-8 surveys. For this amount you can earn a $5 gift card for a variety of places including Starbucks, Amazon or Chilis. For 5700 points, you could earn a $25 gift card to these same establishments, so could be worthwhile for someone that likes and has the time to take surveys.
If you are a very prolific survey-taker, there are some cool prizes available at higher point levels. For example, in exchange for 25,658 Opinion Reward points you can earn an Apple TV.
I answered several surveys and found that they were generally pretty basic and short, so you could answer surveys quickly and get to the 1500 point level easily.
However, I did find some of them frustrating. For example, I answered a survey on pain relief, e.g. Tylenol vs. the others. There were several questions asking your opinion on the Tylenol website, but nowhere during the survey are you actually required to go to the website, or even shown images of the Tylenol website.
Nor was it suggested that you go to the website on your own as part of answering this survey. Equally baffling the answer “not applicable” was not available. For example, I was asked how many times have I visited Tylenol’s website and the fewest times I could reply was “Today was the first Time”. So I selected that as my answer, when in fact, I had never once visited the website. I would then question the value of this market research information to the company that had it commissioned.
One final nitpick was that I didn’t like the navigation of answering the questions. It should be more user-friendly, there was a lot of unnecessary movement of the cursor required to answer the questions and proceed to the next page. Again, felt like an outdated website in this regard.
Fan Favorite Sweepstakes
You have other chances to win gift cards. For example, they were promoting a “Win a $25 Bath & Body Works GC in our Fan Favorite Sweepstakes on Facebook! promo when I jointed. Drawings are held every Friday.
I clicked “enter” on the Opinion Square home page and was taken to their Facebook page, where I “liked” it. However, I was not then taken to the sweepstakes page and needed to look around to find how I entered the Facebook sweepstakes.
Fortunately, someone else was having the same problem and posted the question in their wall and Opinion Page provided the how to enter instructions in the comments. But the entry really should be more seamless. But fingers-crossed, I’ll win the gift card.
As another incentive, Opinion Rewards will offer you a chance to earn tokens for their Splash into Summer Game. I don’t recall how I earned the token, but I noticed that I had an account balance of 1 token, so was going to try the game. It was a virtual “scratch card” with the promise that “Everyone is a winner!”
For some reason my virtual token would not work to scratch the shells, so I refreshed the screen to be told “Sorry! You are out of tokens”, so I guess not everyone IS a winner!
Opinion Square Review: The Summary
I found OpinionSquare.com to be extremely frustrating and I was wondering if perhaps my experience was unique, or at least the minority. I never had any issues like these when I joined Toluna, My Survey or the dozens of other panels I belong to.
So I searched on some of my favorite paid surveys blogs to see if anyone else had published an Opinion Square review.
A lot of the questions seemed to be focused on whether or not they were a legit business. A quick look at their Facebook page reveals that the majority of their 37,000+ fans that commented seemed to be thrilled and appear to be happy with their prizes.
However, there were a few others that were also having some serious technical difficulties.
I feel your pain – OpinionSquare needs to update its’ software. They must be relying on users on old PCs running older versions of Internet Explorer. Even these users will get replacement hardware and software, so if OpinionSquare wants to remain relevant, it is in desperate need of an update and needs to create a viable mobile platform.