Why Didn't I Qualify for that Survey?

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Perhaps the number one complaint that frustrates survey panelists is getting disqualified from a survey. I hear comments like:

"I answered several questions and then It tells me that I am not qualified. Are they just using my answers and not paying me."

Since I hear so many comments similar to this, I thought it would be good to address this issue on the blog. First, let me start off by saying that GetPaidSurveys.com is a review site, and has no control or involvement in any of the surveys offered by the panels listed on our site. That being said, we feel that the survey panels listed on our site represent some of the best online paid market research panels available on the Internet. Some are better than others, and that is why all the panels have user ratings and reviews.

There are several reasons why you may not qualify for a survey, but the bottom line is that if the survey panel cannot use your answers, then they cannot compensate you the full amount for the survey. The good news is that most survey panels will offer you a small compensation for your time; some offer small cash amounts, others give sweepstakes entry. Here are several scenarios that may occur that would result in someone not qualifying for a survey.

Typical Survey Panel Scenarios that Result in Not Qualifying for the Survey

  1. You get disqualified from the survey after spending up to five minutes answering questions. An example might be that the survey panel was looking for 26 year old single males from Michigan that go to the movies at least once a month, and saw Iron Man 2 in theater last week. You may be 26, you may be from Michigan, you might be single male, and you may go to the movies once a month, but you may not have seen Iron Man 2 (Good flick by the way). In this case you may spend several minutes answering background questions on the survey before you get disqualified. Final Verdict: You do not fit the specific qualifications for the survey study.
  2. You immediately get disqualified from a survey after saying your age, race, marital status, etc. In this case there may have been lets say 100 slots for each age group, and while the study was still open, your particular age group slot was filled. Final Verdict: The survey study was filled for your particular demographic.
  3. You spend over five minutes answering survey questions and then get disqualified. This is the scenario that can really frustrate individuals. This can happen for several reasons, but the usual verdict is that you were not really concentrating on the survey study. Many survey studies have special techniques to detect whether the survey panelist is really engaged and taking the survey study seriously. If they feel that you are not really taking it seriously, they may abruptly disqualify you, even after you have spent several minutes on the study. Here are a few examples of survey panel quality control scenarios.
    • Question number 50 stated "Answer C for this question for quality control purposes." But you answer D. You are not reading the questions.
    • The survey should have taken 10 minutes for the average person to get to question 30, but you did it in 4 minutes. You were rushing.
    • The survey may asked you how you "Did you eat dinner at a fast food restaurant last week?" You answer yes. Then they ask how many fast food dinners did you have last week, and you answer none. Your answers are inconsistent

    Now these are just a few reasons why you may get screened out from a survey, but the bottom line is that not qualifying for every survey is normal and sometime a little frustrating, but hopefully it will not discourage you from taking more surveys. To better ensure that you are getting survey studies that are more in line with your background, it is important to fill out the profile surveys in the member's area of the panel(s) you join, and of course take your time to answer all the questions carefully. This will increase your chances of getting survey studies that are more in line with your demographics.

    There may be times when you experience a technical glitch during the survey, and you may be unable to complete the survey or submit your answers. In this case it is important to record the time, information about the survey study, and what occurred. If you submit this information to the technical support staff of the survey panel, they can sometimes recover your answers or offer you some form of compensation.

    Of course there are some survey panels that are more efficient in their disqualification processes and ability to match their member's profiles with appropriate survey studies. This is partly due to the fact that some survey panels redistribute surveys from third parties, which means that you may have to answer screener questions that sometimes duplicate information in your profile surveys. This can be a little frustrating, but using third parties allows survey panels to offer you more survey studies.

    Have you had good or bad experiences with qualify for specific survey panels? We would like to hear your feedback.

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Comments (4)

  • James October 23, 2014 Reply
    Thank you, this site helped me out a lot.
  • Carrigon August 02, 2010 Reply
    I did a survey this week for a company that farms you out through the survey router. I spent over 40 minutes on the survey, I had been told that I would get five dollars and fifty cents if I qualified and completed it. Well, I qualified. I spent the time on it, I got to the last question of the survey, and then I was told "sorry, this survey is closed". No way. You don't have someone spend over forty minutes on a survey to tell them it's closed at the end. I truly believe some of these companies are shady and just don't want to pay anyone. I also had another one last month where I finished the whole survey and when I got to the end, it said something in what looked like Spanish and that was it. I never got credited for it. I've had quite a few surveys in the last few months where you put the time in, you get all the way to the end and you get killed. I don't care what anyone says, there are shady companies out there. It's a little too suspicious when it happens at the very end of a survey.

    I've also had a few surveys that were just way too long and they will show you something, then ask you questions that have nothing to do with what they showed you, then another twenty minutes later they expect you to remember what they first showed you.
    • Joe the Admin August 02, 2010 Reply
      Unfortunately, survey panels that redirect surveys from survey routers sometimes have issues like this. Especially, panels that exclusively get their surveys from the daily survey suppliers. Generally, if you track your surveys, and contact the panel that sent you the survey, you can get your issue resolved if you are dealing with some of the better survey panels. It really depends on the quality of the survey panel, their tracking abilities, and their level of customer service. By having the review system our site, our goal is to help individuals interested in taking surveys online find good panels to join.

      Which survey panel did you have the issue with?
    • Montauk6 April 16, 2011 Reply
      I totally agree with Carrigon. Instead of gotcha questions, they should just come out with whom exactly they're looking for to fill the currently available spaces; and it really seems like the screeners have taken over in the last couple of years. For example, Focus Pointe Global really makes you dance through hoops only to reject you in the end; maybe it's the economy and one of those "We're not in the 90s anymore" scenarios (those were GREAT times to go down to live sessions, eat a catered wrap, and get a Grant or Franklin at the end). But what's newly ticked me off are these surveys offered by Grooveshark for points that can be redeemed for premium membership; if you don't qualify you get this message: "Your survey answers have been disqualified based on a suspicious answer pattern." EXCUSE ME??? What, because, for example, a 45-year-old Black man who shaves 2 times in 7 days MUST BE LYING??? That's ridiculous!