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Home > survey-reviews > American Consumer Panel Review: Are they Same Old?

American Consumer Panel Review: Are they Same Old?

editUpdated on: August 24, 2018 by alex

American Consumer Panel Review has deep roots in the marketing research industry. Can you really make money here, or are there better options? We took a closer look to help you make a better decision.American Consumer Panel is an online market research site that provides incentives to members for taking surveys.  They are located at 604 AVE HE in Arlington, TX.  They have been around for over 30 years.

In 1986 they began as a survey branch of their parent company, Decision Analyst.  Members were invited to participate by telephone and surveys were sent by mail.  Participants answered the paper surveys, mailed them back, and when the survey closed, they were mailed a check.

Then in 1996, the internet exploded onto the scene, and they took everything online.  This meant that not only could the process move faster, but also that the whole world could participate rather than just those in the in united states.

When they went online in 1996, they had over 20,000 members.  Now they have members all over the world.

Sign Up

The sign-up process is simple and straightforward.  You must be 14 years old or older to sign up, but the panel is open to residents in all countries.

You are asked for the standard contact information and profile information.  Don’t skip this part. It is important to ensure you are sent surveys that you are eligible to complete.

I always suggest answering profile questions carefully and honestly, and I have an example of why this is important later on in this acop survey review.

Once you are all signed up you will see an email in your inbox.  You have to click through to verify your email, and then you are all set to begin receiving surveys.

Surveys

There isn’t a lot of information out there about the surveys they send.  They do send them via email, but you can also access them on your account dashboard.  You can see the history here of surveys answered and how much was earned for each one as well.

Most agree that you receive “several surveys a year” and that they take an average of 10 minutes each to complete.  I have only had one available, and it said I would earn 150 points.  I did not get a time estimate, and I did not make it past the screener.

Screeners are sent out occasionally.  They are short and either pay minimal points, sweepstakes entries, or nothing at all. They are still important if you want to take surveys, however, because typically they are sent out ahead of a survey to determine if you qualify.

If you skip them, you will likely find you are not getting many surveys.  Of course, this could still be the case if you do take the screeners, but it will for sure be the case if you do not.

Rewards

They work on a points system like most surveys sites do these days.  The minimum balance to cash out is $10, which is 1,000 points.  You are paid cash through either PayPal or Hyper Wallet, or you can cash in points for sweepstakes entries or charitable contributions.

Sweepstakes happen each month, and the giveaways vary. Currently, there are entries available for 100 points each to win a $100 Amazon gift card, and entries to win a back to school bundle of school supplies for 25 points each.

One of the most frustrating things about the website, in my opinion, is that you cannot see the charity options before you reach the minimum balance.

Another point of frustration is that, according to other users and the company itself, it can take 6 to 8 weeks for points to post to your account after you finish a survey.

This is highly unusual for the industry, but they claim they wait until the survey completely closes to post all points.

My Experience

There isn’t much to this part.  I signed up, verified my account, and was immediately given a profile survey.  It took 5 minutes or so and earned 5 points.  Other than that, the only other thing I have received is a screener.

I was told up front I would receive no incentive to complete the screener.  The problem was that one of the questions was “Which medical occupation are you in?” I was given a list to choose from, and none of them were “none.”

Basically, since I am not in any medical or healthcare field, I had to either lie or simply quit.  I quit, but I immediately went back and checked my profile information to ensure I had not marked myself as being in the medical or healthcare field inadvertently.

If I had done that, I would get it.  That is what I meant by how important it is to mark your profile information correctly.  You can waste a lot of time in the future by not doing so.

However, this one falls on them.  I had marked my profile correctly.  This screener was, in my opinion, faulty.

Better Business Bureau

When I searched for American Consumer Panel on the BBB website, I ran into issues.  There was a file, but it was not rated, and there were no reviews.  However, Decision Analysts, the parent company, has a file.

They have a B- rating, which is pretty good for a paid survey site.  Most of the complaints were related to acop payout time.  There was even a write up about it by the BBB at the top of the page.

It turns out members are cashing out and waiting 4 months or more for their payment to arrive, even via PayPal.  This added to the fact that points can take up to 8 weeks to post means no one is making fast money here.

According to the BBB, they have now addressed the time delay in their policies so that members will know what to expect.  ACOP claims that the delay is due to high volumes of people cashing out at once.

While it sounds good, many survey sites have tons of people cash out at the same time, and it does not take this long to send PayPal payments.

Is American Consumer Panel Legit or a Scam?

I think they are legit.  They do not appear to be scamming anyone out of anything.  You never pay, and you are not asked for credit card information.

They have been around for over 30 years, and their parent company has been around for 40 years.

Companies do not last that long by scamming people.  In addition, their rating on the BBB is too high for them not to be legit.

That said, their reputation for paying slowly does not bode well for what others may think.

Conclusion

This is a pretty middle of the road survey site.  Depending on what is available and your specific demographics, you could get enough surveys to make some nice pocket change.  The downside is that it could take you a year or more to actually have the money in your hands.

The opposite could also happen.  You could sign up and never see a survey, though they say that everyone will get several a year, they left themselves a nice out by not defining exactly how many “several” could be.

It is unlikely that you will receive no surveys at all, but there is also no way to know how much they will be worth.

I saw the one for 150 points.  Seven surveys paying that amount will get you to the $10 threshold.  The reviews on the BBB are from people cashing out hundreds of dollars, so apparently, some emails pay more, or several is a lot of surveys for some people after all.

One really great thing is that by sending out screeners, they ensure that if you are sent an email, you should be eligible to finish it.  This translates to less wasted time screening out of surveys.

My final conclusion on this is that it is fine to add it to your survey site basket.  You need to be on several paid survey sites to maximize your earnings potential.  Just don’t count on this one as a main source of income.

Take the surveys as they come and cash out when you can.  In the meantime, be sure you have other sites to work on as well.  Survey Junkie and Swagbucks are highly recommended and great alternatives.