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Paid online surveys are a great way to earn some extra money or gift cards in your free time. They’re basically effortless and don’t require anything but a computer with a network connection.
However, the worst thing about them is how randomly you can get disqualified. It’s such an annoying experience, especially if you’ve already taken the time to answer a bunch of questions.
Some people might think survey companies disqualify them on purpose after obtaining their data to avoid payment. While some scam websites actually do that, it’s not typical.
In this article, we’ll see 5 reasons why you can’t complete online surveys on the most reputable websites.
Maybe the Owner Took It Down
As you might already know, the survey owner specifies a certain number of replies that he wants to receive. After exceeding the quota, he’ll manually take the survey down or ask the website to automatically do so.
Needless to say, surveys now are more famous than ever. Therefore, it’s pretty common for online survey sites to complete their target quotas after a short time from being released.
The worst thing about this is that you can’t know how many responses are left before the survey shuts off. That’s why you might be casually filling one, only to find it’d closed before you finished.
Therefore, it’s better to opt for websites that share this information with its visitors. This way, you’ll be able to dedicate your efforts to completing surveys that still have time left.
The Survey Closed for Me but It’s Still Open for My Friend, How?
Sometimes, survey owners specify certain demographic data for their pool of responses.
For example, let’s assume that a survey owner requested 100 responses. He might request 50 of them to be from people older than 30 years, leaving the other 50 for younger people.
Age isn’t the only factor. They can also specify gender, location, marital status, etc. They do so to widen their market research and make better, more effective decisions.
So, maybe you were unlucky enough to belong in a group from which enough people already responded. Your friend, however, might belong to another scarcer category.
All in all, it’s better to stay away from surveys that have been around for days. This way, it’ll be less likely to exceed the quota or the demographic limit.
Kicked Out So You Can’t Complete Online Surveys
Surveys typically ask a couple of screening questions prior to starting. This way, they can make sure your response will be 100% valuable for their research.
Screening questions are merely chosen by survey owners. They might not make much of a sense to you.
For example, a company could be doing a survey for a particular shampoo. They might need answers from people who’ve never used it before. In this case, you can get disqualified even if you use this shampoo on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, some survey designers are dumb enough to put these questions in the midst of the survey, or even after finishing it!
Every Question Matters
Companies pay survey websites only for completed responses. However, multiple-choice screening questions might actually benefit them. That’s why they’ve been getting longer and more elaborate.
Worst of all, you might spend several minutes answering all the screening questions only to find yourself disqualified after the last one.
For instance, let’s assume a paid survey provider is looking for survey takers who are 20-year-old females who live in New Jersey, go to the movies twice a month, and have watched a certain movie in the past week.
You might be a female in the same age group who lives in Trenton, goes to the movies more than twice a month, but sadly, you haven’t watched that very movie yet.
What to Do
There’s usually nothing you can do about it. Once you provide an inadequate response to any of these questions, you’ll be instantly kicked out, no matter how much you’ve already answered.
If this happens frequently, maybe you should shift to another website. A good survey provider should maintain a basic level of quality control to save the precious time of its visitors.
Also, make sure you completed all the missing information in your account. This will help the surveys know if you’re ineligible beforehand.
Disqualified for Dishonesty
Survey websites are becoming smarter every day. And it’s pretty understandable. No business would be willing to pay for useless, dishonest information that will jeopardize their marketing rather than improve it.
Some surveys use tools that analyze your cursor behavior to compare it with the norm. For instance, if you’re actually reading each question, your cursor will move to select an answer, then press next, then stay put until you read the next one.
If they detect high cursor movement, they might deduce that you minimized the survey window and carried on with your normal activity. Some people do this trick to avoid being disqualified for rush answers.
But it doesn’t have to be that complicated, though. Surveys might incorporate some small details to force you to read between the lines.
For example, question #2 might ask, “Did you go to the movies last month?” Then, on question #12, they can ask, “How many times did you go to movies in the last month?” If you answered “zero,” the survey will instantly detect the inconsistency and kick you out.
Moreover, they might compare your answering rate with the average. For instance, if it takes 8 minutes to finish half the survey, they’ll doubt that you’re not paying attention if you made it in 3 minutes only.
If you feel tired or bored, it’ll be better if you took a break. Take care, if you were disqualified frequently for the same reason, the website might think you’re a robot. If this happens, they may ban you, close your account, or take your account balance.
Maybe the Website Doesn’t Allow VPNs
Some survey websites restrict their service for certain locations. You can use a VPN to find your way around this problem and benefit from the website.
However, as survey owners wouldn’t want answers outside their specified location, some websites strictly ban VPNs to provide real value for their clients.
There are a lot of technical ways with which websites know if you’re using a VPN. I won’t explain them here to keep this article simple. So it’s better not to take the risk, especially if your account has an active balance that you haven’t withdrawn yet.
Maybe It’s Just Technical Difficulties
If nothing from the previous reasons apply, that leaves us with the pretty common technical issues.
You can’t always track the source, though. Maybe the website is down, the survey is glitched, or your network is momentarily deactivated.
Therefore, the easiest thing to do is restart your computer, your router, and try again after some time.
If the problem persists even though you made sure nothing is wrong on your side, try contacting the website’s technical support.
Why You Can’t Complete Online Surveys
Finished quota, expired demographics, unsuccessful screening, dishonest answers, using VPNs, or normal technical difficulties. These were the 5 most common reasons why you can’t complete online surveys.
I know how frustrating it feels, especially after occurring multiple times. But don’t let this discourage you from taking more surveys.
Remember, the technical support team might be able to pinpoint the problem and offer a solution faster than you do.
Lastly, I wish this article answered your questions. Happy surveying!