Where is My Survey Payment?!

Sometimes it seems to take a while to receive the compensation you requested from your survey panel account. Why is this, and what can you do about it?

Why Does it Sometimes Take So Long?

giftTaking online surveys can be a fun way to earn rewards and pass the time, but sometimes when you hit that “cashout” button in your account, the amount of time it takes to actually receive your reward can vary greatly. You might instantly get cash paid to your PayPal account, or might be instantly e-mailed an Amazon.co.uk voucher code, or you might have to wait a few weeks until you get anything.

Some survey companies give their members the opportunity to redeem their points or survey earnings instantly, and other require their members to wait a few weeks before they are compensated. These times can vary greatly, mostly based on the survey panel’s setup.

Clients Can Be Slow to Pay

Most panels have a “processing time” that can last up to a few weeks and is the time between when a member requests a reward and the time they actually receive it. This is due mainly to wanting to be sure that all monies owed to the market research company’s clients who commissioned a study, are received. So before they pay the panellists who have completed the survey, they wait until they themselves are paid for it first. This might not sound completely fair, but imagine you worked for a company whose customers were constantly late in paying their bills. Eventually your company would experience a shortfall in cash and you could be made redundant.

Manual Approvals

It might sound archaic, but some survey company must manually approve payments or reward requests before they are sent out to their members. Some companies have checks in place such as ensuring that a member has not engaged in fraud by creating multiple accounts, that the member has provided a valid PayPal address (if applicable), etc. before mailing or processing a cashout request.

Slow Postal Service Delivery

If you’ve requested a reward that is put in the mail, don’t get angry at the survey panel you’ve requested it from before considering the postman might be at fault! If you have requested a cheque, merchandise, or even a physical gift card (versus an electronic voucher code), it may take extra time for you to receive your reward. Stay patient! Snail mail has its name for a reason…

How to Approach Varying Processing Times

The most important thing is to be patient – you will receive your reward soon enough, so bear this in mind before getting upset that you have to wait. As a seasoned survey-taker, this wait time soon won’t be an issue, as you’ll likely be receiving your compensations on a semi-regular basis if you are a member of various panels and request your rewards at different time intervals. Even regular jobs typically have two week pay intervals, so consider this also.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get upset about things that happen slowly and do not provide instant gratification. Unfortunately online survey taking isn’t quite up to the speed of many other technologies but as time passes, options like PayPal payments are becoming more commonplace and processing times are overall decreasing.

(Almost) Instant Payers

If you absolutely hate waiting, check out the following panels who pay (almost) instantly after requesting a payment:

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