The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
When the decrease in payment rates was introduced last year, many members looked to the receipt of Ciao surveys as a substitute for the loss in earnings that they had enjoyed up until then. I have read a number of reviews since then that have dismissed the concept as an earnings opportunity, based on the fact that you never get any. A novice to the site could therefore be forgiven for knowing nothing about the subject, so here’s the low down on what Ciao Surveys are all about, and my experience of them.
WHAT ARE THESE SURVEYS ALL ABOUT THEN?
No prizes for guessing what they are all about. Ciao surveys are research questionnaires sent out to a selection of registered Ciao members, dependant on their profiles and interests. Some surveys do not pay a fee – others can pay fees of as much as £25. Other surveys will entail becoming a trial customer for another business, and may attract other rewards and remuneration from the individual business concerned. Ciao surveys are occasionally used by the site owners to canvass site members regarding developments on the site.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
There are three steps that need to be taken before you can become eligible for receiving surveys. Firstly, log into your personal profile and ensure that you have put a tick in the box that indicates your willingness to become involved. Secondly, you should ensure that your personal details are complete and up to date and that all fields available are completed with the right information (remember that they do not have to be made public). Lastly, you should go through the list of available categories within your extended profile and ensure that you have indicated your level of interest in each (from very interested through to completely uninterested).
It’s worth bearing in mind that your personal details are an important part of the survey allocation process. Whilst it may be tempting to show an interest in every subject, you may actually end up doing yourself out of surveys, as the target audience for a certain survey may in fact be members who have absolutely no interest in the product. It therefore really isn’t worth falsifying your profile in the hope that you might make yourself more eligible for surveys. Market research is an unpredictable medium, and you will never be able to anticipate the cross-section of members that each survey will be looking for.
HOW WILL I BE SELECTED?
As and when surveys become available, Ciao will send invitation emails to those members whose personal details fit the requirements for that particular survey. Acceptance is not automatic – normally, you will be required to fill out a basic questionnaire that will determine whether you are eligible to take part, based on your experience and interests. The questionnaire will be emailed to you as a hyperlink, with a specific reference code for your profile. If you complete the questionnaire, and later turn out to be ineligible, if you try and complete the survey again, you will find that the system recognises your user name and will not permit a second attempt.
In most cases, following completion of the initial questionnaire, if you are nominated as eligible, you will be sent a formal invitation to take part, again via email. The exact process for completing the survey will differ from one assignment to another. You will sometimes be sent a URL for a web based questionnaire that you can complete immediately. For other assignments, you will be contacted directly by the partner company, who will issue their own instructions and assignment questionnaires. Instructions given are normally very clear and simple, with step by step details of what action is required.
Occasionally, a survey will be emailed to all members of Ciao, requesting feedback on a certain issue. The questionnaire URL is normally contained within the original email, as no payment is made, and all members are invited to take part.
HOW MANY WILL I RECEIVE?
I thought it might be a useful addition to provide a six-month sample of the surveys in which I have been involved. This will give you a good idea of how often you might expect to see something:
3 x Video Games Surveys @ £1.50 each
1 x Car survey @ £2.00 1 x Travel survey @ £2.00 1 x Web site survey @ £1.50
1 x Car survey @ £2.00 1 x Food survey @ £1.50
1 x Tourism survey @ £1.00 1 x Pop Culture survey @ £16.00 1 x Food survey @ £1.00
1 x Food survey @ £1.00 1 x Holiday survey @ £1.00
1 x Printer survey @ £1.00 1 x Printer survey @£2.00 1 x Film survey @ £2.50
I have noticed something of an increase in the number of surveys of late. That aside, I find it very difficult to track payment of them and I'm not entirely sure I do always get paid for them. I would therefore highly recommend that you keep the original emails that you are sent inviting you to take part and that you only delete them when you notice the payment in your account. It's hardly megabucks - but it seems a shame not to get it!
WHAT SORT OF SURVEYS ARE AVAILABLE?
Surveys cover a wide range of topics, as well as targeting different numbers of participants. I have been invited to complete surveys on holidays, banking, share dealing and DIY, so you can get a fair indication of the variety of topics. The share dealing survey involved becoming a test subject for a German banking web site, complete with £1000 to play with. The other surveys were simple questionnaires about my views and experiences. The DIY survey was perhaps the most bizarre, with countless images of different breathing apparatus for me to comment on.
The sponsors of nearly all the surveys that I have completed have been obviously European. The clipped Germanic English is often a source of great amusement for me with such requests for information as:
“Between the scale of numbers one to ten, please to give your indication of how much you are agreeing with this statement”.
I also tend to find that the surveys are very repetitive – many questions seemed to be asked several times, with the wording changing only slightly between each. That aside, they could never be described as difficult, or particularly time consuming, and I would urge all invitees to take part, wherever practically possible.
HO MUCH WILL I GET PAID?
The exact remuneration on each survey differs markedly. A recent survey on car dealerships paid £25. The share dealing partnership offered unlimited earnings, with all investment profits made being paid to the participant. The holiday survey paid £4 and the DIY survey paid £8. The level of remuneration is normally calculated in consideration of the time required to complete, and the amount of contribution required by you.
The earnings from a completed survey are not paid into your Ciao account immediately. In most cases, the earnings will be paid one or two weeks after the deadline, once all the responses have been collated and quality checked. Nonetheless, all payments are made as promised, provided you have fulfilled the survey requirements. On the whole, my view is that the level of compensation is generous in comparison to the relative effort required from the participant.
IS THIS A GOOD OPPORTUNITY?
In some ways, they offer good earnings in comparison to other online research ventures, in that the pay rates are certainly higher than most of the Internet survey sites that you may see dotted around. Given that they are also affiliated with a web site that you are already a member of, they are also very convenient.
On the downside, many members would find the frequency and availability of surveys very disappointing – I haven’t received one for several months – so if you’re looking for a get rich scheme I suspect you will be disappointed.
ARE THEY WORTH IT?
From a market research perspective, I would imagine that the surveys provide sponsors with some very useful information. I suspect that most of the sponsors are European businesses, interested in the comparative merits of the British market. From an individual’s perspective, the ease of completion, coupled with the potential to get paid means that I don’t see how anyone could possibly fail to recommend these surveys to members. It seems unfair to criticise the scheme on the basis that surveys aren’t received often enough – although to be fair, Ciao have rather made a rod for their own back with that one. At the time of the payment scheme changes, Ciao surveys were used as a means of suggesting that members could expect to see a good level of earnings from such work – a claim that has failed to materialise.
HOW COULD THE SYSTEM BE IMPROVED?
I am sure that few members would disagree that they would like to receive more surveys. In the absence of payments per read, the surveys seemed to be a good compromise, but their absence has left many members disgruntled. It’s also worth bearing in mind that many members are not financially motivated in their use of Ciao, and they are therefore probably not really interested in Ciao surveys. The subject matter tends to be less than inspiring, so it seems logical that Ciao should work harder to actively secure a greater variety of sponsors – on a selection of topics of more relevance to the wider membership.
The system could also be used more actively to facilitate feedback regarding Ciao changes. I recall that a survey was used to canvass feedback regarding the league tables, asking whether they should be scrapped or not. When the consensus was reached that they should remain, members were at least led to believe that their views were being taken into consideration. A similar question (regarding splitting the Premium Fund into two monthly payments) was simply posted on the community home page, when a survey could have been utilised to make it easier for members to respond. Similar “hot topic” style questions could be posed via the surveys, with results displayed on the home page – this would give the site a more up to date feel for visitors and members alike.
There also appears to be a certain element of secrecy surrounding the allocation of surveys. I think it would be useful to display details of allocated surveys, via the Ciao Surveys link from the home page, as well as a percentage response indicator. At least this way, members could see that surveys were (or were not, as the case may be) actively being circulated amongst the community.
I think it would be impossible not to recommend the surveys, as they are quick, simple and pay you money. The existing system does leave a lot to be desired though – this seems like a system that has a lot of potential, but is going to waste through a lack of development by the site owners.