CHOICE membership

'Dodgy' survey sites

scams
opinion_surveys
overseas_business

#1

As a victim of a ‘dodgy’ Australian survey site www.myopinions.com.au, where my account was suddenly ‘terminated’ as soon as I hit the ‘redeem’ button to try to cash in points earned from taking surveys, I wonder if CHOICE can investigate this website. I’d been a member of this site for 13+ years and have always diligently answered surveys, even when the questions posed were difficult to answer given the options available to me.
I’ve since discovered that I’m not the only member whose account has been terminated when they’ve been attempting to redeem their points, just look on their Facebook page.
After months of silence on their part, and many emails from me giving them the details of ALL the computers I’ve ever accessed their site with (I’ve upgraded my computer 3 times in the 13+ years but always from the same place, and just recently have installed a VPN after being hacked, but I’m told my computer is still identifiable, I’ve been told that they’ve been unable to determine my identity and so therefore have terminated my account permanently in order to better protect their other members!! I had risen to Platinum Plus level, where I’d been for the past 4 years, I most certainly have not violated any of their conditions. After reading their Facebook page and seeing how many other members have had their accounts terminated after hitting the redeem button, I’m left wondering just how many others are being scammed by this site Please can you investigate this? It’s strange how one doesn’t violate the terms and conditions until one tries to redeem their points.


#2

Looks like you aren’t the only one who has has their account cancelled when trying to redeem points. There are several other websites also with similar complaints/ comments from users.

They also run the website Your Voice Australia.

The website is also hosted in the USA and is part of the US company Survey Sampling International.

As it appears to be a US company, the Australian Laws are unlike to provide much assistance, however, you could lodge a complaint with the US Bureau of Consumer Protection. A complaint can also be lodged with the ACCC Scamwatch.

Before lodging such a complaint, I would make contact with myopinions.com.au indicating that this is what you plan to do if they fail to honour the redemption credits earned on their website. This alone may be enough to trigger a response. The only contact information on their website is a 1800 international forward call number. After a bit of hunting, I have found their contact details here, namely

In the future, it is also worth doing an internet search of any website you plan to join to make sure it is legitimate. There are more and more website that look like legitimate Australian websites which aren’t. I am always suspicious of websites that don’t provide much contact information.

If you do decide to join such websites thinking they are okay, never provide any credit card, financial or personal information to such websites, just in case they are a front to scammers. This is a very easy way to obtain obtain credit card details or information for identity theft.


#3

Thank you for your reply, yes I did investigate them before I joined in 2004, but haven’t since. Only this year has there ever been any problems with redeeming points I have no idea what has changed. I have filed a complaint with the bodies you’ve suggested, I’ve also posted on my Facebook page to help others in the same situation…My Opinions is well aware that I’ve lodged complaints…I didn’t waste my time further with emailing them again. Yes, I was a member of Your Voice too but was ‘terminated’ again when trying to redeem points but as it was only $20 I didn’t think it was worth pursuing.


#4

The same thing has happened to me. Both My Opinions and Your Voice have blocked my accounts just when I was trying to access the rewards page to check my balance and possibly claim rewards. This has never happened before in over four years.

Their so-called customer service people asked me for all sorts of detail about me, my account, previous rewards, my computer and software etc etc. but have not responded with any remedial action. I wonder if they have run out of funds and shut up shop.


#5

That is my suspicion too, it seems to be common with this site these days, judging from their Facebook page anyway, and the number of members who’ve lost their accounts when attempting to redeem their earned credits. I’ve been a member for 13+ years and this has only recently begun to happen, I suspect when they aligned themselves with the US company. Use the links provided in CHOICE’s first response to me and register a complaint on the US Bureau of Customer Protection, the more of us complain, the more likely they are to take action.


#6

I have issued the necessary warning to both sites that I will make a complaint to the US Bureau of Consumer Protection if they do not immediately unblock my account. However, I am not hopeful of a positive result. If there is one, I will claim any available rewards, then leave those sites for good.


#7

I’ve done the same but also have actually complained after My Opinions emailed me saying they have proven that I’ve violated their terms and conditions with the information I gave them… I know that I’ve never violated the terms of anything, nor have I given conflicting responses to any of their surveys…I hope you get your account re-established Flight, but from personal experience I doubt it will happen, unless of course you had few points in it to begin with.


#8

Thanks for the report @jezemeg8, I’ll be sure to pass it onto our investigations team for consideration.


#9

Well, my accounts with both sites were finally unlocked. I used the opportunity to claim the available outstanding rewards, then I unsubscribed from both. I regard the action of locking my accounts without cause as an absolute breach of trust, so I will not have any dealings with these people in future. I did leave behind approx $3 in unclaimed rewards which they can position where the sun does not shine.


#10

I’m so happy for you flight, I was contacted too and gave my details for the sixth time, maybe my account too will be unlocked and I will be doing the same as you, collecting my rewards and then leaving.


#11

Thanks jeze. I hope you are successful too. There are plenty of ethical survey sites out there so we needn’t put up with these clowns.


#12

That’s right, when My Opinions was aligned with EmailCash (now known as Rewards Central) it was a great site, but since being associated with that US group it’s gone down hill. My points in Your Voice aren’t worth pursuing, but as soon as my account is unblocked I will be redeeming them via instant cash out, and then bye bye, I’ll also be warning others NOT to bother with that site in future.


#13

I have been apparently hacked as well so they say and lost over 200 dollars gathered over years of membership, there response was its my fault and take the loss. My account email was changed without my knowledge to a g mail account and a fake phone number and 2 times 100 dollar vouchers sent to the bogus account. It made me very sick in the stomach at there inaction which was nil. Totally bogus, question like did you cancel the vouchers to the bogus account what have you done to track the theft with was met no answers from them. They maintain my email account was hacked which it wasn’t so there fore they will not re credit my account very disappointing after all these years of membership. I don’t know what i can do now to recoup the monies.Big companies have all the power to rip people off and get away with it.


#14

Hi @Marked4awe, sorry to hear you’ve gone through all this trouble only to be treated this way. I wish there was an easy answer here, but the way this system is set up makes it very tricky to use the normal mechanisms to get some form of retribution. If you have a moment, I’d be interested to see your correspondence with the company (either screen grabs or emails) and you can send it through to bmays@choice.com.au.

I’d also encourage you to make a report to ScamWatch, and if you are inclined, you can also try writing to their legal deprtment and let them know that you feel they have failed in their obligations under the privacy act. While they are a US company, they still need to follow the laws in the countries in which they are operating. By taking this tact, you’re also aiming to get through to someone willing to do the right thing and credit your account.

Their address is:
Attn: Legal Department
Survey Sampling International, LLC
6 Research Drive
Shelton, Connecticut 06484, USA.

Thanks again for sharing your experience. Hopefully it will help others decide if they wish to invest time in the program.


#15

There is nothing regarding myopinions.com.au on Product Review but that is probably because there are no invoices or proof of purchase documents to verify complaints.

However, there are a number of US sites with many far from flattering reviews of their US outfit.

https://www.surveypolice.com/myopinions

https://au.trustpilot.com/review/myopinions.com.au

There is also this classic.

https://www.myopinions.com.au/en-au/blogcontent/how-to-avoid-online-survey-scams

You have got to love it.


#16

Bottom line, the presence or absence of invoices or receipts is irrelevant to being able to post a review on productreview.com.au


#17

I was a long time satisfied member of the MyOpinions site until they joined with an American website (they used to be Australian owned). As soon as they amalgamated things went downhill rapidly. I had to report them to ScamWatch and threaten legal action before finally I got my earned rewards, BUT it took many months of persistence. I then ceased to be a member of that site. There are many more reputable ways to earn money taking surveys on the web, BUT make sure that the same crowd who now own MyOpinions isn’t involved with it and check online for user reviews before bothering to sign up, no point repeating a disaster unless you have lots of time to spend chasing what you’re owed.


#20

Same thing has just happened to me - my account with MyOpinions has been terminated when I was attempting to cash out some points. I emailed customer support and received an auto response about unsubscribing so am not sure if the email is correct (support@myopinions.com.au). Can anyone please confirm if this is correct? After reading this forum I understand the odds of sorting this out are not the best but I will pursue it. I have been a member for years and have accumulated many points.

Thanks


#21

They seem to direct all their enquiries through a web form on the site, and there is also this phone number - 1-800-601-253.

Good luck sorting it out, please let us know how you go.


#22

Your situation is almost identical to the one I found myself in a couple of years ago when I tried to redeem my earned points. I’d joined when they were still linked to Rewards Central way back last century.
Make as much trouble for them as you can, reporting them to both Australian and American scam sites do a search of where you can complain about dodgy sites in the US, there are many!. Then make sure to remember the American company’s name and avoid signing up to any survey site that has them involved in even a small way.
It nearly took a year before I finally got my payout (and my account was cancelled by them because I “didn’t comply with their rules”), it was a year of several emails a week from me to them, plus posting on American scam watch sites. I learned quite early on that they don’t care about the Australian system but post there as well to stop other Australians from being caught up in the fraud!