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~my thoughts about life~



Thursday, March 24, 2011

Knowledge Networks - Possible Scam???

Recently in the mail, we received an 8x10" white envelope addressed to Current Resident.  Hubby was on his way to the trash can but decided to open it, just to see what it was.  It contained these documents along with two crisp dollar bills.  OK, now they've got our attention!  The welcome letter stated that our household was invited to join KnowledgePanel.  "Each year, only a few addresses are selected at random to get this invitation."  The letter said that participating in surveys will earn cash and other rewards.  In fact, it said that $10 will be given for each member of the family (over 13) who signs up and completes the introductory survey.

Well, I am a great fan of surveys and any type of form that requires writing neat, capital letters in boxes or filling in bubbles with a #2 pencil.  So getting paid to take surveys....sounds too good to be true!  I am a very skeptical person who thinks that anyone and everyone is out to get me somehow.  So I was ready to pocket the two bucks and toss the high quality, glossy brochure.

But instead, I decided to do a little investigating.  Isn't Google one of the greatest devices ever invented?  I Google all kinds of things every day!  When I typed in "Knowledge Networks," the recommended key phrase popped up - "Knowledge Networks Scam."  Oh no, I thought, here we go!  But every article I read was by someone like me who was asking if anyone had encountered problems with this company.  Some were dated from years ago.  No one had anything bad to say.  My skepticism dialed down a bit and I began to wonder if this company was actually legit.  Then I found this page from The Better Business Bureau rating Knowledge Networks with an A+!  So I got to wondering, Is the BBB in on it too?  Are they all trying to scam me?

At this point, I don't know what to think.  Hubby thinks I should give it a try.  They don't ask for membership fees or bank account information, they don't draw blood, ask for your social security number, or fingerprint.  Has anyone else had experience with this company?  Am I being naive to consider joining something that sounds too good to be true?  I would appreciate any thoughts you might have.  Thanks, friends!

(*edit - For an update of my experiences with Knowledge Networks, please see my follow-up post here.)

26 comments:

k said...

I'd go with it! I LOVE surveys! You already did some super sleuthing, can be on the look-out if they start to ask for more personal information and, in the meantime, fire that #2 away.

Amanda Taylor said...

I got this same letter with the money. I did the survery. And continued to get more cash and a few more surveys. Mostly they asked about what I watch on TV. They never asked for social security stuff or anything that could be used against. me. That was almost 2 years ago no and I'm still here. Nothing bad ever happened to me as a result.

chris said...

as part of a research class, i was surprised to learn that companies (and graduate students!) send money with surveys so that people will respond to them more seriously - because they feel like they're being paid to do a good job!

Mimsie said...

Makes you wonder how many perfectly good dollar bills have been unwittingly thrown away, just like your husband was about to do (I'm sure I would have tossed the envelope too without opening it).

America M. said...

Hi! I stumbled upon this website googling for Knowledge Panel (actually, seeing if I can find other legit sites like it). Our household was selected to participate in the surveys, and it's 100% legitimate. No, you aren't going to be able to quit your job and make your living by filling out surveys. But, here is what you CAN expect:

You will received the $10 check in the mail after signing up, I deposited mine without any problems. Every time you fill out a survey you get points if you qualify. You *will* qualify for most surveys: such as shopping habits, bankings, what brands your interested in, etc. etc. Those are the categories that anyone qualifies for, and are worth *at least* 1000 points.

The more selective surveys are worth more points, but it's less likely to qualify for them. For example, there was one survey about psoriasis medications and treatments that was worth 19000 points, but I didn't qualify because I don't have psoriasis. So I didn't get those points.

You can use the points to redeem for cash -- but, again, it's not a *lot* of cash. I think 10,000 points gets you $10? However you can use the points to enter into raffles with much more interesting prizes. For example, it costs 1000 points to enter into a raffle for a $150 Visa Check Card and 2000 points for a $500 Amazon Gift Card. Considering you get at least 1000 points per survey, you can redeem to enter the raffles easily.

Generally, I get about a survey a week, and it takes me about 5-10 minutes to fill them out. There are some weeks I get two, but 1/week is the norm. In terms of redeeming for cash, that translates to getting ~$1/week. Of course, there's some minimum points required to redeem for cash -- I'm just not sure what it is b/c I keep spending my points on the raffles, lol.

Aaand that's about all I can think of at the moment. If you have any questions, just let know!

America M. said...

Erratum: you *can* take more than one survey a day. They email me the link to a survey, and then I use that link to fill the survey out. However, if I click again on that link *after* the survey has been filled out, it will tell me that I already filled that one out but it will also give me a link to a new one.

Anonymous said...

I have participated in surveys from knowledge networks for over five years. This is a great way to make a "little" extra money. They email me survey selections and all I have to do is fill them out. There is a time limit so checking your email every few days is important.

Anonymous said...

I use to be a member of knowledge networks. They are totally legit. I even got a brand new computer one year from this company because I participated in a panel forum during the 2004 presidential election.

Anonymous said...

I also do Knowledge Networks, i redeem my points for cash i have gained over 300$ since nov, but this is in combo for me and my fiance that do these surverys i never had anything bad happen to me while cashing the checks and as above stated i will sum up how many points u need to get cash.

You need 25,000 Points to get 25$ in cash, that is the min. of cashing out your points dont throw it away! There is a select few that get this in the mail I myself wanted to throw it away but i thought id give it a try! Well needless to say i love it and i havent found a better site since!

Good luck! And Welcome to the KN Survey Panel, aslo they ask if u want to be sent a dvd to watch then take a survery, or a phone call survery for more points, i recently had a phone call survery a dvd survey and a Hand washing survey! :) I think its quite fun

Anonymous said...

If you want more info on what this is about feeel free to email me! My comment is the one above :) my name is vanessa and my email is thelooneybinn@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I was approached by Knowledge Networks when I lived in another county north of here two years ago. They also gave me the Better Business Bureau alleged A+ rating "page"- BUT when checked with the REAL Better Business Bureau -there is no such listing! In addition- their surveys subtly ask you for personal information like your actual birthdate, city and State of birth, bank account number (when you deposit their check) your FULL name, and DO try to get your SSN# as well. As a retired Sr. Litigation Manager and Fraud Manager I was very suspicious as no one hands out money for free. I sent several letters asking for pertinent information, and not one was ever answered, I called several times to speak with the alleged Regional Managers they give you the numbers to call- but they are never in. I called the other two numbers regarding how points are awarded - and got a very uneasy person on the line who avoided answering anything except in vague generalities after waiting over an hour and having to click through various computer shunted calls forwarded.I called the Attorney General's Office (Bureau of Consumer Affairs) in my State and was told Knowledge Base Networks Inc. is a scam to gather personal information from you by burying subtle questions within their useless surveys. I was warned not to reply to anything they sent and OPT OUT of the "program", so I did. Also- was told they are being investigated "on several levels". Generally that means the investigation involves more than one State involved in the investigation. Interestingly when I opted out and sent them a short "no thanks" letter - KnowledgeBase never even replied. Very odd for a company who claims that every Surveyer is very important to them.

Amanda said...

I hope its not a scam. So far I deposited the check they gave me and nothing went wrong I even qualified for their 30 dollar survey. It did ask for my DOB which now that I think of it sounds a little shaddy... oh i REALLY hope this thing is legit since I really need the extra cash and even the little they are offering helps out. So far so good I just hope it stays good. Let me know guys if things arent working out. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida supposedly had Knowledge Support, LLC send me an email with a link to a survery to gather information that would 'further help BCBS serve me better'.

When I came to the question asking about income, I deleted the survey.

hogdogs said...

I have redeemed 650,000 for a total of $650 dollars over many years and my wife has done a bit more...

Brent aka:hogdogs

Anonymous said...

The reason Knowledge Networks is asking for basic demographic information, ie DOB, income level, age is not to steal your identitiy or scam you. It is because this information generally needs to be reported as part of any research study in order to be published in a journal or to be taken seriously.

Anonymous said...

This is the real BBB website, and this is the listing: http://www.bbb.org/greater-san-francisco/business-reviews/market-research-and-analysis/knowledge-networks-in-palo-alto-ca-64588 . Looks like a legit business. I still click out of the pages where they ask for my income level, and you can click the "next" button a few times to finally pass over that question. I also put in a falsified birthday and specifics of my family situation, just in case. But the rest of the data - market opinions - I tend to report honestly.

Anonymous said...

I work for the company, sending out surveys via email - they are done online which is a lot easier than paper. We are legit. Another commenter hit on it - we take our panelists seriously so that is why we pay for your time. Also, some of the surveys are long (more than 20 mins of your time) so the incentive helps. Many panelists think of just being a member of the panel & giving opinions on things that really help us out is another incentive. We really do choose to invite people based on a random method. THis way our clients can be sure the answers are reality-based. Welcome & have fun w/ it.

Anonymous said...

I've done surveys with KN for over three years now. Made around $500 all in all, surveys are easy to complete in about 10 minutes. Never had a problem with them.

Anonymous said...

I work for KN conducting surveys over the phone. When we ask for age or income and respondent declines. That is perfectly fine. Or if they refuse any question they are entitled to do so, no questions asked. We are trained daily and also sign confidentiality forms every quarter and it is taken seriously. If it were a scam I would not have been here for 6 years. We are part of the BBB and go thru audits to ensure we are conducting survey calls according market research policy and are not being like telemarketers. Thank you all who participate in our surveys. Allowed me to keep a job during recession

Anonymous said...

I have been a panel member since 2000. They have always paid when I cash in points. As a matter of fact, they paid for my 52 inch big screen

Anonymous said...

Everyone's got their price. I prefer to NOT stand out from the crowd.

blogster said...

I did one survey for them and they seem to have no problem paying me. But do I really want all my opinions on some computer somewhere? They say there is privacy but what if they lie or do not do what they are supposed to do to keep things private? If they want to ask me what kind of foods I like or coffee I drink that is ok but my political opinion and beliefs are a different story. I think I will not participate again.

del hickman said...

Knowledge networks is one of the few legitimate panels online.I have done surveys for 2 years for them.They have always paid me.Anyone that says they are bad and a scam and all that bull is flat out lying.I wont stick up for too many internet co. but I will stick up for them.They even give you extra ways to earn money like install downloads on your computer and earn 50 bucks,or have your child answer a few ques.about movies or school and earn 25 bucks.They are a cool co.to do surveys for and I am glad I didn't throw away that envelope.

Gia is CommesDesGarcon said...

I been doing surveys for that site for 2 years now. I almost threw the paper away. Im glad I didnt. They have a new system where u can redeem points for gifts as well as gift cards. At first I would just get checks in the mail (which take a good little while so i let my points add up before i cash out) I got a gift card to jcpenny an used it at sephora for a new bottle of YSL perfume. An on top of that,I just earned 25 more points and Im using this gift card for bath & body works. Nice.


~Shauna Sayomi

algirl said...

I would love to participate in this, but my husband is still very skeptical. It doesn't help that the address affiliated with the BBB doesn't match with the Minnetonka, MN return address on the envelope. Is join.knpanel.com the correct website to join? Any help from all you who've participated to assure my husband it's legit? I can't find anything on the BBB about GfK or KnowledgePanel, and my packet didn't say "Knowledge Networks".

Paleen said...

I've been participating in surveys with Knowledge Networks for over two years now. It is one of the few survey panels that actually have paid me in real dollars instead of useless points. I've never had any problems with them or the payments. I would highly recommend it.