Staples Offers $5 Check To Take Stupid Survey, Won’t Give Me $5

STAPLES_CHECKGuy received an invitation from Staples to take a survey. Surveys can be tedious and not very fun, but five bucks is five bucks. He followed the link and completed what he calls a “long, redundant, poorly designed survey.” He kept going because there was a check for him at the end. Then he reached the end, and learned that there would be no reward for him.

Wait, what? Turns out that Staples already had enough responses to this survey, and there was no $5 check for Guy. Why did they put him through it, then?

Here’s the message that he received at the end of the survey:

Your opinions are extremely important to us. Unfortunately, we have reached the target number of completes from your group today. However, your time and efforts are greatly appreciated.

Thanks again for your support and participation.

“Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated” is nice and all, but it’s not five bucks.

We sent the survey e-mail and Guy account of what happened over to Staples HQ to find out what the deal was. Do they make a habit of putting customers through surveys and then refusing to pay out? No, a spokesman told us.

Staples values the input of our survey respondents. All respondents must qualify and complete the survey to receive any potential reward. Qualifications and target number of completes are confidential business information and unfortunately, some individuals may have completed the survey before we could validate their qualifications or after we had met our required number of completes for any specific target groups. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused any of our valuable customers.

That means that if, say, they need 500 small business owners to fill out the survey and 499 have already done so when you start it, the next one to finish gets the money. If that’s not you, well, that’s too bad.

Staples did offer to reach out to Guy and give him the survey reward that he missed out on. He appreciates that, but the money isn’t really the point. “Not so much about the $5 as it was the misleading promise,” he wrote to us. “Seems like a really bad process to promise an incentive and not deliver.”

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  1. Raekwon says:

    I used to do surveys for multiple companies and unfortunately this is par for the course. Most of the time you will think you filled out an entire survey just to be told at the end that you don’t qualify for the actual survey and won’t get the payment. Other times it’s like this story and you get told at the end they already had enough participants in your demographic.

  2. SingleMaltGeek says:

    +1 to what @Raekwon said. I dropped a few of them (I’m looking at you, Harris and eRewards) because over the last few months the screener questions suddenly started taking 10 minutes instead of 1-2, and they asked a lot of product-related rather than demographic information. I remember the first few times I was kind of at a loss when they said they had enough responses in my profile group, because I was certain that I was done with the screening questions and was actually taking the survey. It really feels like they’re trying to cheat their respondents of the cheap rewards that they do offer.

  3. CommonC3nts says:

    500-499 = 1 not 5, just sayin….

    Staples should be legally obligated to pay this guy $5.
    The survey could only have completed if he qualified and if there was still money to be paid.
    I am surprised they did not just give the guy at least a $5 off coupon and be done with it.

  4. ComputerGary says:

    The logical thing, of course, would be to have the “we have reached the target number of completes” message be the first thing the consumer sees after clicking “start,” and offer the option to take the survey anyway, for free.

  5. Alecto67 says:

    Like SingleMalt, I used to do eRewards frequently but have stopped because the surveys seem to have gotten more time-consuming. Over the years, I got several gift cards from places like GameStop, 1800 Flowers and numerous magazine subscriptions from their selection of rewards.

    They at least stop you from taking it if the number of responses have been reached. A few will cut you off after you enter the demographic info if responses from those groups are full.

    Staples either didn’t care, or figured they would take any input after 500 as a freebie.

  6. kb says:

    Places like Lowes and Home Depot want you to take a survey after every transaction. Just look at the sales receipt.

    But they offer you a gift card DRAWING from the completed surveys. So you go in knowing your odds are against you.

    I’d complete those surveys more often if they would ask the right questions. Unfortunately, they ask about stupid stuff, and not the important things like did they act like chickens with their heads cut off when the store staff had no clue where they put your order.