Friday, June 24, 2011

TrialPay Tries My Patience

I've been playing around at Listia (here's my review), and in trying to earn some additional credits, I gave a few of the "special offers" a try...

These "special offers" are provided by TrialPay, and they include a number of not-so-attractive options, such as "get paid to take surveys" as well as actual purchases, so I tried to select wisely.

First, I tried to get 24 credits for signing up for the Kellogg's newsletter. But there was some sort of horrible glitch. My first click didn't take me right to the Kellogg's website as it should have, so I had to try again and refresh the page to get it to load. That should have been a clue, right? Next, after filling out four pages with all sorts of demographic and product info, I finally made it to the last page -- which then had one of those new pop-ups, one of those flash pop-overs, which asked me to register for the very same newsletter I had just been subscribing to.

This did not please me.

And I was further troubled that no subscription confirmation or welcoming email from Kellogg's arrived.

Nor did my "confirmed instantly" credits show up.

So I contacted Listia, who directed me to the TrialPay folks. Where upon I explained the whole problem, again. I was promptly asked to send them a copy of my Kellog's subscription email -- the very one I had said I never received. I told them, again, I never received one, to which they replied I'd need to contact Kellogg's support about that.


I decided I didn't want 24 credit points that badly.

Meanwhile, while awaiting that to be sorted out, I decided to give another "special offer" a try. This second try was to "complete tasks" for CrowdFlower, also for 24 points.

If the Kellogg's offer was frustrating, this would be infuriating. My task was to "Verify Organizations' Websites (10 times)" -- to look at websites and decide it they were the official website or page of the company named, in the location given, or if they were a directory site/listing, or if they were none of the above. Simple, right?

The trick here is that CrowdFlower tests you, meaning they know if the sites (or most of them) are the official sites or not, and they require an 80% correct rate in order for your "30 minute" task to be completed. Going below that accuracy rate means you continue to be fed site listings. This would not be a horrible things, except that 25% of the sites I was sent to were 404s, 403s, removed/suspended sites, or otherwise not available -- and there is no way to mark this in your responses.

Even using Google search and cache was not helpful, as this did not match up with the CrowdFlower system's expected results. When you make an error, you are given the opportunity to defend yourself -- and I was clear to mention the 404s etc. But you still "fail." And, thrice I was given sites of ambiguous natures. For example, an HIV/AIDS organization naming a specific treatment house as part of their services did not qualify as the official website or webpage of the treatment house. These things sunk my accuracy rate greatly -- meaning I was well over 60 minutes at this point.  I decided this was a futile endeavor.

I sent a complaint into CrowdFlower; it went unaddressed, despite my leaving my name and email contact information.

I sent a complaint into TrialPay; they, once again, responded in a manner that proves they do not read what is sent to them. Their response was that I did not meet the accuracy level to complete the task, something I had not only stated up front, but described in detail as to why it could not be done.

It was at this time I remembered where I had heard the name CrowdFlower before... My friend Collin's review.

You are all warned.

All this while I had purposefully decided to avoid the "special offers" which involved payment or scam/spam surveys, etc.

The bottom line: I love Listia, but I won't be using "special offers" to earn credits -- or trusting TrialPay anyplace else either.


Jane said...

I've had a couple of run-ins with TrialPay - it's been awhile since I tried it as all but one encounter was horrendous.

The first time I used them I actually had an option that was pleasing to me, a site that I still use.

But after the first time, it just sucked plain and simple. I remember having to go through pages and pages of stuff to click and review and etc., etc. Twice I simply gave up on what I was trying to accomplish because I'd spent half an hour jumping through their hoops and was nowhere near the end of the process.

Also, because I'm a bit paranoid, I used different name for the process, and received tons and tons of spam addressed to that name. So don't count on privacy from them.

There may be folks out there for whom TrialPay works well, but if you're not in for a huge hassle (and spam), I would also recommend against.

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