Please be wary of Valued Opinions - they have stolen £150 from me before Christmas

redkitty_3
redkitty_3 Posts: 65
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edited 21 December 2020 at 5:15PM in Praise, vent & warnings
I hope this is in the right place, if not feel free to move it moderators.

I have been a member of Valued Opinions since 2014, that is over 6 years now. I have never had any problems or issues until the past year, when they stopped automatically paying out on surveys and I was forced to chase up payments for several studies I took part in. These took months to resolve because they also moved their customer services abroad, whereas before they were in the UK and any rare payment issues were dealt with promptly. 

Then, after a particularly annoying set of payments totalling about £25 was credited, after another few weeks I stopped getting survey invites altogether.
I thought this was odd but had no time to chase up until yesterday.

Today I received a copy pasted reply to my email, which after looking on the Trustpilot website just now, I can see that everyone receives:
Thank you for your email.
Unfortunately, the accuracy and attentiveness of your account activity has been flagged, and upon review of your account, we have been forced to suspend your account. As a member of our program you may only have one account, provide accurate profile information and survey responses. You must also be thoughtful and attentive in responding to our surveys. When we have concerns about any of these program rules we are obligated to take steps to investigate and unfortunately suspend accounts. We do not take account suspension lightly and do so only when account issues have been identified. At this time your account has been indefinitely suspended and you will no longer be able to participate in surveys or claim rewards from our website. Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for your patience. Kind regards, Jeneza

Firstly, I only have one account and have been a member for many years with no issue whatsoever, until VO stopped paying me rewards and I was forced to complain because they did not pay me. I find it bizarre that after 6.5 years my account has only now been flagged up for inaccuracies etc. I want to know what these are because I know I haven't done anything wrong and I really believe VO are 'punishing' me for daring to complain and claim rewards for studies I've completed. 

There is £109.25 in my account that I was saving for Christmas presents and I now cannot withdraw it because VO decided to suspend my account!! I cannot believe they have done this and I have been left bereft at an already difficult time.
VO also owe me another £27 for surveys completed prior to me even knowing about this suspension. I am also taking part in a 3 year MedUx broadband survey, and they owe me another quarterly payment for it tomorrow. This is one of the missed payments I had to complain about a few months ago, funny enough!

Anyway I replied (angrily) to the email, sent them a message on Facebook and left a bad review on Trustpilot. I'm furious that they have stolen £150 from me before Christmas. It is a disgusting thing to do especially at this time of year, and after the year we've just had.
I want to warn others who are signed up to them to either keep away or not sign up, because they are clearly dodgy. 

Once I have my money back (if I ever get it back, that is) I will never use them again. This is disgraceful treatment and I really would like them removed from the Surveys list on Money Saving Expert.com.
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Comments

  • When I did surveys I cashed out at the smallest increment they would let me. I know it’s ‘hindsight’ but leaving that much in the site when you’ve already had issues was not wise. Neither was leaving it so late before Christmas to cash out for Christmas presents... 
  • IvanOpinion
    IvanOpinion Posts: 22,150
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    Not saying this is the case, but maybe an analysis of your responses has shown that you are simply selecting and completing any old survey for money.  Some companies have said they will be tightening up on this to try to improve the quality of their data.
    Past caring about first world problems.
  • redkitty_3
    redkitty_3 Posts: 65
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    edited 22 December 2020 at 12:15PM
    Thanks for the responses. Yes with hindsight I should have got the money out as soon as I could, but I honestly never expected this to happen and have saved up lots of money and withdrawn it before without any issues.

    I haven't been taking 'any old' survey either, I rarely had time to do them except at holidays etc and got screened out of a lot as well. 

    VO blocked me from their FB page, after I posted my review. That's fine but why not at least answer my questions?

    I called up Dynata UK (who own VO) to ask for the CEO details of VO and said I'll refer to Trading Standards unless they can produce evidence of my 'wrongdoing', which I honestly believe there is no evidence of. 

  • JJ_Egan
    JJ_Egan Posts: 20,281
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    Trading Standards will do nothing , not even sure if they still deal with the public .
  • calleyw
    calleyw Posts: 9,814
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    It can happen for any reason.  As has already been said never leave that amount in your account, cash out the moment you can. Why should they be removed from the survey list when hundreds if not thousands of people use VO happily I do and have no issues with them.
    Doubt you will be getting your money. so I would move on and forget about it.  If you have not been doing any surveys for a while then they are entitled to close your account.  i lost £10 on one account my own fault but when I needed £25 to cash out and hardly got any decent surveys I realised it was not worth worrying about.
    Yours
    Calley x
    Hope for everything and expect nothing!!!

    Good enough is almost always good enough -Prof Barry Schwartz

    If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try -Seth Godin
  • Takmon
    Takmon Posts: 1,738
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    I hope this is in the right place, if not feel free to move it moderators.

    I have been a member of Valued Opinions since 2014, that is over 6 years now. I have never had any problems or issues until the past year, when they stopped automatically paying out on surveys and I was forced to chase up payments for several studies I took part in. These took months to resolve because they also moved their customer services abroad, whereas before they were in the UK and any rare payment issues were dealt with promptly. 

    Then, after a particularly annoying set of payments totalling about £25 was credited, after another few weeks I stopped getting survey invites altogether.
    I thought this was odd but had no time to chase up until yesterday.

    Today I received a copy pasted reply to my email, which after looking on the Trustpilot website just now, I can see that everyone receives:
    Thank you for your email.
    Unfortunately, the accuracy and attentiveness of your account activity has been flagged, and upon review of your account, we have been forced to suspend your account. As a member of our program you may only have one account, provide accurate profile information and survey responses. You must also be thoughtful and attentive in responding to our surveys. When we have concerns about any of these program rules we are obligated to take steps to investigate and unfortunately suspend accounts. We do not take account suspension lightly and do so only when account issues have been identified. At this time your account has been indefinitely suspended and you will no longer be able to participate in surveys or claim rewards from our website. Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for your patience. Kind regards, Jeneza

    Firstly, I only have one account and have been a member for many years with no issue whatsoever, until VO stopped paying me rewards and I was forced to complain because they did not pay me. I find it bizarre that after 6.5 years my account has only now been flagged up for inaccuracies etc. I want to know what these are because I know I haven't done anything wrong and I really believe VO are 'punishing' me for daring to complain and claim rewards for studies I've completed. 

    There is £109.25 in my account that I was saving for Christmas presents and I now cannot withdraw it because VO decided to suspend my account!! I cannot believe they have done this and I have been left bereft at an already difficult time.
    VO also owe me another £27 for surveys completed prior to me even knowing about this suspension. I am also taking part in a 3 year MedUx broadband survey, and they owe me another quarterly payment for it tomorrow. This is one of the missed payments I had to complain about a few months ago, funny enough!

    Anyway I replied (angrily) to the email, sent them a message on Facebook and left a bad review on Trustpilot. I'm furious that they have stolen £150 from me before Christmas. It is a disgusting thing to do especially at this time of year, and after the year we've just had.
    I want to warn others who are signed up to them to either keep away or not sign up, because they are clearly dodgy. 

    Once I have my money back (if I ever get it back, that is) I will never use them again. This is disgraceful treatment and I really would like them removed from the Surveys list on Money Saving Expert.com.

     The first on the list of DO's and DON'Ts on the MSE survey page is:

    DON'T store cash in survey accounts Survey companies aren't banks. There's no protection if one closes, taking your cash with it. So withdraw your cash as soon as you reach the payment threshold. When a previous survey firm closed down, many lost money.
    So you really shouldn't have been saving money in there!.
  • I also had my account account deactivated for no reason - I logged in and it said it was inactive, this was the day after I just got paid £14 for a survey and I cashed out £15.50 (less than £5 left in account). I contacted them to reactivate it (as per their link) and I received an email saying (along the lines of) "yes, I can see it's marked as inactive, would you like me to activate it for you?". I have asked for it to be reactivated and stressed that I didn't deactivate it. Obviously it wasn't inactive, as I had used it the day before! I am hoping it'll be sorted....

    Note that I never received an email saying they had deactivated it. Not sure that helps at all, but thought I'd share, as my account was inactivated with no reason.
  • I stopped using Valued Opinions a few years ago.  It used to be ok but the suddenly it was all really late screenouts with no compensation for a fair amount of time spent.  
  • I stopped using Valued Opinions a few years ago.  It used to be ok but the suddenly it was all really late screenouts with no compensation for a fair amount of time spent.  
    Yes, I found that too. When I asked them about it all they said was that they have to have a certain quota of responses from each demographic. I get that, but at least tell me about it before I've completed 75% of the survey, at the start would be useful. Awful experience.
    Retired at age 56 after having "light bulb moment" due to reading MSE and its forums. Have been converted to the "budget to zero" concept and use YNAB for all monthly budgeting and long term goals.
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