Is SurveyMonkey a Scam? [Unbiased Review]

SurveyMonkey Scam Post Banner

Thanks for stopping by to read my SurveyMonkey Review.

I was recently thinking of adding a survey section to my website so readers could provide simple feedback. One of the options I was looking into was SurveyMonkey… so naturally, I did a little research and to be honest, I was shocked to see so many people calling them a scam.

Disclaimer:
Please note, I am not a member or an affiliate for SurveyMonkey. This review has been researched with information and/or testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any recommendations and/or conclusions are strictly opinions and may not to apply to, or agree with, all persons or situations. See full disclaimer for more info

What Is Survey Monkey?

SurveyMonkey is a survey maker that provides the tools, templates and pre-made topics to help you easily design and distribute customizable surveys to your customers and audience.

You may have stumbled upon SurveyMonkey in your search for ways to make money online or how you to get paid with SurveyMonkey, which is understandable. There are dozens of similar sounding sites that pay you to fill out surveys, like Survey Junkie for example. 

You may also be looking for SurveyMonkey Contribute, which is an extension of SurveyMonkey that I'll explain more about below. You can earn SurveyMonkey rewards that way, but as far as earning money on a regular basis, that's not what Survey Monkey is. 

Founded in 1999 by Ryan and Chris Finley, they are a cloud based software company that allows you to create your own surveys.

If that's not what you were looking for, you can make money with online surveys on sites like the one mentioned above, surveyjunkie.com, or you can also get paid to do things like playing games, watching videos, and even searching the web with InboxDollars

You may have even been looking for a way to make a full-time income online. A health issue that's keeping you home for example, or young children to take care of…  

In that case, an online business may be what you want, and knowing how to get started is what you need in order to get what you want.

Now, I'm going to give you a free step by step beginner's guide to making money online and you can get it by Clicking Here

But for those looking to create their own surveys, this SurveyMonkey review is for you.

And even though the word “survey” is in their name, the real value is actually in the data your survey gives you… not the survey itself. 

On the SurveyMonkey's back-end you'll find a suite of paid tools that help you analyze that data. For simple surveys and direct questions the message might be clear, but for complicated surveys they provide programs that help you with things like sample selection and bias elimination. 

I was initially interested in SurveyMonkey because they have a clean and easy to use interface… and a free trial. You can’t go wrong with a free trial right?

Well… that’s what I thought too, until I started digging a little deeper into the SurveyMonkey reviews. That's when I noticed the word scam come up, which was strange because they didn't seem like they'd be scam.

Is SurveyMonkey a Scam?

To be clear, SurveyMonkey is a real company based out of San Mateo, California. They started in 2000 and in 2011 purchased Infinity Box Wufoo, an online form creator.

So… we’re not dealing with an absolute scam here that sets up a fake website and steals your money or personal information.

I’m going to go on the record and saying that SurveyMonkey is 100% legit… but reading through literally hundreds of reviews and complaints, it’s clear there are some issues here.

SurveyMonkey is not a small company. They were last valued at 2 billion dollars and have recently filed (confidentially) to go public. 

So, what’s going on here? Why are people calling them a scam?

Well, much of it comes from their billing and auto-renewal policies which are applied in multiple ways.

Survey Monkey Billing and Collection Issues BBB
  SurveyMonkey Billing/Collection Issues – Source Better Business Bureau

It could be a complaint that someone had their credit card charged a monthly subscription fee when they thought they were just paying for one month of service. 

Or, they may have paid for a certain number of survey responses thinking their plan was capped at that number… but then realized after that's not how the plan works.

Instead of capping responses at a specific amount, they were actually charged extra for the number of responses that exceeded the amount. 

This actually happened to me not too long ago with an email service I use.

I had paid for a certain number of subscribers to my blog and I thought, at the very least, they would notify me and let me know when (and if) I had more subscribers than I was paying for. 

But that's not what happened. Instead they just started charging me per extra subscriber before I realized it. It wasn't a ton of money, but it caught me by surprise and it's good I noticed it when I did. 

Maybe it's a dirty tactic they're using but I do take some responsibility for it.

When I signed up for the plan it probably said something about additional charges in fine print somewhere. But, at the time it seemed crazy to me that I'd ever reach that number of subscribers, never mind exceed it.

Therefore, I didn't pay attention to the fine print. 

A similar situation is found in some of the complaints against SurveyMonkey.

A person might pay for 1000 survey responses never thinking their audience is big enough to exceed that number, but then have it turn out to be double or triple that number. The cost for each additional response is then charged to their credit card. 

Now, SurveyMonkey does explain this policy on their pricing page, but you have to hover over the tiny question mark to see it. 

SurveyMonkey Pricing Page

In a lot of cases, I think it's fair to assume that when you look down the Standard $37/month plan and read “1000 responses per month”, some people are going take that as you're only allowed 1000 responses per month, and any responses over that just won't be accepted or reported. 

At the very least, you might assume they would notify you of the additional responses and ask if you want to purchase them. 

That was my assumption with the email company I was using. 

But as you can see when you hover over the question mark icon it states that you will be charged $0.15 for each additional response. 

In my opinion I don't think it's unreasonable to add this information underneath where it says “1000 responses per month”… a small disclaimer that just says “$0.15 per additional response”.  

SurveyMonkey Standard Pricing Plan

But that's not what they do.

The fact that a disclaimer is not there though, but rather an asterisk indicating there's more information you should look for, doesn't make SurveyMonkey a scam in my opinion. 

Is it a sneaky tactic? Maybe…

But even telecom companies do this with their mobile data plans. The only difference is that we've come to expect this from telecom companies. 

That's not necessarily true with SurveyMonkey.

More SurveyMonkey Reviews and Complaints

It doesn’t matter who you are… if you manage or own a company, you’re going to get negative reviews and complaints. If you really screw things up, people might even accuse you of being a scam.

However… when you keep getting the same complaints, it’s time to fix something in my opinion. 

You’re either deliberately ripping people off and lying to them (I don't think that's what happening here), you have a management issue… or maybe you're just not being as clear as you should with your plans and policies when people sign-up. 

It’s hard to justify hundreds of people complaining about the same issues… and as mentioned above, most are billing related… 

  • Not being able to unsubscribe/cancel emails despite repeated requests to do so.
  • Charging credit cards WITHOUT authorization.
  • Changing people’s billing cycles without authorization or notification.
  • Poor customer support.

Admittedly, poor customer support is subjective. But the other complaints are serious.

To be clear… I am not the one who is making these accusations against SurveyMonkey. I’m only sharing what I’ve found on multiple sites and forums.

SurveyMonkey unauthorized transaction
Source: Sitejabber
Survey Monkey Complaints and Reviews p-consumer
Source: PissedConsumer

It’s possible that upper management doesn’t even know they’re getting these complaints, and of course, if they don’t know, they can’t fix them.  

Also, people are far more likely to complain than they are to provide positive reviews and feedback… so the overall picture is likely not as bad as it appears.

I must say though, having read these reviews I decided not to provide them with my email or any information even though I’m quite confident their product is good. Adding a survey to my site was not a priority (and I’m not sure I’ll do it anyway) so I can’t say they lost my business.

Another complaint you may read about is from people who are getting SurveyMonkey spam, but I'll talk more about that in a moment. 

SurveyMonkey Pricing

If you do decide to give SurveyMonkey a try, here's a quick overview of their pricing…

  • Free Trial – Allows you to create unlimited 10 question surveys and view 100 responses.
  • Standard – $37/month (or $31 when billed annually). More templates available, as well as unlimited surveys and questions with 1000 responses per month (unless you pay annually in which case responses are unlimited).
  • Advantage – If you’re going to pay annually for the Standard membership, you may as well step up to the Advantage membership… which is only a dollar more at $32/month billed annually ($384) but provides additional add-ons for team collaboration, more support options, and the ability to perform split tests.
  • Premier – $1188 billed annually. For enterprise customers, Premier is everything Advantage is with the addition of statistical analysis, survey logic, direct API access and phone support.

Here's a list of SurveyMonkey's Features and Prices…

SurveyMonkey Features and Prices

Wufoo and SurveyMonkey

At one time, an alternative to SurveyMonkey was an online form creator called Wufoo. In 2011 though, SurveyMonkey bought Wufoo so even though they offer a similar service… today if you're using Wufoo, you're using SurveyMonkey. 

Still, they do offer different features… 

Wufoo vs SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey Spam

You may be a recipient of SurveyMonkey spam and in that case, you can report it to them. 

How To Report SurveyMonkey Spam

In most cases, users of SurveyMonkey are conducting surveys for legitimate purposes. However, there are countless spammers out there trying to get your attention and SurveyMonkey is just one tool they may use to do that. 

They have a strict anti-spam policy but they can't always control their customers are going to do with their software, so if you are getting SurveyMonkey surveys as spam, they encourage you to report it. 

Live Your Passion Everyday

What is SurveyMonkey Contribute?

You may have been interested in SurveyMonkey as a way to make money completing surveys online. This is where SurveyMonkey Contribute comes in…

Like other survey sites, SurveyMonkey does have a division that allows you to fill out surveys for money, but it's for the purpose of supporting charities.

Of course, this is a good thing and I encourage you to go here to sign up.   

It's free and you can choose which charity you want to contribute to. And, although their surveys don't pay you directly, you do have an opportunity to win SurveyMonkey rewards. 

If you were searching for online surveys you can make money with though, Survey Junkie may be what you were looking for.

Another site that pays you to fill out surveys is InboxDollars. You can even earn money with InboxDollars doing things like searching the web, playing games and watching videos.

Of course these sites won't pay you enough to quit your job.

If you were hoping to make enough money to be at home full-time, an online business might be what you want.   

There's so much fake information and junk out there though that knowing how (and where) to get started properly is what you need in order to get what you want.

Now, I'm going to give you a free step by step beginner's guide to making money online and you can get it by Clicking Here

Where Do You Go From Here?

As mentioned, I decided against signing up with SurveyMonkey… but since I test products on a regular basis I have a few “burner” emails I use. And, as you'd expect, those emails get mountains of spam. 

So if you’re concerned about the reviews claiming unwanted (and unending) SurveyMonkey spam, my recommendation is to use the free trial with an alternate email and account. 

But to be clear, in most cases (probably all cases) it's not SurveyMonkey who's sending you spam but rather someone who is just using SurveyMonkey's software to send you spam. In that case you should report it. 

And, if you decide it’s the right software for you, you can always set up a proper account later.

Finally… if creating surveys and having access to tools that allow you to analyze and make sense of the data those surveys give you, SurveyMonkey is a great way to do that.  

I hope my SurveyMonkey review was helpful and if you have any questions, comments or experience using SurveyMonkey, please share in the comments section below.

Make Money with An Online Business

If you have a passion for something… anything from photography to fitness and everything in-between, you can build an online business around it.

Using the same step-by-step strategy I use, you can leverage the web to get paid over and over again for work that you only do once.

Important Comment Disclaimer: 
The views, information and opinions expressed in the blog comments are solely those of the individuals involved  and do not necessarily represent those of Gig Hustlers, its owners, employees, or writers. Gig Hustlers is not responsible for, nor does it verify the content provided by individual commenters.

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6 thoughts on “Is SurveyMonkey a Scam? [Unbiased Review]”

  1. SURVEY MONKEY SHOULD BE PROSECUTED!
    Attempts to cancel subscription appear to be successful, then no communication at all from them until I’m notified that they HAVE ALREADY CHARGED ME FOR AN ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION RENEWAL– no prior notice of pending renewal charges, expiration dates, NOTHING!!
    Attempts to investigate failed subscription cancellation & unauthorized renewal charges via their “Online Customer Support” trigger a popup demanding that, in order to proceed, we must first agree to “SURRENDER ANY AMOUNT ALREADY CHARGED FOR SUBSCRIPTION TERM”… HOW CAN THIS BE LEGAL???

    Reply
  2. “DO NOT USE THEM. I purchased a Standard Monthly membership on April, 3rd. The monthly price was very clearly listed as $99. I paid very close attention to the sign up process as I was very leary of the tactics they were using to force people into long term commitments to see the results of the survey they created. Not to mention the horrible customer reviews on the BBB.org and other websites. When checking my credit card statement I was shocked to see they had charged me $260.40 instead of the $99 a month that I signed up for. When contacting the company (via email because they give no option to call anyone), I was told I was out of luck on a refund because I had “accepted an upgrade to an Annual plan during the upgrade process”. I was NEVER part of an upgrade process NOR did I accept the Annual Plan. This company fraudulently charged my credit card and defrauds their customers with hidden Terms and Conditions. What a scam.”

    Reply
    • My favorite part of all is the “Customer Support” popup which demands that you first agree to surrender all payments already taken from you before you can continue with the complaint process! CRIMINAL Scam!!

      Reply
  3. The SurveyMonkey charged me (solo teacher) of over $300 for an auto-renew subscription without notification. I feel ripped off as customer service put the ownership of the error on me even though they did not notify me so I could change before I was charged. I don’t make much money and they just got about a quarter of half a month’s salary. I felt they took advantage and were unreasonable when they reviewed my case. If the charge appears, you just suck it up. I am retiring this year and have no reason to use a survey app this or any year in the future. All I could do is complain, and give a heads up that it feels unreasonable. I canceled my account and hope I get over this ripped off feeling soon.

    Reply
    • And when you try to investigate and/or complain, you have to first agree to let them keep any moneys they have already taken from you… CANNOT POSSIBLY be legal!!!

      Reply
  4. The fraudulent business tactic used by SurveyMonkey is a textbook case of bait and switch. The user is constantly bombarded with advertisements to upgrade, which is pretty standard. However, things get shady when the default is a monthly subscription payment, which clearly doesn’t benefit the vast majority of users, and only serves to trick forgetful users into authorizing additional payments. Beyond that, once they’ve started collecting the data that they know you need, they spring charges on you, and hold that data hostage until you pay up. They know fully well that you need the information, that this tactic is dirty and dishonest, and that they will upset the user, so they make the fee unreasonably high since there’s very little chance of repeat business.

    It’s a disgusting, fraudulent practice, and not at all surprising why so many (rightfully) describe it as a scam.

    Reply