Welcome to my Pinecone Research Review.
You may have debt weighing you down and bills stacking up, or maybe you're just looking for some extra spending money. Online survey platforms like Pinecone Research say they can help by paying for your thoughts and opinions.
But is it legit?
Pinecone Research is a unique survey site subject to many scam accusations and fraud. I'll discuss those in this review.
I'll also go over what Pinecone Research is, what they do and how they work.
Here's an overview of the topics I'm going to cover:
- What is Pinecone Research?
- Is Pinecone Research Legit?
- How Do Pinecone Research Surveys Work?
- Pinecone Research Reviews and Complaints
- What I Like About Pinecone Research
- What I Don't Like
- Where Do You Go From Here?
Please note, I am not a current member of Pinecone Research. 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 apply to, or agree with, all persons or situations. This article may include links in which we receive compensation if you click, at no cost to you. See full disclaimer for more info
What Is Pinecone Research?
PineCone Research Panel is an online market research platform established in October 1998. Few online survey and product testing sites have been around since the 1990s.
Pinecone Research is owned by The Nielsen Company, one of the world's oldest and most well-established market research companies.
You may have heard of Nielsen Ratings, the system US television and radio companies have used for seventy-plus years to get audience measurements.
So that begs the question; if Pinecone Research is owned by a reputable company, why so many complaints?
Here's the thing…
Many complaints found online might not be about Pinecone Research at all. In fact, those complaints might be directed at a company (or scam) that's not even legit. Let me explain…
Is Pinecone Research Legit?
To be clear, Pinecone Research is legit. As mentioned, they are owned by The Nielsen Company.
There's a problem though…
While many sites make this connection, none provide proof. It's almost as if one person claimed Nielsen owned Pinecone Research, and everyone else just ran with it.
That may or may not be true, but either way, I did some digging to make sure it's not just a rumor.
Pinecone Research does not mention anything about Nielsen. And Nielsen doesn't exactly advertise their ownership of Pinecone either. Still, with some digging, I found this…
For further evidence, Pinecone Research and Nielsen also share an address…
Pinecone Research being owned by Nielsen goes a long way to proving their legitimacy, however, that doesn't mean people who join are not being scammed.
Let's discuss some red flags, along with some reasons those red flags may not be concerning.
Red Flag #1 – Better Business Bureau Rating and Complaints
The Better Business Bureau is a trusted consumer protection organization. They rate companies on a letter scale from F (really bad) to A+ (really good).
Pinecone Research at the Better Business Bureau is unfortunately rated an F.
But this might be an unfair rating, and here's why…
The Truth About Pinecone's BBB Rating
In part, Pinecone Research has a poor BBB rating because many complaints have not been responded to (or resolved).
I have no doubt that some of those complaints are legit. Maybe most of them.
However, some complaints might not be about Pinecone Research at all… because it (Pinecone Research) is being spoofed by scammers, according to this alert (shown below).
Therefore, it's fair to assume those who sign up for a scam (thinking it's Pinecone Research) will eventually file a complaint under Pinecone Research's profile.
And scammers are good at mimicking actual companies and platforms.
As a result, some Better Business Bureau complaints (and complaints on other sites) might not be about Pinecone Research at all, but rather the scam that's spoofing Pinecone Research.
And yet those complaints are still contributing to Pinecone's poor rating.
Red Flag #2 – Spammy Tactics Used to Join Pinecone Research
Depending on how you discovered Pinecone Research, you may have found their recruiting tactics to be spammy. Whether it was recommended to you by email, text, social media, or some other method… one thing you didn't do is search them out on your own and join.
And that's because their website does not accept new members.
The Truth About Joining Pinecone Research
The truth about Pinecone Research's spammy recruiting tactics is related to the issue discussed above. It's NOT Pinecone sending out that spam.
Instead, it's the scammers pretending to be them.
In some cases, you may be solicited from legitimate affiliates using spammy methods not approved by Pinecone Research.
In either case, it's not their intent to flood you with spam.
If you do join, make sure to check the URL (website address) to confirm it is indeed Pinecone Research and not a scam (see image below, it should say https://join.pineconeresearch.com/…).
The above image is the official Pinecone Research join page (for the US), but it's not found on their website. That's because they don't accept new members on their website.
The text in the above image may be small (especially on mobile). It says, “…we do not recruit members through our website or take unsolicited referrals.”
“…we will be posting recruitment opportunities through banner ads on various unsolicited websites from time to time throughout the year.”
Few, if any, market research and online survey sites operate this way. That doesn't mean it's a problem. In some ways, it's good.
In theory, it limits the number of members, making it less competitive for survey takers. And it also protects members and affiliates from referrals who bypass their links and sign up directly.
With that said, not accepting new members on their site could make them a bigger target for scammers (who spoof them) because scammers know you can't sign up directly.
Red Flag #3 – Small Social Media Presence
A sign that a company (or website) might be a scam is when they claim to have many happy members, but they have a weak or non-existent social media presence.
But I only say “might” be a scam because it's only one indicator. Many companies and websites don't bother with social media because it's costly and time-consuming.
It's not always effective either, not to mention some are just ideologically opposed to social media.
In some cases, companies like Wealthy Affiliate, for example, have their own social platform exclusively for members. Others might use forums like Discord.
Still, when it comes to make-money-type platforms that would typically be found on social media, not having a presence can be a red flag. And Pinecone Research, which has been around for more than two decades, does not have a substantial social media following.
The Truth About Pinecone Research's Social Media
While many companies use social media to communicate and interact with their customers (and/or members), Pinecone Research does not. And they tell us that on their website…
They state that they don't have a Facebook presence, nor will they ask you for your login credentials. And if someone on Facebook (or any social media presumably) is advertising Pinecone Research, they want you to alert them.
So, the scams and frauds associated with Pinecone Research have nothing to do with Pinecone Research.
Pinecone Research is legit and many of the issues people have with them, are in part, a result of scammers pretending to be them. And this is common among survey sites.
For example, InboxDollar.co is an old scam that pretended to be… Inbox Dollars (which is legit).
SurveyJunkies is another scam that pretended to be… Survey Junkie (which is also legit).
Because of these copycat scams, many legit survey sites (as well as software, online marketing platforms, work-from-home courses, etc.) receive undeserved comments and complaints.
How Does Pinecone Research Work?
Pinecone Research is a market research company. They gather user feedback for their client's products through testing and surveys.
Like similar sites such as Swagbucks or SuperPay.Me, they use a rewards system. Therefore, rather than paying out straight cash for your work, you instead earn points. Points can then be redeemed for cash and prizes.
One point is currently equal to one cent (therefore, 100 points equals $1.00). A typical survey pays 300 points.
Signing Up (How do you get into Pinecone Research?)
As mentioned, you can't join Pinecone Research directly from their site. Instead, you must find them through a banner ad or a website (like the one you're on now) to reach their legitimate signup page.
Once you join, your first step will be to create your profile by providing basic personal information that helps them determine your demographic.
Surveys are only effective when the information gathered is provided by the right person, someone who either uses the product or service or needs the product or service.
The information you provide will help Pinecone Research match you to the appropriate surveys.
For example, if you're a parent, Pinecone will try to send you surveys about products and services related to being a parent.
Survey notifications will then be sent to your email.
Who Can Join Pinecone Research?
You must be of legal age (18 in most jurisdictions) or have consent from a parent or legal guardian if you are a minor.
US, Canada, UK, and Germany residents are currently eligible.
Pinecone Research is free to join. There are also no monthly fees or third-party programs required.
How Much Money Can You Make on Pinecone Research?
As with other survey sites, it's hard to say how much money you can make with Pinecone Research surveys. Several factors affect your income potential, such as how often you answer surveys, survey availability, points per survey, etc.
Pinecone Research typically pays $3 per survey, which is higher than many other survey sites. What's not clear or guaranteed though, are the number of surveys you'll qualify for.
Some members report getting just one survey notification per week. If true, you won't be able to make much money with Pinecone Research alone.
You can join multiple survey sites though, and have a better chance of consistently having surveys to do. Survey sites like Survey Junkie and Inbox Dollars are similar to Pinecone Research and also provide ways to make money doing surveys.
If you're looking for something bigger though, an online business may be what you want.
You may be at home with children to look after or have health difficulties which make a regular job challenging.
If that’s the case and a full-time income online is what you want, knowing how and where 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
Does Pinecone Research Pay Cash?
Pinecone Research does not pay you directly with cash, but you can redeem your points for cash via PayPal or check.
How To Redeem Your Pinecone Research Rewards
Redeeming your Pinecone Research Rewards is as simple as clicking a “Redeem” button and choosing the denomination (e.g., $5, $10, $15, etc.)
Your points are then placed into your “Cart” (similar to an online shopping site), where the redemption process is completed.
PayPal payments may take 3-5 business days to process, while checks can take up to 7 days.
When Do You Get Your Pinecone Research Rewards?
Once you've completed a survey, you should see your rewards (points) in your account within 3 – 5 business days.
Simply log into your account, and your points balance is located in the member's area.
Do Pinecone Research Points Expire?
Yes, your Pinecone Research points can expire if there is no earning activity in your account for 12 consecutive months.
Payment Options and Prizes
Your points can be redeemed for cash, check, virtual prepaid cards, gift cards, and merchandise.
How Long Do Pinecone Surveys Take?
Pinecone Research surveys take roughly 15 to 20 minutes to complete, depending on how much thought you put into each question.
I usually overthink everything, so surveys typically take me longer. I'm not typically rushed when doing surveys though, so I don't mind.
I also have an overactive puppy that loves to interrupt me whenever I focus on anything other than her (fortunately, she's sleeping right now).
So if you're like me, overthinking with frequent interruptions, Pinecone Research Surveys will take a little longer to complete.
What is Pinecone Research Looking For?
Pinecone Research is looking for honest feedback from you. And from that feedback, they can draw valuable insights about their client's products and services.
Obtaining honest feedback isn't always easy. It often requires survey takers to share personal information they may be uncomfortable sharing. Scammers also take advantage of platforms like Pinecone Research by pretending to be someone they are not and answering questions as quickly as possible without even reading them.
As mentioned earlier, Pinecone Research, like all survey platforms, relies on honest and accurate feedback. Therefore, if their automated system detects inaccurate demographic information, your account may be locked.
In addition, there are other reasons your account may be locked, including confidentiality breaches and fraudulent methods of earning.
Please read their membership agreement before joining and understand the rules and guidelines.
Will Pinecone Research Give My Personal Information Away?
According to Pinecone Research, no… they won't sell your information to third parties. Instead, they say it's for research purposes only.
Having said that, you should always assume your personal information is being sold. It doesn't matter if it's Pinecone Research (I'm not accusing them here) or a questionnaire you filled out for your dentist or your dog's vet. Information is a commodity, and it's constantly being sold by someone. And it's very hard, if not impossible, to prove.
Pinecone's support options are surprisingly limited for a large platform (being owned by The Nielsen Company). For example, they do not offer chat support or provide a social media community for you to reach out to.
However, you can submit a support ticket on their website or refer to their large FAQ section for common questions.
If that doesn't work, you can try mailing them at:
250 E 5th St
Cincinnati, OH 45202-4127
Pinecone Research Reviews and Complaints
As you already know, Pinecone Research currently has an F rating at the BBB, which may or may not be accurate (due to scammers masquerading as Pinecone Research).
Do, with some skepticism, here are a few common complaints:
- Claims of being removed or blocked due to non-participation.
- One reviewer said they could not redeem their points and therefore felt scammed.
- Another reviewer said they could not log into their account. When they reached out for help, they only received an unhelpful automated response.
To be fair, some of these complaints and others were responded to and resolved. Not all of them (which is why the poor rating), but many.
In addition to some complaints being about scams that pretend to be Pinecone Research, it should also be mentioned that overall ratings are not representative of all users.
They are only representative of those who took the time to write a review or file a complaint.
And because people are more likely to write a negative review than a positive one, ratings get skewed.
To be clear, that should not diminish the complaints of those who have legitimate grievances. Unfortunately, there are many of them, which is a big drawback in my opinion.
Similar complaints can also be found on sites like TrustPilot.
What I Like About Pinecone Research
- They are owned by The Nielsen Company. In addition to that added stability, Pinecone Research may have access to better surveys than some other sites.
- Relatively high payouts ($3/survey).
- Small payout threshold and easy cashout process.
- Payouts in cash via PayPal and check (not just gift cards).
What I Don't Like
- Difficult to join if you don't have a legitimate link.
- With multiple warnings and alerts, Pinecone Research seems to be a big target for scammers.
- Higher than average number of complaints for an online survey platform, some unanswered and some unresolved.
- Limited survey notifications.
Where Do You Go From Here?
With bills piling up and debt weighing you down, Pinecone Research might not be the one-stop solution you're looking for.
They have some benefits; they are legit and offer higher than average payouts than many other survey sites. But if you want to make money online for more freedom and independence, Pinecone Research alone won't provide that (nor do they claim to).
You might be a student in school or a single parent at home. You may have health challenges that make regular work difficult, or maybe you just hate your job and you’re desperate for a way out.
If that's the case, an online business is what you want.
With all the scams and schemes out there though, knowing how and where to get started the right way 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
If you're just looking for a simple way to make some extra spending money though, in addition to Pinecone Research, other online survey and get-paid-to sites may be exactly what you're looking for.
Sites like Survey Junkie are a great way to get started. Inbox Dollars is another legit site that offers rewards for doing things like watching videos, visiting websites and searching the web.
Like all legit survey sites, they won't make you rich. But if you've never made money online before, they can be a good first step.
I hope my Pinecone Research review has been helpful. Please share any comments, questions, or experience with Pinecone Research in the comments section below.