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Harris Poll Online is an online survey company operated by Nielsen, a larger survey firm that also operates surveys like the National Consumer Panel and Pinecone Research. Their website claims a 45-year history, although this is almost certainly referring to survey and research efforts from before the Internet was created.
Like most survey companies, Harris Poll Online focuses on market research for companies interested in getting more information. Unlike competitors, however, they aren't survey-only - Harris Poll Online has a variety of panel types, which are discussed in more detail below.
What Makes Harris Poll Online Unique?
Harris Poll Online is unique mostly for its variety of survey opportunities. While most of the research is done through standard surveys, members have the opportunity to participate in telephone surveys, mail assignments, in-person focus groups, or chat rooms if that's what companies are looking for.
Participation in these is somewhat rare and certainly can't be guaranteed, but if nothing else, the possibility exists.
Also, Harris Poll Online offers bi-weekly and quarterly prize drawings, with the grand prizes for each being $500 and $4,500, respectively. Entries are gained for completing surveys, by mailing in, or by purchasing additional entries through HIpoints (Harris Poll Online's currency).
It's worth noting that some comments suggested Harris Poll Online had recently stopped doing sweepstakes, though their website still has the information, payout dates, and ways of requesting information about the winners. Sweepstakes should never be a primary draw for a survey site - consistent rewards are always better - but the confusion over whether or not sweepstakes are actually happening isn't helping any.
Pros & Cons Of Harris Poll
How The Signup Process Works
According to their FAQ, you can sign up for Harris Poll Online either through their website or by signing up through their online partner. Currently, you may have to do the latter - when we visited their website, we couldn't find anywhere to sign up. There was a login page in the upper right, but that's only for existing members and did not contain any signup links.
This is quite unusual for a survey company and claims elsewhere on the site suggest that there should be a signup page on the site. Just to be sure, we switched devices and browsers (from Desktop PC running Firefox to Android tablet running Chrome) and checked the site again - still no signups.
We assume that this is a temporary technical issue and signups will eventually be reinstated - but until and unless that changes, we can't recommend this survey site. Being unable to sign up and do surveys defeats the purpose.
Ways To Earn Cash
If you can get into Harris Poll Online, here are the ways you can earn cash with them.
The standard method. Like most survey companies, Harris Poll Online focuses on online surveys that you can do from almost any device connected to the internet (though it's easier on desktop computers). Also, while disqualifications are regular, they do provide entries to the Harris Panel Sweepstakes.
In-Person Focus Groups
These are rare, but members who live in a qualifying region (typically, but not always, a large urban area like the major coastal cities) may be invited to take part in a live focus group. These usually consist of one or more members of an industry asking specific questions, as well as general debate and voting among the members of the panel.
Rewards for in-person groups tend to vary. However, since many focus groups will meet for several hours (and some will meet more than once), rewards tend to be much better than standard surveys. While prizes may be redeemed as points, Harris Poll Online may instead offer to provide gift cards at the end of each session, providing an immediate reward.
Another rare type of survey, telephone surveys involve getting a call and directly answering questions. Most telephone surveys cover a single topic and present opposing sides, potential advertisement slogans, suggested legislation, and any matter that otherwise relates to the topic.
How Much Are Points Worth?
Harris Poll Online has a fairly standard point conversion rate, with 1250 points redeemable for a $10 reward. Larger point balances can result in better rewards, though surveys are rare enough that most people will cash out as soon as they're eligible.
The surveys themselves typically offer 75-150 points each, and with a low number of surveys (some people report 3-4 per month), it can take quite some time to get a reward.
Harris Poll Online has four major types of rewards.
The most popular option, Harris Poll Online offers gift cards for companies like Amazon, the Home Depot, Starbucks, Walmart, and iTunes. Since these are physical cards, there's usually a delay between when they're requested and when they actually arrive in your mailbox.
Most sources reported that physical gift cards take about four weeks to arrive - although some people reported never getting them or having someone else cash their points and take the reward. Either way, the gift cards are somewhat iffy at best.
Effectively digital gift cards, e-vouchers cover most of the same stores as physical gift cards but are more convenient for people who want to buy things online. Since these are entirely digital, they usually arrive much faster than physical cards.
Donations To Charity
This is an unusual reward for a survey company, but sources report that Harris Poll Online is willing to send payments to certain charities instead of providing gift cards to you. We couldn't log in to verify this for ourselves - because there was nowhere to sign up - but it's a nice option for the company to have.
Finally, members can trade their points for entries to Harris Poll's frequent sweepstakes. While the prizes for these are quite decent (ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars for the grand prizes), the chances of actually winning are so low that it's probably not worth buying the extra entries.
Public perception of this company skews sharply negative. In the course of our research, we checked with some different sites, giving preference to those allowing public reviews from normal people.
SurveyPolice averaged 1.8/5 starts with 184 Harris Poll Online reviews at the time we wrote this guide. Common complaints included things like having accounts locked out just before you'd be able to get a reward, being disqualified for 'inactivity' after being sent no surveys for a time and completing surveys only to be told afterward that they didn't qualify.
The general perception of reviews on this site is that Harris Poll Online is either completely incompetent or outright trying to scam people, with tech support being effectively useless. Even more worrying, some people cited being disqualified for 'rushing' through the surveys - even when they deliberately took their time - which is another point against this company.
PaidSurveyUpdate disagrees with SurveyPolice, giving an overall score of 3/5 and good marks for rewards and support. However, it's worth noting that this review happened around 2015, while SurveyPolice's comments are more recent. The takeaway is that Harris Poll Online seems to have veered sharply downward in the 2016-2017 timeframe.
PissedConsumer broadly agrees with SurveyPolice, with a 1.8/5 rating after 67 reviews. The most common complaints include an inability to log in to the site and effectively nonexistent customer support. Some users reported attempting to contact the company for weeks, only to get no response at all. It's worth noting that the name of this site broadly draws in people who are unhappy to begin with, so it was never likely to have good reviews on the site.
Finally, the Better Business Bureau gave them an F as of the time of this review, with 100% negative reviews and numerous complaints. Responses from the company included things like "we cannot change your birthdate in the system" and "we may discontinue memberships to keep up with population changes", the latter of which can entirely shut people out of rewards they'd already earned.
Calling Harris Poll Online a 'scam' site is a little much - they're affiliated with a well-known public research firm, after all - but the high volume of complaints and lack of resolution for problems are a major red flag and a sign that you should look elsewhere.
Harris Poll Online vs. The Competition
In general, Harris Poll Online does not compare favorably to the competition. Even discounting the login issues and difficulty getting rewards, one of the most common issues cited was only getting 3 or 4 surveys per-month - and of those, people often failed to qualify for half of them.
To put this in context, let's say you earn an average of 100 points for each survey. You need 1250 points (13 successful surveys, with 50 points left over) to get the minimum payout. At two surveys a month, that's about six and a half months to get any sort of payout, all the while hoping the common technical issues won't take even that minor reward away from you.
The long amount of time it takes to earn any kind of reward means that Harris Poll Online just doesn't match up to the competition.
Harris Poll Online Hacks
Surveys are so rare that there's no way to hack your progress and accelerate your earnings. Most surveys can be completed in less than half an hour, making them a good thing to do while you're watching television or other entertainment - and being distracted can help you slow down enough to avoid triggering the account-ending problem of "rushing" the surveys.
Since there's no consistency here, it's up to you to decide when to take whatever surveys you receive.
Here are some of the most common questions people have about Harris Poll Online.
What Sort Of Topics Do They Ask About?
Harris Poll Online focuses on market research and consumer behavior. As such, you can expect polls to be about products, your use of products, your buying habits, and similar matters.
They claim that the poll results occasionally appear in major publications and are used by Governments and non-profit organizations, but this seems to be extremely uncommon and not something you should expect to participate in.
What Languages Does Harris Poll Online support?
Harris Poll Online conducts polls in US English and US Spanish, Canadian English and Canadian French, and UK English.
Have Any Other Questions?
If you have a question not answered here in our guide, let us know in the comments below and we'll see if we can update this guide to answer you.
Is It Right For Me?
Probably not. As we explained above, Harris Poll Online has a significant number of issues, including:
- No way to sign up (at the time this guide was written)
- Low number of surveys
- Regular disqualifications
- High reward threshold
- Terrible customer service
- Frequent, largely arbitrary-seeming account bans
One or two of these might be tolerable in an online survey company, but there are too many problems with Harris Poll Online for us to recommend it to anyone. That's not even counting the apparent inability to sign up in the first place, which is a deciding factor.
If you're wondering "Is Harris Poll Online safe?", the answer seems to be yes. Like most survey sites, they collect your information, but we've seen no evidence they abuse that data.
Deals And Coupons
We could not locate any special signup offers or discounts for Harris Poll Online.
In general, Harris Poll Online seems to be a bad place to take surveys. It is affiliated with a larger survey group (which makes the answer to the question "Is Harris Poll Online legit?" a surprising "yes"), but that just makes its many flaws all the more disappointing and difficult to excuse. We hope this company will be able to reverse course and start acting the way a survey company should, but until and unless that happens, we do not recommend signing up.