Several years ago, I signed up for National Consumer Panel. NCP sends you a scanner and you scan all your purchases each week for a set number of points. I have one of the older scanners that you held up to the phone to transmit and manually enter the prices. The points can be redeemed for various items and gift cards. They also have quarterly & yearly giveaways as well that you get entered into as long as you scan each week.
For the first year and a half, I didn’t have any problems. I transmitted my scans on time and racked up points. After that, however, I started having issues with getting the transmissions to go though. It started taking multiple call backs to get the transmission to go through over the phone. That eventually turned into days, then weeks. I contacted their help panel numerous times, only to either be ignored completely or told to keep trying. I even tried to request a new scanner, but I got no reply.
Through this, I kept scanning my purchases and trying to transmit. Eventually, I started scanning the ‘Won’t Be Shopping’ surveys in so that I had a bit of coverage since I was lucky if I could get a transmission through once a month. I purchased a different phone to see if that would help, but it didn’t make a difference. I even tried to call stuff in from my parents’ house, but it wouldn’t go though.
Everything came to a head a few weeks ago. I contacted the help desk once again, telling them that I could not get transmission through no matter what I did. I waited several weeks to hear back from someone. During that time, I was getting notices in the mail that I needed to scan products, even though I had scanned the ‘Won’t Be Shopping’ survey and was covered for several more weeks. I also got called as well. I told one person who called what was going on, but was ignored. Finally, I received a reply back to call their 1-800 number to talk to someone. By the time I received the email, their help desk was closed for the day, so I had to wait until the following morning.
That morning, I received a letting in the mail stating that I had been terminated from the panel due to not sending in transmissions. I was told that I still had over 60 days to cash out my points before they were gone, and that I could call and talk to someone if I disputed the termination. I tried twice to call, but just got bounced around. This all happened a few weeks ago, and I still received emails telling me to transmit up until last week. I’ve been busy with stuff, between product reviews and breaking my toe, and hadn’t had a change to log back into my account to cash out the points. I still had a good bit of time left.
Today, I received an exit survey, and when I tried to log into to go ahead and cash out my points, I was locked out of the site. I ended up having to call their help desk again, and go through the whole thing again. This time, the guy said that I will received a like that will let me into the site to cash my points out. However, I won’t get it until at least next Friday. With the way things are going on this, they will probably turn around and tell me that they expired by then.
My overall opinion of NCP: DON’T DO IT. The overall reward isn’t worth the amount of time that you put in scanning and entering in prices. The points are a joke, since 1000 points is the equivalent of $1. So, you get about $0.15 per week. In the four years that I have done it, I ended with 51,105 points. I should have had double that, but I lost a ton of points due to the scanner trouble and they wouldn’t add the missing points back on. Plus, the help desk is almost non-existent and you are pretty much screwed if you have problems. You are better off working regular survey sites that pay cash.
I will post an update once I find out if I can get my points redeemed.
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