Why Don’t We Have A Blacklist of Online Panel Companies?

Well to start with I believe that most of the online data collection agencies will be listed in it. Market research industry generates billions of dollars annually across the globe – although there are certain excellent platforms like ESOMAR, CASRO and MRA which are creating best practices for the industry – but what we are really missing is a forum which can punish these fraudulent data collection agencies – who are flouting all norms and indulging in rampant malpractices. You may argue that in case of fraud one can contact the local law agency but due to global nature of the business it becomes difficult to pursue such cases. This article raises a very relevant question for the entire market research community.

Let me share with you some examples:

Scenario 1 – You hire an online data collection company – half way down the project they abandon you and in fact even stop picking your phone! The problem is further aggravated if this data collection company is offshore.

Now what will you do?

Well you will feel like shooting these unprofessional data collectors but will settle for contacting another data collection agency to get you out of the mess.

This is exactly what many of the market researchers face on a constant basis –  the maximum they could do is not to engage the services of such fraud agencies.

But is it right to free these fraud people or agencies so easily??

I propose punishing them to such an extent that they dare not repeat the offence.

Scenario 2 – You engage an online data collection agency for a project. Everything goes on smoothly and the final data is delivered to the end client. After sometime your client comes back with discrepancies in the findings – sooner you realize that the online data collection company has fudged the data?

What will you do about it?

Well maximum you will send some harsh mails and promise yourself to not work with this vendor again.

But this fraudulent online data collection company will move on to screw someone else project.

I know of a case where after the data was submitted to the end client they came back with the finding that they did IP Tracing and all the responses have been punched from a single computer!!!!

Should we allow these vendors to survive in our beloved industry?

I propose punishing them to such an extent that they dare not repeat the offence.

Scenario 3 – You select an online data collection vendor who has claimed that they possess proprietary panels whereas in reality they are just panel aggregators. Obviously you will suffer financially in terms of panel procurement as these panel aggregators don’t have the brains and balls to create their own panels and are simply surviving by forwarding mails to the real panel providers.

Are you just going to sit quietly and let the panel aggregators destroy the moral fabric and business viability of the industry?

I propose punishing them to such an extent that they dare not repeat the offence.

Looking at the few scenarios mentioned above it has become imperative to create a forum where such fraudulent companies can be listed – so that potential research service buyers are forewarned.

Let me present a simple argument – if you buy a book or an electronic gadget on shopping portals like Amazon – you first go through all the feedback that have been given by the users. The products you buy on Amazon will probably cost you few dollars but you still deem it necessary to ensure that the product is reliable.

So how come when you engage an online panel company for a multi million dollar project you don’t feel the need to check their credentials and user experiences with them??

Are you willing to take such a risk and let go these dubious vendors scott free??

I propose punishing them to such an extent that they dare not repeat the offence.

Today it has become the need of the hour that like minded professionals get together and create a blacklist of online panel companies  Any company which had a bad experience with a fraud online data collection company can paste their feedback which is accessible to all the potential research buyers.

If such a list is created then many of us will be saved from the risk of engaging a dubious vendor. To be fair on the other side – vendors can also revert on the feedback which they think are malicious in nature.

But having such a list has become the necessity of our industry.

If it was possible to blacken the face of such company owners it would have been a fit justice but we are all civilized people and for that it is best to at least blacklist these dubious vendors.

If you believe in what I said shoot me a mail at editor@onlinemr.com and together we may help create such a blacklist of fraud online panel companies.

Akshay Kanyal

Akshay Kanyal

Akshay Kanyal writes survey research reviews on his popular blog Online MR. He’s an avid blogger, brand consultant and a content marketing expert, helping business owners to craft content that sells.

He provides content marketing advice to start-ups and innovation driven companies. He can be contacted at editor@onlinemr.com

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