When I signed on to AOL, it asked if I wanted to make up-to $4.50 for a short survey. So I thought "Sure, Why not?"
After answering some demographic questions it said "Congratulations. You qualify for a 15 minute survey that pays $2.25."
Well, it seemed like this shit took about 2 hours ( though probably closer to 35-40 minutes). I don't know if they are purposely lying or if they just assume most people are unaware idiots. See, if you lie or just are not aware of have not heard of anything, it will be very fast.
For example, this one listed about 200 different car makes and models and asked if I had heard of them. Most were easily recognized ( Mustang, Accord, Civic, H2, Camry, Focus,etc). So I truthfully said "Yes." However, the next step asked for every single car if I knew the manufacturer, if I would ever consider buying it, my impressions, if I knew the differences from last year's model,etc.
Realizing this would literally take about 2 hours to answer for every single car, I did what any reasonable person who wanted to make $2.25 for a "short" survey would do: I hit the "Back" button and changed my answers to "No" for all but a handful. A "Mustang"? What? No, never heard of it.
The outcome of this is: You would think either some marketing agency or dealer is paying to have these surveys done ( or AOL is just doing them and then selling/renting the data), and they expect respondents to be reasonably honest. However, if you tell me a survey is going to take 15 minutes and there is no way unless someone in unconscious and has never heard of anything- If I really want the measly 2 bucks, you can bet I'm going to lie on my answers and not take HOURS filling out this thing. So whoever pays for this survey is going to get bad data.