Welcome to my review of American Consumer Panels.
This site claims to be offering ‘home product tester’ jobs that pay you between $25 – $45 per hour. Apparently, you don’t need any experience and you can apply right away.
Sounds good, but is it legit or just another scam? Read on to see what I found…
American Consumer Panels Review
I came across this site (american-consumer-panels.com) via an online job directory site called CareerBliss that a reader informed me about…
As you can see, American Consumer Panels is advertising a ‘work from home job’ that pays out $25 – $45 per hour. The ad says they are looking for “in-home usage testers” to test products from home.
This would no doubt appeal to those who are looking for a legitimate way to work from home.
So I clicked on the ad to take a closer look and see what it was all about. Which is when I landed on the American Consumer Panels website, and where I was asked to select which job opening I was interested in.
After clicking on the ‘in-home usage tester’ job opening, I was then taken to a page that explains the job in more detail.
In a nutshell, this page says you are guaranteed to get 15-20 hours per week of work as a product tester. Which to be honest sounds a bit too good to be true when you consider how you don’t even need any experience.
Anyway from there, you can click on the link to start your application.
Which is essentially a short questionnaire of 5 questions that literally anyone could get right with almost no thought at all.
So ‘getting hired’ is basically a done deal for literally anyone in the US according to the site.
Once you complete this application process and provide your email address, you are taken to the final page. Which is really where the alarm bells started ringing for me and I am guessing many others reading this.
And for good reason. Because as I will now explain, this is NOT what it seems…
What Is American Consumer Panels All About?
According to the website…
American Consumer Panels® is a consulting firm that specializes in product testing and product development work. We design and conduct In-Home Usage Testing (IHUT) locally and nationally to provide actual user feedback to evaluate your products, packaging, related product instructions and more.
So they claim to connect large companies with ‘home product testers’ within the United States. In order to help these companies perform consumer research and create better products for their target audience.
Sounds legitimate enough I guess… at a glance.
But when you look a little closer, the ‘holes’ in their story start appearing. Especially on the final page in the application process.
Let me explain…
When you ‘finish the application’ and land on the final page, you then need to join two separate survey companies. As of writing this review, the first one is VIP Voice Consumer and the other is i-Say Ipsos.
This is a red flag be cause instead of giving you access to an actual job position as promised- they are asking you to join a third party website that has literally nothing to do with testing products from home.
And they are doing this in the name of “establishing your consumer profile and demographics”.
Which is complete and utter BS.
The REAL reason they are linking you to these sites, is to make money off of you. Because every time someone joins one of these sites through their affiliate link, they earn a commission!
This is what this site is really about.
American Consumer Panels is (in reality) an affiliate promo site for survey sites. And they earn commissions off of you when you join these. There is no job and there never was.
How Does American Consumer Panels Work?
The way American Consumer Panels works is by luring people into joining survey sites under false pretences.
The site convinces you that you are going to become a ‘product tester’. When in reality, you are just going to be joining the survey sites they are affiliated with.
This sort of ‘bait and switch’ tactic is similar to American Online Jobs.
Which is a site I reviewed a while back that advertises a job opening but in reality is all about making money with paid survey sites.
Anyways, the good news is that these survey sites don’t appear to be complete scams. And it is true that you can actually make money this way.
However, the bad news is that there is no job.
And the money you will make completing surveys is VERY low. Most people are lucky to be making within the realms of $1-2 per hour at best. And that is on reputable survey sites!
Either way, instead of testing products, you will be answering a bunch of surveys for pennies. And in the process of all of this, you will end up receiving a LOT of SPAM emails from the companies you sign up with.
I don’t know about you, but I personally I find this sort of ‘bait and switch’ tactic to be very misleading. You definitely do not need to be signing up with this site to join those survey companies.
To be fair, they do claim to contact you AFTER you join those sites with information on how to start your actual job. That is, if they deem your ‘demographic profile’ to be a good fit.
But I very much doubt that this ever happens. And by the time you finish reading this review, I think you will understand why I say this.
Who’s Running The Show?
There is literally ZERO information about the actual people running this company. Even the ‘about’ page of the site sidesteps this completely and avoids revealing who’s running the company.
And here is the address this company claims to be operating at:
One World Trade Center , 285 Fulton St.,
Suite 8500, New York, NY, 10007
Turns out that this is a virtual office run through a company called ServCorp…
What this means is that (at best) they are using this office space for several hours per month. This is more or less a way to have an office and collect mail if you don’t have a real office of your own.
So in other words, this really just a front.
One other point I want to bring out here, is that these same people also run two other sites. One in Canada and one in Australia…
These sites are practically identical but target different countries.
So considering we apparently have a ‘global company’ offering jobs all over the planet, I find it strange they don’t even tell us who they are. This doesn’t exactly make it a scam. But at the same time, it is a red flag.
What Are Other People Saying?
Throughout my research I found a number of complaints about American Consumer Panels.
And the complaints I found really reinforce my skepticism of this site. Because many of the people who shared their experience with American Consumer Panels, say that the company is NOT giving them a job of any kind.
And that you literally cannot get into contact with anyone who works for the company.
The following are some reviews I found on GlassDoor.com to show you what I mean. This first one is a complaint from someone who clearly isn’t happy…
Now here is a positive review from another person…
Oddly, almost none of the ‘positive reviews’ I found provide any ‘cons’. Every company has pros AND cons (even the legit ones), so the lack of cons is a red flag in and of itself.
When you consider how easy it is to buy fake reviews, I am suspicious of this. Maybe some are real but they are just TOO positive in my opinion.
Not to mention, when you look the positive comment above that talks about how nice the ‘atmosphere’ is when working…
This is a work from home job (lol). So that ‘positive review’ doesn’t even make sense!
Is American Consumer Panels a Scam?
In my opinion, American Consumer Panels is a scam because they are clearly not hiring anyone.
Instead, they are ‘pretending’ to have job openings when in reality, they are promoting survey sites to earn commissions from you. Not to mention, they are also collecting your email address within the ‘application process’.
Which is in line with some of the complaints I found too, where people claim to be receiving lots of SPAM since they gave this site their email.
I guess you could argue that since they are not selling anything, they are not really scamming you. And (to the best of my knowledge) the survey sites they are linking to are legitimate, so what’s the harm?
So I guess whether or not you personally classify this as a scam is up to you.
Sneaky Attempts To Boost Credibility
One last thing I want to address are some of the comments on the sites FAQ page, with respects to proving ‘it is not a scam’.
First of all, they claim that they are a member of the ‘FTC Guardian’. Which is true and which apparently means they are operating above board.
Cool. But here’s the thing…
ANYONE can become a ‘verified member of the FTC Guardian’ for a small fee! This is a private company, it is NOT part of the FTC itself. So this (in my opinion) is clearly a way to buy some credibility.
Second of all, the site claims to be legitimate because they are getting ‘news coverage’.
I did some checking and that is complete and utter BS. The ONLY news coverage this site has is on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, via a paid press release.
The company who published this article is called AB Newswire, which publishes paid press releases. So this again is nothing more than a way to build instant credibility with people.
Either way it is NOT a real news article.
I bring this up because it is yet another red flag. Because the very ‘defence’ this site is using to ‘prove’ to you that they are legitimate, is total BS.
The American Consumer Panels site is not offering people a real way to work from home. Instead, they are using misleading marketing tactics to get your email address and promote various survey sites. In an effort to make money off of unsuspecting people.
Even if you do want to participate in online surveys, which is good and well, you don’t need to go through ACP to do so. You are better off signing up directly with the site itself, and as a result reducing the amount of SPAM emails you receive.
Either way, I won’t be recommending this to you.
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