The ads all sound promising. Of course, they want you to pay a small fee to access their list of survey companies--companies you could join for free. Don't expect to make hundreds of dollars a day by filling out a few surveys. Expect to earn a few bucks and a bunch of sweepstakes entries.
I've composed a list of what I feel are some of the better survey sites. It can be found here: Top Surveys. But if you're looking to make up your own mind, my complete list of free survey companies is compiled on the pages below.
I strongly urge you to check them out thoroughly before giving them any personal information. Why? Because you would be amazed how easily your identity could be stolen with just the basic of information. Also, if you are paid over a certain amount of money (I believe it is $600) they are obligated to file a report with the IRS and will require your social security number. You need to be sure that the company is legitimate before you give them that information.
Other questions you should ask are:
Again, I would recommend setting up an email address strictly for your surveys. I would also recommend getting the Google Toolbar. It allows you to enter your basic information and then can automatically fill in many of the blanks for you. Saves lots of time.
I tried very had to check out each company with the Better Business Bureau as well as several professional organizations such as the American Marketing Association (AMA), Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO), and Marketing Research Association (MRA). Do not assume that because I don't say that they are members that they are not. I was more likely to check out companies that seemed suspicious than ones that didn't. Also, if a company was a member of two, sometimes I didn't bother to check with the other ones.
I also looked at the overall feel of the website and looked for contact information. This may seem hypocritical of me, since obviously this page is not "professionally done." However, I don't claim to be a business and am not running one. I was going for cutesy here. I wanted to see their contact information. After all, if you're trusting them with your personal information they should have the decency to give you theirs.
Please check out my page with what I feel to be the top surveys.