11 Disadvantages of Online Surveys to Avoid – Dark Side Revealed

By Myilraj G 

Updated on Mar 24, 2023

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Online Surveys

Online Surveys in India

This article explores the 11 disadvantages of online surveys affecting both businesses and survey participants. Avoiding these common pitfalls will improve the survey campaign’s success and allow people to earn more.

Online surveys have become an increasingly popular tool for collecting data in recent years. They provide a convenient and cost-effective way to gather information from a large group of people quickly and efficiently.

These are some of the advantages of online surveys, and those were discussed in the previous article. However, there are demerits to using online surveys that are important to consider before using them as a primary source of income.

The world of online surveys has revolutionized the way companies collect data and feedback. Collecting data through online surveys is risky if not managed properly.

Also, it is difficult to ensure that respondents are who they say they are, leaving the possibility of fraud or multiple submissions.

Disadvantages of Online Surveys
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Brands struggle to gain a deep understanding of a respondent’s thoughts and feelings.

In this article, we will discuss the demerits of online surveys and how they will often overshadow the advantages if not correctly mentioned.

We will look at issues such as response bias, difficulty in cooperation, and the possibility of unanswered questions. We will also discuss how to mitigate these issues and make the most out of the online survey.

Disadvantages of Online Surveys

Online surveys are often less reliable than face-to-face surveys because respondents may not fully understand the questions or provide inaccurate information.

One major disadvantage is that online surveys may not reach all populations. People without access to the internet or the technical skills to complete a survey will exclude from online surveys.

Furthermore, survey fatigue is more likely to occur when respondents complete online surveys.

Respondents may become bored or frustrated with the survey and provide inaccurate responses. Lastly, online surveys are not well-suits for gathering qualitative data.

1. Not Able to Connect People from Remote Areas

Internet and online surveys have become popular tools for gathering information. However, there are still some remote places in the world where people are not aware of the internet.

These places are usually in remote rural areas with limited access to technology. People in these areas may not even have access to computers or the internet, making it hard to participate in online surveys.

Even if they do have access, they may not understand how to use the technology or be comfortable with it.

Furthermore, language barriers may also be an issue, as people may not be able to communicate in English or understand instructions in online surveys.

In those situations, traditional data collection methods such as interviews and mailed surveys may be a better option. Interviews allow for face-to-face interactions, which can help overcome language barriers.

At the same time, mailed surveys can make it easier for people to respond without using technology they may not be familiar with.

To further ensure the inclusion of people from remote areas, companies may consider involving field workers to collect data.

Field workers have the advantage of being able to interact with people in their language and environment. It can help build trust and improve the accuracy of the data collected.

2. Online Survey Fraud

Online surveys are a great way to make money while providing feedback to companies and individuals. However, there are many fake online survey companies out there that are looking to take advantage of unsuspecting people.

It is necessary to be aware of these companies and to know how to spot them. One way to tell if an online survey company is legitimate is by looking for reviews from past customers.

If the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, you can feel comfortable joining the company. However, if there are more negative reviews, then it is probably better to avoid the company.

Another way is by looking at the payment structure. Legitimate companies will pay out cash for the survey taken.

Fake companies often try to get personal information like bank accounts or social security numbers.

It is also important to research the company’s background. If the company has been around for a long time, then it is likely to be legitimate.

On the other hand, if it is a relatively new company with no track record, it is best to avoid it. Finally, if a survey company offering is too good to be true rewards, it is likely a scam.

Legitimate companies will never offer rewards that are significantly higher than other survey companies.

By researching the company, looking for reviews, and avoiding being too good for rewards, it is possible to find genuine survey companies and avoid survey scams.

3. People are Forced to Biased Responses

Online surveys generally design to push people to select the desired answer irrespective of making their decisions. These surveys are created to obtain a predetermined response from past respondents.

It is a form of manipulation, as the company attempt to influence the survey participant’s choice. These kinds of scam survey companies shape the answers to suit their needs by carefully crafting the survey.

One way companies can do this is by providing leading questions. Those questions contain subtle cues that point respondents in a particular direction.

For example, a survey might ask,

  • Do you think that gun control laws are necessary?

People who take the survey are forced to agree with the statement with only yes or no.

  • Another example, a survey may ask, Do you think that gun control laws should relax?

Companies frame questions in a way that suggests a particular answer. It is a loaded question, as it implies that the respondent should answer “yes”.

In conclusion, online surveys are often designed to push people to select the desired answer, irrespective of making their own decision.

It is done through the use of leading questions, biased language, and framing.

4. People Avoid Long Surveys

People Avoid Long Surveys

Online surveys have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way for companies to collect and gather customer feedback.

However, many people find long online surveys tedious and time-consuming and are less likely to complete them.

Here are a few reasons why people may avoid long online surveys.


First, people often find long online surveys to be boring and engaging.

Many surveys are filled with long, open-ended questions and require a lot of thought and effort. People may become quickly overwhelmed and disinterested.

In addition, long surveys will see as intrusive, as they often require personal information that people may not want to share.


Second, people want to feel that they have respect for their time and that their feedback matters.

If a survey is too long and not designed for user-friendliness, survey participants may feel their time is getting wasted.

And they will feel that the responses have no value.

Long surveys can be frustrating for mobile users, as navigating through different pages on a small screen can be difficult.

Participants are concerned about their privacy when completing long surveys. People are wary of giving too much personal or sensitive information online.

They are less likely to complete long surveys that require these kinds of data. Overall, long online surveys can be daunting, and people may choose to avoid them.

surveys pay online

5. Increased Errors are also a Disadvantage

Online surveys have some drawbacks that can cause increased errors in the collected data. Poor connectivity issues are one of the prime causes of increased errors in surveys.

The survey participants must have a stable internet connection when taking surveys online.

  • If the connection is slow or unreliable, the respondent may experience difficulty in accessing and completing the survey.

It can lead to them having to restart the survey, which can cause errors in the data. Sometimes lead to duplicate responses if the respondents resubmit the survey multiple times.

Online surveys are also at risk of errors due to respondent misrepresentation. It occurs when respondents provide inaccurate information to appear more likable or desirable to the companies.

This type of error is difficult to detect, and incorrect conclusions will draw from the data. Another error of online surveys is sampling bias.

Samples used in online surveys can be self-selecting. It means that only those who choose to participate in the survey are included in the analysis.

It leads to results that are not representative of the overall population. Lack of contextual information is also an error in online surveys.

Online surveys cannot often provide context to the survey questions, leaving survey-takers to guess the meaning or interpretation of the question. It can lead to confusion and misunderstanding, resulting in inaccurate survey responses.

To reduce these errors, companies should take steps to ensure that all participants are aware of the survey’s purpose. As well as take measures to ensure that the survey design is compatible with all web browsers and free from technical issues.

6. High Un-answered Questions

High unanswered questions in online surveys are often seen as a problem as they can skew the survey’s results. It shows that the participant was not interested enough to answer the question.

In some surveys, it is common to see that the answer to a question is optional. In such cases, people skip the question or provide an incomplete answer (instead of responding).

This behavior often leads to many unanswered questions, which can significantly reduce the accuracy of the survey results.

The primary reason why people choose to skip questions or provide incomplete answers is that they find the question confusing or irrelevant.

If a question is too long, detailed, or worded unnaturally, participants may not be sure what to answer or may not care to answer it at all.

Similarly, if the question does not directly relate to the topic, people may not have an opinion on it. Therefore, they will choose to leave it unanswered.

To avoid a high number of unanswered questions, make sure that all questions are clear and relevant to the topic.

The question should also be short, simple, and should be in natural language. Additionally, make sure to provide enough context for the question.

It helps participants know exactly what the survey is about and each question asked. It can help to ensure that respondents are more likely to answer the question accurately.

Finally, design the survey in a way that encourages respondents to answer all questions.

7. High Abandon Rate is another Disadvantage

A high abandon rate for online surveys occurs when respondents either become busy or are not interested in the survey. It can be due to several factors, such as survey length, complexity, or the subject matter.

In other cases, respondents lack the motivation to complete the survey or may not feel it is worth their time. A lengthy survey can cause respondents to become overwhelmed and abandon the survey before completion.

Similarly, if the survey is too complex, respondents may not understand the questions or have difficulty completing the survey.
Non-relevant surveys do not motivate people to put in the effort required to complete the survey.

It is also important to consider the timing of the survey. If the survey is delivered at an inconvenient time, such as during peak work hours, respondents may not be able to dedicate the necessary time.

In addition to the above factors, the survey design can also play a role in the abandonment rate.

If the survey is not visually appealing or the navigation is not intuitive, respondents may become frustrated and abandon the survey.

Finally, if the survey page is not optimized for mobile devices, those who wish to work on their phones may abandon the survey.

To minimize the abandonment rate, keep the survey short, simple, and relevant to the people’s interests.

8. False Information is a Major Disadvantage

Other disadvantages of online surveys are false information given by the users. It is a type of deception used to manipulate the survey results.

People may provide inaccurate or false answers to receive an incentive, such as a reward or a discount. Some people complete the survey quickly or because of unclear incentives.

False answers can skew the results in favor of a particular opinion or make the survey appear more successful.

Companies need to give incentives for completing the survey after checking the data for consistency and accuracy.

At the same time, false information can be intentional or unintentional. It is difficult to detect.

False information can be intentional, such as when someone deliberately provides irrelevant answers to get a desired outcome.

For example, a person may provide false information on a survey to make a particular product more popular than it is.

False information can also be unintentional.

It can happen when the person is not aware of the correct answer or made a mistake in the responses.

Therefore, it requires a careful review of the responses to ensure accuracy. False information has a significant impact on the results of an online survey.

It can lead to inaccurate results, which can then use to make decisions about products, services, or policies. It can have serious consequences, as decisions based on inaccurate data can lead to poor outcomes.

To avoid false information in online surveys, ensure that survey questions are clear and straightforward. Also, verify the respondents are aware of the correct answers.

9. No Interviewers While Conducting Surveys

The lack of an interviewer present during the survey can limit the quality of the data. Without an interviewer, respondents may not engage with the survey.

They may not provide detailed or accurate answers to the questions. Since no one is present to follow up with respondents, they may provide incomplete or incorrect answers.

Without an interviewer present to ask questions, clarify responses, or provide additional context, respondents may not provide responses that are as in-depth or meaningful.

Pre-screening tests can help to ensure that only respondents who meet particular criteria can complete the survey, but they cannot replace an interviewer.

The pre-screening test can help to reduce the risk of bias and fraudulent responses. But they cannot provide the same level of insight and detail that a skilled interviewer would be able to.

An interviewer is better equipped to identify respondents who are not providing accurate or complete information. It is beneficial when surveying sensitive topics or collecting data from vulnerable populations.

Skilled interviewers can detect underlying emotions and reactions, which is not possible in pre-screening tests.

Additionally, skilled interviewers can build a rapport with respondents, which brings in more honest and meaningful responses.

10. Close-ended Questions are a Drawback

Close-ended questions are a common tool used in surveys to quickly gain information from respondents. Having too many close-ended questions is often seen as disadvantages of online surveys.

However, when questions are too narrow, offer no choice, or are not applicable, it can reduce people’s interest in answering survey questions.

When asking closed-ended questions, offer respondents a variety of choices to provide more detail than a simple yes or no response.

For example, to ask respondents how satisfied they are with the product, offer a range of responses such as very satisfied, satisfied, neutral, dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied.

This method allows respondents to provide more detail than a yes or no answer.

Another way to encourage respondents to answer close-ended questions is to offer a ‘not applicable’ option. It is useful when respondents have no experience with the product or service.

When constructing close-ended questions, provide clear and concise options. If the choices are too vague or complex, respondents may have difficulty understanding them or may tempt to skip the question.

Additionally, when using rating scales, ensure the options are evenly spaced and clearly defined. Finally, if possible, use open-ended questions to allow respondents to provide more detail.

11. Possible Cooperation Problems

When it comes to surveys, companies need to be aware that people may feel uncomfortable and could easily delete the survey or close the browser.

Having a survey that is intrusive, long, or difficult to understand can cause people to feel uncomfortable and avoid completing it.

It can lead to a lack of quality data, as people with certain opinions or experiences are less likely to complete the survey.

Companies need to focus on creating surveys that are not intrusive, are short and to the point, and are easy to understand. People should not feel like they are interrogating.

Companies should also ensure that any personal information collected is secure and kept confidential. Additionally, companies should make it clear that the survey is voluntary and that there is no pressure to complete it.

To make people feel comfortable when taking a survey, companies should be aware of their audience and tailor it to their needs.

The survey design should be informative and engaging.

Companies should also allow people to opt out of answering certain questions or skip questions they do not feel comfortable answering.

By making surveys short, easy to understand, and tailored to the needs of their audience. Companies can ensure that people do not feel uncomfortable and are more likely to complete the survey.

It will help to ensure that companies receive quality data that can use to make informed decisions.

Final Thoughts on Online Survey Disadvantage

Online surveys offer a convenient and cost-effective way to collect valuable feedback from respondents.

They enable companies to quickly and accurately measure respondent satisfaction, identify areas of improvement, and gain valuable insights.

Online surveys are a great opportunity for people to make money online. By participating in online surveys, people can earn rewards such as cash, gift cards, and even products.

It provides a great way to make extra money in their spare time.

Online survey companies must strive to ensure that their survey campaigns are successful by avoiding potential pitfalls.

  1. Firstly, companies must be sure to ask the right questions. The survey should be structured to make it easy for respondents to understand and complete.
  2. Secondly, companies must ensure that the survey will target the right people and that the sample size is adequate for the intended goals.
  3. Finally, brands must also ensure that the survey will promote properly and that participants can access the survey easily.

By taking these steps, online survey companies can ensure that their survey campaigns are successful. They can receive the valuable feedback they need.

What Next?

In another article, I have listed genuine paying online survey companies. Create a free account, complete the profile survey, and start making pocket money.

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Myilraj G Author OnlineHomeIncome Blog

Hi, I am Myilraj.G!

Myilraj. G is a full-time Blogger, Content Writer, and Digital Marketer. A first-generation entrepreneur started his career as a blogger in 2013.

In the last 10 years,

  • He helped 600+ individuals across India and a few outside India to start their blogging careers.
  • He also helped SMEs to create their digital presence through his impeccable Digital marketing assistance.

He owns an IT company operating from Coimbatore, Tamilnadu caters to several digital services like Domain Name Registration, Web Hosting, Website Design/Development, and Logo Designing.

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