Recently, I have come across a few advertisements for Speak Asia. A lot of friends have even asked me about this service. Some are even calling it a scam or a ponzi scheme. Other friends are swearing by the fact that Speak Asia is making payouts to people they know and hence is genuine.
A friend of mine, first brought to my notice the surveys as vague, as the questions were too easy to be considered useful for companies to actually pay for such surveys.
I decided to read up a little on this new website and check why so many people are suspicious about Speak Asia. I must admit, after a little digging around on Speak Asia’s website (speakasiaonline.com) even I am suspicious of their credentials, hence I decided to share my views with you.
#1. Registration with SpeakAsia
- There are 3 options to register as a panelist. The first option requires sending proof by email of income statement of over $1000 from one of the top 20 survey companies.
- The second option allows registering by taking a two-hour written test on English language, comprehension and general knowledge. They will be called to an exam centre in Mumbai or Singapore and charged $60 for the test. They will also have to pass a personal interview. Registration again is by sending them an email!
- Such stringent rules when it comes to selecting panelists for surveys might not be suspicious at all, except when compared to the 3rd option. The third option allows you to register as a Standard panelist for $120 or Premium panelist for $220. This money goes towards a e-zine subscription.
I wonder how subscribing to an e-zine for money is the same as going through a rigorous scanning process of interviews and tests.
#2. Payment for Subscription is not available online!
- I could not find any option to subscribe online or register online, unless I had a sponsor ID.
- That means I need to find someone who can refer me to the Speak Asia program. This means people are forced to register only through a referral. I do not think that is very convenient.
Note: People get extra payment if they bring in more people who register with Speak Asia.
#3. Payment structure from Speak Asia is vague
- Speak Asia allows payment of points based on reward points collected based on the surveys completed.
- The equivalent amount is transferred to the bank account of the panelists after 30 days from the date of taking the survey.
Unfortunately, as Speak Asia has no office in India, the best you can do is chase the person who recruited you as a panelist if you are having issues.
#4. No Physical presence in India
- I also searched for a physical address in India with Speak Asia website. There is no physical address available in India. The company is registered in Singapore and has no proof on its website of being registered in India.
- There is also no list of companies vouching for Speak Asia and also no company suggesting they use Speak Asia surveys for their market research needs.
This is strange and the best way to recognized as the real deal, would be to provide links and credentials of companies which are their clients when it comes to market research.
#5. Speak Asia agents arrested in Bangladesh
Two officials for Speak Asia were sent to jail in Chittagong, Bangladesh for fraud. The news way covered by Daily Sun, a Bangladeshi newspaper. Even if we assume Speak Asia has nothing to do with it, it still does not inspire confidence.
Why are there so many doubts on Speak Asia?
Most reputed survey companies will pay money for the work done towards the survey, which means payment will be made for the number of survey’s completed. The main legitimacy to Speak Asia as valid service, comes only in the form of prime time TV ads. Even Speak Asia shows up a schedule of their advertisements during IPL.
In my opinion if a company makes it difficult for you to register free and expects you to invest your own money to make money online, I will avoid it completely. Speak Asia seems to be raising more doubts that settling them.
What are your views on Speak Asia Online? Do drop in your comments.