Home Members Current Surveys Newsletter FAQ Who We Are
FAQ Welcome to the PineCone FAQ page!

Here we hope to provide you with immediate answers to all of your questions.  Please try to find an answer to your question below.  If you cannot find your question, or we did not answer your question, feel free to send us an email.

Compensation

For more information on compensation, please login.

General Participation
Can I suspend my surveys for a short time if I'm going to be out of town, on vacation, or my computer goes down?
Can I update my household information online?
Do you recruit new members through your website or take referrals?
Where can I find the PineCone banner ads?
If I'm unable to complete the survey, can someone else in my household fill it out for me?
If I make a mistake in the interview, how do I correct it?
Do you ever remove members for missing surveys?
Are the survey results ever posted on the web site?
Is it ok to sign up my spouse for the panel as well?
Why am I being asked to complete a survey for a product I haven't tried?
Have you stopped using e-mail to notify members of their new assignments?
If my e-mail is missing my survey and ID number, will I still receive a response back from you?
If I'm unable to see the product concept, should I complete the survey anyway?
Do you remove panelists for reasons other than survey non compliance?
How long can I be a member of the panel?


General Participation - New Members
How long does it usually take to complete a questionnaire?
How often can I participate in a study?
How will I be notified of my new product evaluation survey assignments?
What if I can't remember my ID and password?
Why am I being asked to complete a survey for a product I don't use?
When I email, what information should I include?
Whenever I call or write in, how long can I expect to wait for a reply from you?
Your questionnaire asks for my email address. I have several, should I provide them all?
Can I still be a member if I miss my first survey?
Do I have to login on the PineCone web site to access my survey assignment?
Are panelists considered employees of PineCone Research?


Privacy
Are my survey responses ever looked at individually?
Will my personal information ever be given away?
Will you ever try to sell me anything?
If the product that I'm evaluating is already out on the market, is it okay to talk about it with others?


Product
Can test product samples be given to friends or relatives living outside my home to try?
Is it ok to complete the follow-up survey even if I haven't received the test product?
Who should I contact if I have questions about a product sample, the manufacturer or PineCone Research?
If I update my address before I receive my notice that product samples are on the way, will it be delivered to my new address?
Will I ever be asked to return a test product sample?


Questionnaire Troubleshooting
If my new survey assignment is not listed on the web site, what should I do?
What should I do if I encounter the error message "Something Borked" when attempting to access my survey assignment?
If I have to end the survey before completing it, will I have to start over from the beginning?
What do I do if the survey won't allow me to advance to the next question?
Your questionnaires sometimes ask for a price to be entered. What do I do if it won't accept my answer?
What should I do if the error message "Interview is no longer active" appears on screen during my survey?
I've noticed an increased frequency of "time out" errors when trying to access my surveys. Any ideas?
Upon occasion, I receive the error message "Error processing request - The server was unable to locate your Personal Identification Number (PIN)." What does this mean?


Technical Issues
Do I need any special browser "Plug-In" controls that I always hear about?
Why do I get a blank screen when attempting to login to the survey?
Why am I getting sent back to the Homepage?


Troubleshooting
What does the "User name not on file" error mean?
What does it mean when the study I select has a construction page or traffic page?
What should I do if I encounter the error message "Illegal Operation?"



General Participation

Can I suspend my surveys for a short time if I'm going to be out of town, on vacation, or my computer goes down?
Yes. Please call or e-mail us and we will be happy to put you on temporary hiatus for the amount of time you request. This way you will not miss any assigned surveys.
Back to the top

Can I update my household information online?
Updating your household information online is quick and easy to do. Simply go to the Pinecone Research website and enter your login information. From there, you can access your personal profile and make any necessary changes. Unfortunately, this option is not available to those with WebTv at this time. If you are a WebTv user, please feel free to contact us by e-mail or phone, and we'll be happy to make the change for you.
Back to the top

Do you recruit new members through your website or take referrals?
Presently, we do not recruit new members through our website or take unsolicited referrals. However, we will be posting recruitment opportunities through banner ads on various websites from time to time throughout the year. If you see one of these ads, please feel free to sign up with us.
Back to the top

Where can I find the PineCone banner ads?
Unfortunately, there is no one site that I disclose to you. The banner ad placement is not fixed over the life of the campaign. The web sites that our banner ads may appear on are constantly changing during the course of the campaign.
Back to the top

If I'm unable to complete the survey, can someone else in my household fill it out for me?
Unfortunately, no. Our panelists are pulled for studies according to certain demographic requirements. While there may be opportunities for other members of your household to participate from time to time, you are the only person who should be completing our studies.
Back to the top

If I make a mistake in the interview, how do I correct it?
It's okay to finish the interview first, then e-mail us the incorrect and correct information for us to change. The "BACK" browser button does not allow you to change any information concerning the survey. The only way to correct this is to finish out the survey and alert us.
Back to the top

Do you ever remove members for missing surveys?
We routinely monitor member participation. Members that are identified as "at risk for removal " are notified of this via e-mail. Those who are unable to maintain acceptable participation levels thereafter are removed from the panel.
Back to the top

Are the survey results ever posted on the web site?
Due to the confidential nature of the testing done on the manufacturer's behalf, the results are shared with the survey's sponsor only.
Back to the top

Is it ok to sign up my spouse for the panel as well?
Participation in the PineCone Research panel is limited to one member per household. While there may be opportunities for other household members to participate from time to time, there can only be one designated spokesperson for the household.
Back to the top

Why am I being asked to complete a survey for a product I haven't tried?
In some instances, panelists are testing the merits of a product idea rather than an actual product that is already in existence. Your feedback helps the manufacturer determine what appeals most to consumers in a product.
Back to the top

Have you stopped using e-mail to notify members of their new assignments?
Your first survey notification will always come to you by e-mail. If you are not receiving these notices, check to make sure your PineCone Research personal profile contains the correct e-mail address. If your address is correct, we recommend checking the e-mail filter setting on your computer and/or contacting your Internet Service Provider.
Back to the top

If my e-mail is missing my survey and ID number, will I still receive a response back from you?
Absolutely! However, including your ID number and the survey number in the message assists us in providing you with a speedier response.
Back to the top

If I'm unable to see the product concept, should I complete the survey anyway?
Your ability to view the product concept in the survey is a requirement for participation in the study. As a member of the PineCone Research panel, you directly influence which products get developed and help ensure that these products meet consumer demands. Your opinion will have an impact on everything from product performance to style, varieties, features, pricing...you name it.

If you are ever unable to view the product concept in one of our surveys, whether it's presented in a picture or video format, please contact us at scott@pineconeresearch.com for troubleshooting assistance. Surveys submitted by those who were unable to view the product concept are not included in the study data.
Back to the top
 

Do you remove panelists for reasons other than survey non compliance?
Yes. We reserve the right to remove members from the panel without notice for variety of reasons. The list below represents reasons for removal outside of survey compliance and subject to change or update without prior notice.

  • Violation of the Confidentiality and/or Membership Agreement
  • Multiple person or household registrations on the panel
  • Panel composition maintenance (to mirror changes in general population and provide clients with the broadest possible spectrum of consumer opinions)

Back to the top
 

How long can I be a member of the panel?
Your participation is always entirely voluntary and you may discontinue your panel membership at any time.

Periodically, we have found it necessary to refresh the composition of our panel to stay current with changes in the general population and provide clients with the broadest possible spectrum of consumer opinions. Memberships may be discontinued during panel composition maintenance.
Back to the top

 

General Participation - New Members

How long does it usually take to complete a questionnaire?
We try to keep our studies as short as possible, making them most convenient for you. A typical questionnaire usually takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
Back to the top

How often can I participate in a study?
You can expect to be called upon to answer a survey once or twice a month, sometimes less. Our client volume drives the need for participants.
Back to the top

How will I be notified of my new product evaluation survey assignments?
All survey notifications will be sent to you via e-mail. We ask that you check your PineCone Research personal profile using the member login area on the web site to make sure that it contains the correct e-mail address and that any e-mail filters on your computer are set to allow you to receive correspondence from PineCone Research.
Back to the top

What if I can't remember my ID or password?
We include a reminder of your ID and password in every new survey communication to you. You do not need to worry about remembering or misplacing this information.
Back to the top

Why am I being asked to complete a survey for a product I don't use?
Your responses help manufacturers better understand the strengths and weaknesses of their product ideas and what you would look for in the product should you ever need to purchase it.
Back to the top

When I email, what information should I include?
It is important to give as much detail about your problem as possible. This should include the study number, at what question or page the problem occurred, if there was an error and if so what was the error message, and if this has happened before. Being as detailed as possible allows my staff and I to handle your issue in a more efficient and timely manner. Also, please be sure to provide your ID or full name. We need to be able to investigate and log your issue in order to track the problem correctly and provide resolution.
Back to the top

Whenever I call or write in, how long can I expect to wait for a reply from you?
Our goal is to always respond to your inquiry within 24-72 business hours. Typically, you can expect an even quicker reply, but sometimes a very heavy workload can affect our response time.
Back to the top

Your questionnaire asks for my e-mail address. I have several, should I provide them all?
No, please provide the one e-mail address that you would prefer us to use to contact you (i.e., one that you check the most frequently).
Back to the top

Can I still be a member if I miss my first survey?
The completion of the first survey assignment is key to active membership on our panel. Those who do not complete the survey are not asked to take part in subsequent surveys.
Back to the top

Do I have to login on the PineCone web site to access my survey assignment?
No, you may access your study directly via the "Current Studies" page of our web site. This eliminates the need to login twice.
Back to the top

Are panelists considered employees of PineCone Research?
No, panelists are not employees of PineCone Research. Your participation is always entirely voluntary and you may discontinue your panel membership at any time.
Back to the top


 
Privacy

Are my survey responses ever looked at individually?
Your privacy is always respected and the confidentiality of your answers is maintained. Your opinion will be counted along with that of other participants, and your personal household information grouped and analyzed with the information of the other households.
Back to the top

Will my personal information ever be given away?
No. It will be kept completely confidential and will never be sold to any third party. Your personal data is used only for the purpose of our research studies.
Back to the top

Will you ever try to sell me anything?
No one will ever attempt to sell you anything, and you will never be expected to purchase any products. We value your opinion.
Back to the top

If the product that I'm evaluating is already out on the market, is it okay to talk about it with others?
Because the research we do on our clients behalf is not limited to just new product ideas but frequently extends to existing products that may already be on the market, we ask that you not share information about your product evaluation experiences with anyone living outside of your home.
Back to the top


Product

Can test product samples be given to friends or relatives living outside my home to try?
Unfortunately, no. This includes other family members who do not live in your immediate household. The test product sample is intended for use by the panelist. Manufacturers are very anxious to protect any new products from the eyes of their competition. That is why we ask that you evaluate new products within your own household and not share them or discuss them with your friends, neighbors or relatives living outside the home.
Back to the top

Is it ok to complete the follow-up survey even if I haven't received the test product?
To ensure the accuracy of the product testing results reported to the client, panelists need to respond based on their actual usage. If the test product has not arrived by the start of the follow-up survey, please contact us by e-mail or phone so we can troubleshoot the problem.
Back to the top

Who should I contact if I have questions about a product sample, the manufacturer or PineCone Research?
Unless you are directed otherwise by PineCone Research, anytime you have questions or concerns about a test product you have been given to try, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are always glad to help.
Back to the top

If I update my address before I receive my notice that product samples are on the way, will it be delivered to my new address?
Panelists are assigned to a project three to four days before the study goes online on our website. Unfortunately, if your address is not updated prior to the time you are assigned to the study, then the old address will be used.
Back to the top

Will I ever be asked to return a test product sample?
Upon occasion manufacturers will request the retrieval of any remaining test product samples from the study. It is sometimes very important for manufacturers to see how a product holds up after typical use. Should a manufacturer make the decision to retrieve any remaining test product samples, you will be notified by mail and e-mail.
Back to the top


 
Questionnaire Troubleshooting

If my new survey assignment is not listed on the web site, what should I do?
The e-mail notification of the new study sent to panelists is a signal that the questionnaire is online and available. However, if there is ever a time when you do not see the study listed on our "Go to Current Study" page, hold down your control button and click refresh. An old page may have been stored in your computer's memory and it will not update until it is removed. The control/refresh will clear it out allowing you to see the new study listed.
Back to the top

What should I do if I encounter the error message "Something Borked" when attempting to access my survey assignment?
The "Something Borked" error typically indicates a technical problem with one of our servers. If this should occur, simply try again in a few hours.
Back to the top

If I have to end the survey before completing it, will I have to start over from the beginning?
No. The webserver is designed to allow you to continue at the point of the questionnaire where you originally exited. If it does not, or if the program falsely tells you that you have completed the questionnaire, please contact us and we will reset your ID so that you will be able to complete your questionnaire.
Back to the top

What do I do if the survey won't allow me to advance to the next question?
This problem generally stems from a missing answer. Check to make sure that you have entered a response for every variety or statement appearing on screen. If the problem continues contact us by e-mail or phone so we can troubleshoot the problem.
Back to the top

Your questionnaires sometimes ask for a price to be entered. What do I do if it won't accept my answer?
This problem typically indicates that your answer does not match the form shown in the example (i.e., number of digits, etc.). Check the format of the response that you've entered. Your response should mirror the format example provided in the questionnaire instructions. If the problem continues contact us by e-mail or phone so we can troubleshoot the problem.
Back to the top

What should I do if the error message "Interview is no longer active" appears on screen during my survey?
The "Interview is no longer active" message error typically indicates a technical problem with one of our servers. Should this occur as you are submitting your survey, let us know and we'll be happy to verify the status of the interview; otherwise, simply try again in a few hours.
Back to the top

I've noticed an increased frequency of "time out" errors when trying to access my surveys. Any ideas?
These difficulties may be connected to settings associated with newer releases of browser software, such as AOL 8.0 and the like. Instead of using the software's built in browser, try accessing the survey using Internet Explorer.
Back to the top

Upon occasion, I receive the error message "Error processing request - The server was unable to locate your Personal Identification Number (PIN)." What does this mean?
The "Error processing request - The server was unable to locate your Personal Identification Number (PIN)." message indicates that the survey has already been completed and no further attempts are needed. If you feel you have received this message in error, let us know and we'll be happy to verify the status of the interview.
Back to the top


 
Technical Issues

Do I need any special browser "Plug-In" controls that I always hear about?
Yes. Some of our studies require special "Plug-In" controls such as Flash and Microsoft Media Player. Instructions will be given for installing these "Plug-Ins" at the time when you need them.
Back to the top

Why do I get a blank screen when attempting to login to the survey?
Make sure you have the most recent upgrade for your browser. If you have the most recent upgrade, your Internet Explorer security settings may need adjusting. If you are unaware of how to adjust your settings or need links to current upgrades please contact us by email or phone.
Back to the top

Why am I getting sent back to the Homepage?
Some studies open a new/second window. In some instances your pop-up blocker software may be preventing the second page from displaying. If you have software like this installed on your computer, please try adjusting your settings or temporarily disabling it while you complete our survey.
Back to the top


 
Troubleshooting

What does the "User name not on file" error mean?
The "User name not on file" error is typically an indicator of an id not being on the invitation list. Double check that the job selected is the same as the number on your invitation. If you are accessing the correct survey, be sure to type your Household ID and Password because the copy/paste command can add hidden spaces.
Back to the top

What does it mean when the study I select has a construction page or traffic page?
A construction page is used when changes are being made to the study. A traffic page is used when a larger number of panelists are participating in studies at the same time. In order to minimize delays or slow downs, the number of panelists are limited at that particular time. In either instance, you should try back in a few hours.
Back to the top

What should I do if I encounter the error message "Illegal Operation?"
This message is typically associated with low storage space or lack of memory on the computer. Try emptying your recycle bin, temp files and Internet temp files.
Back to the top

privacy statement