QuestionPro – failing epicly

QuestionPro - online surveys
QuestionPro used to be my favorite online survey tool:

I just wanted to contact QuestionPro and let you all know that your product is terrific. As a full time graduate student at Oregon State University, I have used QP to create and deliver 2 surveys with functionality that other free services could not provide.
Eric Stoller

Back in 2005, I created a couple of online surveys using QuestionPro for some projects while I was in graduate school. I was impressed with the overall functionality and flexibility of QuestionPro’s system. Years later, I noticed that the above quote of me praising QuestionPro was on their website. In October of 2008, I sarcastically tweeted that I should get some kickbacks for their use of my quote on their student research website. Shortly after I posted that tweet into the Twittersphere, I received an email from a QuestionPro representative asking me if I would like a “partner license.” I’m always up for trying out new levels of technology access, so I said yes and all of a sudden, I had a partner license to QuestionPro.

While my account levels for QuestionPro were being upgraded, it just so happened, coincidentally, that I was hired for a consulting project that required an online survey. I was excited about using QuestionPro for this project…especially since I now had a “partner license.” So I went to work creating a survey that had conditional branching, some matrix-based questions, and a few yes/no type questions. The survey worked like a charm…except for two major issues. The top portion of the survey (above my custom logo/color scheme) displayed the following text: “this free survey is powered by QuestionPro – try it yourself”. The bottom or footer of the survey displayed the QuestionPro logo with links back to QuestionPro. Initially, I figured that I could just pay QuestionPro for a corporate license for a couple months ($200) and send out a non-branded survey. I searched all over the QuestionPro website and wasn’t able to find any information about a non-branded (sans QuestionPro advertisements) survey option. I called the QuestionPro office in Seattle and was never able to actually talk with someone. I did receive an email regarding my branding issue:

This is how we hit that low price point – gotta have the branding on there. I recommend looking elsewhere – you won’t find this level of features at our price.

I could not believe it. QuestionPro does not have a non-branded survey option? A corporate license costs $99 per month. I was willing to PAY for a non-branded option and they were telling me to take my business elsewhere. Unbelievable. I posted a tweet on to Twitter announcing my disappointment with QuestionPro.

I received an email from QuestionPro the day after my “QuestionPro = epic fail” tweet:

We don’t think calling us a “Fail” is really beneficial here. I think I’ve gone out of my way to help you – anyways – Please go ahead and use any other vendor of your choice. I’ll be terminating access to your account.

Apparently, QuestioPro doesn’t allow for non-QuestionPro-branded surveys…no matter how much you pay for their service. If a customer complains about this issue (especially on Twitter), then their account is “terminated”. I tried to login today to my QuestionPro account and I received this error: “This account is currently blocked.” What!? Before I had a “partner license”, I still had access to my original grad student account and now I am blocked. Note to QuestionPro clients, it’s not a good idea to publicly voice your opinions about their services. Very disappointing…

However, stay tuned for my follow-up post where I talk about the survey solution that I ended up using for this survey project.