We all want a little extra cash, but how much time are you willing to invest for the chance of winning something? At the bottom of most cash register receipts, the store asks you for customer feedback. If you take the survey on the phone or online, you could win a prize. Sometimes, it’s up to $5,000. The constant surveys have consumers asking — “Does anyone ever win?”

For a NewsChannel 5 story, I looked for winners. For some companies, they’re easy to find. Others won’t even reveal who won citing privacy reasons. Other times, the winner is listed with their first initial and last name like J. Smith. Plus, their city.

I’ve been backgrounding people for a long time, and can usually find someone. However, this task proved difficult. I started with the less common names knowing that might yield better results. I’d call every person with that name in a particular city. I’d reach people and say are you the J. Smith that won $500 from such and such a store? It never was that person. Unfortunate for them and myself.

I must have called fifty people and never did find someone whose first initial, last name, and city were listed as the winner. I got lucky, when I found the lists from Red Lobster and Olive Garden. The full names of the winners are listed online.

Now, I’m all about privacy. I understand why stores are reluctant to name the winners online and why some stores use ways to protect them by just listing their first initial. However, there is a lot of skepticism among shoppers about these surveys and whether anyone ever wins.

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Cleveland State business professor, Elad Granot, told me consumers have survey fatigue. We’re asked about our opinion far too often. He says the validity of these survey results is flawed. Are people just giving any old answer to the survey just to be done with it and entered into the grand prize? Or, do they sincerely take the time to fill it out?  Granot says an engaged manager would yield better results for the store.

When consumers feel like nobody is winning, you lose trust in the store which is the opposite of what stores are trying to do with these surveys. This story generated more than 60 comments on our NewsChannel 5 Facebook page and my page. Only one person mentioned they ever won.

The shopper won $500 to Best Buy, and says it definitely paid off for the business. He bought a camera he still has and it got his friends to shop at Best Buy thinking they might win. That’s not the norm, though, as dozens of other people told us they never knew a winner.

They are out there. They’re just rare — just like lotto winners. The good news for shoppers – stores are switching their marketing methods. Many are using social media to give you instant savings. If you like something on Facebook or Tweet a deal, you can earn instant money. It’s a little more gratifying and you’re in control.

Instead of asking for feedback, stores want you to promote their business. For it, you are rewarded. Sears is offering a personal shopper program. Recruit your friends, and you earn a 1% commission on their purchases.

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I expect more companies to begin these programs. They are still limited, but I think this is more gratifying for the shopper and rewarding for the business.

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Have you ever filled out a store survey? Do you think it’s worth your time?