PENPals Frequently Asked Questions

To access the PENPals section of the Product Evaluations website you must click on the PENPals link on the left side of a web page. If you are not already logged into PENPals, a button at the top of the page will be displayed to take you to the log in screen. You can also access the log in screen by clicking on the "My PENPals" link located below the PENPals link on the left. After you are logged into PENPals the "My PENPals" link will take you to a navigation screen that will allow you to access other portions of your account. The information below will help you to use these other pages.
QUESTION TOPICS
PENPals MEMBERSHIP
Q1:Who is eligible to be a PENPals Member?
Q2:How did PENPals or Product Evaluations get my email address?
Q3:Do I have to pay to be a PENPals member?
Q4:What happens if someone else from my unit or operation wants to sign up for PENPals?
Q5:What other types of research can I participate in with Product Evaluations by being a PENPals member?
 
Q1:Who is eligible to be a PENPals Member?
A:Application for PENPals membership is based on employment in specific foodservice industries. Applicants must have responsibility in deciding what food items to use and/or purchase for their unit or operation.

Examples of Foodservice Operators who could qualify to be a PENPals member are: Restaurant Owners, Executive Chefs, General Managers, Managers, Production Managers, Foodservice Directors or Director of Operations.

There could also be other qualifying titles that are also eligible to be members. Discretion will be determined by Product Evaluations if an operator meets those qualifications.
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Q2:How did PENPals or Product Evaluations get my email address?
A:Emails for our Online Foodservice Panel, PENPals, are obtained when a Foodservice Operator participates in a foodservice survey with our telephone interviewers here at Product Evaluations. At that time you are also asked if you would be interested in completing similar foodservice surveys online at your convenience for points towards awards on our website. You then provided us with your email address and we emailed you an invitation to register for the PENPals program.
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Q3:Do I have to pay to be a PENPals member?
A:No, membership and participation in the PENPals program is free of charge. We only require that you are currently working in the foodservice industry and are a qualified member at the time of membership. We also ask that you answer our surveys to the best of your ability/knowledge and that you keep your PENPals profile current by visiting our website and updating your profile information as needed.
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Q4:What happens if someone else from my unit or operation wants to sign up for PENPals?
A:One of our PENPals program rules is that we can only have one person per company location participate in our online surveys to represent that company. Any additional qualified persons who are interested in the PENPals program must wait until the current member is either no longer working there or no longer interested in the program.
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Q5:What other types of research can I participate in with Product Evaluations by being a PENPals member?
A:PENPals members can also be invited to participate in Product Placement Studies, Focus Group Sessions, Creative Sessions as well as One on One interviewing. We might also call you from time to time for a special, "over the telephone" interview.
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PENPals Program
Q1:How do I log in to PENPals?
Q2:How do I log out of PENPals?
Q3:Where are the main topics for navigating through the PENPals website located?
Q4:What is my benefit of participating in the PENPals Program?
Q5:What does PENPals or Product Evaluations do with my personal and/or operational information?
Q6:What is a product placement study?
Q7:What should I do if PENPals won't let me login?
Q8:Why do I have to enter my password on every page?
Q9:How do I change My Login?
Q10:How do I update My Profile?
 
Q1:How do I log in to PENPals?
A:
  1. When you visit our web site, click on the PENPals link on the left hand side of the page.
  2. Click the My PENPals link located below the PENPals link on the left or click the button on the top right that says PENPals login. (If the button on the top says logout, then you are already logged in to PENPals).
  3. The Log In Page is displayed if you are not already logged in.
  4. Enter your email address and password.
  5. If you wish to be able to access the PEN Pal protected pages without having to type your password on every page, check the box on the login page that says "Remember my login information"*.
  6. Click the log in button.
  7. The next page will be displayed welcoming you back to PENPals with a button to Continue (you must click this continue button or your login may not be complete).
  8. You will then be taken to the My PENPals page where you can access other PEN Pages available to you.
*This checkbox will try to set a "cookie" on your computer that is used to identify you to PENPals. If the cookie is successfully stored on your computer you will not need to enter your password on every password protected page. Your computer must be set to accept cookies for this to work. If you are on a public terminal that allows cookies or you share your computer with other users we suggest that you log out after you are done surfing the PENPals site so others cannot access your PENPals account.
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Q2:How do I log out of PENPals?
A:
  1. It's very simple to log out of PENPals. While you are on the PENPals section of the Product Evaluations site, a button on the top left will display "PENPals logout".
  2. Click this button.
  3. A page will be displayed saying "Goodbye from PENPals".
  4. That's it. You are logged out of PENPals.
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Q3:Where are the main topics for navigating through the PENPals website located?
A:The main topics of navigation through the PENPals web site are located on the "MY PENPals" page. This page will appear once you have clicked on the "continue" button during login. You need to scroll down the "MY PEN Pals" page in order to view the main topics and areas of interest on the PENPals web site.
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Q4:What is my benefit of participating in the PENPals Program?
A:As you qualify and complete PENPals surveys, you earn points that can be exchanged for a wide variety of awards such as: Cash Giftcards, Chef's Catalog Giftcards, or Great Personal or Operational Gifts for yourself or your operation. Another advantage to being a PENPals member is that you can view and give YOUR opinions on new foodservice products that will help manufacturers develop the best foodservice products for you, as an operator, in the Foodservice Industry.
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Q5:What does PENPals or Product Evaluations do with my personal and/or operational information?
A:Product Evaluations, Inc. is committed to keeping your personal information confidential. We will not sell, trade, or rent your personally identifiable information on an individual basis to third parties. We will not disclose individual names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, or other personally identifiable information unless we have your permission.

Please review the Privacy Policy by clicking on this link: privacypolicy.asp
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Q6:What is a product placement study?
A:A product placement study is when we send you a new (not on the market yet) foodservice product idea to try in your operation and then give us your opinions on it. There is usually a time frame for this type of study and if you are not fully interested or won't have the time to complete the study within it's time frame, please do not say that you would be interested in participating.

Some of these product placement studies are compensated and some aren't. We expect your highest level of confidentiality when participating in this type as well as all of our other research studies.
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Q7:What should I do if PENPals won't let me login?
A:When having problems logging in to PENPals, make sure that you are using the email and password that is in your profile. Sometimes fields can automatically populate with information so watch that the email and password are correct. If you are still having problems, email us at penpals@productevaluations.com
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Q8:Why do I have to enter my password on every page?
A:
  • PENPals is a MEMBERS ONLY site. This means that we must verify our members on ALL of our members only pages. If you do not check the box on the login screen to "remember my login information" then you will be required to enter your password on each of these pages. The check box is used to store a "cookie" on your computer. This cookie is used as described in our privacy policy page. The cookie will remain on your computer until you log off PENPals or you decide to delete the cookie manually. 

Note: cookies must be enabled on your computer for this feature to work.

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Q9:How can I change my Login (email or my password)?
A:
  1. You can Change your Login information (Your Email Address and Password) by clicking on the "EDIT MY LOGIN" link on the My PENPals page.
  2. Enter your current password in the "Old Password" box.
  3. Enter ALL of your login information in the boxes provided.
  4. Click the "Update My Account" button.
  5. The next time you log in to PENPals you will need to use this information.
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Q10:How do I update My Profile?
A:
  1. You can Change your Profile information by clicking on the "EDIT MY PROFILE" link on the My PENPals page.
  2. The My Profile page will be displayed with all of your registration information.
  3. Change any of the information and click the "Update My Profile" button at the bottom of the screen.
    • You will need to use the email address and password that you changed here to login to PENPals on your next visit.
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SURVEYS/POINTS
Q1:How will I know when a Foodservice Survey is available to me?
Q2:What if I am not receiving any survey invitations?
Q3:How do I show My Surveys?
Q4:For how long is a PENPals survey available to me online?
Q5:Do I have to participate every time I am invited to complete a survey?
Q6:What if I leave my job or have a new email address and forget to contact PENPals?
Q7:Why did or when will my points expire automatically?
Q8:How long do the PENPals surveys take to complete?
Q9:What happens if I don't qualify for a survey or the survey kicks me out based on my business type?
Q10:If I time out or get kicked out of a survey, how do I get back into the survey?
Q11:How many points do I get for participating in a PENPals survey?
Q12:How long after completing a survey does it take to get my points?
 
Q1:How will I know when a Foodservice Survey is available to me?
A:Invitations to surveys are usually sent out on Mondays and Thursdays. Additional invites might be sent out if there is a bonus survey or rush survey available. PENPals is always in the subject line of any online survey invitations or any other PENPals program communications.
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Q2:What if I am not receiving any survey invitations?
A:Sometimes our survey invitations are lost through SPAM filters or tossed into bulk email folders. To ensure survey invitation deliveries, make sure penpals@productevaluations.com is in your safe sender list. We also recommend that you visit our website at least once a week on your own at www.productevaluations.com. You still need to login to PENPals to see if there are any foodservice surveys available to you at that time.
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Q3:How do I show My Surveys?
A:While you are in the PENPals section of the web site, a link is displayed on the left below the PENPals link that says "Survey Room". Click this link to show any surveys that are available to you.
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Q4:For how long is a PENPals survey available to me online?
A:Surveys are usually available for two to three weeks. However, due to the rapid growth of our PENPals panel, we suggest that you complete surveys as soon as possible to avoid being disqualified because quotas are filled. If you haven't seen a survey invitation in a month, check your junk or bulk email files. Make sure that penpals@productevaluations.com is in your safe sender list. You can also visit our website on your own and check if any PENPals surveys are available to you.
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Q5:Do I have to participate every time I am invited to complete a survey?
A:No, we do not require you to participate in every survey that we offer you. We do require that you participate in at least one survey every three months. If you do not, your points and membership will expire after 6 months.
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Q6:What if I leave my job or have a new email address and forget to contact PENPals?
A:We do attempt to contact you either by phone or email after three months to see if you are receiving our PENPals survey emails however, it is your responsibility to keep your profile up to date with any new job or email information so that you may continue to receive surveys. You are allowed to continue to participate in our surveys up to 3 months after having left your job position. You must update your profile within that time frame with your new job information if you continue to be a qualified member at your new job.
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Q7:Why did or when will my points expire automatically?
A:Your points will expire basically if we have not heard from you in 6 months. Hearing from you would be either your participation in a survey, responding to a "Where are You?" email, coming to the PENPals website and updating your profile or giving us a call at 1-888-482-7750 to let us know what your situation is. If you are no longer working in the foodservice industry, you have 3 months to either: redeem your points for an award or update your profile with your new foodservice job information. Discretion will be once again determined by Product Evaluations if you meet member qualifications.
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Q8:How long do the PENPals surveys take to complete?
A:PENPals foodservice surveys usually run on average between 10-15 minutes long. It might take some members a little longer to complete the surveys depending on computer and internet connection speeds. The average time in minutes listed in the survey room is exactly that, an average of all members completing the survey during our pre-testing stages.
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Q9:What happens if I don't qualify for a survey or the survey kicks me out based on my business type?
A:Any members who attempt to complete a survey and are terminated due to the market segment that they represent, quotas have been reached or they do not use the product that the survey is about, they will get 250 points for having attempted the survey.
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Q10:If I time out or get kicked out of a survey, how do I get back into the survey?
A:When a PENPals member is timed out or kicked out of a survey, the member must wait at least 5 minutes before trying to get back into the survey. Survey data needs to update and reset itself so that when the member goes back to the survey, it will take the member to where he/she left off.
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Q11:How many points do I get for participating in a PENPals survey?
A:Points vary per survey offered through PENPals. On average our surveys are worth 3500 points. At times when survey is longer or shorter we do offer more or less points. Bonus points may also be offered for surveys but they would have to be completed within a certain time frame.
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Q12:How long after completing a survey does it take to get my points?
A:Points are automatically updated by the PENPals database system at the end of the survey. However, all surveys will be reviewed to ensure accurate completion (according to the PENPals Terms of Service), prior to release of points for award redemption.
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AWARDS
Q1:How do I know how many points I have?
Q2:How do I redeem My PEN Points?
Q3:When I order an award do I have to pay tax or shipping and handling?
 
Q1:How do I know how many points I have?
A:Once you have logged in to PENPals, there are two spots on the PENPals web site that you can view how many points you have.
If you are on the MY PENPals page, you can scroll down the screen and click on "VIEW MY HISTORY OF POINTS" to view all points activity since you became a member. You can also just click on "Awards" on the left hand side of the MY PENPals page to view your current total. Clicking here also brings you to the awards room.
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Q2:How do I redeem My PEN Points?
A:
  1. Access the My PENPals screen.
  2. Click the underlined link saying REDEEM MY POINTS.
  3. Click the type of awards you would like to look at as well as the point ranges.
  4. If you don't click on any of these buttons, then all of the awards that are available to you will be displayed from all of the categories when you click the View Awards button. You will only be able to see awards that have point values less than or equal to the number of PEN Points you have.
  5. Click the View Awards button.
  6. Scroll down the screen to view the awards available.
  7. Select the quantity of that award from the drop down list.
  8. Click the "Add to Cart" button to add this item to your Shopping Cart.
  9. The "My Shopping Cart" will be displayed with the item you selected along with any items you may have already selected.
  10. Click the "Continue Shopping" button to go back to the Redeem My Points page and select other items to add to your Cart.
  11. Click the "Clear My Cart" button to remove all the items from your shopping cart.
  12. Click the Change button next to the item you would like to make changes.
    • This will take you to another page that will allow you to change the quantity of that item.
    • Enter "0" in the quantity field to remove this item only from your shopping cart.
    • Click the Update My Shopping Cart to go back to the My Shopping Cart screen.
  13. Click the Check out button on My Shopping Cart screen to continue the check out process.
  14. The Check Out page is displayed with the items you selected.
  15. Scroll down the Check Out page and fill in the shipping information for this order.
  16. Click the Continue Checkout button to submit your order.
  17. A thank you page will be displayed confirming your order and completing the Check out process.
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Q3:When I order an award do I have to pay tax or shipping and handling?
A:No, all costs for the awards (including shipping and handling) are covered by Product Evaluations. The amount of points per award is all inclusive for that award.
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CONTACT INFORMATION
Q1:How do I contact PENPals if I have a question that was not covered in the FAQs?
 
Q1:How do I contact PENPals if I have a question that was not covered in the FAQs?
A:
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