First let’s talk about what’s normal and then discuss what is not normal.
It is normal to sometimes get screened out (disqualified) early in a survey because you either don’t fall into the group the researcher needs to reach or a quota is already full for your specific group. Sometimes, if you are not quick enough, you may find the survey already has enough completes and has closed. Lastly, and unfortunately, sometimes the fault lies with the survey participant - if they did not pay attention, rushed or were dishonest or inconsistent, or perhaps have profile answers which don’t line up; this may trigger an algorithm to terminate. It is also possible a survey is disqualified for quality reasons after completion.
If you find that you are being screened out early in a survey quite frequently then read this article for more advice on what to do.
What’s not normal
If you find you are being screened out of a survey near the end, this is not normal. Many different researchers and research companies use survey panels to conduct surveys. Either due to an error or unethical practices aimed at avoiding paying for a complete, a researcher’s survey software may throw you out late in the survey. Unfortunately, we are not able to see into the survey software used by specific researchers – this means we cannot see how the programming / logic works. Each survey software tool works in a different way and there are numerous alternative survey software systems. Checks may be conducted at the outset, but it is not possible to test every possible combination of answers and changes may occur, so it is possible problems may arise.
What can you do?
It is a good idea to take a screenshot in the middle or late in the survey with the progress bar, question and URL visible. Please make sure you are at least perhaps 10 minutes (and at least 15 questions into the survey – past the initial demographic and product usage questions) before taking the screenshot.
Also keep the original invite email with the link so it can be traced to the project. Forward this with the screenshot using the same email address that the survey invite was sent from for further investigation. While this can be investigated, no guarantees can be provided as to the outcome.