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 Shops you wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole?
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Ellen Christian
Star Contributor

Castleton, VT
USA
647 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2008 :  05:20:59 AM  Visit Ellen Christian's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've only been doing this about a year so I take pretty much anything I can get that is within about 30 miles of my house provided I can schedule something else around the same area/time to save money. I don't really like the gas station shops. It's a dead giveaway to ask for a receipt for a $1.00 purchase of gas.

Other than that I am game!

~*~ Ellen ~*~
Silver Certified ndkvcr
Merchandising, Demonstrating and Shopping in Rutland County, Vermont and Eastern Washington County, New York!
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AndreaGayle
Star Contributor

MD
USA
350 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2008 :  4:30:49 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am still fairly new but so far the ones I stay away from are:
The banking shops with very low fees for a LOT of required narrative.
A certain FF one until it is bonused, the reports are awful
Purchase and return, thye just seem really annoying to me and gas is too much to waste an extra trip
I also hate the shops for dining where it is no reimbursement but comped by the manager then a very low fee thereafter.

Andrea

Andrea Gayle
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Sue Br.
Star Contributor

Oklahoma
USA
660 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2008 :  6:01:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AndreaGayle

I am still fairly new but so far the ones I stay away from are:
The banking shops with very low fees for a LOT of required narrative.
A certain FF one until it is bonused, the reports are awful
Purchase and return, thye just seem really annoying to me and gas is too much to waste an extra trip
I also hate the shops for dining where it is no reimbursement but comped by the manager then a very low fee thereafter.

Andrea

Amen Andrea. I couldn't have said it better. The FF shops aren't worth it to me even with a bonus. I don't go near purchase and return. I hate returning things. I also refuse to do a home improvement for $5.00. If we'd all quit doing them maybe they would raise the fee.

Sue
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.Kerri66
Inactive

Maryland
USA
91 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2008 :  7:38:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I remember a time where I wouldn't touch a FF shop. Then they added a bonus...and raised it...and raised it...until I couldn't resist checking it out. So I signed up for one. And I was hooked.

Once I got used to the report, it was a piece of cake. I still only do them when they're bonused, but they're worth it to me. Reimbursement plus a bonus fee? What's not to like?

I don't have a problem either, with taking 2 bites for evaluation and tossing the rest of the "food" away. I read "Fast Food Nation" a few months ago and realized that this isn't real food. It's chemicals that produce the flavor. So, I'm only tossing harmful (but often yummy) chemicals away - no guilt!

A shop I won't touch? Any sports themed restaurant shops! Too loud, too chaotic and greasy food. Yuck!

Kerri
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Greta
Valued Contributor

Waldorf, MD
USA
132 Posts

Posted - 06/10/2008 :  5:09:15 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Add these to my 10 foot list;
Funeral Services phone shop that pays $3.00. Has anyone done this shop?

I have also received an email for a job to decorate a grave site and take pictures. This shop does not pay enough.
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TinaMarie
Star Contributor

USA
1811 Posts

Posted - 06/10/2008 :  7:21:34 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Greta

Add these to my 10 foot list;
Funeral Services phone shop that pays $3.00. Has anyone done this shop?
I was wondering about those..thanks for the warning.

~*~TinaMarie~*~
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MargeI
Star Contributor

Middletown, MD
USA
900 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2008 :  07:37:33 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Wow, can they spare it? $3? It's not worth reading the paperwork for $3. The ones I saw required you to speak Spanish and to make a phone call at an ungodly hour.
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MaryAlene
Valued Contributor

Grand Rapids, Michigan
USA
185 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2008 :  07:42:57 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Oh my! I did some funeral home phone shops a year or so ago. I think they were $5 or $7 then. The calls took forever; I was on the phone for at least 20 minutes for each call. And then I received follow-up calls for a month inquiring about how my dear MIL was doing. On top of that, I had to chase down my payment. Never again!

Maryalene
Gold certified and shopping the Grand Rapids and Lansing, Michigan areas.
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ShopperDee
Star Contributor

USA
416 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2008 :  3:09:49 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JanSue

I have often wondered about the shops that require you to purchase 4 items in a department and then you can return them if you want. Has anyone done the cosmetic counters? I thought you were not allowed to return cosmetics.
I did one of those. I didn't have to purchase cosmetics, but, if you return it unopened, it should be fine. And, the return is just a little later that same day.

Dee
MSPA Gold
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ShopperDee
Star Contributor

USA
416 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2008 :  8:34:38 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TaraSue

for those of you who LIKE the check cashing beware... I saw the screen by chance one day, your record is CLEARLY starred mystery shopper on the screen that normally only the clerk can see....



How did they know you were a shopper??

Dee
MSPA Gold
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ShopperDee
Star Contributor

USA
416 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2008 :  7:17:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ron de Sacramento

Purchases and returns. I did one a month ago (or so) that really screwed up my credit card. Seems that after I did my return, at every location (GAS/ATM/etc), the card was not accepted or had to be called in.

I went to FF place where I know the Manager (not as well as I would like to but that is another story). Prior to making my purchase, I told her about my card being refused and asked her to run my card for my purchase. She told me she got the screen to call in on the card and told that she would authorize the purchase without a call.

I politely asked her to call as a favor because I wanted to know the reason. Turns out that this card is now being tracked because it was my primary Purchase and Return card.

Besides this, the sales associate that day had a crushed look when I returned 45 minutes later with the return. She had been very helpful in selecting the item and I feel that invalidated her sales training.

Yes, maybe a return is useful training too but not always.



Yikes! Please elaborate on what this means. Thanks!!

Dee
MSPA Gold
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Jim P
Contributor

Vancouver, WA
USA
68 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2008 :  11:25:19 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ShopperDee

quote:
Originally posted by Ron de Sacramento
Turns out that this card is now being tracked because it was my primary Purchase and Return card.



Yikes! Please elaborate on what this means. Thanks!!




In general, CC companies may flag your card if they notice a recurring pattern of returns and/or chargebacks. These can negatively affect a retailer's merchant account because they lose out on the fees CC companies charge them (usually a percentage of each sale).

(Article)This is what they're looking out for and trying to protect retailers from.

Jim
Shopping in The Vancouver, WA/Portland, OR Metro areas.
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AnnaZ
Valued Contributor

Burlington, MA
USA
230 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2008 :  05:31:09 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
-The recent 4 dept purchases require that one is cosmetics. Each time I have returned it without a problem.

-Once, I did 9 coffee shops in one day. At the last one, my cc was declined. When I returned home, a guy from India called my house and said that Citibank had blocked my card because someone was charging unusual charges to my cc.

-When I do gas shops, after 4 in a day the Exxon speedpass is being declined for outdoor purchases but works inside the shop. My Amex also gets declined after 5-6 gas shops in a day, but only for gas purchases. It was funny last week because it was getting declined for the amazing $1.02 gas purchase, but allowed a $300 purchase for electronics an hour later.
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Susan L
Star Contributor

Westchester County, New York
USA
267 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2008 :  9:47:29 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The credit card companies really like declining gas pump purchases if the purchasing pattern is different from what they expect. I drove from New Orleans toward Memphis a couple of years ago, and because most of the trip was after dark, I didn't want to run out of gas. Whenever I took a break, I topped off the gas tank. I put gas in my tank five times, but the last time there was a block on the card. I had to go inside the truck stop and talk to the credit card company on the telephone to verify my identity and get the block released.

The customer service rep apologized for the inconvenience and told me that when crooks steal credit or debit cards, the first thing they do is fill up on gas because they can use the card to pay at the pump without seeing an attendant. He said it was a quick way to test whether the card is still good and the credit limit has not been exceeded. Crooks are also on the move a lot, so they could use the gas. Of course, this happened back when gas was less than $3 per gallon--so using the card at the pump would be even more popular to them now.

Susan L.

Susan L.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3049 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2008 :  04:50:09 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
When I first started working with juveniles it was very common for us to get kids in from anywhere in the state of IL (we contracted with many counties to house their kids, since not every county has a detention facility for minors) who had been picked up stealing gas, whether with a stolen credit card or just fill up and drive away. Many of these kids came through in the summer months in stolen vehicles from Florida or another southern state. That was almost 20 years ago. I wonder what the difference is with the current trend toward pre-pay to activate the pump.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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Dar
Star Contributor

USA
297 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2008 :  05:22:06 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
If numerous small charges are to be put on your credit card for shops, call the CC company and ask to speak with security. They can modify the parameters of your card for you. Tell them that you use your card for business which could require 10-20 $1 purchases per day.

I rarely do purchase and return shops, but if that were an issue with my card I would call CC security and explain the situation and ask what they can do so I'm not having the problem of being "flagged". If they don't help me, at least I've asked.

Anyhow, I've found it's better to enquire beforehand if I think there's potential for problems.

All the best to you.

Dar
MSPA Gold Certified
~ MSing the Southern USA ~
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SherryDG
Star Contributor

Chicago Burbs, IL
USA
368 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2008 :  05:41:21 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Greta

Add these to my 10 foot list;
Funeral Services phone shop that pays $3.00. Has anyone done this shop?

I have also received an email for a job to decorate a grave site and take pictures. This shop does not pay enough.



I have been tempted to do the beautification ones. Now I've read it says some are "live plantings". I thought it was just a plastic bouquet...don't know about "live" plantings.

I haven't see the phone shop for them


SherryDG
MSPA Silver
Happily shopping the Chicagoland area
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NewEnglandPam
Member

RI
USA
11 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2008 :  09:04:12 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Re: The Gravesite shops

I wanted to do one of these, but the assignment was given to someone else. If I see another one, I'm going to apply again. It seems pretty straight-forward. You get live flowers or a plant sent directly to your home, go to the gravesite that day, clean up the stone, plant or place the flowers/plant, and take some pics. I don't know anything about the difficulty in locating the gravesite itself.

However, I look at it as a nice thing to do for someone who doesn't live close to a relative's or friend's gravesite...a way to honor someone's memory by making the gravesite more presentable. I would find that more rewarding than carrying some stupid, bulky item through a store until someone offers me a cart. The pay is better too!
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CariTX
Valued Contributor

Plano, TX
USA
201 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2008 :  10:17:12 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
If it's not violating ICA, can you tell me which company does the gravesite shops? It doesn't sound like it's a "mystery" / "undercover" type of assignment, but in case it is, please forgive my asking. I'd like to do that if there are any in North Texas.

Cari

MSPA GOLD Certified gdhls4. Happily shopping and merchandising in North Texas
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CandyJ
Member

DE
USA
31 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2008 :  11:18:20 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Cari - I was thinking the same thing. What a nice way to earn a few dollars. I'd love to do that as well, if anyone can give us a hint. I agree that it does not sound like a "mystery" shop. Thanks in advance for any help.

Candy
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