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 Shops you wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole?
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Heather C.
Valued Contributor

Montreal
Canada
196 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2009 :  4:37:10 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LisaSTL

Wait a minute, you're saying that out of the blue employees are going to walk out the door and a stranger will be standing there to search their personal effects How was this supposed to work. 30 years ago I worked part-time at Christmas for a major department store. Prior to leaving the building we had the whole search the bags, supply the receipt, but this was by a security guard INSIDE the building. If I had walked out the door and some stranger was standing there asking to search my bags I would have run back inside and called the police!


It wasn't an undercover job. From what I remember, the shopper had to inform the employees or show them a letter proving that they were from XYZ company before checking their bags. I think the store was trying to cut corners by hiring mystery shoppers instead of security guards because the fee for this job was low compared to what a security guard makes for doing the same job.

Heather
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Susan L
Star Contributor

Westchester County, New York
USA
267 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2009 :  5:23:35 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
That sounds like a good way for the company to anger their employees, and give mystery shopping another bad name. (The industry already has a reputation for fraud, a reputation caused primarily, but not exclusively, by criminals with nothing to do with mystery shopping.)

At least security guards--even the underpaid ones--have some modicum of training and a contracting security company backing them. This is not what mystery shopping is for or about.

Did the job provide a metallic badge and a gun? Anyone can print out a letter. It's easier to print out a letter than get the kinds of badges and clubs fake cops use.

I'm curious about what MS company offered these jobs to shoppers. Okay, I know you can't tell us, but still...

Susan L.
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Mike Krieger
Star Contributor

USA
294 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2009 :  9:56:57 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Bank shops in which you have to shop 5 minutes after the branch closes or 5 minutes before it opens to see if they will let you in to conduct your business. Plus, they only pay $.50 more than the other teller shops for this.

Bar shops in which you have to order a whole meal that costs over the $20 shopper pay (no reimbursement).

Mutilated pizza shops (unless they get highly bonused up to a $30 fee (and yes it takes me that long to do it correctly for me to say that))

The famous 2 gallon pump test shops for reimbursement of that and $10 pay (it was barely worth it when combined reimbursement and pay was around $20; now its $15)
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Dave F
Member

CA
USA
47 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2009 :  12:38:02 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Shops that require 3 interactions with different employees and extensive written reports on each, a telephone call and an extensive report on that and a non-reimbursable purchase to prove you were there.

All this for the princely sum of $12.

No thanks.

Dave
MSPA Gold Certified
Shopping the Inland Empire area of Southern California
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ClaireRozbesky
Member

Homer Glen, IL
USA
15 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2009 :  05:11:41 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I was accepted for a restaurant shop and copied the 27 pages of info I needed, only to have the company come back and say the shops were put "on hold." I kept checking the site to make sure and lo and behold - it disappeared from my page after a few days. It would have been nice to receive an email that it was removed -- and maybe a thank you???

Claire Rozbesky
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LisaSTL
Star Contributor

St. Louis, MO
USA
733 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2009 :  05:20:35 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
And how many of the pages were just repetitive information? I've moved 20 to 30 pages of instructions to Word and after deleting the repetitive stuff and the information on how to log in and submit the report and getting rid of the bold warnings, etc., etc., it comes down to about 2 to 3 pages of relevant information

Lisa
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Joyce A H1
Valued Contributor

USA
158 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2009 :  08:35:57 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Agreeing with you on this one, The new form has more yes/no questions to report, but then added in more narratives. Make it a yes/no, and one main narrative, that is not limited to 10,000 characters minimum and maybe will consider them.
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MariaMia
Star Contributor

Los Angeles, CA
USA
274 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2009 :  08:41:31 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I will not do any bank shops, any investment shops, and choose not to do anything that requires my personal information in a scenario ( for example the retirement/investment shop) ... not worth the time , the fee, or the paperwork IMO.. Mia
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TinaMarie
Star Contributor

USA
1811 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2009 :  7:45:08 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I will not do the check cashing where you have to give out your social security number, especially when the store is in a very BAD part of town. Are you kidding me????

~*~TinaMarie~*~
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David Richard
Valued Contributor

Providence, Rhode Island
USA
207 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2009 :  8:37:49 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Meli

I have actually done the 250 item grocery store pricing (bonused of course) and it's not as bad as you would think. You would be amazed how much grocery store employees don't care what the customers are doing and I was largely ignored. In case I was approached I was prepared to tell them I was planning on catering an event and was trying to get an idea of cost.



How long did it take you to enter the report?
Did it have reminders along the lines of - This item you have marked as not found was found in a prior audit. What parts of the store did you look for it?

Thanks

Happily shopping
Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts.
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Meli
Valued Contributor

Houston, Texas
USA
129 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2009 :  8:43:17 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
It took me maybe 15-20 minutes max to crank the report out. For the most part it's just plugging in numbers, much like the fast food price audits. They changed the format to almost all drop-down boxes as far as whether the item was on sale in the ad or a loyalty card price instead of having to type it in which made the reports go even quicker.

Oh and no, you had a set list of items with set sizes to find. If the store did not carry that item/size you just marked the form as such and moved on. The forms are also broken down into categories like "frozen food", "produce", "drinks" so you aren't running all over the store for each item. I would just systematically go up and down the aisles completing each section.

Meli
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Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2009 :  12:24:37 AM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm about to add merchandising Wal-Mart to the list. The last time I was there, there was no manager to report to. Today, the department manager was on 30 minute break as was her assistant and everybody else who could do much that mattered. These were two different departments. The more I read comments of others, the more I'm getting out that ten foot pole and a way to extend it.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
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SJones
Star Contributor

USA
3121 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2009 :  07:17:18 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
It's hard to get a hold of a manager or anybody in charge at Walmart. The best time to go is in the morning during their morning roll call. That's somewhere between eight and nine. Then you have to wait until it is over and grab the manager right away. Nobody ever wants to be in charge there.

Susanne
MSPA Silver Certified!
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EliseSm
Valued Contributor

USA
226 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2009 :  11:37:59 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
In my experience, it is best to call for the manager's hours.
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Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2009 :  1:39:50 PM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by EliseSm

In my experience, it is best to call for the manager's hours.

I did. I was told a manager would be available between 8 AM and 8PM. That was the best info I could get on the phone.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
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LizKa
Member

Manhattan, KS
USA
15 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2009 :  02:02:05 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I can't say there isn't I would never do, but there are some I dislike and avoid. And some I wouldn't do unless I was utterly desperate and I haven't been that desperate yet.

Big electronic or department stores where you need to go to different departments, act as if you want to buy something and back out at the last minute, get names, descriptions, lots of narrative and buy something as cheap as possible on the way out. I did one that had a bonus and was up to $20. Never again. No, thanks. I can't believe people do those for cheaper!

I saw a job recently where you had to go to a printing station and ask for a large amount of copies of a fake business advertisement give by the company and then back out at the last minute. I wasn't comfortable with that, even though it had a high bonus and I could use the money. You also had to go to another department on top of that, remember tons of names, etc. Nnnnnnooooo!

I will not do a drive-thru and dine-in alone FF shop unless it is around $12 and even then I most likely won't. I hate having to time it down to the exact second. I was in near panic attack mode under that pressure the first time I did it in fear I'd mess up.

I did a grocery shop the other day that was a tad bit annoying... Not sure if I'd take it again, but I might. I think it will be much easier a second time and I can get through faster now that I understand how it works.

Liza
Shopping North Eastern Kansas!
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Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2009 :  5:58:41 PM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
The insurance or retirement insurance plan where you sit for up to an hour not counting travel, prep or report time ... and listen very carefully to the presentation to be sure all the points are covered. The latest offering required you to bone up on the topic at the Medicare website and then listen to the speil to be sure the presenter did not cross a line.
A couple of these from different MSCs were offered below $20.00
I have no idea what the form looks like. I fear they would be more like term papers.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
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Diane H
Member

McCook, NE
USA
22 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2009 :  7:54:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Interesting reading . . . . . at this point in time, the only shops I won't touch with a ten foot pole are those that pay $7 or less! I don't care how much time they SAY it will take . . . . they always take longer. I also have a huge aversion to the big box, although I recently did merch shops at 6 stores in 6 cities and though they didn't pay much, they were pretty quick and easy.

I have done a huge variety of shops in the past year and I cannot think of one that I would not do again for the right price. In fact, one I swore I wouldn't do again, I was recently contacted and asked how much it would take. I told them, they said ok, I did the job and for the $ I contracted, it was worth it! So, in my book, everything has a price!!!

Diane H
Randomly wandering southwest Nebraska knowing that eventually better things will come!
MSPA Silver Certified
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JenGA
Valued Contributor

Kingsburg, CA
USA
157 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2009 :  10:58:21 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Wow Elizabeth, I did all those shops last week, and the only bonused on was the FF shop ! It was a bit hard, but then again, I just used my smart phone to jot down names, and move on to what I need to do next.

The only ones I try to avoid right now is where I have to outlay a lot of money. Cashflow became an issue this month w/ emergency expenses at home, and it made me sick with worry about what was going to happen if something else went wrong on my homefront. Lesson learned, and now I'll be more judicious when I accept assignments and try to balance out what I have to outlay.

Jen
Mystery Shopping in the Central Valley of CA since 2005
Silver Certified since December 2008
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LizKa
Member

Manhattan, KS
USA
15 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2009 :  12:26:34 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jen,

Maybe I need a smart phone! If I had a recorder, I think I would find a lot of those shops a bit easier, because when I need to go to so many departments, I start having a hard time remembering the actual words that came out of their mouths! And it would be nice to whisper reminders to myself every once in a while or run to the bathroom in between departments and talk to myself!

Well, I've only seen one FF shopped in my area, so I'm not sure if all of them work that way. It's that one I have the issue with. Though I've been craving fast food lately, so maybe I'll have to give in, plus we have a lot of financial difficulties right now as well, because my husband hasn't been able to find a job. With Christmas coming, I'm pretty much willing to do anything for work!

Liza
Shopping North Eastern Kansas!
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