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

Raleigh, NC
USA
498 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2011 :  8:15:59 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
I'm to the point now that when I see any shop that says "Fun" or "Easy" I'm already suspicious. "Fun" means I'm not offering enough money to get anyone with sense to do this job. "Easy" means you will spend 1 hour replying to redundant questions and explaining all no answers in the evaluation form


Here's my take on "fun and easy"...nothing is fun and easy to me because if it was fun and easy it wouldn't be my job, it would be my hobby and I'd do it for free. That said, there is one steak house that comes close.

Ellen
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Mike Krieger
Star Contributor

USA
294 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2011 :  08:46:15 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'll add any shop that requires you to take pictures that isn't ordered by the same company you are shopping. Big blue gas shops are fine but these closed franchise shops in which there could already be a different business operating in place of the company ordering the shop is a 10 foot poler to me.
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Dar-L
Star Contributor

USA
1031 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2011 :  8:32:08 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
If you're talking about debrand audits, they're not for the faint of heart. Sometimes the LOA is adequate, some other times they require a smooth touch. And sometimes you leave with nothing.
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Mike Krieger
Star Contributor

USA
294 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2011 :  2:23:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yep; it's those debrand audits. I'm skeptical of the FF pricing studies too because they require a picture and they go to a variety of the more popular and well-known locations and they probably aren't ordered by their respective brands. It's tough to get an entire menu board and make it clear and not be recognized, especially at one of the one's I frequent for coffee on my own because the manager is always in the front. Though, I'll admit the DT window menu board is a bit easier.

Sometimes you get the person grumbling which happened to me at an ice cream shop even when the same brand orders it but at least in my experience , with the LOA, you're covered.
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1852 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2011 :  6:48:06 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
One major exception, of course, is amusement parks. Give me all of 'em!

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” Tacitus
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John MrBeth
Valued Contributor

Mount Laurel, NJ
USA
184 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2011 :  05:33:10 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Pet Food Audits in small stores....
I signed up for two....
Both required separate Dog and Cat items
And, they wanted the audit done covertly;
How can you be in a small store for 30-60 minutes covertly?

John
Southern NJ
Professional Couple
Both Gold Certified
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DarleneH
Star Contributor

Cleveland, OH
USA
1322 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2011 :  05:44:54 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've been tempted to try one of those. How did it work out?
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MelissaSiet
Contributor

Granger, IN
USA
70 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2011 :  06:14:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I did those years ago and just told the worker I was doing a research report for my degree. Worked like a charm:)

Melissa
Certified Gold :)
Serving Indiana-South Bend, Mishawaka and some surrounding areas
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Joyce in Maine
Valued Contributor

Maine
USA
123 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2011 :  6:16:06 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DarleneH

I've been tempted to try one of those. How did it work out?



I have done them before --- I pretended I was talking on my cell phone to a relative about the dog food -- and recorded it -- the biggest problem I had was I think you need sku numbers if the items weren't listed on their sheets -- so you had to be able to pick up the 40 or 50 pounds bags and flip them over for the sku # -- and I have a bad back.

Joyce
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ChrisThomas
Valued Contributor

USA
119 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2011 :  2:24:04 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
If I read the most recent changes to the sunglass instructions correctly we are suppose to ask a sunglass salesman for a "Business Card". That's just silly. Who asks for such a thing as a normal shopper.
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Alan-Texas
Star Contributor

Arlington, TX
USA
542 Posts

Posted - 05/24/2011 :  2:55:10 PM  Visit Alan-Texas's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CThomas

If I read the most recent changes to the sunglass instructions correctly we are suppose to ask a sunglass salesman for a "Business Card". That's just silly. Who asks for such a thing as a normal shopper.



I know the sunglasses shops you are talking about, and it is a high-end shop. I believe the salespeople there work on commission, so chances are you won't have to ask for a card because they will offer one to you. After all, they want you to ask for them or mention them when you do come back in so they get credit for the sale.

Even if they don't offer, asking for one at a store like this wouldn't raise any flags. Furthermore, you can ask them to write down information for the sunglasses you were looking at on the back of their card.

Alan A.
MSPA Silver Certified
Shopping the Dallas / Ft. Worth area since 2005
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Kathy C.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
197 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2011 :  6:47:18 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Current electronics/cellphone shops that require shoppers to report results to a "phantom" website (I am guessing a direct link to the client) then answer "a few survey questions" on the the Marketing Company's software. This is nothing short of double reporting. The biggest problem with this is that these terms are not disclosed until assignments are accepted. Beware.
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Sandi G
Star Contributor

Tallahassee, FL
USA
917 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2011 :  7:00:06 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
If these are the ones on Prophet that Coast to Coast scheduled, the "few survey questions" were just when you did the shop and when you reported it on the other site. It was less than a minute to do. Questions about the visit would be double reporting, but I personally had no problem with what they asked. Then again, I've done a similar thing for quite a few shops that Kern schedules, where I report in Sassie that I've completed it but I've turned in the shop on the actual MSC site. That way the schedulers can pull reports to verify jobs were completed.

Now, if it's a different company/report, then it might truly be double reporting.

--Sandi
traditional & video shopping FL and GA
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Nicole P.
Valued Contributor

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2011 :  11:17:31 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I do ask for a business card. In real life, too. I never purchase on my own on the first shop. Ever. I have 5 of these scheduled. Happy not to have to do a purchase at all.

Nicole
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Kathy C.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
197 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2011 :  8:52:07 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sandi G

If these are the ones on Prophet that Coast to Coast scheduled, the "few survey questions" were just when you did the shop and when you reported it on the other site. It was less than a minute to do. Questions about the visit would be double reporting, but I personally had no problem with what they asked. Then again, I've done a similar thing for quite a few shops that Kern schedules, where I report in Sassie that I've completed it but I've turned in the shop on the actual MSC site. That way the schedulers can pull reports to verify jobs were completed.

Now, if it's a different company/report, then it might truly be double reporting.



Not he same. Truly enjoy working with Coast to Coast and the Prophet System. Have not worked for Kern in several months. Both companies are clear in their expectations from the beginning.
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Nicole P.
Valued Contributor

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2011 :  12:46:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Anything done by Franchise Compliance or Restaurant Evaluators, until they each get a new owner and each show a record of responsibly reimbursing their shoppers without shoppers having to threaten to and/or initiate legal action to get their own money back.

Nicole
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JessG
Trainee

NY
USA
7 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2011 :  2:29:05 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I wouldn't do the swedish furniture store. I find it hard enough to find what I need when I go shopping there for myself!

I also would never do one of the optical exam shops that require you to pay for an eye exam out of your own pocket or through insurance. I just don't feel comfortable trusting the single exam I get a year through insurance to a doctor who works at a chain store in mall. I'd rather go to a specialist.

Jessica
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John MrBeth
Valued Contributor

Mount Laurel, NJ
USA
184 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2011 :  8:07:10 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
How about a purchase and return shop that requires a $300-500 purchase... Not with a ten foot pole, or a twenty foot pole for $25. Two trips, the sales spiel, the report and tying up $300-$500 on my credit card for some period of time.... No thank you!

John
Southern NJ
Professional Couple
Both Gold Certified
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Judith S
Trainee

Pikeville, KY
USA
9 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2011 :  9:43:03 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I thought I was the only one who had picked up on this new and improved 10 foot pole shop. I used to shop for the other MSC that did shipping. They sent you the box already loaded, sent the address, to and from, all you did was show up on time check for required items and you are out of there. This new company sent me several emails a day, upping the bonus each time, until it paid $25 to go in and mail a package. You didn’t even have to check for all the old things. Only catch is you must arrive 30 minutes before the facility closed. I got held up by State Police making stops all over. The facility was supposed to close at 5PM; I arrived at 4:40. Automatic failure, correct? Only they were running late also, go figure? I have the receipt run their machine that says 5:17PM. Technically, I was there 30 minutes before closing. Not according to the MSC, never mind that I found other jobs in the area so I could do their shop which was 140 miles round trip from home. Now I only break even for the day. The MSC says, “We hope to work with you in the future.”

Judith Adkins-Spears, MSPA Gold - Video Shopper Certified - Author
"Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time."
~Arnold H. Glasgow
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Ms.Baker
Valued Contributor

Evansville, IN
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2011 :  10:35:31 PM  Visit Ms.Baker's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by John MrBeth

Pet Food Audits in small stores....
I signed up for two....
Both required separate Dog and Cat items
And, they wanted the audit done covertly;
How can you be in a small store for 30-60 minutes covertly?




Hi there,

I tried that audit, and I don't recommend anyone else try to do one. Agreed--That dog/cat audit covered hundreds of items. I will never do another.
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