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Paula E
Member

California
USA
34 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2005 :  4:30:01 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I LOVE this company! Ummm I don't think that I can give a very objective assesment of Amusement Advantage as they gave me my first MS'ing job. The very first scheduler that I ever delt with was Chris and he was great. They pay right on time and offer a bonus if you turn in your report early. My first assignment was a reimbursement and I took my husband, and our two kids, who were 5 and 8 mos at the time. I thought it was a great deal as we only went a few dollars over the reimbursement amount and we got a great family evening out.

However...the contracting company did not like my report at all. I gave an honest view of what I saw. They tried to say that I had been spotted because I was "pushy"! Even though I was new, I knew that my job was to blend in.

Chris called me to discuss my report and I was soooo devastated because I though I was not going to get paid! I realized that there was no way they could have spotted me and I wanted them to prove it. Chris said that after talking to me he was still going to pay me because he believed that I had submitted an honest report.

I did have some problems with my next assignment with them a few months later that were not their fault and I was afraid they weren't going to contact me again. I just finished a project for them and my family had a blast!

~~*~~Silver Ceritfied 2/2005~~*~~
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KimG
Star Contributor

Orlando, FL
USA
628 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2005 :  1:56:41 PM  Send KimG an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just signed up with them. I would really love to get some of those great parks in Orlando . And I will admit, I am very biased toward one, on the good side. I love this particular park more than any place else on earth, and it brings me peace and happiness just to walk in the doors. And the food is awesome. This isn't the biggie in Orlando, the next biggie, the one that does Halloween up right.

I just hope I don't get asked to do any water parks. I can't swim!

Kim
silver certified njtwnf
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LaurieDel
Trainee

MA
USA
5 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2005 :  6:23:30 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am near Boston and have done one shop for them (prob the one you're seeing, Elise) and loved it - they are very detailed but lots of restroom stops, some recording on my cellphone, and it was ok, even with my two boys with me (4 and 6) - although dh was thre to help. Paid very quickly, too.

Shopping Metro Boston and Southern MA
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Molly Brown
Star Contributor

HI
USA
324 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2005 :  08:41:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
i requested a 'fishy' one =) I hope I get it..but i applied last week ;( so maybe i didn't get it
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Marnen
Valued Contributor

Somerville, MA
USA
196 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2005 :  12:47:57 PM  Visit Marnen's Homepage  Send Marnen an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've been poking around on their job board, and I have to say I'm a bit surprised that anyone actually works for these folks. At least for the shops I've been finding, they give free tickets to the park, but do not reimburse for other required purchases (such as food). I really don't think that's right. If a shop requires me to make a purchase, I expect to be reimbursed in full for that purchase, particularly if it's a reimbursement-only shop. Amusement Advantage's practices are coming perilously close to pay-to-shop, methinks.

Marnen Laibow-Koser
Boston-area shopper
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Terra
Star Contributor

USA
443 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2005 :  12:51:08 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
... and I was looking too, today. It said somewhere that these shops require long narratives and you are required to stay at the park most of the day. I don't know about most people, but I get tired of such places after a few hours. The only place I did open to close was when on vacation at Disney and it about wore me out (some vacation, right... longer hours than when working). I was unaware that there were required purchases for the shop, too... wow... They also do hotels under a similar plan... I just don't know. Everyone seems to like working for them, but I shop to make money, not to spend it.

MSPA Silver Certified #ectp6r
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Marnen
Valued Contributor

Somerville, MA
USA
196 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2005 :  1:08:27 PM  Visit Marnen's Homepage  Send Marnen an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Terra
I was unaware that there were required purchases for the shop, too... wow...

Not on every job, apparently, but on some. The ones I was looking at required a food purchase, a gift-shop purchase, and a ticket purchase for a staffed game, none of which would be reimbursed. They did say they'd send 2 additional tickets as compensation on completion of the shop, but....!

Marnen Laibow-Koser
Boston-area shopper
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MattC
Valued Contributor

Barto, PA
USA
197 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2005 :  10:02:39 AM  Visit MattC's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Marnen:
We do the web development for Amusement Advantage, and I think you've missed something on how some of their assignments work. Their assignments are intended for shoppers who would have gone to a particular amusement park anyway, and would have had to spend upwards of $150 for tickets for 4 family members anyway. If a shopper would not have gone to an amusement park for any reason anyway, then getting a free trip may be seen as having no value.
Typically, most of the assignments for Amusement advantage receive 100 or more requests each.

Matt Corrow
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Dee in AZ
Star Contributor

Tucson, AZ
USA
663 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2005 :  10:17:48 AM  Send Dee in AZ an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Regardless of whether a shopper was "going there anyway" I think this is a cheap way to offer shops. If the purchases are required they should be reimbursed, plain and simple. After all there are 2 for 1 coupon deals available at many of these places. Consider the time spent there (all day?) and a "long" narrative that they are basically getting for free. They are not paying retail prices for those tickets they give away. And sending 2 more tickets after the fact just encourages the shopper to go again and spend more of his/her money. I prefer shops like the circus where I was sent spending money upfront for my required reimbursements. Plus 8 free tickets AND a fee!

Deanna Kessler
Deannna.kessler@seelevelhx.com
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SCarson
Member

Arvada, CO
USA
48 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2005 :  11:38:31 AM  Visit SCarson's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thank you for your interest in our programs at Amusement Advantage. To clarify a few points, we have a wide variety of assignments including reimbursement only, tickets only and reimbursement plus fee. All assignments offer a $5 early return bonus regardless of other compensation.

Assignments that provide tickets only, have an overall compensation value that meets or exceeds required expenses. As Matt mentioned, we only recruit shoppers who actively frequent amusement facilities and enjoy time spent there as they meet the shopper profile requirements for such projects. Overall these shoppers find the compensation to be fair and are eager to complete subsequent assignments.

Serving only the amusement industry is an exciting challenge with diverse needs and requirements, however we pride ourselves in maintaining professional and fair practices with our unique and valued contractors. Just an fyi, we do not have a "hotel program" as we only work with the amusement industry. Our ICA and all assignment postings disclose all necessary information to ensure our shoppers have clear expectations prior to requesting an assignment.

Best Wishes!

Scot Carson
www.amusementadvantage.com
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Bo
Contributor

USA
82 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2005 :  1:31:00 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I recently completed an aquarium shop for Amusement Advantage. The amount I received covered 2 admissions and all of the required purchases. I even had some left over. Before you apply for the shop, the website states very clearly what you are required to purchase and I guess every shopper has to decide for him/herself if it's worth it. I didn't consider the narratives to be very lengthy - in fact, they were less than I write for many restaurant shops. I found this company to be great with communication and quick to pay and would gladly work for them again.
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JoyD
Contributor

North GA
USA
81 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2005 :  3:23:34 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm doing my first assingment for them next week. For me, it's a great deal because my kiddos had free passes for a local amusement park that expire soon and just needed the dear ole' parents to take them. So now we all get to go without me spending a lot on tickets!
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ScottNY
Star Contributor

NY
USA
686 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2005 :  4:39:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dee in AZ

Regardless of whether a shopper was "going there anyway" I think this is a cheap way to offer shops. If the purchases are required they should be reimbursed, plain and simple. After all there are 2 for 1 coupon deals available at many of these places. Consider the time spent there (all day?) and a "long" narrative that they are basically getting for free.

These shops aren't for shoppers looking to pay all their bills or make as much cash as they can. If I used that mentality, I would never take a reimbursement-only fine dining shop either, as I could just save myself the hassle and make dinner at home.

I agree that purchases should be reimbursed, particularly because amusement parks don't exactly charge fair prices for their items. If I head to the park on my own, we stash food in our car and head back to the parking lot for lunch. We wouldn't waste much money on food, other than beverages and "fun" food like cotton candy.

Still, other than the non-reimbursement of purchases, I don't have a huge problem with the way these shops are set up. If you're headed to the park, the cost of tickets is huge. The overall compensation is decent compared with heading to the park on your own and paying for everything. If it weren't for shops like these, my family would rarely go out and experience amusement parks because of the cost of admission.

MSPA Silver Certified!
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Kel B.
Contributor

CA
USA
71 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2005 :  11:28:22 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I chose to accept an assignment for tickets and more tickets later, fully knowing the purchase requirements and time spent because I'd been wanting to do this with my kids. I felt it was a nice little mini vacation with part of my expenses paid(almost had a hotel shop in the area with another company to go with it.)

Here are kudos to this company because my first assignment was coming soon and I had to contact them about a death in the family. My father in law died and my husband must fly out the day after the shop. With that, emotions and everything it was too much to try to do. I knew a shopper in the area who was trying for the job so I asked her (met on Volition) if she was available, then asked the scheduler. I was fully expecting an "oh brother an excuse" reaction just because I've heard some companies don't react well.

Instead I got a thank you for contacting them so fast, and was told it would be marked in my record as such and that I found a shopper to fill in--no marks against me.

I would be glad to try to work for them again in the future.


Kel
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Cynthia MT
Contributor

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
USA
95 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2005 :  8:50:09 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just finished an assignment for this company on Sunday. Every contact I had with Julie, Scott and Chris was friendly, helpful and encouraging for someone doing their first shop of this type. They also sent me four passes in advance rather than two up front and two upon successful completion, because this was some distance for me and toward the end of the season.

Two tips for those taking on such a complicated assignment. Use someone elses cell phone to call your own and leave short voice messages. The time stamp will help you with timings and stating the names will give you permission to relax and not worry about retaining everything. Everyone in the park is on cell phones, so it looks natural. Although complicated, these are the easiest shops to blend in on. There are no specific questions required that give shoppers away. 99% of employees are wearing nametags, and you spend so much time just standing in lines that it is easy to make observations.

This is my new favorite company with my new favorite assignments.

Silver Certified (i2zcfj) and Shopping Southeast Wisconsin
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Chelo
Contributor

Springfield, IL
USA
53 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2005 :  10:01:31 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've never managed to get a job for this company (yet!), but I don't have any problem with their method of reimbursement. We get the opportunity to take our kids to the park for free and even have free tickets later? That's a good deal, worth more than $100, and therefore worth it to me even if I have to spend some money elsewhere. Hey, I do hotel shops that are far away without any driving money and just think of it as a mostly paid-for vacation, so why not an amusement shop? There is more to shopping than JUST making money. :)

Chelo

Silver certified (6nrx2v)but taking a break from shopping in central IL (baby girl born 9/25)
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JoyD
Contributor

North GA
USA
81 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2005 :  04:56:43 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My amusement park shop with them worked out great! I received the tickets and info in a timely manner. After my shop was accepted, I received the return tickets quickly too. Since we weren't planning on visiting the park again this season I sold the return tickets on eBay for $50, so that turned into a nice fee. Overall, this was a great way for my family to attend the park, which was something we were planning to do anyway.
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KimG
Star Contributor

Orlando, FL
USA
628 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2005 :  08:15:20 AM  Send KimG an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've been signed up with them for a couple of months now, and have yet to see a theme park shop in Florida, amazingly enough. I LOVE LOVE LOVE theme parks, but i don't have kids, so maybe I don't qualify. And I keep an annual pass to one park in Orlando, so I don't know how objective I'd be. It's my favorite place on the planet. And I don't know if they even shop them. In fact, hubby and I are heading up there next week for a couple of days, and I'll be back in October for their big Halloween extravaganza.

Kim
silver certified njtwnf
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Sandra Wright
Star Contributor

Arlington, VA
USA
2087 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2005 :  09:25:58 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have been signed up with them for almost a year. I go every few days or so to see if anything is available. I have never ever gotten anything at all. I put in my state or the milage and zip comes up. I would gladly trade my report for the tickets. I am going back east to see my family maybe I could get one for my trip.

Sandy C
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Cynthia MT
Contributor

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
USA
95 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2005 :  2:33:52 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
When they gave me an assignment some distance from my home, they said it was a very rare occurance. The difficulties I had submiting the report from my hotel room demonstrated part of why they are reluctant to give these assignments to travelers. They did tell me in a follow-up email after receiving my report that they are a growing company and are picking up new clients all the time. So keep your eyes open for a fun shop coming to your area soon.


Silver Certified (i2zcfj) and Shopping Southeast Wisconsin
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