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 Feedback Requested: Amusement Advantage
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.Kerri66
Inactive

Maryland
USA
91 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2008 :  8:08:25 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi Edwina,

I've completed 3 shops for them in "our" area. One of the shops was a Christmas concert, so I was at that location for almost 4 hours - 3 hours of which was the actual concert.

They ask for a lot of details and the names of everyone you encounter. Be prepared to take lots of notes! The one venue that was supposed to take 6 hours only took me 4 because the arena was empty.

Because these are "attractions" and not your typical retail shops, you are expected to experience the venue to the fullest. Why would you want to rush through a theme park, a concert, or a circus just to get the required information in order to fill in the blanks?

The reports are detailed, but straightforward. They take me no more than 2 hours to complete and proof, but this is 2 hours straight of typing and concentrating. Organization of my notes is extremely important.

The fact that I am reimbursed for the cost of these attractions, including a small purchase AND a snack is well worth the effort. These attractions would have cost me almost $100 out of pocket otherwise.

Plus, I get very positive feedback on my reports, which is very rewarding.

One thing to remember about these shops. Every person you encounter, you are required to ask a question of them and report their response. It can be ANY question, but I think this is where a lot of shoppers may get hung up. Once you get the hang of the format, it becomes easier.

This is one of my favorite companies to work for!!

Kerri
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Edwina
Member

Owings Mills, MD
USA
38 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2008 :  09:55:27 AM  Send Edwina an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
hi Kerri,

thanks for the feedback. I'm sure you know exactly which shops I'm considering!!! I will probably go ahead and sign up for one of the ones that's two hours and see how it goes. I'll let you know. Thanks again.

Edwina
Silver Certified
Happily Shopping in Maryland
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Greta
Valued Contributor

Waldorf, MD
USA
132 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2008 :  4:26:19 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
This is my favorite shopping company. I love their jobs. The reports take me from 2 hour to 6 hours to complete but I feel the pay covers my time. My daughter loves the shops we have been on for this company. I the thing I enjoy the most is the time I get to spend with my daughter skiing, skating, or at other amusement places.
I have done shops from MD to MA for this company. Whenever I travel I check to see if I can pick up a shop. I love the shops. We get to have fun.
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Carol C
Star Contributor

Washington, DC
USA
436 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2008 :  4:49:25 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The one caution I have is to read the requirements well in advance of the day of the shop. I got tripped up at one point because I read the requirements the day of the shop, which was a Saturday, and only then found out that I needed to call on a weekday. Since the due date for the report was 24 hours after the visit, there was no way to make the required phone call in time. Fortunately, they were willing to extend the report date, and I ended up getting a high rating. However, I did not get the bonus, because my report was not in within 24 hours after the visit.

Washington, DC-area Gold Certified #cr5xij
MSPA Rookie Shopper of the Year 2007
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SelaBear
Apprentice

Fort Collins, CO
USA
3 Posts

Posted - 06/03/2008 :  2:36:17 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just completed my first shop for this company yesterday, and I have to say that I was disappointed.

The shop itself was fine, the reimbursement not quite covering my expenses for the required elements, which wad a little disappointing but not terribly unexpected.

The main complaint I had was the report. Given that I had to collect so much data at the park, including 10 or so employee interactions, food and retail purchases, and a few other elements, I should have expected the report to take awhile, but when I signed up for it, the website said the report should take 1-2 hours to complete. It took me close to three hours!!!
I complete around 80 shops per month, and I felt that this report was too long given that the reimbursement didn't even cover the required elements.
I think I'll stick to making money on other shops so that I can afford to go fun places like this instead of wasting my time with such a long shop and long report.

~Sela Young
Silver MSPA Certified shopper
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Christina
Contributor

San Antonio, Texas
USA
51 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2008 :  05:42:57 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just completed a shop for them last month. It was as everyone has said. There were lots of interactions to note and the fee did not cover our total reimbursement. I didn't mind that so much because it was something we would have done as a family and it still saves on the entertainment budget. My hubby is also great about helping to get names. We usually decide ahead of time whose going to note the time and whose going to get the name. You also have to ask questions during your interaction and we found that we could pretty much ask the same question of everyone so we didn't have to keep track of who we asked what. For example- where's the nearest bathroom, how late is the park open? We used how late is the park open and surprisingly we received several different answers!

The form did take me at least 3 hours to fill out! It actually took me longer because I took lots of breaks during. I would probably shop for them again but this time I will be better prepared for filling out the form.

Also- I was paid within two weeks! Gotta like that!

Chrissy in TX
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Laura NH
Valued Contributor

NH
USA
227 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2008 :  1:46:38 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have only done one shop for this company, but I felt the pay was fair. They provided some free passes and parking pass up front and the fee/reimbursement covered everything else required plus meals for my guests.

I had read postings on here about the details and so has my daughter be secretary on the way home and we composed many of the comments for the report in the car on the hour and a half car trip back.

Laura
MSPA Silver Certified Shopping in New Hampshire
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Greta
Valued Contributor

Waldorf, MD
USA
132 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2008 :  6:39:33 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I love the jobs for this company. I want to let everyone know that they have recently changed their report entry software. The reports take longer to enter. I think I will get faster as I get experience using the software.
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Maria2
Trainee

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2008 :  6:18:17 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I signed up with this company and have applied for some shops but have not had any assigned. Currently I have one request that's still available but has not been assigned to me. Their website states they will assign in 7 days, but this one has been in my requests for weeks. I know I'm a new shopper to them, but I would think they would want the shop done instead of pending. Would e-mail help me in getting this assignment?
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MariaPec
Valued Contributor

PA
USA
183 Posts

Posted - 06/17/2008 :  12:27:35 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I sure wasn't trying for the record, but I just finished my first report and it took four and a quarter hours - almost as long as the visit. That included why I didn't evaluate two areas (thunderstorms) and typing the narratives in Word and copying and pasting them into the report because their software has no save function while you're working. Whew!

Maria
Silver certified
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SCarson
Member

Arvada, CO
USA
48 Posts

Posted - 06/17/2008 :  07:57:22 AM  Visit SCarson's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Good morning. I just wanted to share the great news that we are in the process of migrating to a new dynamic results entry system that allows the information to be entered in groups of questions. This allows the user to save data for small groups of questions at a time and then access that information again for final proof reading, etc. This allows our shoppers to enter the information over the course of several hours or even more than one day without loosing any information. We have migrated about 70% of our projects to this new system and should have all projects migrated over the next few weeks.

We appreciate everyone's patience in waiting for this upgrade to finally be implemented as it has been requested for a long time. Thanks for all your hard work and best of luck in your shopping endeavors!

Scot Carson
Amusement Advantage
Mystery Shopping Services
www.amusementadvantage.com
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MicheleinFLA
Star Contributor

FL
USA
334 Posts

Posted - 06/17/2008 :  08:10:43 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Woo Hoo!!! This is GREAT news!

Michele
MSPA Gold Certified
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MariaPec
Valued Contributor

PA
USA
183 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2008 :  4:42:58 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
User-friendly software would be a big help, thanks for the update, Scot.
My shop got a great grade, thunderstorm and all, so I guess it was worth taking the time. And my kids are now sitting by the mailbox waiting for their next set of tickets...

Maria
Silver certified
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ShopperDee
Star Contributor

USA
416 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2008 :  12:52:48 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Regarding the lengthy reports, has anyone shopped a visitor center? I'd like to know how long that report actually takes.

Thanks in advance.


Dee
MSPA Gold
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Bill DC
Apprentice

Upper Marlboro, Maryland
USA
2 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2008 :  12:51:31 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I got approved as a shopper for them last summer. I get lots of job listings but haven't had any luck landing any of them. I have applied for the visitor center shops as well as others in Baltimore and in DC. They ask me to specify a date or date range I will do the shop and then do not assign me.
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MartinBetchy
Contributor

Clairton, PA
USA
68 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2008 :  1:47:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Not a bad company, I enjoy doing shops for them, but if you are looking to make money this is not the place for you. Most shops are just reimbursement of your out of pocket costs, but if you want a great day with the family or friends for free, it's GREAT!! It saves you tons of money if you were going to the place anyway. Also very nice people, when they send you a review of your report.

Marty
MSPA Silver Certified in Pittsburgh, PA
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ShopperDee
Star Contributor

USA
416 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2008 :  01:08:28 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote

Has anyone seen this?

"Please Note: We now charge a late fee of $10 or more if all results, receipts and pictures are not submitted by 10pm the day following the shop. If more than 1 day late the fee is $20 or more."

I wonder what they give shoppers if AA pays late.

Dee
MSPA Gold
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Kathy69
Contributor

AZ
USA
61 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2008 :  01:34:08 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I did 1 shop for this company and it was 2 days late. Since I am a newbie I found it very intimidateing. The whole time I was freaking out that I would end up with little or no pay. Funny thing is I was not penalized in any way.
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RonD
Contributor

Maple Grove, MN
USA
56 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2008 :  05:21:14 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've done 2 or 3 assignments for Amusement Advantage and I have been thoroughly impressed and pleased. They are proactive communicators and prompt when responding to questions. I didn't find the length of the report to be intimidating and was very happy with the turnaround time in pay. I'd be glad to work for this company anytime.
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SCarson
Member

Arvada, CO
USA
48 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2008 :  07:37:49 AM  Visit SCarson's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hello all! I wanted to provide some additional insight into our pay policies. First off, I wanted to note that we offer a $5 Early Return Bonus Payment on most of our shops for results entered early.

Depending upon the situation we do sometimes impose a late shop penalty based upon the individual circumstances. Please understand we have a contract to uphold with our clients, a guarantee of service which includes submitting results to them within 48 hours. When we fail as a company to provide our clients with the quality of service we commited to, we are in danger of losing those clients. In the toughly competitive mystery shopping industry, we cannot afford to lose clients. Poor service to any client by any provider, is a negative for the industry as a whole.

Late shops also cost us extra in the form of paying editors and managers extra to edit shops in a priority manner during non-standard hours, etc. This can have a domino effect as our editors and managers prepare for the workload based upon the regular due dates/times provided to shoppers. If they need to edit shops outside of those days/hours, then the whole workflow can get off track. Some clients won't even accept late reports at all. Think of a shop like a perishable good. It has an expiration date after which it may be of little to no use at all.

Amusement Advantage has a great record of paying our shoppers on time (14-21 days via paypal and 30-45 days via check). Our records show 98% of payments are made correctly and on time. We actually do provide shoppers with extra pay when the situation warrants it due to a delayed or incorrect payment on our part.

Thanks for your hard work and dedication to the industry and we appreciate your interest in our company.

Scot Carson
Amusement Advantage
Mystery Shopping Services
www.amusementadvantage.com
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