Volition.com Forums

Username:
Password:
Save PasswordRegister
Forgot Password / Username?
Home | Search | Chat | FAQ | Posting Rules

 All Forums
 Mystery Shopping, Merchandising & Demo
 Mystery Shopping
 Is being MSPA Silver or Gold Certified Worth It?
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly

Previous Page | Next Page

Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 36

NatalieH
Contributor

USA
8291 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2007 :  1:05:23 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Kris, please be careful of putting words into my mouth. No, I don't think all those companies are "crooked," as you put it. But they do have a vested business interest in supporting whatever program their trade association markets. Business is business, and there is nothing wrong with that, as long as shoppers understand that the two parties (i.e. companies and their independent contractors) hold interests independently of one another.
Go to Top of Page

Quinn
Star Contributor

Atlanta, GA
USA
50247 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2007 :  1:12:58 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
"(not much knowledge as there are some dopey realtors out there!)"

I believe that would apply to almost every profession including mystery shopping. Meaning just because one is certified, it is in no way indicative of their skills. It just shows that they have shelled out a minimum of $15.00.
Go to Top of Page

Kris R.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2007 :  2:53:29 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Natalie,
I am sorry if I misunderstood what you were saying.
I guess I just don't get it, if their vested interest has nothing to do with the shoppers than what is it? How are they benefitting by being a member and by supporting/furthering this organization?

I am not trying to be arguementative, I have honest questions here and am just expressing what I see and what makes sense to me, what doesn't make sense to me.

Quinn, I agree that to an extent, certification does not guarentee skills, i.e. it probably doesn't teach basic writing fundamentals. Each individual and can do with it what they will and some can get certified in any profession and it doesn't mean much. Others can build a great business and reputation and certification is just a part of that.

But just because it doesn't guarentee skills does not mean that there is no value to being a member of that organization.

The bottom line to me still is..........do the MSC see value in being a member and if they do than it's most likely an advantage in some way for me to be a member.

MSPA Silver Certified
Go to Top of Page

PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2007 :  2:54:27 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
It was stated by Natalie;

" No, I don't think all those companies are "crooked," as you put it. But they do have a vested business interest in supporting whatever program their trade association markets. Business is business, and there is nothing wrong with that, as long as shoppers understand that the two parties (i.e. companies and their independent contractors) hold interests independently of one another"

I am a shopper and do not believe this. This is what I speak of when I say the us against them attitude. Shoppers do not have to fall into this belief. Business is business and working with these companies, not seperate from them, is what makes some shoppers successful in this particular world of business.

My interest is the exact same as the companies. We all want to make money. To do this, I need the companies, for them to do that, they need the shoppers.

I am glad that unlike the companies, I do not have to pay every year to be a participant.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
Go to Top of Page

NatalieH
Contributor

USA
8291 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2007 :  3:00:36 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
I am not trying to be arguementative, I have honest questions here and am just expressing what I see and what makes sense to me, what doesn't make sense to me.


It's not a problem; no offense taken. :)

If you go through this entire thread (I know--it's tedious) and some of the other related threads on the MSPA and certification, you should be able to glean an answer to your questions.
Go to Top of Page

Nora
Star Contributor

PA
USA
6341 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2007 :  6:03:52 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
This is what I speak of when I say the us against them attitude.


For heavens sake, do stop trying to cultivate a sense of divisiveness among the people reading or participating in this thread; a consensus on this topic is not necessary or even useful, and rather gives the appearance of wishing to silence diverse opinion and experience.

quote:
...while being put on the hot plate by a small group of shoppers, for expressing your opinion.



Would this not be a two-way street, one might presume?

Now, on to the real give-and-take.

Kris, the MSPA certification program had its origins during the time when a number of states were reluctant to release mystery shopping from the larger umbrella of private investigation. Since it was to the benefit of mystery shopping providers to lobby these states to allow mystery shopping to be farmed out to unlicensed ICs at a far lower pay scale than would be required from using only licensed professionals, the idea of "certification" was born, as a tool to sell to the legislators. ( The legislators on the committees were remiss in that they failed to study what they understood to be standardized, in-depth tests; transcripts of some of these sessions are available from state government archives.) Whereas states had stringent controls and state oversight over licensing of investigators, the same is not true of mystery shopping, whose "certification" is both offered by the MSPA and used by the MSPA as the proverbial dangling carrot. This, understandably, is precisely why so many have voiced concern over the apparent conflict of interest. To be fair, the MSPA's member companies were, in the beginning, far more aggressive and heavy-handed in suggesting that certification=jobs. I am assuming that experience with the certification program and its results has tempered the group's initial enthusiasm.

Hope this helps you understand a bit more the mission of the MSPA and its function as a trade group.
Go to Top of Page

PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2007 :  9:32:12 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am not the one who stated this.

"as long as shoppers understand that the two parties (i.e. companies and their independent contractors) hold interests independently of one another."

What else besides divisiveness could one see in such a statement?


"This, understandably, is precisely why so many have voiced concern over the apparent conflict of interest."

This is an inaccurate statement, there are not so many, but more like a handful, who consistently have this point of view.

Where would one find the facts about the origin of the MSPA as talked about in the previous post?

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
Go to Top of Page

TerryInTulsa
Star Contributor

Tulsa, OK
USA
349 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2007 :  10:30:59 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
If the certification process were completely done away with, would the mystery shopping industry fall apart?

I can tell you the answer is, NO.

I don't claim to be an expert on the topic but I'd be willing to bet there was life before the idea of certification sprouted in the minds of the MSPA.

I like to think that going gold or silver was originally meant to be (we all know what they say about good intentions) a learning tool, not a subject of passionate (dare I say, heated?) debate, prompting shoppers to go at each others throats because they don't all have the same beliefs.

Or, maybe it's all a ploy to keep our minds off from the fact that, even as we argue among ourselves, shop fees are being lowered.

It's too bad we can't find a way to all pull together to combat lower pay with the same energy we defend our feelings about certification. Gas prices are going up, fees are going down, and the amount of detail necessary to satisfy the client is on the rise.

Of course, none of this is directed toward anyone in particular. It's just my opinion.
Go to Top of Page

Nora
Star Contributor

PA
USA
6341 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2007 :  03:41:19 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
"as long as shoppers understand that the two parties (i.e. companies and their independent contractors) hold interests independently of one another."

What else besides divisiveness could one see in such a statement?


Hmmm...a thorough and accurate recognition of the business world, for one. We can't help but be aware that each time we sign an IC with any provider company, we are actually acknowledging that the contract defines that separation of interests. There'd be no need for a contract if our interests were one and the same. Those ICs, if read, weigh far more heavily in favor of the company.

quote:
Where would one find the facts about the origin of the MSPA as talked about in the previous post?


One would do some research.

quote:
"This, understandably, is precisely why so many have voiced concern over the apparent conflict of interest."

This is an inaccurate statement, there are not so many, but more like a handful, who consistently have this point of view.


Are you aware that there is a difference in the definitions of "many" (the word used) and "most"? Please do not put words in my mouth.

I'd guess that if someone posted "the sky is blue" we could humorously anticipate the contradictory "that is inaccurate; it is more of an azure".

Terry... you got it; the world won't end and few, if any, shoppers would suffer any detrimental effects from a lack of any certification program. It's a small and optional tool in the shopping toolchest that may merit the cautiously ppositive feedback it may often get, but doesn't merit the sometimes irrationally passionate defense ( for lack of a better word)that it can generate.
Go to Top of Page

NatalieH
Contributor

USA
8291 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2007 :  06:10:11 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
For me, I now have two laptops and three home computers. I can type here, do reports and search for jobs, all while waiting for a page or two to load. I keep both laptops and my main home computer on my desk.


Yikes. Pam, just some friendly advice: buy yourself one of the newer laptops with a good processor and invest in broadband internet connection. It will save you tons of time and headache. I can't imagine being chained to five computers! Nightmare!
Go to Top of Page

Quinn
Star Contributor

Atlanta, GA
USA
50247 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2007 :  06:33:57 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
"I like knowing that when one of you gives a report, it is based on fact and written well. This makes it easier on me when I do the job."

I do not see how what someone elses report contains has any impact on me whatsoever. Nor does it make my job easier or harder and we have already established that being Gold in no way guarantees adequate writing skills.
Go to Top of Page

PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2007 :  06:36:34 AM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thanks Natalie, but I have cable internet service. I type at well over 100 words a minute. My last online typing test showed 116 words a minute with 92% accuracy. I could not type when I started this business. I am really only tied to three, the ones on my desk. The other two are used for games,homework, etc. For my laptops, I have an HP and a Toshiba. Both are less than a year old.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
Go to Top of Page

LyndaShops
Contributor

hutto, TX
USA
51 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2007 :  07:09:30 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Being an English Teacher with only 3 computers, I am having trouble locating "conjucture." Is the word conjecture? I am not questioning you Pam. Heaven forbid. After all, I am only a teacher. Just trying to get up on the new hype.
Quinn, I also agree with you. How does shopping behind other shoppers make my job easier? I've been shopping for over 10 years and have never thought about how other shoppers before me do a shop. Aren't we suppose to do our own evaluation?
Yes, Pam, I am gold certified, if that matters.

Lyndashops
Go to Top of Page

PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2007 :  07:46:37 AM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yes, it was a typo. Thanks for pointing it out as I do not like my words to be spelled incorrectly.

Quinn, it makes it easier on me as I know the report will be accurate. Not all yes answers to make the report faster for the shopper.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
Go to Top of Page

Quinn
Star Contributor

Atlanta, GA
USA
50247 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2007 :  08:04:41 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I still don't understand what you are saying. Maybe I am obtuse. I just don't understand how what some other shopper reports makes anything easier for you. Maybe I read the post wrong.
Go to Top of Page

PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2007 :  08:14:03 AM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Quinn, you are far from being obtuse. Many times you will see companies state such things as "Do not attempt to falsifly information, etc. I have been told by Corporate Research and others this goes on quite a bit. This is what I mean. Just because you and I are doing great jobs, does not mean everyone else is. I know both of these gals and know they have the highest level of integrity. Thus, I know they give accurate, honest reports.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
Go to Top of Page

Servanne
Star Contributor

Silver Lake, MN
USA
2430 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2007 :  08:15:53 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by NatalieH

[quote] I can't imagine being chained to five computers! Nightmare!



Or maybe Pam is just taking her business seriously, as a way to earn a living, and just like any good business owner has expanded her "computer power" to be more efficient and be able to multi task...

I only have two computers, but, boy, do I use them a lot...Simultaneously...

I guess it's a question of perspective, and of how much you actually rely on the income to make a living.
I fail to see how this remark helped the debate, besides by overtly criticizing Pam's decision to work the way she does.

And you know, really, the whole certification thing, does it really matter?!?
Some swear by it, some despise it. Ok. Well we've heard your opinion. At this point, the discussion is not advancing any further. I love a good debate with my morning coffee, but it's gone from one thread to another, and like that for how long?!?!
Obviously, none of you is going to convert the other party to their beliefs. And that's just fine, because the world needs dissention. Otherwise, it'd be pretty boring...

With that said, I am going for Gold this coming Saturday in Minneapolis. Maybe I'll let you know if on Monday morning I get an offer for a $600.00 FF shop
Or maybe I won't and keep it a secretive secret...

Servanne
Merrily shopping my way through the Twin Cities, Western Minnesota and beyond...
MSPA Gold Certified since April 2007!
Go to Top of Page

Betsy E
Valued Contributor

Birmingham, AL
USA
170 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2007 :  08:36:11 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well stated, Servanne! I agree wholeheartedly!
Go to Top of Page

Nora
Star Contributor

PA
USA
6341 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2007 :  10:43:01 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
I am not being insulting, but asking for proof of the facts as you presented them.


...and the proof of the facts is available throughout this and related threads. All out in the open. Additionally, have you, as suggested, contacted any state's archives of transcripts and legislative activities?

quote:
The writer, not the reader should post the research they have done if they want to come across as having a valid point and want others to think they know what they are talking about.


Indeed they should, and I am reassured that you are aware of this.

And yes, I am aware of the nuances between the two words ("more" and "many") that you seem to be hung up on;I chose those words consciously because they do apply to and are relevant to the statement that I was making.

And your argument for certification's worth is...? Amidst the off-topic maneuvering to apparently discredit those opinions that simply don't align with yours, this thread has descended to new depths of absurdity.
Go to Top of Page

DanInSK
Star Contributor

Canada
484 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2007 :  11:10:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Okay I cannot take this anymore. I am only silver certified as the gold has never been held anywhere near me.
The title of the thread is "Is being MSPA Silver or Gold Certified Worth IT?". How can anyone that is NOT certified respond to that question, it is impossible? It may be that you believe it is not worth it but you cannot verify that it is not. Those who ARE certified can in fact state that they got more or did not get more shops due to certification. Perhaps another thread should be started that is called "I don't believe in certification because....." or "I do not think certification would help me increase quality or value of shops because......."
I am not on anyone's side because frankly in my area certification is not something of prime importance in getting shops done.

Good luck all with or without Gold certification.
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 36 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page | Next Page
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Volition Copyright All rights reserved. Volition is a registered trademark of Volition.com LLC. Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.36 seconds. Software © Snitz Forums