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Dar
Star Contributor

USA
297 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2008 :  09:05:09 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Susan James

Hi my name is Susan. l am writing as l have completed visits for this company in the past. l signed up with them over a year ago and have had all my mystery shops paid through paypal. l have had no communication problems within the company and find they have always paid me within the time frame stipulated. Perhaps you need to trust them a little more.I have even suggested alot of my girlfriends sign up because l find them to be honest and reliable. l am sure if you give them a try you will see what l mean.
This is funny.

Well, I haven't shopped for this company... I haven't signed up with this company... AND guess what? I haven't missed getting a payment (or part of one) yet!

Thanks for the heads up you all. ...and no sweetie, no one needs to "trust them a little more" when they say one thing and do another. That is called fraudulent business practices. They know nothing is going to happen by shafting shoppers for 10 bucks here and there.

From one real smart cookie who can take advice!

Dar
MSPA Gold Certified
~ MSing the Southern USA ~
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6556 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2008 :  09:18:16 AM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I gave them a try and they gave me a . Some girlfriends may get lost over this recommendation.


Susan, I see you have only posted twice and both times have been on this thread. I would like to suggest you try some of the other companies we talk so highly about, maybe then you will see why we are not going to let them lie to us and not pay us what we/they agree to.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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SReynolds
Apprentice

Bryn Mawr, PA
USA
1 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2008 :  08:40:55 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I accepted and completed a shoe assignment for this company back in early November of last year. By the time the end of the year rolled around, I had not been paid. When I contacted the company, I was told that I wouldn't be paid because they weren't able to use my report due to the fact that I didn't make a required purchase. I referred the person back to the guidelines which explicitly stated that the shopper should not make a puchase if the store's return policy did not allow for a full cash reimbursement. I explained to the person that during my shop, I was informed that if I made a return, I would only receive store credit. I also noted that I had documented this in my shop report. The company representative responded by saying that another person had shopped the store previously and had been able to receive full reimbursement for their return. She added, "A company's policy doesn't change overnight." She then offered to pay me half the shop fee for the rejected shop if I completed a future shop for the same client perfectly. "Absolutely not!" was my response. I kindly informed her that I no interest in completing any other assignments for the company - I just wanted the payment I was rightful owed for the assignment I had already spent time and energy completing.

I was extremely peeved that the company neglected to tell me that my shop had been rejected and that they would think that I would be stupid enough to accept another assignment with them, and that this woman I was dealing with, who was sitting half-way across the world, was trying to tell me that there's no way a store's policy could change, even though I was the only one between the two of us who had actually stepped foot inside the store. Arrrggghhh! However, I remained focused, reiterated my position (I completed the assignment per the guidelines!), and firmly requested that I receive payment for the shop. I also threatened to contact and inform the client about the company's unethical, shady business practices. The company representative asked me to hold off until she could speak with her boss.

Shortly thereafter, I received an email from the company representative that stated that I would be paid $60, instead of the $80 I was offered when I accepted the shop, because I needed to bear some of the "responsibility" in this situation. I was told that I would receive my payment ASAP. This did not happen, and when I followed-up on the status of my payment, I received an out-of-office reply. A few days later, I received an email from the company representative stating that she would get back to me the following week, as she wasn't the one in charge of making the payments.

So today (YAY!), I finally received payment for the shop. As others here have noted, there was a pay pal fee. Instead of $60, I received $56.16.

I apologize for the long post, but I felt it was important to share my experience as a warning to others. Shop with this company at your own risk! And if you do - Be prepared to fight to get your money!
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ShanaS
Member

New York, NY
USA
30 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2008 :  6:17:36 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Wow. I'm sorry to hear about these shady experiences. I haven't taken a shop with them due to the overwhelmingly negative experiences people have had with them. To their credit, I can tell you they've called me once. The scheduler was quite pleasant--she sounded like a native/fluent English speaker. I was committed to something else on the date for which she needed me, so I couldn't take the shop, but she was very kind.

There are international MSC's that don't operate in the bad manner detailed by others above, so I don't think they should get a pass for that. I guess I'm just surprised/puzzled about their dealings with their clients, as they work with some pretty prominent and higher-end companies. What a bummer that they don't seem to deliver for their shoppers.
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.Colette P
Inactive

Virginia
USA
124 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2008 :  06:51:52 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Any updates on this company?
Thanks!

Colette P
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Kathy_Twin
Member

Thornton, CO
USA
20 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2008 :  09:29:47 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just completed my first shop for them in early January and was paid the very next week via paypal. They were very easy to contact and communicate with via email. I was impressed with the quick payment and easy report.
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6556 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2008 :  10:42:02 AM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
You won't find me taking any more chances with this company!

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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Susan L
Star Contributor

Westchester County, New York
USA
267 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2008 :  6:36:52 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm sorry so many of you have had trouble with this company. I have never had problems with them--and I have been doing shops for them for nearly a year now. They always pay on time, sometimes as quickly as a week after the shop, and they have never refused to pay me for an assignment. They answer all my emails. They have paid the bonuses they promised, and like other MS companies, they send me an evaluation of my reports after they have reviewed them.

Since their clients are companies with HQ's in Europe, I have been introduced to some interesting companies through doing jobs for them. Here in NYC, many of the companies are 5th Avenue/Madison Avenue upscale, with upscale shop fees to match.

The only issue I have with them is their arrangement with Paypal, which allows Paypal to collect fees from us instead of them. Somehow other mystery shopping companies manage to pay us without us having to absorb fees. I don't know why they don't make the arrangements with Paypal that other MS companies do.

They have difficulties with English, but late last year they hired a new scheduler. She is a native speaker of English, and she is in the USA (or Canada). She called me right after she had been hired, to do a shop no one else could do by the deadline (very close to Christmas), and bonused me nicely for it. I got paid quickly. That was in December.

Maybe they use different offices or staffers (or even a different contracted company) to manage shoppers in different regions of the USA--I don't know. Some of the horror stories I have heard here have made me wonder if that might be the case. If not, what has made me so lucky with them?

BTW, I am in the NYC metro area. Where is everyone else having trouble with them from? Just curious.

Susan L.

Susan L.
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Susan L
Star Contributor

Westchester County, New York
USA
267 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2008 :  11:43:40 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
BTW, there are two Susans on this part of the thread and I am the second one, Susan L.

Susan L.

Susan L.
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Servanne
Star Contributor

Silver Lake, MN
USA
2430 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2008 :  09:02:54 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Susan L
BTW, I am in the NYC metro area. Where is everyone else having trouble with them from? Just curious.


By looking at previous posts, the problems have been noticed in NJ, CA, GA, MA, OR, IL, Japan, Canada and the UK. Seems to me that's quite wide spread.

They called me once when I was on a route and about 1200 miles from home (in NE). I told them I was gone and would not be back on time. The guy would not take no for an answer. He kept on begging me to do the shop. He offered bonus after bonus which really was not the point: I was not anywhere near the shop location! So finally, as I do not believe in hanging up on people, I made an extravagant offer (something along the line of a $300 bonus...) He was puzzled and plain told me "this is crazy, we can't do that!" To which I answered "just as crazy as expecting me to take a job when I am not there..."
I never got another call from them. I wonder why...

Servanne
Merrily shopping my way through the Twin Cities, Western Minnesota and beyond...
MSPA Gold Certified since April 2007!
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Servanne
Star Contributor

Silver Lake, MN
USA
2430 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2008 :  8:28:54 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just noticed tonight that they are now using Kern to schedule their shops. I thought that was an interesting move on their part. Except that the fee seems to be lower through Kern than it is on ISC's own website .

Servanne
Merrily shopping my way through the Twin Cities, Western Minnesota and beyond...
MSPA Gold Certified since April 2007!
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Foong Ching Chan
Apprentice

Tokyo
Japan
3 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2008 :  08:59:35 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi Pam
I wrote in about having problems with this company sometime in Nov. I see a few people having the same problem. Guess what happened to me? Well, abt half a year ago, I did a few shops for them and got paid, all in time and no problem. Then I did 5 shops and they rejected 3. Reason was I didn't keep to the guidelines. I wrote to them many times for clarification but they never replied. Then out of frustration, I contacted the shop (it was an international company) and told them the mystery shopping company that they hired cheated me. Yes, I know it was unethical but they didn't appear to be a genuine company. Oh.... ISC then called me immediately. They were angry with me, of course. You won't believe the lies Christine and some of those guys told as an excuse for not paying me. I wrote them a few very nasty emails giving proof that what they said were all lies. (Keeping proper records is so important.) They finally agreed to pay me but I had to promise not to contact their clients or write to this forum about it. That was why I kept quiet all this while. But now after reading the posts here, I just felt I must warn you guys. If you feel you have been cheated, do what you can to get your money back. BTW, they deleted me from their system immediately I acknowledged payment from them.

FC Chan
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6556 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2008 :  12:05:38 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
They are not to be trusted. I cannot imagaine they will stay with Kern long if they play games like that with the shoppers!

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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BrianCollins
Valued Contributor

USA
243 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  2:37:36 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I completed one assignment for ISC and was paid (less Paypal fees) within five days.

Would I work for them again? Yes, I would take an assignment if it interested me.

Regarding rejection/grading:

In their feedback, my report was rated as "good" (4/5) because some of my replies did not match what was being asked. I understand a grade of sufficient (2/5) would still be acceptable for payment.

While filling out the report form, I was asked several questions that seemed unrelated to the assignment. I tried to answer them NA (with explanation) so that might account for my 4/5 rating.

In terms of self-assessment, I completed their report at the end of a long day so perhaps I was not at my best. On a regular day, I think a 5/5 would be very achievable.
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Venka
Trainee

South Cheshire
United Kingdom
7 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  3:32:43 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm still amazed by most of the posts about this company on here. I'm shopping for them in England and never had a problem with payment or contact. Bonuses were paid as promised and communication was always good when required. I just don't understand why there seems to be such a difference ....

Venka
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Cindy in FL
Member

Welllington, FL
USA
42 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2008 :  11:22:57 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
What happens if you sign up for a shop with Kern for this company? Do you still have PayPal fees removed from your fee?

I was going to sign up for a shop (via Kern) that's in the same mall as another shop I am doing, and I needed to wait 20 minutes before I have to go back and return the item, so I thought this would be a good filler.

Glad I checked here first!
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6556 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2008 :  8:23:20 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Remember, Kern has nothing to do with sending out payments or paypal deductions. However, they have always been very helpful if I had payment issues or questions about payment.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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JBuntin
Member

Pleasant Hill, Missouri
USA
42 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2008 :  05:01:03 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
PayPal has never deducted any fees from my pay.

Johnna
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Shel
Star Contributor

MI
USA
474 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2008 :  05:18:37 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I believe paypal deducts if you have them issue a check. It's free with no deductions if one does direct deposit. There are different types of accounts, I think if you accept credit card payments (like thru ebay), paypal will deduct a fee for every transaction regardless of payment type. I have two different paypal accounts for this reason.
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BetteNan
Valued Contributor

Newtown, PA
USA
127 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2008 :  07:11:29 AM  Visit BetteNan's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Servanne

quote:
Originally posted by Susan L
BTW, I am in the NYC metro area. Where is everyone else having trouble with them from? Just curious.


By looking at previous posts, the problems have been noticed in NJ, CA, GA, MA, OR, IL, Japan, Canada and the UK. Seems to me that's quite wide spread.

They called me once when I was on a route and about 1200 miles from home (in NE). I told them I was gone and would not be back on time. The guy would not take no for an answer. He kept on begging me to do the shop. He offered bonus after bonus which really was not the point: I was not anywhere near the shop location! So finally, as I do not believe in hanging up on people, I made an extravagant offer (something along the line of a $300 bonus...) He was puzzled and plain told me "this is crazy, we can't do that!" To which I answered "just as crazy as expecting me to take a job when I am not there..."
I never got another call from them. I wonder why...



I did one shop for them and did get paid with no problem. I then got a call while I was on vacation, begging for me to do ashop that even if I were home was beyond the distance I travel. I kept telling the guy I was on vacation and literally walking to the beach and he just kept going on and on...I finally got rid of him and have not received another call either.

Bette Nan
MSPA Gold M1anhz... shopping Beautiful Bucks County, PA and Center City Philly
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