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 Feedback Requested: Market Force Information, Inc. (2)
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KenASch
Star Contributor

Camarillo, CA
USA
689 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2011 :  08:34:46 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I believe I know the shop you are discussing and there is no requirement to order a beverage and bakery item. The instructions say you "may" buy them. My purchase usually exceeds the reimbursement by less than a dollar (depending on the type of sandwich and soup I order) but I enjoy this location so I always pick it up when offered.

Ken S
Gold Shopper
Shopping Ventura County California
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MatthewinDE
Valued Contributor

Wilmington, DE
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2011 :  08:52:15 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Dagny - With MF, you are likely not to get anywhere with the Help Desk (my experience). My suggestion would be to complete the one that you scheduled and not accept any more. I know the shop that you are talking about and I will not do them. However, MF will bonus shops that they don't get scheduled. Those are my favorite shops because than it becomes worth my time for the "free" lunch. I do not believe that there is anyway to stay under the reimbursement (I have always gone over the reimbursement AND pay when completing this shop). For better paying shops you will need to move outside of MF. Stick with mystery shopping it can be quite fun and rewarding!

KenASch - Are you sure that there is no requirement for the bakery item? I thought that it was required...

Matthew
Shopping in DE
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Sandi G
Star Contributor

Tallahassee, FL
USA
918 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2011 :  09:05:04 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Agreed, I get water to go with the meal. It irritates me that the reimbursement doesn't cover it, but I do like their food so will do it sometimes. I can't buy breakfast/lunch for under $1, and can barely prepare it at home for that price any more, so... Plus, since I signed up for the rewards card thing, I get freebies now earned from these shops. That helps justify it a little bit. I wholeheartedly agree that it is sneaky to not tell you upfront that you will not be fully reimbursed.

Warning to Dagny: The fast food carhop shop MFI offers also does not cover the cost. I think someone figured out that by getting the kid's portions, they could just barely squeeze by. I don't like their food enough to bother with that one unless it has a nice bonus on it.

--Sandi
traditional & video shopping FL and GA
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MatthewinDE
Valued Contributor

Wilmington, DE
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2011 :  09:09:40 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Sandi,

Are the children's portion allowable for that shop? I did not realize that... The hot dogs (at least in my area) stay below the reimbursement amount most of the time...

It is really annoying when a MSP requires certain purchases but does not fully pay for them. If you require me to buy it you should pay for it...

Matthew
Shopping in DE
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Sandi G
Star Contributor

Tallahassee, FL
USA
918 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2011 :  09:41:47 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I agree, pay for what you require. I'm pinching enough of my own pennies, I don't need to be losing money when I'm supposed to be making it! There's something from the junior menu that kept it within the small amount allowed, but I don't recall what it was. Jr Burger or something like that. Maybe it wasn't actually from the kid's menu, but it was a kid portion. I don't think they had the hot dogs last time I did one of them. If the hot dogs do fit within reimbursement, I might consider them when they come up again. I basically do those shops because I like the limeade.

--Sandi
traditional & video shopping FL and GA
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KenASch
Star Contributor

Camarillo, CA
USA
689 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2011 :  09:55:05 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Mathew,

I just checked the instructions for an upcoming shop and it definitely says a beverage and bakery item are optional. Bakery item is only to be purchased if they offer you the special price of $.99. However it is still optional.

Ken S
Gold Shopper
Shopping Ventura County California
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MatthewinDE
Valued Contributor

Wilmington, DE
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2011 :  10:00:46 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Good to know - for some reason, I always read that it was required. I don't do them that often so it doesn't matter that much, but thanks for checking for me!

Matthew
Shopping in DE
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Dagny
Member

San Diego, CA
USA
38 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2011 :  11:53:21 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
To clarify, no, the bakery and beverage aren't required, but the guidelines say along the lines of, if they offer it, go ahead and order it. It should say, "... and that's coming out of your pocket."

But even without those, $7 doesn't cover the cost. Yes, $7.29 plus tax is less than a dollar more. Everywhere you look on these MSC websites they try to assure you that you won't have to pay to shop. If I spend $13+ and get $11 back, I am paying to shop.

When you're only making a $4 fee and the report takes an hour to do ... it hurts to take a $2+ loss as I did, even though I enjoyed the meal. And I can see partial reimbursement for expensive items, but under $10, seriously?

When I've done other ones, like the Cinco Dudes, which is also new in my hood so I had no idea how expensive they were, at least the guidelines said if I order such and such I will stay within the reimbursement. (I remember wondering if they were being overly cautious; how could a burger, fries and drink at a fast food joint possibly exceed $11? Ha ...) Once I ordered with bacon and it went over a little, but I knew, so I was fine with that. The bakery cafe didn't even have prices on the wall!?

(I don't know about any carhop place, if it rhymes with Tonic, they aren't really in my area. I guess we're slow to catch onto things here.)

-dd
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CorrieS
Star Contributor

Briarwood, NY
USA
932 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2011 :  12:04:48 PM  Send CorrieS an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
On the second shop Dagny mentioned - when I go to the Manhattan location, I am always nearly a dollar over the reimbursement. One of the ones in Queens comes in right under the reimbursement. Another in Queens gives me $1.50 to spare. Ordered the same thing every time. So while I think the reimbursement on that is probably fair in most markets, it isn't always 100%. I think if you are ordering the very minimum, you should be reimbursed - but in this case, the report doesn't take me long and saves me from buying/packing lunch, so I'm okay with it.

Corrie S.
MSPA Silver Certified
shopping NYC & Nassau County... and willing to travel...
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Rene-R
Valued Contributor

Phoenix, AZ
USA
171 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2011 :  8:00:09 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MatthewinAZ

Good to know - for some reason, I always read that it was required. I don't do them that often so it doesn't matter that much, but thanks for checking for me!



Actually Matthew, the cousin store of Panera, that is shopped in your area, DOES require the bakery item, but only for lunch or dinner shops. I know this bc I misread the instructions & didn't get paid on one. Which really stunk bc it was at an airport so not only did I go way out of my way, AND spend more than the reimbursement, but I paid for parking as well! Needless to say I no longer accept that shop when they call and beg me to do it (I have behind security access so they beg a lot).


Gold shopping metro Phoenix & airports everywhere, since 2005. ~ Have Video equipment, will travel!
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TinaMarie
Star Contributor

USA
1811 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2011 :  8:37:56 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Dagny, Not sure why it took an hour for your cafe report, It takes me 15 minutes.

~*~TinaMarie~*~
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Dagny
Member

San Diego, CA
USA
38 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2011 :  9:41:08 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TinaMarie

Dagny, Not sure why it took an hour for your cafe report, It takes me 15 minutes.



Maybe it took me a half-hour to enter the 30 questions on the report and upload the receipt, but it was at least that long to read the 4 pages of guidelines and questions before I went.

-dd
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MatthewinDE
Valued Contributor

Wilmington, DE
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2011 :  9:45:39 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the info Rene. I was pretty sure that it was required, but since I haven't accepted one in a while, I didn't know for sure. I used to have security access in Jackson, MS. I miss having a badge because I loved being able to do the shops at the airport.

Matthew
Shopping in DE
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Sandi G
Star Contributor

Tallahassee, FL
USA
918 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2011 :  04:07:58 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I feel like I just got swiped on a bait-and-switch. I've done these tire audits for years, I know when the "have you worked for" question comes up what the audit will be (actually, just that it is a photo shop at $X fee is a big hint), so I promptly accepted all the ones in the area. They say 30 minutes, they usually only take 20, nice little shops that aren't great money makers but are easy fillers. Now that I have accepted them, I see they have added all that TCS stuff to it that doubles the shop time and triples the photo processing and uploading time. Not one penny more in fee, though. The absolute only clue I can see is that the time estimate now says 60 minutes instead of 30. There's not one other bit of information to warn you. Argh!

--Sandi
traditional & video shopping FL and GA
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RichardS
Contributor

USA
84 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2011 :  11:52:51 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dagny

To clarify, no, the bakery and beverage aren't required, but the guidelines say along the lines of, if they offer it, go ahead and order it. It should say, "... and that's coming out of your pocket."

But even without those, $7 doesn't cover the cost.



I agree. I most big city markets, the $7.00 reimbursement for the food doesn't even cover what you are supposed to order.

Someone else has mentioned the drive up fast food shops as another shop that fits into this category.

I have also found the discount grocery store shops also fit into this category. The shop requires you to spend at least $5.00 in groceries but will only reimburse you $5.00.

I hate when the actual company is cheap like this. They should reimburse you for your purchases. In the grocery store example, the shop requirements should be to spend $5.00 with a reimbursement up to $6.00.

I guess the only way to change this is to complain to the companies - anonymously of course.

Richard
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KenASch
Star Contributor

Camarillo, CA
USA
689 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2011 :  12:40:30 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Sandi,

What does TCS mean? I know I'm going to kick myself but I searched several lists of abbreviations and can't find it.

Ken S
Gold Shopper
Shopping Ventura County California
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Sandi G
Star Contributor

Tallahassee, FL
USA
918 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2011 :  1:37:36 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Triple Care Strategy - there are two tire chains here that MFI does (one they've had, one they acquired this year that was previously done by Sutter) and they have both added these extra steps. In addition to the usual audit stuff, you take photos of the oil cans, parts rack, wheel weight rack, check for floor bolts on some of the machines, etc. It still isn't hard, it just takes a lot more time. Not only do you have to locate these 19 items, but every one of them requires a photo whether compliant or not. That takes time to snap the shot, verify nothing is blurry before you leave, and then link in the report.

--Sandi
traditional & video shopping FL and GA
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.MarieZoo
inactive

Moscow
USA
2 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2011 :  01:58:01 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The fees for this company are so low. With the price of gasoline I'm no longer a shopper.
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SusanSG
Contributor

AL
USA
56 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2011 :  11:57:11 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm getting tired of this company. I used to take their shops because I could eventually be reimbursed and make a little something grabbing lunch on a busy day or in an area where I'm working.

Lately, with one certain location, they always find a way to invalidate my shop. I've asked others and the same things have happened to them. What often happens is the receipt is wrong and it's impossible to get a corrected receipt without looking suspicious especially in a drive-thru. So even though I got what I ordered according to the instructions, have a photo to show it, the receipt says something different.

Very frustrating. Once again a waste of my money.

Susan
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KenASch
Star Contributor

Camarillo, CA
USA
689 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2011 :  2:21:49 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
There is a new Mexican restuarant listed that used to be shopped with a different MSC but I haven't seen it for a while. The reimbursement is quite generous, particularly considering the rather simple report. However, the instructions are not clear about the number of diners. I emailed MF and they told me it was for one person which would make it almost impossible to spend as much as the reimbursement. However, they quickly sent me a second email to say they just heard from the client and the shop is indeed for two people. The instructions have still not been updated though.

Ken S
Gold Shopper
Shopping Ventura County California
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