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 Question Regarding Mystery Shopping Business
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VickyS
Contributor

USA
52 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2017 :  4:08:05 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Something that has puzzled me for a while...
A company engages a Mystery Shopping company to perform research for them of one form or another.
The mystery shopping company seeks out workers in the field to perform the task. Do Mystery Shopping Companies customarily receive payment (partial payment) with the contract? What guarantee do they have to receive payment to turn around and pay those in the field?
Thanks in advance for any input

VickyS

VickyS
Contributor

USA
52 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2017 :  06:13:27 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am thinking that it might be like building a house... A portion when the foundation is poured. Another payment when the framing is in place etc.
Hopefully someone will know the answer. Right now, it appears a big paycheck of mine is not being paid from a company that is well known on this board.

Thanks.

VickyS
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TimothyCA
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
150 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2017 :  10:30:44 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Just like almost all service contracts, charges are billed after the service is performed via invoice. Payment is made per the contract.

The contract is their guarantee of payment, backed up by the civil court system.



Timothy
MSPA GOLD Certified
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Alan-Texas
Star Contributor

Arlington, TX
USA
544 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2017 :  4:08:55 PM  Visit Alan-Texas's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Vicky,

Let me start by saying that I have no firsthand knowledge of how contract are structured between MSCs and the companies seeking their services. Based on what I've seen and heard over the years, however, I suspect that most contracts are set up in a way that allows an MSC to get paid $X each month to maintain the contract and then bill for the shop pays and reimbursements after a shop has been completed and accepted by the company.

This may be why many MSCs don't pay until 45 - 60 days after a shop has been completed. They have to wait for the company who hired them to pay for the shop pays and reimbursements so they can turn around and pay the shopper. Over the years I've seen some MSCs who otherwise had a good reputation on shopper boards get roasted when they didn't pay their shoppers because they were still waiting on payment from the companies who hired them.

A contract between a MSC and a company doesn't guarantee that the MSC gets paid. Instead, it outlines what a MSC is suppose to do to be paid, when payment is due to the MSC, and the penalties involved if a company doesn't pay the MSC on time. If a company chooses to ignore the contract for whatever reason, then the MSC can take them to court. Of course, that can take months to resolve and cost thousands of dollars to litigate. And even if the MSC wins a court judgement, there is still no guarantee that the company will pay them.

That said, whether a MSC gets paid is immaterial as far as you're concerned. After all, you have a contract with the MSC as well. You performed the shop, and unless it was rejected by the MSC or company shopped, you are entitled to payment. Unfortunately, some companies are either not monetarily equipped to be able to pay out if a company reneges on payment to them, or they have a mindset of "if I don't get paid, then the shopper doesn't get paid." Either way, it could mean that you don't get paid either.

Alan A.
MSPA Silver Certified
Shopping the Dallas / Ft. Worth area since 2005
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