Volition.com Forums

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

 All Forums
 Mystery Shopping, Merchandising & Demo
 Mystery Shopping
 Lower shop fees debate - Low Paying Shops
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly

Next Page

Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 7

BarbiNJ
Valued Contributor

Voorhees, NJ
USA
109 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2004 :  4:29:11 PM  Visit BarbiNJ's Homepage  Send BarbiNJ an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I can say that I would not take a lower pay in my nursing job (I am union), but if it meant that I would loose my job altogether I may consider this. **** Check out your receipts, especially home improvement stores and book stores. The companies are now printing a 800 number on the receipts where customers call in with their opinion of their shop and they get 10% to 20% of next purchase. If all stores did that, we would be out of jobs!

Shopping in Voorhees, Marlton, Northfield, Vineland, Millville, Mayslanding, Egg Harbor Twp., Egg Harbor City, Hammonton, Atlantic City, Berlin, Atco and Absecon, NJ.*GOLD* MSPA certified

Rachael Collinsworth
Star Contributor

Winchester, Kentucky
USA
403 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2004 :  6:13:38 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
How accurate do you think that would really be?
I am reminded of a saying my husband used to use as an employee trainer: "Do a good job and your customer may tell one of his friends. Do a bad job and they will tell all of them."
90% of the time companies hear from customers is due to a complaint, but it does not reflect accurate data about what is going on as a whole. A call-in incentive can help reduce the loss of customers due to bad customer service, but it cannot replace the valuable service we provide.
Barb, I agree that being in a union changes everything, being part of one protects you from strong-arming management decreasing your pay. Maybe that's just what is needed here. We are not demanding more money- we are simply disgruntled at being expected to do more for less of a fee.

Rachael Collinsworth
MSPA Gold Certified
Shopping much of Central KY
Go to Top of Page

VickiC
Star Contributor

Placentia, CA
USA
455 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2004 :  9:27:02 PM  Send VickiC an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Most MS pay is standardized. Everyone gets 10 dollars for the 10 dollar shop. The person who does an excellent job and writes loads of comments, and the person who does the minimum. At some comapnies doing a great job will get more shops and thus more pay, but at most self-assign companies it won't.

Shopping North Orange County, Gold Certified
Go to Top of Page

Deanna
Contributor

Hamilton, OH
USA
94 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2004 :  04:34:24 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have only seen bank shops offered for one bank corporation in my metropolitan area. I have, however, been called twice this fall by a market research firm hired by my local bank to evaluate the teller on a recent transaction. The surveyor gets paid, but I am offered nothing for my time or evaluation. I wasn't available the second time they called.;-)

I too have wondered if this is a trend that will affect the MS field.


MSPA Gold Certified #ct8cxq
Shopping Hamilton, Fairfield, West Chester and the northern Cincinnati suburbs.
Go to Top of Page

Rachael Collinsworth
Star Contributor

Winchester, Kentucky
USA
403 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2004 :  09:11:10 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Abuse of the system is unavoidable, because for some people, their goal is to do the least amount of work possible- I know many people like this. MSers are the same- some do thorough reporting and others make up half of their shops. People are the variable, not the union phoilosphy; you might as well try to change human nature.
But my point in keying in on the union issue is this: we are not getting paid "on our merit" as you said, we are getting paid the bare minimum that companies think they can get away with and have the shop snatched up. If the shop goes for $x, then it will probably still go at $x-$3. I happen to have a good idea about what my time in preparing for and performing shops is worth. I accept jobs within that criteria, and would resent having work I performed on a monthly basis drop in fee. It would be like the company saying, "You do good work and we're happy with it, but we have no intention to reward you for your effort." I have never gotten a BONUS for good work, only when I help to get a scheduler out of a jam or they were wickedly late on paying me.
Regardless, I didn't ascert that we needed to form a union. What I said was that the idea deserved pondering- a system of checks and balances that maintains that while the MSers are keeping up their end of the bargain, so are the companies. We are held to a standard to maintain our MSPA status; wouldn't it also be fair to make MS companies jump through the same hoops to keep a sterling status.
(getting off my soapbox )I am not pioneering for change, but MSers can't always be the ones left holding the ball. We take alot of the flack when payment is late or clients do us dirty by trying to discredit our shops and we get angry, but, come one, how much more are we supposed to take? Who's sticking up for us?

and p.s. VickiC, there was just a post on this topic, but $10 for a shop is not the same everywhere. The same shops pay different in different places- same work, same company. It's how much needs spent minimum to get the job assigned.

Rachael Collinsworth
MSPA Gold Certified
Shopping much of Central KY
Go to Top of Page

JohnDavis813
Valued Contributor

Avon, OH
USA
127 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2004 :  07:50:28 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Since when does working for a union get you more pay for doing outstanding work. Non-union companies are more likely to pay based on merit. Wages under a union contract are based on length of service, not merit. Two ten year associates are paid the same regardless of the difference in the quality of their work.

Additionally, during my retail career, I never worked for a company that was non-union that decreased wages.

John

John
Go to Top of Page

.SaraS
Inactive

NH
USA
39 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2004 :  12:58:23 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Last year when the company my husband work for was purchased, they let go the entire sales force - which included my husband. If you know anything about the state of the computer industry in New England, you'll understand that there is a glut of former computer industry employees searching for jobs in this region.

When he was offered a job a month and a half later, making $10,000 less than he previously did, he was dissapointed, but glad to have the opportunity to bring home an income to his family, and took the job.

We've been in a recession here, and so far new hire numbers are not increasing. So what do we do? Well, I for one am happy to help out - and MSing seems to be fitting that bill, and supplementing our family's reduced income. I would love to get paid more to do a cell phone shop, or a fast food location, but - when it comes down to it, I'm not being offered more, and the income is helpful.

We all come from different places on this - I understand both sides of the issue - and if the economy was different I might take a different approach - I might hold out for higher pay. But, the reality is, that the employment market is NOT improving in our region, and I am grateful that this job is affording an extra income for our household - and helping to offset our budget in groceries and dining.

I wish I was in the position to just take the higher paying jobs - but when I add up a few cell phone shops, and a few fast food shops - it quickly tallies $100 - making a difference in our budget.

I love the philisophical principles so many of you are aspiring to, and I wish that my reality was different, so that I too could join you!

Sara
Silver MSPA
Go to Top of Page

Rachael Collinsworth
Star Contributor

Winchester, Kentucky
USA
403 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2004 :  7:08:03 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
JDavis813, I don't know who's post your responding to, but I just wanted to amend one thing for general purposes. Instead of obsessing over the term "union", think, instead, about 'unity'. My suggestion was for shoppers to unite and support one another, the way the MSPA supports MSing companies. NOwhere in my post did I say that forming a union was a way to get paid more. I said that until we agree what is acceptable treatment and what is not and stand by it, we will continue to see nonpayment and fee decrease threads run on ad nauseum.
and SaraS, I don't think we're being philosphical in our ideals. Like you, my husband lost his job last year. Because of a legal loophole, his ex-employer got out of paying unemployment and our savings and my MSing money was all the income we had. I know the importance of the money MSing brings into my house.
MY statement was this: We are not demanding more money. We are simply voicing our discontent with being expected to do the same amount of work, or more, for less money.

Rachael Collinsworth
MSPA Gold Certified
Shopping much of Central KY
Go to Top of Page

Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1859 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2004 :  7:19:23 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
I have never gotten a BONUS for good work, only when I help to get a scheduler out of a jam or they were wickedly late on paying me.

I have received an unexpected bonus from DSGAI before. It wasn't huge, but it was very welcomed! I've been given a couple from merchandising companies, too (more common?). I think this policy would go a LONG way in retaining the best shoppers. Realistically, rewarding a great shopper with a little bonus (the size matter less than the kudos, IMHO) would probably go a long way toward filling notoriously hard-to-fill shops.

It is a competitive business. On both ends. We each have to decide what our time is worth and work accordingly. My own experience has been that taking the bottom basement jobs does not lead to better ones down the pike -- only the expectation that I will work for peanuts. YMMV.

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” Tacitus
Go to Top of Page

LindaCulp
Star Contributor

Portland, Oregon
USA
2339 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2004 :  10:04:18 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
It's easy for those of us who have full-time jobs, or spouses with jobs to say, "Don't take the MS jobs paying less than $__." The problem is, due to today's economy, there are too many of us who are literally completely dependent on MS income just to survive, so we have no choice but to take whatever jobs we can, in order to have ANY income.

Like SaraS said, I understand both sides of the issue, and if I had a full-time job right now, and/or had a full-time income from someone else in my household to depend on, I would also refuse to work MS jobs for less than some specified amount of money. Unfortunately, my reality is that if I don't work, I won't have any money at all. Unemployment income is not an option for me, and finding full-time work has so far been an effort in hitting my head against a brick wall. I have to do whatever I can to keep a roof over my head and some form of food in the house.

It's a sad state of affairs when a lot of us are in this predicament, and have no choice but to take what we can get, and the shop fees just keep going down.

Happily shopping the Portland, Oregon metro area!
~MSPA *Gold* Certified, 2003~
Go to Top of Page

JohnDavis813
Valued Contributor

Avon, OH
USA
127 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2004 :  05:17:16 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Rachael: My post was NOT directed to you. I believe in the idea of unity - one helping another. Why should MS be any different then any other industry. It has been my experience so far, that because of the nature of this industry and the internet, it is more likely to have that kind of unity then more traditional ones. I have been on both the giving and receiving end of that experience.

The problem with an union in any business is that the "management" must recognize the union. That is impossible in this industry.

It is also the nature of this business that we will only be paid for a fee. The service company is paid that way also. There is not the "movement" within the pay structure that allows for that.


John
Go to Top of Page

MPresley
Valued Contributor

Lake Mary, FL
USA
155 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2004 :  3:30:32 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Ok, I was offered a job this morning at $8 that was $12 last time I did it a few months back. Needless to say, I let somebody else have it.

GOLD Certificate hxxy4v shopping Orlando, Winter Park, Sanford, Lake Mary, Orange City, Deltona, Deland, Oviedo, Altamonte Springs, FL
Go to Top of Page

Beverly Anne
Apprentice

Munster, IN
USA
4 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2004 :  8:54:18 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I tend to always want to help people before I think. (I won't take the time to relate the story where I got out of my car and chased away a man who was plummenting an occupant in a car.) But I was very aggravated when a company called that I had worked for last year and asked me to do a shop. The pay wasn't great last year, but I had time so I said OK. When I got the paperwork, the pay had dropped $3. I did the job, but learned my lesson and will try to remember to always ask what it pays when someone calls.
Go to Top of Page

VickyeW
Contributor

Tulsa, OK
USA
56 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2004 :  05:59:05 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Just when I feel fees are stabilizing I see 2 assignments in 2 days.

First one: Childrens Shoe Store- You must take a small child under a certain age to this store. Try on shoes, buy them. Wait several hours / days and then return them. Fee -$5

Second One: Hat Store- You must visit the store, interact with sales associates, purchase a hat, wait several hours / days. Return the hat. Fee- $7


Both of these assignments are at a Mall less than 1/2 a mile from my house. I will still refuse to take them. Though someone else will snatch them up. I am sure that I will be in this mall and could probably do the purchase part 'since I am there anyway', but why would I want to spend 30 minutes (or more) for the first part of the shop. Then have to drive back, get out of the car, go inside, locate the store, find an associate, place the item on the counter, explain why I am returning it, take my credit card out of my wallet, sign the receipt, put my credit card back in its home, and then lag my tired and weary body back out to the hot car for pennies? Then still have to come home and write up the report, remembering what color of fingernail polish the clerk was wearing and if they wore blue or brown contacts.

How can the owners of these companies / corporations possibly think this is logical? I mean it breaks down to less than minimum wage! Both portions of the shop with drive time and report time would take at the minimum 90 minutes.

It makes me wonder where fees will be in 5 years?

Vickye
MSPA Gold Certificate # andzvh
Go to Top of Page

Terra
Star Contributor

USA
443 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2004 :  4:57:22 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I saw a few jobs online for a particular company that I was not familiar with. I expressed interest in the jobs, and later received an email offering them to me. When I looked at the requirements, I knew the job was not worth it. It was a $7 purchase and return shop. I sent this email:

I apologize for expressing interest in this shop. I was not aware this was a purchase and return shop. I am not interested in taking this shop for a $7 fee. I feel purchase and return shops done within a small time frame on the same day compromise the anonymity of the shopper, and those done on different days/longer time frame should be more highly compensated.

Thank you for your consideration,

Does that sound ok, or will I have made the company not offer me any additional shops?

MSPA Silver Certified #ectp6r
Go to Top of Page

Sandi In Mississippi
Star Contributor

MS
USA
1285 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2004 :  5:20:44 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Terra, that is pretty much what I write when confronted with an obviously ridiculous fee. I try to include something to indicate a fair fee would persuade me to do the shop. My experience is that the offers just keep coming - at the same cheap price!

So long as we aren't rude in declining I don't think any reputable company or scheduler will hold it against us. If a shop has been posted with no fee, no date, no info on reward/reveal, no info on purchase/return - then insufficient info was given to enable a shopper to make a definite commitment. That is not the shopper's fault.

For me, writing to politely decline means rethinking the email I actually want to send in response to some of these laughably cheap shops. It would start - Are You Freakin' Crazy?
Go to Top of Page

Roger42
Star Contributor

USA
277 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2004 :  5:44:53 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
You know - you gotta wonder.

It's obvious that the experienced shoppers are not taking these jobs. Which means a lot of "newbies" are and two things are probably occuring.

1) The new shopper is probably getting frustrated. If these low fee shops are the first they do, you know after a while they're going to think that mystery shopping is not for them. It's going to leave a bad taste in their mouth for all the work for just a few bucks. Then it's doubtful they will stay in the business.

2) The quality of the shops have got to be questionable. If it's a new shopper, then schedulers and editors will have their hands full proofing and correcting the shops. Which makes me feel sorry for them.

I wonder what the turnover rate is at mystery shopping companies with these low fees?

Roger
Gold Certified - 15 Years Experience
Specializing In Audits
Covering Mid Atlantic and Northeast
Go to Top of Page

GailGibbsYoung
Star Contributor

Salem, OR
USA
1003 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2004 :  08:11:28 AM  Visit GailGibbsYoung's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well, after only 3 weeks of MSing, I am amazed at the folks who do it full time (!), out of necessity for income, and I too, wonder if I am missing someting on where and to whom to apply for jobs that could accomplish that goal.

I do understand that many MSers do it because of the flexibility of hours and that they work these hours around the needs of their children and families. MSing is certainly great for that.

But after and based on 30+ years of marketing and sales, I cannot believe how low the fees are, considering the hours spent, the basic equipment required, and the skills needed to be successful.

I wish I could offer practical ideas on how to improve the job fees, but unfortunately as long as there are more MSers than MS jobs, we will be held at the mercy of the clients of the MS companies, and what these clients consider is worth their while to contract for MS services.

One thing I can offer is that any MSers who want to work full time & make good money, should look into outside sales. MSing had given you the best of skills for these jobs, including time management, organizational skills, communication, writing, reporting, listening, observing, etc., etc. Don't sell yourself short when applying for a full time job and believe me, there is a sales job out there for everyone. In my book, MSing itself is selling one of the hardest products in the world, YOURSELF (!), everytime you register with a new MS company and turn in that first report. Make this clean on any resume you produce. With MSing you have created your own business as a marketing consultant and "sold" it to the MS companies.

Think about it!

MSPA GOLD CERTIFIED dejlg4
Go to Top of Page

Amber J
Star Contributor

Mesa, Arizona
USA
628 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2004 :  12:08:16 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
MPresley...Same thing happened to me. Last month the shop I performed was $15, today they only want to pay $6? I'm hoping it is an error??? But I will not do it for the lower fee either.

MSPA Gold Certified

Go to Top of Page

Rourke
Member

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2004 :  1:03:38 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I think any social scientist would say that the dependance people have on MS for regular INCOME (this is always discouraged by MS companies), combined with the frustration at lower and lower fees, creates an environment where the temptation is there to skimp on the veracity of reports. Meaning, do the absolute MINIMUM needed to make the report pass with flying colors. An experienced MS is capable of doing this very easily. Often this means just painting a rosy picture with a few corroborating details. Now I am not condoning this behavior. It is against everything most MSers stand for. But everyone has their breaking point.

Unfortunately the downside for MS companies is that they are killing the golden goose, so to speak. By putting pressure on MSers to do more for less, they are inadvertantly undercutting the authenticity of industry's product. The fallout from this will be that you will see even more market research dollars going away from IC mystery shoppers and into 800 number call-in lines and the like. This is in fact already happening, largely due to the inexpensiveness of it. It is attractive also due to the unimpeachability of the reports, even if they are limited in scope and largely unscientific in their sampling.

MS companies should be putting less emphasis on a cheap product for clients, and more emphasis on a quality product, which is something those 800 call in services can't compete with. This involves putting real emphasis on training and rewarding the best shoppers. All companies use the same shoppers. The first company to create an elite class of shoppers, and market this approach successfully, will rise to the top.
Go to Top of Page

MaryLou
Inactive

East County / San Diego, CA
USA
915 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2004 :  3:25:15 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rourke

MS companies should be putting less emphasis on a cheap product for clients, and more emphasis on a quality product, which is something those 800 call in services can't compete with. This involves putting real emphasis on training and rewarding the best shoppers. All companies use the same shoppers. The first company to create an elite class of shoppers, and market this approach successfully, will rise to the top.



That is basically part of the MSPA Gold Shopper concept.
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 7 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
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 0.42 seconds. Software © Snitz Forums