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Mystery Shopping Company Discussion

Still haven't been paid by GfK
Posts:965
I did a shop for GfK at the end of October. It was last minute--end of the month. I took the shop for a total of $75. I was only paid $50--and that was after a long wait. When I emailed and about the bonus, I got quite the run around. I sent them a copy of the email I had received with the bonus info in the subject line and got an email back,asking "What bonus?" I pointed out the email came from GfK and finally, FINALLY, got a confirmation that I was owed the bonus and I should receive it in a week or two. Several weeks went by and still no bonus. I started sending emails to all the schedulers who were emailing me--and to the person who promised the bonus in the first place. I finally received a snotty email from someone at GfK saying this was a complicated accouting procedure and taking me to task for not being patient. I explained I was more than patient, having waited since October. On February 28, I received another email, saying it was "being looked into" by accounting. Tonight I finally had enough. I emaied and promised to file a report with the BBB and the MSPA if I did not see my money by the end of the week. I received an email within minutes chastising me for my impatience. As far as I am concerned, they are in breech of contract. I will discuss with my brother, who is a lawyer. I think if one party breeches a contract, all parts of that contract are void.
March 06, 2012 07:08PM
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More Discussions About GFK Mystery Shopping

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Posts:3,209
I've haven't done shops for them in over a year, but back then they paid accurately. I do remember from then that they would not pay the bonus if I self assigned the shop. Scheduler had to assign it.

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You can stay up all night...it doesn't mean you're going to get lucky!
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Everyone has photographic memory...some just dont
have the film. Others still havent taken off the lens cap
March 07, 2012 12:32AM
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Posts:965
Sceduler did assign....

This is only maddening because I still operate under the illusion the world operates in a system of fairness.

Silly me.
March 07, 2012 08:10AM
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Posts:31
I'm not sure the BBB will do anything. I once complained about a company and they said they don't handle issues related with employment. Perhaps it depends on your state. I don't know.
March 07, 2012 10:07AM
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Posts:965
I am hoping they will start taking me a little more seriously, knowing I am willng to take some action.
March 07, 2012 10:31AM
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Posts:14,652
I'm not sure why 4 months is being less than patient on your part. You have the proof, there should be no discussion, no looking into, no reprimands. It's also not that damn complicated to just pay what was agreed on.

*************************************************************************
Have you ever listened to someone for a while and wondered.."who ties your shoelaces for you?"
***************************************************************
"Allow me to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket." – Captain Jack Sparrow
March 07, 2012 10:40AM
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Posts:361
Jersey, seems like everyone has to go through this from time to time. Be professional but insistent. You are on the right track.
March 07, 2012 11:14AM
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Posts:965
so, my question...if everyone is doing their jobs (including the MSCS) why should we have to go through this at all.

Because the MSCs know they have us (collectively) by the you know whats. Yes, anyone of us can individually decidenot not to take a shop or work with a company at all, in which case, the company will simply pick up new shoppers. Case in point is these GfK shops....they are not Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, nTelos, Cell-One, or Trak Phones....which are usually offered for $11 and taken quickly.

Until we, as shoppers, set up standards of our own, we will always be at the MSCs' mercy.



RobinMarie Wrote:
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> Jersey, seems like everyone has to go through this
> from time to time. Be professional but insistent.
> You are on the right track.
March 07, 2012 11:47AM
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Posts:31
Right Jersey. Shoppers need to speak up and only work with those companies who are willing to pay a reasonable fee, treat you like a repectable "independent contractor", and pay promptly. If shoppers don't speak up, many mystery shopping companies will continue to get their way with these abusive practices. And I can't speak for all of them, as I work for a few that are really cool to work with.
March 07, 2012 12:35PM
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Posts:965
I work with some that are fair and decent, although I don't know if I would say awesome. OK I got paid by RSI in less than 24 hours.

I would be willing to help develop a professional association for us. The problem is there will always be new shoppers The MSCs have no need to treat us fairly. What does GfK or Remington care if I am livid. I don't see them hurting for shoppers. Usually newbies who don't know any better.

So as long as we are (collectively) operating under the illusion we are professionals and equal partners, they have us exactly where they want us.
March 07, 2012 01:36PM
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Posts:1,380
Jersey -

Sent you a PM!



jersey07032 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I work with some that are fair and decent,
> although I don't know if I would say awesome. OK
> I got paid by RSI in less than 24 hours.
>
> I would be willing to help develop a professional
> association for us. The problem is there will
> always be new shoppers The MSCs have no need to
> treat us fairly. What does GfK or Remington care
> if I am livid. I don't see them hurting for
> shoppers. Usually newbies who don't know any
> better.
>
> So as long as we are (collectively) operating
> under the illusion we are professionals and equal
> partners, they have us exactly where they want us.

~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~

Proud To Be A Soldier's Mom
March 08, 2012 06:03AM
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Posts:965
r@inyDay Got your message and sent you a brief response.

Everyone else...

Some of you seem to be content to shop for companies that dont act fairly and with integrity.Or are willing to take your lumps. I am fed up with the companies that screw me over. Even if I don't shop for them again DUH!, I am out time and/or money. More to the point, I am tired of not having recourse.

If I were really an IC, I would be billing GfK for what they owe me and would be assessing a penalty.





r@inyDayZ3

Wrote:
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> Jersey -
>
> Sent you a PM!
>
>
>
> jersey07032 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I work with some that are fair and decent,
> > although I don't know if I would say awesome.
> OK
> > I got paid by RSI in less than 24 hours.
> >
> > I would be willing to help develop a
> professional
> > association for us. The problem is there will
> > always be new shoppers The MSCs have no need to
> > treat us fairly. What does GfK or Remington
> care
> > if I am livid. I don't see them hurting for
> > shoppers. Usually newbies who don't know any
> > better.
> >
> > So as long as we are (collectively) operating
> > under the illusion we are professionals and
> equal
> > partners, they have us exactly where they want
> us.
March 08, 2012 12:09PM
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Posts:361
Jersey,

I try not to get too upset about it, and follow the proper channels. I guess maybe I don't get as upset because every place I know seems to be chasing someone down for money: individuals, business, government. I know some ICs who do not mystery shop chasing down customers for thousands of dollars. So, my advice was to remain professional, but insistent. It seems that is the best course for now.
March 08, 2012 06:35PM
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Posts:198
Don't get me started about GfK. There is one scheduler there in particular I will not do shops for. I wasn't paid for a shop because of that scheduler's poor communication. I called and wrote the scheduler for 3 weeks only to have a shop that I did correctly re-assigned to someone else with a bonus!

Sincerely,
H.A.R.D. at work
March 08, 2012 08:43PM
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Posts:965
Thanks all...especially for the reminder to keep it all in perspective and professional. In my tutoring life, I am a real IC. If I don't agree with what a parent wants I can negotiate. But I have to remember, even in that arena, I am often forced to make concessions. I have a "steadfast" rule...if you cancel with less than 48 hours notice, you have to make up the session at a time that is convenient for me or pay me for the missed hour. For the most part, the parents comply with this rule. Last week I had a parent cancel on me twice at the last minute. She is cutting down to once a week. I seriously doubt I will see the money she owes me. And frankly, there is no way I can collect without alienating her--in which case, she just finds another tutor. My point: It is rough all over. As long as I work for a living (as opposed to clipping coupons and/or buy and selling derivatives) I am going to run into situations like this.
March 08, 2012 10:40PM
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Posts:14
shopper_in_cali Wrote:
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> Right Jersey. Shoppers need to speak up and only
> work with those companies who are willing to pay a
> reasonable fee, treat you like a repectable
> "independent contractor", and pay promptly. If
> shoppers don't speak up, many mystery shopping
> companies will continue to get their way with
> these abusive practices. And I can't speak for
> all of them, as I work for a few that are really
> cool to work with.

can u pls share ur list of good companies pls.? I m a newbie , and would be good to learn from others' mistakes , rather than sign up for those scams. thanks
April 11, 2012 05:54PM
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Posts:14
I have done few shops for them this month. Till now Katie has been very helpful, so I am hoping I get paid on time. I too have no prior experience with them so far.
April 11, 2012 05:58PM
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Posts:965
forgot about this thread. I did eventually get paid my bonus. I spent hours tracking it down. Won't shop for them again. I have too much self-respect.
April 11, 2012 06:08PM
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Posts:774
jersey07032 Wrote:
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> forgot about this thread. I did eventually get
> paid my bonus. I spent hours tracking it down.
> Won't shop for them again. I have too much
> self-respect.


Jersey,

couldn't be that they or one of their people who lurk here, saw your post with their name in the header and reported - and that's why you finally got paid ?

I think Jacob did Mystery IC's the greatest bonus ever by making this site,where we speak openly (under pseudonyms, lol) about what companies are screwing over their IC shoppers.

In essence, Jacob has given Shopper IC's the power, here.

This site now surpasses Volition , MSC's know we're talking about them, and quite a few come here to find out what is being said about them. Some are wise enough to take action and make changes in their behavior. And those who are not are losing shoppers.

Word spreads. Newbies are coming here and finding out who is on the up and up and
who is a deadbeat or difficult to work with. And that affects what companies are getting new shoppers and holding onto them.

In essence it is an organization of Shopper IC's, albeit loosely.

You're right. It's important to name the offending company, so others wont join them and lose time and money.
April 13, 2012 06:57PM
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Posts:965
yes, shoppingalong

and I have been trying to come up with a way to hold MSCs accountable. because new shoppers are always available...and because we are a loosely knit bunch (WE don't even know each other...and because because because...it is difficult to organize (some shoppers even balk at the word organize; although note, I did not say UNIONIZE!!!)

my idea is take situations in which a shopper has clearly been wronged (e.g. a shopper reads the guidelines in the morning, does the shop, comes home, and finds it was cancelled) and "report" them to the MSPA. Companies that join the MSPA sign "ethics" agreements. One item in this agreement is to pay shoppers fairly. In my example, the company is clearly not being fair to the shopper who did absolutley nothing wrong, who infact did everything right.)

now, I don't delude myself for a moment. I do not think the MSPA is going go all crazy over this one notification. But, if enough shoppers do this, the MSPA will take notice. They will, I believe, want to start regulating themselves. They will, if they are smart, figure the next step could be government regulation.

just an idea. If anything comes up again that is clearly NOT my fault I am going to take this course.
April 13, 2012 07:43PM
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Posts:774
You could always ask your brother to outline a Mystery Shopper contract and we could send it to every MSC we sign up with.

Things always start small, and then snowball when they catch on.

You rabble rouser you ! LOLlolololol
April 13, 2012 08:22PM
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Posts:14,652
Don't confuse some realistic responses to organizing as "balking" or being anti-Union. You have outlined the biggest problem yourself, there are always new shoppers. Most shoppers have no idea about forums like this so I'm not sure how you would go about contacting enough people to even make it worthwhile. Many of the companies have a figurative revolving door. I'm curious as to actually how many people are active members of this and Volition. My guess would be it equates to 1/10 of 1 percent of all the shoppers in the United States at any given moment.

jersey07032 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
because new shoppers are
> always available...and because we are a loosely
> knit bunch (WE don't even know each other...and
> because because because...it is difficult to
> organize (some shoppers even balk at the word
> organize; although note, I did not say
> UNIONIZE!!!)

*************************************************************************
Have you ever listened to someone for a while and wondered.."who ties your shoelaces for you?"
***************************************************************
"Allow me to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket." – Captain Jack Sparrow
April 13, 2012 08:33PM
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Posts:774
LisaSTL Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Don't confuse some realistic responses to
> organizing as "balking" or being anti-Union. You
> have outlined the biggest problem yourself, there
> are always new shoppers. Most shoppers have no
> idea about forums like this so I'm not sure how
> you would go about contacting enough people to
> even make it worthwhile. Many of the companies
> have a figurative revolving door. I'm curious as
> to actually how many people are active members of
> this and Volition. My guess would be it equates to
> 1/10 of 1 percent of all the shoppers in the
> United States at any given moment.
>
> jersey07032 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> because new shoppers are
> > always available...and because we are a loosely
> > knit bunch (WE don't even know each other...and
> > because because because...it is difficult to
> > organize (some shoppers even balk at the word
> > organize; although note, I did not say
> > UNIONIZE!!!)


from post above:

>>>>This site now surpasses Volition , MSC's know we're talking about them, and quite a few come here to find out what is being said about them. Some are wise enough to take action and make changes in their behavior. And those who are not are losing shoppers.

Word spreads. Newbies are coming here and finding out who is on the up and up and
who is a deadbeat or difficult to work with. And that affects what companies are getting new shoppers and holding onto them. <<<<<<

call me an optimist smiling smiley
April 13, 2012 09:19PM
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Posts:14,652
Yes some people eventually find this site and/or Volition. I worked as a MS for several years and also had a full-time job. I was satisfied with the 2 or 3 companies on my list and never had the motivation to look for forums.

What will have the biggest impact is an upswing in the economy and a drop in the unemployment rate. A smaller pool of potential shoppers will force some companies to consider retaining shoppers rather than relying on a constant influx.

Meanwhile, if you want to find a way to get the word out to more shoppers maybe we should work on having Mystery Shopping Forum be the first thing that comes up when someone Googles mystery shoppingwinking smiley

*************************************************************************
Have you ever listened to someone for a while and wondered.."who ties your shoelaces for you?"
***************************************************************
"Allow me to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket." – Captain Jack Sparrow
April 13, 2012 09:27PM
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Posts:965
getting the word out about this Forum is a great idea. I am not sure how to do that with Google. Wish I did know, cause I could use the info for my tutoring business and my art.

What I am suggesting doesn't take away from that. And what I am suggesting isn't diminished because there are always new shoppers. I think it would let the MSPA know we are serious about taking care of ourselves. As I said in my previous post, I don't think for a minute the MSPA is going to get one letter and start quaking. I do think, over time, they will start to take notice.

Each of us can take this action on his/her own. We don't need to meet, come up with a plan, nada. Just a well written letter stating the FACTS of a situation. Chances are, if the MSPA responds at all it will be to say "we don't get involved in these disputes." BUT I believe they will take notice. The situations should be very clear cut...an example, as stated above, would be when a shopper reads the guidelines in the morning, goes out and does the shop following all the directions, and then comes home to find the shop had been cancelled just like that BOOM!

These are my thoughts/ideas. I am not trying to start a fight. If folks want to do this, or something like this, great. I am hoping the responses will be constructive.

And I think I just hijacked my own thread!
April 13, 2012 09:42PM
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Posts:14,652
Just remember that the MSPA is not some watchdog for the industry. They are quite simply a trade organization formed by mystery shopping providers.

From what I understand Google rankings are just that. The sites that are visited most will appear nearer to the top of the list. Right now when I put in mystery shopping the first website after the ads is MSPA and Volition is number four. I just took a quick glance for MSF and couldn't find it in the first four pages. That means the people that get here are searching for something more specific like a forum. Campaigns have been launched and have successfully pushed websites to the number one spot on the list. Just ask Rick Santorum how that worked for him, LOL!

*************************************************************************
Have you ever listened to someone for a while and wondered.."who ties your shoelaces for you?"
***************************************************************
"Allow me to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket." – Captain Jack Sparrow
April 13, 2012 10:05PM
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Posts:166
We need to have a presence on FaceBook and other social media websites. The more sites where MSF is mentioned, the likelier chance that we will pop up on a search engine's results.

**************************************************************
One buzzard to another while circling high overhead (paraphrased), "Patience hell! I want to shop somewhere."
April 14, 2012 10:28AM
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Posts:774
LisaSTL Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yes some people eventually find this site and/or
> Volition. I worked as a MS for several years and
> also had a full-time job. I was satisfied with the
> 2 or 3 companies on my list and never had the
> motivation to look for forums.
>
> What will have the biggest impact is an upswing in
> the economy and a drop in the unemployment rate. A
> smaller pool of potential shoppers will force some
> companies to consider retaining shoppers rather
> than relying on a constant influx.
>
> Meanwhile, if you want to find a way to get the
> word out to more shoppers maybe we should work on
> having Mystery Shopping Forum be the first thing
> that comes up when someone Googles mystery
> shoppingwinking smiley


Hey Lis,

That is how I found this forum. Jacob has it at top of a google page. I was googling Mystery Shop or Mystery Shopping.
Never even came up with Volition. I didnt find out about Volition until I came here - went over and looked at it and its messy, hard to read.
April 14, 2012 02:07PM
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Posts:774
tanmanlovespool Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> We need to have a presence on FaceBook and other
> social media websites. The more sites where MSF is
> mentioned, the likelier chance that we will pop up
> on a search engine's results.


Hey Tanman,

Great Idea !

I'm not on Facebook for privacy reasons..but I guess Jacob would have to be the one to put it up on Facebook since its his forum.
April 14, 2012 02:12PM
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Posts:965
That's easy enough I have two facebook business pages...one for my tutoring and one for my art. (I can give info to anyone who PMs me)
April 14, 2012 07:35PM
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