Is there life after Marketforce?

I have been making shopping a full time job for the past two years. Today I got the dreaded "deactivation" letter from MF. They are my go-to for bonuses, and that makes up about 1/2 of my income. The letter was general, it said the deactivation had to do with their proprietary calculations of my performance and they couldn't share the reasons . I've done probably 1000+ shops for them. What have others done to pump up their income after the "firing"?

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Ouch, why do you think this happened? I have messed up about 3 times. Thought I would get dumped, not yet tho.
I've been with them since the days of Shop N Check (2003ish?). I keep wondering when I will get my letter. To answer your question, yes, there IS life outside of Market Force. Sign up with more companies!
Have you signed up with every company in the "Official List of Mystery Shopping Companies." below?
They routinely get rid of even high performing shoppers once those have hit some magic number/frequency of shops.

So, how many MSCs are you signed up with? There certainly IS life without MF; I have not shopped for them for years. I quit before the magic deactivation, btw.

Now is a good time to act like a really hungry newbie! EVERY day that you wish you had a shop but do not, sign up with 10 more MSCs. Every day that you do not have as many shops as you would like, do the ones you have and sign up with 5 more MSCs.

You may want to search the forum for certain kinds of shops that are thick on the ground in most locations. So, to find MSCs that do banks search "bank" and "within the past year." Yes, you will find some posts that mention a bank but not as a shopping location. BUT, you will get a ton of MSCs that do banks. Do the same for "parking" and you will find MSCs that will pay you to park, often within walking distance of those bank shops. (This si a way to start some nice one day routes to nearby cities, btw). When you run out of types of shops to explore to see which MSCs to sign up with, just return to working your way through the alphabetical list at the foot of this page.

Take a deep breath. Your shopping life is about to get more varied and more interesting AND more lucrative! Enjoy!

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
What exactly are "proprietary calculations"? Sounds like PC gobbledygook to me. If you did something wrong, in their opinion, they should say what you did or didn't do. For what it is worth, I have been doing this for almost 4 years and have not used MF. They were the first MSC I applied to and was rejected when asked to describe a recent shop. I was so new that I didn't realize what a mystery shop was and described my most recent trip to a grocery store. I can understand the rejection as my answer wasn't very good. I have not needed MF and am doing quite well without them. And after reading all the negatives about MF on this forum, I have no intention of re-applying. So, yes, there is life after MF. You will find other, more compatible MSC's and continue and grow your business.
My theory has always been MarketForce much prefers a dilettante to a professional shopper. Like many starting out, they did make up a sizable portion of my income for my first few months mystery shopping. By that time I learned other companies had much higher paying shops and were quicker on the bonuses. I continued with them albeit more and more infrequently, for another year or so. I truly believe it is because I now go months and even years between shops they have not deactivated me.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
gallupgirl, 1000 shops in two years is substantial. You had a good run! I have shopped with them about ten years, though to a much lesser extent than you. I would miss MF if they axed me. I like self-assigning and the ability to change shop dates. I find their reports easy. They have one client in particular with a useful reimbursement to me. However, if deactivation does happen, I will take a second look at the numerous other opportunities that are emailed to me each day.

Enjoy this opportunity to expand your horizons.
What I don't understand:

You have a business to run. You can run it with experienced, excellent shoppers or you can run it with new shoppers that might be late on reports or missing important elements, like the receipt, names and pictures.

Which shopper do you keep for your business? smiling smiley
The one who doesn't realize you are now paying $7 for a shop you paid $15 on just a couple of years ago?

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
As others have stated, sign up with as many companies as possible. Do one shop for each of them until you find your magic bullet.

It's out there!

Get your flu shot...because I didn't!
I've been with them since Shop 'N Check days also and shop regularly each month. I get phone calls from southern schedulers and foreign schedulers with nice bonuses. I make mistakes, but not often. I would miss them a lot if I got removed. I do a variety of their clients and some at base pay when I feel it's reasonable for the work involved. I also fall asleep before finishing reports ('cause me is getting old) and sometimes submit waaay beyond the 8 hour deadline (like sometimes the next morning) and so far, I'm still with them. So, I don't think it's that they only want those who dally. Maybe they just have a lot of work around here and actually need me and others to get them done. I got the 1000 shop notice years ago. I couldn't tell you how many I've done, but I do like them...but not the new site.

BTW, I don't recommend submitting late...just saying, I've done it many times.

*****************************************************************************
I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around....What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?
I also got the dreaded Market Force ax a few weeks ago. I used to do 40-60 shops each month for them a couple years ago but that number dropped to 10-20 after I stopped doing their gas station shops and their biggest client dropped their mystery shopping program. I got an email recognizing me for 1000 shops earlier this year. In early June, I goofed on an out of town shop that I submitted via cell phone. Instead of selecting "AM" for the time of the shop, I accidentally selected "PM". It was not flagged in the report, even though I selected that it was a breakfast shop. The editor even missed it and the client called me out on it. Everything else about the shop was fine and the shop was still accepted. In mid-July, around the time Market Force processes payments, all of the available shops in my area vanished. I emailed them about it and got the standard deactivation form letter. Out of 1000+ shops, I only recall 2-3 that were outright rejected (I accidentally swapped receipts for a pair of shops last year) and 2-3 others for which Market Force had notified me of a shopper error, such as June's AM/PM mistake.

It seems that to Market Force, willing independent contractors are a dime a dozen. Their reports are fairly simple and require minimal writing. Instead of paying a couple more Help Desk associates to review all of the individual cases before banning shoppers, they let a computer make the decisions. I'm not a fan of that method, but I understand their reasoning.

I've been meaning to cut down on mystery shopping (it's kind of addicting), so this was probably a good thing for me. Some of the other companies I shop for have also picked up some new clients that help fill the void. I'd rather do 2 challenging grocery store shops that pay $35 each (no reimbursement) than do 8 easy grocery store shops for Market Force that pay $3 each with $5 reimbursement!
@OP: Now you are free to activate something else in your life. Should you do more shops? Some merchandising gigs? Where should this industry fit in your newfound life? smiling smiley

The holidays are only holy if we make them so. (Marianne Williamson)
I got the same thing, except, when I wrote back they replied that if I could supply a digital receipt or physical receipt copy for $0.80 toll booths, I could be reactivated. I live in a hands free state, the toll booths are unmanned. They are little drop-change-in style toll booths on side roads that the city enacted. Just don't pay me for the dang $0.80. I could get info on all the main ones, but they're tooth and nail over the $0.80 even with photos of the booths, signs, and toll registry online. Blah. I'm like you, performed quite a few shops. I told them to go ahead and cancel the last 8 shops out of my month.

MegglesKat
There were months I would pull in $1500 with them because of travel with regular work and picking up end of month bonuses. *sigh* guess I'll step up my work for The Source, KSS/Maritz, Ipsos, Intelli, and Best Mark.

MegglesKat
I didn't shop with MF when they were known as Shop n Check, so have no comparison of fees, reimbursements, or reports.

I have no reason to believe they routinely get rid of high performing shoppers, or that there is a magic number, resulting in deactivation.
Mine was over toll booths. I tried every which way to prove the booths here. I took photos of the booths, the signs before hand, me at the little toss in coin slots, the online toll authority... but still they persisted with get creative and they'll require receipt eventually. I guess I shoulda got that EZ pass but I never use the toll roads unless it's for a shop. Many are between the tolls so no way to dodge all of them.

MegglesKat
It is so true how they keep cutting the shop fees down. For the last several months I have almost exclusively done bonus jobs with them. I almost hit "four digits" on the pay we are about to receive for July... And I took a week off!

TinaMarie
I mystery shopped full-time 3 years before I did my first shop for MarketForce. Yes there was life before MF, and there will surely be life after MF. I have cut down my shops for MF tremendously since they rolled out their new website. I just usually don't have the extra time it takes to navigate their new website.
I am done with most mystery shopping due to disability approval. I don't think I will ever order tater tots at a drive thru again. winking smiley
@sbobgal wrote:

I am done with most mystery shopping due to disability approval. I don't think I will ever order tater tots at a drive thru again. winking smiley

I see you said 'most' so I'm going to figure you'll keep a watchful eye winking smiley I said I was done in April and ended up taking 3 months of. In July, I pulled in $1100 and only worked 1-2 days a week. Lovely bonus shops popped up when I wasn't available for every little shop at each price point grinning smiley

MegglesKat
Same thing happened to me.

But I've found other clients - over time - who pay better and I enjoy the work. It is a sharp sting, but once you move on, you'll be fine!
I wrote a message to the help desk asking if I had done something wrong, how much I loved doing work, and how I hoped I could work for them in the future... they wrote back, reinstated me, and told me in the future, if I didn't have an actual receipt (even though it says photos are okay if you gotta get creative) then to avoid putting it in there for whoever is editing...

MegglesKat
They got rid of me years ago, something about I worked in Vegas and they didn't like it...yes, there is life after MF,
I never looked back, but bonus's here not so avilable, and their pay rate is low...move on.

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping....
Not only is there life after MF, there's a BETTER life after MF. They drop good shoppers for no apparent reason with no explanation.

They don't pay enough to worry about it.

“The right to do something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.” ~ Michael Steele
@MountainCacher88 wrote:

I wrote a message to the help desk asking if I had done something wrong, how much I loved doing work, and how I hoped I could work for them in the future... they wrote back, reinstated me, and told me in the future, if I didn't have an actual receipt (even though it says photos are okay if you gotta get creative) then to avoid putting it in there for whoever is editing...

This is very enlightening information! So, if I drop a couple quarters in a street meter to pay for parking and claim the $.50 (or whatever small amount) as a travel expense, I am risking being deactivated because I cannot submit a receipt? I recall there being a floor for needing a receipt for travel related expenses and I thought it was fairly high, like $20, before receipts were required. I may have to rethink claiming the metered parking on MF shops just to avoid any pushback.
@msimon-2000 wrote:

@MountainCacher88 wrote:

I wrote a message to the help desk asking if I had done something wrong, how much I loved doing work, and how I hoped I could work for them in the future... they wrote back, reinstated me, and told me in the future, if I didn't have an actual receipt (even though it says photos are okay if you gotta get creative) then to avoid putting it in there for whoever is editing...

This is very enlightening information! So, if I drop a couple quarters in a street meter to pay for parking and claim the $.50 (or whatever small amount) as a travel expense, I am risking being deactivated because I cannot submit a receipt? I recall there being a floor for needing a receipt for travel related expenses and I thought it was fairly high, like $20, before receipts were required. I may have to rethink claiming the metered parking on MF shops just to avoid any pushback.

that's basically what the reply said to me. I've done metered parking before and I snap a picture of the machine but it hasn't done much good lately. I suppose they don't mind to pay parking and tolls but this person made it sound like hard copy receipts or online screen grabs of my full report of EZ pass were required. They even said that EZ pass would only be accepted on the day of shop and that it was problematic because it usually takes 24-48 hours to show a full report online of EZ pass. Wish I could copy an image in here of the emails!

MegglesKat
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