Mystery shoppers at Medicare presentations?

I was at a Medicare presentation/lunch a couple of weeks ago with my husband. He was taking copious notes and I was there for the food. Anyway, I was watching the people around me and one of them was really acting like a shopper. The more I watched him, the more I was sure he was there as a shopper. Do any of you work for an MSC that offers shops like this? Great free food and no purchase required!

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I have done many over the years, and never got a free meal, only dessert or a pen. I actually found the one I put my sister in and learned a lot about them. The Kiosk from Trendsource, serves nothing, I work for smaller MSC's that do the actual seminars where you do learn , and need to be a certain age, however the only food I got was at Marie Callender's and that was a piece of pie. I just got a phone call today from one I did two years ago, asking if I'm ready to move in.......
Please tell me (OP) what they served you as you said you go for the food?

Live consciously....


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2019 03:10PM by Irene_L.A..
Yes, I've done them, both at the presentation and some for 1 on 1 at stores. Second To None has some in my area, Person to Person has some, as well as some phone shops, and as mentioned above, so does TS.
I've done some at restaurants where they ordered some appetizers off the menu for all present to share.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
A few years ago I did a huge route of them all over PA. I first learned all about Medicare
Advantage plans while doing that, and have never looked back. Very few had any food.

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.
I went to one on my own...never did a mystery shop but I should. The presenter had it at a Mexican restaurant and told us we could order any dessert on the menu. One of the desserts was about $12 but they also had things like a churro or one scoop of Ice Cream for $4 or so. The presenter was really upset when EVERYONE at the seminar ordered the $12 dessert. Her face kept falling further as the server went around the tables and she saw that $12 add up. Kaching, kaching. There went whatever budget she had. I have never seen one advertised here with more than a dessert or sometimes just a coffee drink. Sometimes nothing but a cheap reusable shopping bag we all have too many of.
Who has food? Inquiring minds want to know.
A few years ago I did a Neptune Society one that served a full meal. (not a shop). Unfortunately I expected a full room of people but it turned out only I and my two friends were there so it was intimate and embarrassing when none of us signed up.I really wanted to find out about their services. They were more expensive than I thought it was worth to me. I still get calls from her. I hate those months and years of follow up calls and prefer not to take a "free" meal and then have to make excuses when they call. That free meal sometimes does not feel any more "free" than the ones that mystery shops offer us in exchange for work.
sandy,
Just add her number to your "blocked calls" list.

The same for FU calls from auto sales, etc., shops.

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.
The ones I have done for TS have always been in a conference room at a hotel.
The only thing they serve is coffee and water.
@walesmaven wrote:

sandy,
Just add her number to your "blocked calls" list.

The same for FU calls from auto sales, etc., shops.

Is it the salespeople that call to say "FU" when they figured out that you're the shopper that gave them a bad report?

sestrahelena
Follow Up

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.
@sestrahelena wrote:

@walesmaven wrote:

sandy,
Just add her number to your "blocked calls" list.

The same for FU calls from auto sales, etc., shops.

Is it the salespeople that call to say "FU" when they figured out that you're the shopper that gave them a bad report?

Actually in my case it was not a mystery shop, just responding due to the question about food and whether it might be worth it to do these. Since I was not on a shop I gave my real number. Had i been on a shop they would have gotten a great rating. The woman was really nice, informative and paid for my dinner. I cannot block the number since I have a home phone, not a cell and I was later passed on to the office to keep calling me from various different numbers as they each seem to have their own phones. The government agencies keep promising they will come up with a good system for robo calls and all other what I call scam calls, usually cold calls I do not want. So far the system they have has never worked for me.
In the case of Neptune, if anyone is interested in that service, it costs thousands of dollars and their burial at sea does not include a chance for the family to attend. I wished to be there. My healthy husband died unexpectedly just a few months after I attended that session and I was able to find a very nice place that charged me $450. The only difference was I had to drive to get the urn. I actually told her what I paid the next time she called and said I would go that route for myself when I needed it but she still kept me updated on their sales, etc every few months. I would not want to be bothered by those calls and emails from someone I attended as a mystery shop.
My first such shop was in 2007 for Person to Person, with a pay of $50 + $.35 a mile. The same MSC is now at $35 and no mileage. Two years later, Trendsource was at $45, with this years pay at $15. Neither company's assignments included food. As those types of shops no longer fit my work:pay ratio, I have not accepted any in eight years.
How long did/do the presentations last?


@shopperbob wrote:

My first such shop was in 2007 for Person to Person, with a pay of $50 + $.35 a mile. The same MSC is now at $35 and no mileage. Two years later, Trendsource was at $45, with this years pay at $15. Neither company's assignments included food. As those types of shops no longer fit my work:pay ratio, I have not accepted any in eight years.

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. - Peg Bracken
I did a few for Trend Source, won't do anymore. The last one the agent wanted me to wait an hour until he finished a bingo game. I would not wait an hour for this low paying shop. Trend Source refused to pay me. Also if you're late reporting your shop, they deduct $3 from your pay. If the agent doesn't show up, you might not get paid. I had that happen once with Trend Source.
Shops last about 60 to 90 minutes, they have a question/answer at the end taking 15 minutes. I get normally these days 45.00 and no longer do the Kiosk ones from Trend Source for 17.00, although they are fast and easy....if it's close and I'll be there, I will.

Live consciously....
Shop-et-al,

I am guessing the ones I completed were approximately one hour. As to DO, in that it has been eight years since my last Medicare assignment, I have no idea. I strongly recommend, though, all shoppers for this type of work avoid Trendsource, as I have found their time estimates to be grossly inaccurate in their favor.
I just checked for an Assisted Living home paying 45.00...used to be 60.00 with no driving help, 60 miles RT. Commenting on prices having gone down, seems to be happening all across the board. When the new shoppers wake up this won't be happening....
but I'll be too old to care...smiling smiley

Live consciously....
RE prices ever going up.....Irene, my first laugh of the day. thanks.

@Irene_L.A. wrote:


but I'll be too old to care...smiling smiley
Has anyone done the recent shops title BCBS Medicare? I have tried to email and call and I am not getting answers to my questions.
I remember they are not allowed to offer a meal, just a snack. I googled it and found this with a reference to secret shoppers!

[agentsurvivalguide.com]
I just checked StN and, in addition to their shop instructions (11 pages), they require that you read two other Medicare documents (50+ pages). So, even before you leave home, you are required to spend the time to read more than 60 pages. smh.
The shop I did last week was held in the banquet room of a restaurant. In addition to getting coffee/tea/soft drinks we were able to choose a small house salad or a small order (6 pieces) of toasted ravioli. I'm sure the restaurant required a minimum order to use the room, but that seemed like more than a snack to me.
@kenasch wrote:

I remember they are not allowed to offer a meal, just a snack. I googled it and found this with a reference to secret shoppers!

[agentsurvivalguide.com]

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
@KathyG wrote:

The shop I did last week was held in the banquet room of a restaurant. In addition to getting coffee/tea/soft drinks we were able to choose a small house salad or a small order (6 pieces) of toasted ravioli. I'm sure the restaurant required a minimum order to use the room, but that seemed like more than a snack to me.
@kenasch wrote:

I remember they are not allowed to offer a meal, just a snack. I googled it and found this with a reference to secret shoppers!

[agentsurvivalguide.com]

One of the reasons they are mystery shopped is to see if they are in compliance. One of the questions relates to what you received to eat. However the definition of a snack can be ambiguous.
Indeed Medicare is strict that there should not be 'enticements' to enroll clients. If a 'gift' is given there must be a clear statement that there is no obligation to enroll in the program being presented--it is a 'thank you' for guest time in attending the seminar. Snack and non-alcoholic beverage is the max they are allowed to offer to eat at the seminar.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/23/2019 03:04AM by Flash.
Service with Style has a lot of Medicare shops in Florida.

Not my circus - Not my monkeys @(*.*)@

~Polish Proverb~
Some people consider a buffet a snack.
@kenasch wrote:


However the definition of a snack can be ambiguous.

A Dad shopping the Ark-LA-Tex and beyond.
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