Why are these technology shops sitting untaken?

There are multiple shops in my area for various service providers (T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.) for which you don't need to be a customer, and you can return the purchase within two days and get the restocking fee reimbursed. You can even purchase an item online and pick up in store. The in-store requirements are fewer than a standard cell-phone shop. There are also shops from the same MSC that require you to be a customer and to make a service change. I can understand why these go begging for shoppers. But why the first ones? These are in rarified fee air for this MSC (I mean, really high fees), but aren't being taken.

I'm so busy right now with a freelance job that I can't squeeze any shops in early this week. But if these are still on the board by week's end, I'm going to apply for one. Right now, I could make more hourly doing these than the job I'm working on, but I'm committed to it and have a deadline.... That's an extremely unusual situation--being able to make more on a mystery shop than on a freelance job! Unless there's something "off" with these shops that others have discovered. If anybody has done one, are these more complex than presented?

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.

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You need to sign up for a service during the shop. You can return the phone and cancel the service after the shop if you want, but sounds like a PITA if you don't want or need a new service.
I'll wait until they have large bonuses. I used to do these for over $100 a piece. Canceling is not that big of a deal but it does require a return visit.
There's one in my area that's $100!

According to the shop summary, you buy a "serviceable product" but don't activate it. Does this mean you buy the product and sign up for the service but don't activate the service when you're in-store? I've never done one, so don't know how these work.

I guess if you have to travel a distance, they're not worth doing at base fee or a little higher. I have about 10 locations within 5 miles of me, so a return visit isn't a problem. I wonder if the (presumably) pushy salespeople put people off? Or people have run into the situation where the salesperson refuses to make the sale unless you activate at the time.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
I did two of these shops, for two different carriers. One was at an authorized dealer. The other was at a corporate store. For the first one, the dealer did not cancel my service with the carrier. I spent well over 20 ADDITIONAL HOURS trying to get everything cleared up, including more than one trip back to the dealer. It was a nightmare and extremely stressful.

For the second shop, at the CORPORATE store, that store somehow did not get the cancellation right, either, even though I returned the day after the shop to return the UNUSED phone and canceled services. I spent months trying to talk to someone on the phone but no one ever answered. I was on hold for at least 30 minutes on each call attempt. After months of sending me bills, the carrier sent my account to collections. I was glad for that because I was able to reach a live person at the collections agency relatively quickly and resolved the issue once and for all.

I will not do one of these shops ever again.
What BusyBee said. I expect it to be a humongous hassle so, for me, it's 10 foot pole. I hate dealing with service providers. They seem to go to extremes to suck money out of customers and make it as painful as possible.

sestrahelena
@BusyBeeBuzzBuzzBuzz wrote:

I did two of these shops, for two different carriers. One was at an authorized dealer. The other was at a corporate store. For the first one, the dealer did not cancel my service with the carrier. I spent well over 20 ADDITIONAL HOURS trying to get everything cleared up, including more than one trip back to the dealer. It was a nightmare and extremely stressful.

For the second shop, at the CORPORATE store, that store somehow did not get the cancellation right, either, even though I returned the day after the shop to return the UNUSED phone and canceled services. I spent months trying to talk to someone on the phone but no one ever answered. I was on hold for at least 30 minutes on each call attempt. After months of sending me bills, the carrier sent my account to collections. I was glad for that because I was able to reach a live person at the collections agency relatively quickly and resolved the issue once and for all.

I will not do one of these shops ever again.

OMG. What a nightmare; I can see why these are 10-ft. pole jobs. I may contact the scheduler, for whom I've done shops before, and find out if this is a continuing problem and what, if anything, the MSC will do to help. I'll bet that wasn't the first time the collections agency had run across this.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Also agreeing with what BusyBee said. Returning the product the next day was a hassle, I'm still being charged a monthly service fee, and every phone call/email trail/online chat eats up my time. I will not do another one of these shops.
I did one about 2 years ago that was similar. I chose to order DirectTV from a franchise. Canceling the installation visit and the service was difficult. I think they intentionally make it difficult to cancel anything.

Also, anytime I have gotten a new phone, the store (corporate or otherwise) wants to activate the phone for you. Some insist that it is required in order to get the deal they signed you up for. If nothing else, it would be an odd request to say that you didn't want them to activate it or to even open the box for you to see your new phone.

I can't figure out what service I would add at Verizon. Also, the Corporate stores in this area still do not allow customers into the store without an appointment and a good reason.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I'm thinking of doing one of these JUST BECAUSE I DO NEED A PHONE AND NEW SERVICE! So in my case, the $100 fee would be great if I could find a phone and service that I wanted. So I've written to the scheduler and asked them to send me the actual instructions so I can know for sure all that is involved. I want to make sure the REPORT isn't full of repeating questions. So we'll see.
@guysmom wrote:

I'm thinking of doing one of these JUST BECAUSE I DO NEED A PHONE AND NEW SERVICE! So in my case, the $100 fee would be great if I could find a phone and service that I wanted. So I've written to the scheduler and asked them to send me the actual instructions so I can know for sure all that is involved. I want to make sure the REPORT isn't full of repeating questions. So we'll see.

Guysmom, yours is one of the few circumstances where it would be worthwhile doing this shop. Try to get a company store if possible, just in case something does need to be returned. With the other stores, if something strange happens you can wind up in an eternal loop of weirdness. At least at company stores they sometimes feel the need to do better to keep their brand image up. And use a credit card instead of a debit card, for greater protection.
@BusyBeeBuzzBuzzBuzz wrote:

I did two of these shops, for two different carriers. One was at an authorized dealer. The other was at a corporate store. For the first one, the dealer did not cancel my service with the carrier. I spent well over 20 ADDITIONAL HOURS trying to get everything cleared up, including more than one trip back to the dealer. It was a nightmare and extremely stressful.

For the second shop, at the CORPORATE store, that store somehow did not get the cancellation right, either, even though I returned the day after the shop to return the UNUSED phone and canceled services. I spent months trying to talk to someone on the phone but no one ever answered. I was on hold for at least 30 minutes on each call attempt. After months of sending me bills, the carrier sent my account to collections. I was glad for that because I was able to reach a live person at the collections agency relatively quickly and resolved the issue once and for all.

I will not do one of these shops ever again.

I had the same experiences with two different providers. One it took three visits to the store to get the cancellation right and they still continued to bll me.

The second one went to collections even after I talked to someone who said they would credit the charges since I had returned the phone without using it. I still haven't resolved this problem.
Mine was unique. For $150, I figured I could risk it, especially since the requirement is you absolutely NOT activate the device.

Drove to the address. No store. A residence, in a residential neighborhood. Yes, I went to the correct address.

Furthermore, there was no store in that town listed on the providers' "Find my store" website; no phone listing for the business. No record of it existing whatsoever.

I took a photo of the house and sent it to the scheduler, with an explanatory e-mail that I couldn't call, because there's no phone number, so unable to verify business hours, etc.

We'll see what happens.

The non-existent store is 100 miles from my home.

smiling smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/19/2021 01:35PM by ceasesmith.
Somehow instinctively I just knew to avoid these shops - something about them just did not feel right if that makes any sense?
I feel for you. Good luck in getting everything resolved. This must be extremely stressful.

@wrosie wrote:

I had the same experiences with two different providers. One it took three visits to the store to get the cancellation right and they still continued to bll me.

The second one went to collections even after I talked to someone who said they would credit the charges since I had returned the phone without using it. I still haven't resolved this problem.
The reason they are sitting and no one is taking them, is because undoing a sale is not as simple as it sounds. I am STILL dealing with one of the companies a full year later, they sent my account to collections for a phone that I returned to the store at the same time I cancelled my service.

I know now that what I should have done is do the upgrade shop for the wireless company that I currently use to get my tablet. But that bird has flown now too, I bought the tablet without it being a shop.
I only did one of these over a year ago and it was for a phone upgrade that I wanted and kept. It was a nice reimbursement for the phone and I had no hassle returning or canceling anything because I kept it. I would not do one where I had to purchase and cancel.

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The more I learn about people...the more I like my dog..

Mark Twain
Thank you OP for this question and all of you for your horror stories. With these high paying shops just sitting on the boards I have been tempted to take one. But after reading this thread WOW. I have enough hassles in my non mystery shop life with companies I have to deal with that have no phone numbers to call for help or to resolve issues with.
I also had a need. I selected a phone shop that paid $50. All went well, until I was transferred to the verification dept., where a male attempted to jack my rate by $25. I recommended he play the recording and finally received my original rate. When, though, the E-mail confirmation arrived, it had been raised almost $41. I immediately called the cancellation dept., threatened to file a complaint with the utilities commission, the VA and AARP. The last two were, of course, a bluff. The situation was completely resolved to my satisfaction, but the time and aggravation were far too great for a $50 fee.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2021 02:51PM by shopperbob.
The scheduler himself even discouraged me from doing these for certain companies. He basically flat out said they would make it hard to cancel.
Some of these are now at $110, but given the comments here, still not worth it!

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Seems like the goal is obtain extra sales one way or the other. Giving $100 to get someone to pay $500+ for a product, they win in the long run either way it goes. This practice is so unethical and messing with people credit.
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