Service Sleuth

Hi I'm new to the board but not new to Mystery Shopping. What is your take on this particular MSC? I'm thinking of taking a high end shop they have listed in my area but wanted to get some idea of how they work with their shoppers first. It's a demanding job and I would be risking a lot of time, effort and money in doing it. Thanks.

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Rogue_Poet Wrote:
> Hi I'm new to the board but not new to Mystery
> Shopping. What is your take on this particular
> MSC? I'm thinking of taking a high end shop they
> have listed in my area but wanted to get some idea
> of how they work with their shoppers first. It's a
> demanding job and I would be risking a lot of
> time, effort and money in doing it. Thanks.

They are very easy to work with and the schedulers are usually from KSS/Kern.

However, having said that, payment is never quick-they make that super clear on the front end. I try to only shop for them towards the end of the month, knowing that even so, it will be 2 months plus another 10-14 days before I see a payment. If you shop at the first of the month, it will be over 90 days before you see money.

If this is a problem for you with a large reimbursible at stake, do not shop for them.
Yes, my reaction as well is that they are easy to work with though I don't ever plan on seeing my pay or reimbursement before 3 months have elapsed. To some extent there is difference in pickiness due to clients. I used to do oil changes for them that seemed to ask for more and more no matter how much you wrote. They were very specific about where names were named and where 'the associate' was what was wanted (this due, I suppose, to how the report was shared with the location). The current client I have never been asked for more information and there are no things to remember when you do the write up such as including or omitting names.

I don't remember ever hearing anyone complain that a Service Sleuth shop was rejected. Their main obstacle is how much you have out in limbo for 3 months.
I work for them, mostly reimbursements, and yes, they are sloooow in paying, with a good 3 months being the norm, however, they do pay. I like them except for the slow reimbursements and the reports are long, but duable. Depends if you want to do the job and wait it out. I actually stopped their oil changes, as I found another MSC with a higher fee and a quicker payout. I do think they should think about direct deposit, 3 months is just too long. I've never had a report denied, they are resonable. I think your speaking of the CAsino.

Live consciously....
My first shop for them was a sandwich place. I got an 8, and they wanted more info. I gave it to them and received a nice thank you. After that, I realized what they were expecting, and take that into account when I decide if the shop is worth it. I receive shop availability from both them and outside schedulers, though I always accept or apply on the SS site. Yes, they are very slow payers.
Yes every MSC wants their narratives written a little differently. Some want times and names in it some want no times and on the use of associate ect so the place being shopped can't use video to find you. It's not always clear how they want it written, which is a pain. I might even be how each client wants it written. I think Service Sleuth has clients that like it one of those ways or the other. I hope that SS has how they want the narrative written in the instructions provided.
When there is an 'odd' request that is specific, I have found SS does a pretty good job of mentioning it in their instructions AND on the report form itself. One company, I think it is Service Check, even puts a sample narrative on the report form just above the narrative box so you know how they want it and in what level of detail. I find that kind of reminder very helpful even when it is a shop I regularly do but on a 3 or 6 month rotation.
Yes I like when the MSC has sample narratives and very detailed instructions. There are times when the MSC have rather simple instructions but the report form has more detailed questions that need to be followed up on by contacting a scheduler. I wish the instructions would be more detailed and include all of the little things on the report.
That is why it is very important to actually read through the report before you do the shop. I have frequently found things I was to report on in the report that somehow never made it into the instructions.

I find myself wondering from time to time why instructions get so darned detailed about the obvious and miss items from the report. Or get very detailed and once you get to the report, the items they went on and on about are not in the report. I recently did one that stated several times that if you failed to get names you would not be paid. The report only asked for descriptions. I gave the names and descriptions in the description box but almost expected a scolding email not to put the names there. There simply was nothing on the survey that asked for the name.
I finished my report and was supposed to photo the credit card brochures, but there weren't any....the upload said, if no brochures, upload a pic of the exterior of the store, no where did it say that. The scheduler said, that is not needed, but report wouldn't submit without something, so, big problem, as I had nothing to upload......auugh.

sorry, this MSC report was not for SS...don't want to misrepresent them.

Live consciously....

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/25/2011 03:19PM by Irene_L.A..
I find that it is a good company to work for. Payments are a little on the slow side, but it probably goes back to "when the msc gets paid, shopper gets paid."
I kinda doubt that, Jerry. Even when times were good they had a long pay cycle. I feel sure their clients are being slow to pay yet I am not seeing SS be even slower in paying.

Payment cycles are peculiar things. Shoppers want/need to know when to expect to see payment and the less-well-capitalized companies obviously need to be paid before they can pay their own bills. We see ugly examples of that from time to time.

By law (at least in my area), employees must be paid on schedule. Suppliers are where companies can juggle with who gets paid when. I used to work with a 2 person company with the other person being a salesman. There were times when I went to the mailbox, logged in the checks, ran the deposit to the bank and then started writing checks to pay vendors against the money just received. You kept your fingers crossed that nothing deposited bounced. Cash flow was always feast or famine and during famine a whole lot of creativity was required as the business was drastically undercapitalized. My point is that shoppers are 'suppliers' and are entitled to no more protection or priority than any other vendors.

I find it very reasonable when a company states that they will pay within 90 days and are in a position to pay in 63, though if they decide to wait until 90 days, that is not a sign of insolvency. There are of course issues when you decide that just because they paid in 63, 61, 58 and 70 over the past 4 rounds of shops they must now pay in less than 90 days. 90 is what you contracted for and anything sooner is a bonus. And indeed if I were starting an MSP I would probably contract for 90 days even if I was well capitalized just to make sure that delays in cash flow from clients did not leave me strapped. I would then turn around and contract with clients on a net 30 or net 60 days to try to keep the checkbook fat for emergencies.

As we have watched chains go into bankruptcy that were shopped up to the bitter end--Bennigan's, Circuit City, etc.--I wonder just how badly the MSPs shopping them got hurt.
I've done some for Service Sleuth as they are assigned by Kern's\. The payment schudule for Service Sleuth is 60 to 90 days. I once had to remind them they owed me tokk 2 dfays\, but got my money.
Service Sleuth is driving me nuts with their business card requirements.

Apparently, my scanner is not good enough for them. They say there is a white band at the top and bottom of the file and have requested that I send in pdf files instead. They even provided the link to the program that will transform the files.

So, yesterday, I did 2 rush assignments, highly bonused. This morning, there's a email saying that I have until 9am to resend one of the cards as "it appears to have been photoshopped". Hmm, I don't have photoshop. I scanned the card then used the program they provided. I've done many of these shops and this particular editor always has a problem with my cards. Strange that the other shop I did, done the exact same way but reviewed by a different editor, got a 10, no questions asked.

What more do they want from me regarding these cards? I've rescanned it, reformatted it again into pdf and emailed it to her. Apart from mailing the card to her, I don't see what else I can do to satisfy her.

What ticks me off is that I work with many, many companies and scan hundreds of cards every month yet this is the only company that has issues with my scans. I've now wasted 20 minutes trying to get the card to scan differently - it didn't. Same darn scan as yesterday. Crossing my fingers that it gets accepted.
If the other editor is not having an issue maybe it's the way this editor is opening them or the program he/she is using. It would tick me off too, specifically being given such a short freaking window to resubmit.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Yay, it got accepted - with a 10! Still don't understand what the deal is but....all is well. Wish I could say that I learned something from the experience but I really didn't lol.
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