Service Sleuths aka Howard Services

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Because they can?

Most of the jobs I see from them require substantial reimbursements. I suspect that the client needs to accept the jobs before sending Sleuth a check, which then I'm sure they wait to have clear before paying shoppers. It is a PITA and why there are only a limited number of jobs that I like that I am willing to do for them. Certainly other companies with subtantial reimbursements are quicker in getting the payments to shoppers, though not as fast as the companies that pay little and have small reimbursements.
Does anyone know how long it typically takes for Service Sleuth to approve or disapprove a pending shop assignment? I applied for a shop for this company yesterday since it was at a location very close to home, however today it's still showing at pending, yet it's due at the end of next week. Has anyone shopped for Service Sleuth? If so, please share your experiences with them.
I have shopped for them and their behavior on shop assignments was about standard for requested shops. Not specific to Service Sleuth, my sense is that the job is assigned to a shopper and a fair number of other folks are left in "pending" to use as backups in case the assigned shopper flakes or fails to perform. I note on my job sheet what jobs I put in a request for and if I have not heard by a reasonable time before the shop, I cancel my request. Similarly if I find other jobs I will take them and cancel my request because when I request a shop it is to DO it--not to be a BACKUP.

Service Sleuth has been okay to work with. They have screwed up a couple of times but mostly been cooperative in getting things straightened out. When I have reported to them 'odd' or 'unsavory' issues from the shop site, my sense is that the information HAS been transmitted along to the client.

My only real issue with Service Sleuth is the extremely long pay cycle. They are making 'timely payments' at 3 months! (From their website "Payments are submitted to PayPal approximately 60 days after the last day of the month in which the shop was completed. Please note that it then takes PayPal up to 5 business days to process this transaction and clear the money for disbursement."winking smiley This makes it very unattractive to lay out cash on their behalf for reimbursement--though I have never NOT been reimbursed.

For those who are sensitive about such things, most of their editors love my reports and 10/10s are standard. They do have a couple of editors who seem incapable of awarding more than 8/10 and the comment "Some edits were made to clarify some of the comments." is a little bizarre when they neither contacted you for clarification nor have given you any notion of the nature of the problem.
Yeah, I was very disappointed that they assigned this assignment to someone else. It seems that they tend to schedule shoppers with more experience first, before assigning the same shops to someone new. This doesn't make sense because it doesn't give the new shoppers a chance to even gain experience. It really should be first come first serve. It's not like the particular shop I signed up for required much skill and anyone could've done it. So far I'm not happy with this company for simply not being fair. I'll give them 6 months and if this crap continues, then I'll just deactivate my account with them. It seems Service Sleuth needs to realize that they need to operate differently in order to keep their new shoppers.
Ah, but when you become an experienced shopper and have busted your buns to do good work for a company in a timely and accurate manner you are equally resentful when you don't get jobs because they are assigned to "newbies". smiling smiley It is a reality that having experience with a particular company as a reliable shopper gets you more opportunities to shop for them. That is part of what their whole rating system is about. Of course companies give shops to shoppers new to them, otherwise none of us would ever get to shop for them. But the first shopper to the board is not necessarily the most qualified to do the job. And if you were trying to get a job done and you had 20 people requesting it, 10 of whom you have never worked with, 3 of whom have turned in poor or late work previously and 7 of whom have turned in adequate to excellent work for your company before, which one(s) would you choose? Remember that if the person you select turns out to be unreliable or turns in an unacceptable report, you not only will have to find someone else to do the job but also may have to bonus the job to get it done on time. That makes more work for you and also is not going to make your company happy if you have to bonus to get it done.

There's not a lot of skill involved, yet many shoppers still botch it up. Experience and reliability are definitely a plus with most companies. There are a few who don't value those things, and have a constant turnover of new shoppers. There was one I quit, not Service Sleuths, because they DIDN'T value my experience after about 60 shops.
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