Dear TNS Shopper: TNS would like to take a moment to let you know about a new and exciting partnership we now have with Corporate Research International (CRI) regarding Mystery Shopping. With this new alliance, CRI is now conducting all of our Mystery Shopping work and we would like to invite you to become part of the CRI shopper team. Please visit the link below to learn more about CRI and to sign up as a Mystery Shopper within their database. [www.mysteryshops.com] Thank you for your time and we’re looking forward to providing you with many more shopping opportunities in the future. Best Regards, The TNS Mystery Shopping Team
What surprises me is, that there are now more combined, but I see less jobs being offered, at least in TX.
But I also see all the recruiting going on, and I observed, that there must be a lot of new shoppers out there, because all the jobs go very fast at the $4 rate.
I received another e-mail, that there are urgent grocery shops in my town.
I would like to know where they are. I checked the last 5 weeks every day, because I liked them, but there was nothing on the website. Today I received the e-mail, that they need to cover this job urgent in my town, but when I looked at the website, there was nothing.
I guess soon I don't have to worry anymore to sign up with different companies. It looks like, that soon there will be only a hand full left.
The last few weeks I started again signing up with new companies, but as soon I signed up they merged. The result I saw = less job offers.
I suspect that this "contraction" mirrors the contraction in the economy. With stores closing, companies going into bankruptcy and the consumer market poor to awful, it is just not reasonable to pay for evaluation of services when you are just as likely to be closing the store. I don't remember which forum I was reading where there was a comment about MSPs doing well and having more shops than ever. My sense was that somebody was blowing hot air. The quantity as well as quality of jobs in my area is the worst I have seen in all the time I have shopped.
We are sitting on a multi prong pitchfork of problems before the economy can get back into decent shape. Reduction in oil costs is just one of those prongs, but it will impact households' discretionary funds. In early July oil prices got to around $147 per barrel for crude oil--just shy of the $150 per barrel predicted by traders for July 4th. The price began falling a few weeks ago and it keeps sliding down through the "floors" that signify what trader activity is likely to be. On Friday it was at $116 and change for a barrel. In a normal, unmanipulated market, it should take about 6 weeks between the per barrel price and the market price. Unfortunately we are not in an unmanipulated market. While OPEC did increase production to help with price reduction, their calculation is that the price of oil should only be between $70-80 per barrel. They have given no indication of reducing production now that the prices are sliding and I doubt they will until oil reaches $90-95 per barrel. A bigger influence on the price has been "demand destruction" as Americans drive less and drive more efficiently. The only things that are likely to stop the slide in oil prices are folks going back to old driving habits, geopolitical events or a major hurricane threatening the Gulf of Mexico.
But don't expect much relief except that you see directly at the pump. Power companies have been granted rate hikes by the regulators because of fuel costs and they aren't likely to have those hikes taken away. Shippers have hiked their rates and are likely to be very very slow to reduce them because they "have such big losses to cover" before they could even consider doing so. Retailers won't have seen a reduction in prices for the shipping costs which constitute such a big part of product cost since they don't buy locally. Airlines have big grins on their faces at the moment because they just raised their fares and reduced their services based on fuel costs at the peak. It will be a very profitable time for them as the price of fuel goes down but their fares don't. It will take a new, low cost, airline emerging and taking away their customers to get them to reconsider their fares.
Corporate Research (or CRI or CoRI or CORI) is a reputable company that new shoppers are often referred to because they have jobs in almost every community in the country and they pay quickly. Their jobs and reports are generally simple and generally you have to really screw up and not follow the instructions for the job to be rejected. They are accustomed to dealing with newbies, they will give newbies a chance to self assign jobs and many of their jobs have training required before you can even accept them--which means you have a general idea of what you are getting into before you take the plunge.
The flip side of this is that at almost any given time there are jobs available on their board because their pay scale is probably the most joked about in the industry among shoppers. There appears to be little advantage to "getting your foot in the door" with them because what they have is what you see on the board. On the other hand, as the month moves towards the end the pay on their shops begins to rise on the unfilled jobs and sometimes gets interesting enough that more experienced and picky shoppers get interested.
Do I shop for CRI? Occasionally. Have I ever had shops rejected by them? No. Have I ever had to chase them around to get paid? Only once on a promised bonus and that was corrected quickly once I brought it to my scheduler's attention. They are probably the most uniformly straightforward company in the business and without bonuses the cheapest. At their base fee, there are shops I won't bother doing even if I am shopping the store next door.
I am so sorry that they "sold out" to the Big Machine. I guess, they must have had no other choice with this competitive market. I've always believed in supporting the Mom & Pop companies. I work for CORI, I like them and they are on hand to support your questions or reschedule when necessary. If they just paid a decent fee, they could process their jobs a lot quicker.
The fascinating part of this is that I still do shops for TNS as TNS. This thread is 3 years old, but the same shops and schedulers I had in 2008 are still the ones I have now. There are a few fewer shops, in part because the clients have fewer locations, but the clients are the same.
I had wondered about TNS and started a thread months ago trying to find out some info.....now this. I am an unhappy camper, really thought TNS grocery stores paid well and had nice report's....boo hoo, sad to see another of my favorites go. There has been no jobs here in CA for months.
> I am so sorry that they "sold out" to the Big
> Machine. I guess, they must have had no other
> choice with this competitive market. I've always
> believed in supporting the Mom & Pop companies. I
> work for CORI, I like them and they are on hand to
> support your questions or reschedule when
> necessary. If they just paid a decent fee, they
> could process their jobs a lot quicker.
TNS is not a mom and pop company - not by a longshot. They are one of the largest global market research companies in existance. I actually think they might be larger than Gallup. Their mystery shopping division is small, and that is why they are probably parterning with other companies for new work and phasing it out as a business unit (i.e. not taking on any new work, but continuing to service existing clients, especially those that they have other research work for).