Service Metrics Group?

Does anyone know anything about this company? Noticed that a former employee of Freeman is an "owner and partner" there.

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Not picking on you, really, but could posters who start threads asking if anyone has heard of a certain MSC please include a link or something, so different readers won't have to research the MSC? That will save time and effort and, if it is a good MSC, be helpful to other shoppers.

Thanks. =)
The link is a good idea. As far as a former Freeman employee being a principle, it is hard to say anything positive or negative. It's certainly not the first time an employee of one company has formed their own. What would make it questionable in my mind would be timing. If the formation of the new MSC coincided with Freeman's demise, it would certainly be enough to raise eyebrows and warrant caution and further investigation. That is still no proof of anyone being in cahoots and could simply be someone who saw the writing on the wall and felt it was time to move on.

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.
Service Metrics is simply the new name for Shop N Check. They are a great company to work for with a wide variety of assignments and fair pay. Pay is always punctual and the schedulers are friendly and accommodating. I don't know anything about Freeman but I've worked for SNC (now Service Metrics) for over 6 years without any problems.

Here's a link:

Here is a link to the company. Doesn't appear to be the same one as the other link posted.


The link doesn't really tell much.
Sorry, my bad. It didn't occur to me that 2 completely different companies would have such similar names.

I clicked on the link you provided and it did not inspire confidence. The site is under construction. I've never heard of this company.
I did some digging around, and I do believe that some of the same people are behind Service Metrics Group. They have a Facebook page with links to some of the same clients they had under the Freeman name. We should keep an eye on this, and hold their feet to the fire.
Hello all! While we do visit from time to time we haven't established much of a presence here as we currently a very niche provider for mystery shopping types of services. In other words, we don't currently conduct "mass" type mystery shops using database mystery shoppers, but rather we employ a team of really great folks to carry out our assignments. With that said, you probably won't be hearing from us a whole lot around here unless we start to get more involved in those kinds of shops. We're a great company to work for and we know our team members would back us up on that! We are also a provider of online reputation management - so in the interest of practicing what we preach, we'd like this post to set a few things straight.

btemps: That's correct.

LisaSTL: Well put. Like most companies, the entrepreneurial spirit started Service Metrics Group too. This is surely something a community of independent and self-employed mystery shoppers understands. Right? winking smiley We can't speak to the status or "demise" of their previous company and that question would best be directed toward said company. Our company is not part of any kind of partnership, or a subsidiary of any other mystery shopping company whatsoever. Furthermore, our ownership does not own any other mystery shopping or related types of companies.

MtlShopper: Again, we are not part of any other company that goes by or has ever gone by a different name. We're happy to hear you've had a positive experience with that company, but that isn't us. I don't believe you are currently an employee of our company. And yes, we're not thrilled about the status of our website either, but the technology folks have been hard at work. The new one looks great and will be launching soon!

JacobJ: Ouch! Please don't burn us... yet. smiling smiley But yes. There's a couple of clients out there that have simply enjoyed working with members of our team that have had previous lives at NUMEROUS other companies. The majority of our customers, however, are those that have been sourced through our company's sales efforts.

While we think this is a great forum for people in the world of mystery shopping to participate in and learn a great deal from (we know we have!), we want to make sure the information - at least that is about us - is accurate. Hope this helps to clarify. We're happy to answer questions. Feel free to contact via this website, phone, or email.

Happy shopping!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2012 01:28AM by servicemetricsgroup.
Service Metrics Group,

I am sure you understand that we are very skeptical of any company that was started by former employees of the Freeman Group. After all, the Freeman Group was stealing from mystery shoppers for over 2 years. Now, it appears the same people have started a new business with the same clients. All while the old business owes many people a lot of money. While the clients of Freeman Group may have enjoyed working with the team, the mystery shoppers who were conned certainly did not.

Are you able say who has ownership in Service Metrics Group?

If you want to protect your reputation, this is something that needs to be cleared up.
Notice how servicemetricgroup ignored Jacob's question. That should tell you everything you need to know.
JacobJ - We understand. However, the folks that own Service Metrics Group were two employees of FreemanGroup, not owners of it: Robb Scott and Will Tarrant.

jrwb6e - I'm sorry if you percieved that we were ignoring the question. Unfortunately we don't have the resources to monitor a message board all of the time. Most of our time is spent coordinating, scheduling, and delivering work. If there's something you need a more immediate response to, please feel free to call or email us directly.

Thank you.
Service Metrics Group,

I think the community here deserves to know how your company ended up with Freeman Group's profitable clients. Especially considering the timing. After all, this happened at the same time that Freeman Group appears to have gone out of business.

1. Did Will Tarrant and Robb Scott have explicit permission from Freeman Group to take these clients and form a new company?

2. How long did Will Tarrant and Robb Scott work for Freeman Group. What can they tell us about their role at that company before they left it?

The timing of this leads to a lot of questions. At the same time that Freeman Group goes belly up, we find two of the same people doing the same business with the same clients. But under a different name, this time with the owners being the employees who were executives at the previous company.

At the very least, Will Tarrant and Robb Scott should explain under what circumstances they left the Freeman Group, and what state they left it in.
We first want to start off by saying that our main purpose here is to engage in the general dialogue of the mystery shopping world, not defend our owners – after all, it is with their permission and direction that we participate here at all. With that said, we’re happy to answer your questions before we move on.

Answers to JacobJ’s questions are below:

1. Of course not. Businesses are started with the intention of succeeding at a particular line of work, not by getting permission from someone. To say that clients were “taken” is incorrect. As nice as that sounds, we feel compelled to inform you that mystery shopping companies go through detailed (and sometimes quite lengthy) proposal and bid processes to earn accounts. Again, we currently fill a very specific niche and are often forced to decline business that does not fit within our company's current objectives.

2. Robb and Will were at the company for a combined total of six years working in technology and sales/marketing, respectively.

Both gentlemen left on their own terms after finding themselves in a moral dilemma, as well as a similar financial situation as many of the mystery shoppers.

Please keep in mind that we have not asked anyone here to accept assignments for us and are fully staffed when it comes to mystery shoppers. While mass mystery shopping does not fit in our current business model or align itself with our existing clientele, if you are ever asked to perform a shop with our company – as always – it is your decision to accept or decline it.

Thanks, everyone.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2012 11:44PM by servicemetricsgroup.
Service Metrics Group,

I'm putting together the story of what happened. It appears that both Rob Scott and Will Tarrant were executives at the Freeman Group. Additionally, they both worked at the Freeman Group during the entire period that shoppers were not paid for their work, a period of over 2 years.

It seems that they left the Freeman Group when it affected their financial situation. They did not leave the Freeman Group when other people were not getting paid; only when their own financial situation was threatened did they leave.

Because Robb Scott and Will Tarrant were executives at the Freeman Group when the Freeman Group was not paying shoppers, I believe they have a lot to explain. They need to defend the fact that they appear to have had leading roles at the Freeman Group when they were not paying mystery shoppers. They should take responsibility for their roles in what happened.

Additionally, Robb Scott and Will Tarrant are now profiting from some of the same clients they had at the Freeman Group. They appear to have left the Freeman Group, but they continue to profit from the same clients, clients who stayed with them because, "simply enjoyed working with members of our team," as was said in a previous post.

Quite a lot of people are owed money. Those people seem to have very little recourse. The owners and executives who created the situation are not being held responsible, nor are they taking responsibility. But they are still profiting from business relationships they developed at the Freeman Group.

Not paying shoppers for 2 years seems like a moral dilemma. One that both Robb Scott and Will Tarrant seem to have avoided until their own pocket-books were threatened.
And, if the new company is "fully staffed" with shoppers, it would appear that they were able to take the old shopper list with them.

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 agree - be forewarned. Anybody associated with the Freeman Group needs to be exposed for not being clear with shoppers. We have all lost money, that we can ill afford. Service Metrics Group is just a shell for the Freeman Group.
All: Please see below directly from our owners...

This was getting a bit personal, and not a situation we wanted to put someone else in, so allow us to respond below.

JacobJ - Based on your messages, it appears that nothing we can say will satisfy you, but our goal here is not to argue. It's not really our intention of being here, nor is it who we are as a company (particularly regarding implied attacks on our character). Suggesting that we "seem to have avoided" something "until our own pocket-books were threatened" is untrue and unfounded. In actuality, we remained with the company long after our "pocket-books" were affected in the hopes of them being able to pull through and pay their debts - not only to mystery shoppers but their own employees. With money being a necessity to survive, we ultimately had to depart from the company and look after ourselves. Again, assuming only the worst about us is your right, but doesn't really help the shoppers that are owed money for that matter. While we sincerely hope to participate here in the future, it seems as though this may not be the most opportune time. We have been as transparent as possible, and the details of our company’s ownership have not only been disclosed, but are also public information, in the event you wish to verify our statements.

walesmaven - We are not "fully staffed" with mystery shoppers, but rather our team of auditors who conduct our inspections. In no way would we, or any other company, be entitled to a "shopper list" from another organization. We hope this helps to clarify the "shopper list" you were writing about.

nmary - We have been as clear as possible and encourage you to read the thread from the beginning. If by "shell" you mean a subsidiary or a DBA of some kind, please refer to our November 9th posting.

For those of you that have reached out to us directly, thank you for your overwhelming support and open communication. For those of you whose trust we have not gained, we are sincerely sorry that you feel that way. If ever given the opportunity to work with us in the future, you would certainly have the option to not engage with us.

We appreciate the questions and have been happy to address them, both here and privately. At this time, however, it doesn't behoove us to further participate in this particular discussion as it stands. For those that have expressed interest in receiving shop notifications... again, we do not currently conduct those types of shops, although we may at a future date.

Thank you all,

Robb & Will
We all look forward to post from shoppers who have taken work from you and who have been paid in a timely manner.

What is your payment schedule at this time, please?

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.
Interested to know what this unique and mysterious niche is, although they of course are in no way obligated to divulge.
Just my two cents - I think we have to recognize that being an employee of an unscrupulous employer is not the same as being the owner of said company. And unless it is proven that Will Tarrant and Robb Scott were personal investors in Freeman Group - than I think the blame is being unfairly cast.

Quite honestly – I know a LOT of people that at one point in their life were employed at Freeman. Sure, many of them were there years ago, well before any of the ‘problems’ started to surface. But if I distrusted anyone that ever worked for Freeman – then I would distrust a whole of people I currently shop for.

Bill Freeman and Freeman Group was a HUGE part of hospitality mystery shopping for a long time. Yes, Bill Freeman and the company took advantage of many people (but this included their own employees and auditors – not just ICs). Yes, shoppers have every right to demand answers – but let ask them of the right people.
I know that nobody knows me from Adam, so have no reason to trust what I am about to say. I was one of the many shoppers who put their trust in Freeman Group, and performed several of their hotel shops, believing that I would be paid in a timely manner. I fell into the exact same trap as everyone else. And like many out there, I began writing the company, asking why I wasn't being paid. Also like many of you, I would receive a payment here and a payment there, sometimes several months after successfully completing my assignment. One day, when Freeman still owed me for three shops, I received a personal email from Bill Freeman. No, it was not the form letter that he sent to everyone, that only appeared to be personalized. It was actually written to me, asking me to verify my mailing address so that my check could be mailed out that same day. I responded back, asking if I could come the next day and pick my check up in person. Bill Freeman wrote back, saying yes and asking what time because he wanted to be sure that he was there when I arrived. I met with Bill the following day. My visit that day was one of relief, because I was finally able to close my books on that chapter. But it was also a real eye opener for me. I had no idea what this Bill Freeman was going to look like or what he was going to say when we finally met. I can tell you this, in all honesty, I left there that morning feeling like I had just met a once very powerful and successful individual who had been beaten down over the past couple of years. Bill took the time to give me an explanation of how things had gone so terribly wrong with his company. I remember telling him, "Bill, if you would have just reached out to your shoppers back then and opened up to them the way you just did to me now, I have a feeling that things could have turned out so much differently." He agreed. But of course, hind sight is 20-20 as they say.

While at the Freeman Group offices, Bill took and introduced me to a couple of his remaining skeleton staff. One of those individuals was Will Tarrant. It seems that these folks knew my name from the many emails I had sent over the course of several months. I actually sat down and chatted with Will. He told me at that time (about three months ago), that he, Robb, Bill and a couple of others had been working for several months without compensation. They were focused on making sure that any hourly workers got paid. And they (referring to Bill Freeman) were trying everything they could to get the shoppers paid. At the time, Freeman had lost all of their hotel, casino and restaurant contracts, but still had a few shops that needed to be completed under the old contract. That is why we all saw job postings on the website well into the period of knowing that shoppers were not getting paid. Why did Will, Robb and others remain working for a company that was not paying them? My guess is that they had a lot of hope and still some faith that things could turn around. When I met these guys, the decision had already been made, that things had failed and would not be turning around. Will told me about the new company that he and Robb were forming. He made it clear, that even though they held nothing against Bill Freeman, he was not going to be associated with their new venture in any way. Their hope was to begin a fresh, new, innovative, responsible mystery shopping company. And their promise was to take care of their shoppers, first and foremost.

No, I am not one of their elite group of auditors. I have no reason to post here, other than to say that I believe these guys should be given the benefit of the doubt, until they prove otherwise. They don’t seem to be recruiting shoppers. They are just asking that they not be given a bad rap simply because they were once affiliated with a company that went sour.

Jacob, you have been great on these boards in so many regards. You were a powerful force when it came to Freeman Group and keeping shoppers informed. I’m just not sure that I agree with you when you fault Will and Robb the way you are. As much as we would like to hold someone accountable for all of the unfortunate shoppers who never got paid by Freeman Group, I do not think it was Will or Robb’s responsibility to compensate anybody. And if they were fortunate enough to sign Freeman’s old clients, I still do not agree that, that should reflect negatively on Will and Robb. Granted, I am one of the luckier ones who no longer has anything owed to me. Had I never visited the Freeman Group headquarters, met Bill, Will and others, I would likely have very different and bitter feelings toward Service Metrics Group and anyone involved with them. I don’t usually post on these boards. But I felt that my two cents might help to shed some light on a subject that people aren’t real sure what to think about.

Personally, if I have the opportunity to work with Service Metrics Group, I would handle it the way I do anytime I start out with any mystery shopping company. I certainly learned this lesson after Freeman Group. I would start out slowly, doing just one or two shops/audits. I would then wait to see if I was paid as promised. Then I’d schedule one or two more, and do the same. If the company did right by me, I would do likewise by them. This company may offer some great opportunities for past Freeman Group shoppers. It would be a shame to deprive those shoppers of that possibility just because the founders of this new company happened to work for Freeman Group during a very troubling time in that company’s history.

Just a side note...I also pasted this post on another board (Freeman Group Update).
Thank you for sharing your viewpoint. I like to see different viewpoints when considering the viability and reputation of a new-to-me MSC. I noticed you have been a member of the forum for a year and the only posts you have made concerned Freeman. Last June2012 you posted to a Freeman thread and again in July 2012. The same day as your July post, you deleted both your Freeman posts. It makes me curious whether you were providing information about Freeman's nonpayment in those posts. One of the posts, of course, was deleted the same day you posted, but the other stayed posted for 2 weeks and was deleted at the same time as the second post. Was that information posted and deleted before or after your visit with the Freeman Group? Again, thanks for sharing your experience with us.
So what was the "explanation of how things had gone so terribly wrong" at Freeman?

To my simple mind the business model of a mystery shopper provider seems pretty easy: Sign huge contracts with the target companies, pay the shopper peanuts 90 days later, make money on the float, and then pocket the huge difference. It seems like the only hard part is signing and keeping the clients.
..I'z still skeptical about this new MSC.

I'd love to hear from someone who is currently one of their shoppers, since they've stated that they are "fully staffed when it comes to mystery shoppers." Anyone?
While I agree that Will and Rob should not be judged solely on their past association with Freeman, it does speak poorly toward their judgement in a way that leaving a healthy company to branch out on your own does not. Then again, if I were not to work for anyone ever associated with a now defunct MSC that stiffed shoppers in the end, I would not have access to some of my favorite shops.

A large MSC employs numerous people and it does seem that the employees of defunct MSCs often show up again to continue working elsewhere in the industry, and usually successfully from what I've seen. The problem with relationships like this one that are so closely related, and this industry is extremely secretive, it leaves a lot of unanswered questions.

How does a once successful MSC get so far in the financial hole that something like this happens, while the employees were seemingly unaware of the impending financial collapse until the very end? If this new company is modeled after Freeman's business model in any way, I would say it should be looked at carefully.

There is much speculation as to the financial disaster that came to Bill Freeman, but few facts actually offered about it. I would be curious to hear an explanation of why company A can fall into financial arrears while operating a MSC, and then company B can be successful with the same clients.

Ultimately, someone will take the shops for any of these companies, with or without warning from us here. Years ago I was warning shoppers not to work for Freeman and look at how that went. Same for the other companies before them that folded. Shoppers were warned in each case and made the decision to take a chance. As business owners, we all shop at our own risk.
One can always find the true owner(s) of a company by following the money. Unfortunately, there's no way for forum members to 'follow the money'. Could Bill Freeman be a 'straw owner'? Maybe, maybe not. A copy of the building lease is usually an eye opener, too, as is the corporate documents. Ah well, time will tell.
I don't know if every state makes the information available online. Try the Secretary of State's website for information.

Update: I tried to search the SOS for Texas and the website is a cluster. It appears business information is not available unless you want to pay. The buck will probably be worth it for someone who is owed money, but not for me. My state's SOS website is extremely user friendly and all the information is free.

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.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/19/2012 04:23PM by LisaSTL.
I think these two principals/owners knew what was going on at Freeman - it's not like it's a large group of employees over there.

This post was from the FREEMAN update discussion. Interesting idea ... which if you are owed some money might send a message to these type of mystery shopping companies that entice us to spend our own money and never intend to pay us back.

"Folks I have also requested that the Postal Inspector in the Dallas area start a criminal investigation into the principles at Freeman Group. Norm and Bill committed wire and Internet fraud. As such, they can be prosecuted for felonies, can go to jail, and lose this ability to be Corporate officers in any other company. I also made a call the US Attorney's office in Dallas to request they investigate and prosecute these corporate officers. These requests and forms can be found on line and are easy to file. Everyone who was defrauded by these folks should enter their data to these two offices. When these criminals are prosecuted all their belongings can be taken, sold and the funds be distributed to those who were victims of these folks. I hope everyone helps to put these people behind bars."

.... Mike
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