Service Sleuth

Anybody got paid in time with Service Sleuth?

First of all, for 3 shops, I spent over $100 in October. It is now almost Jan. 1, 2013, and I have only gotten 2 of 3 shops paid. One of the 2 is even $5 short. The 3rd shop, done in Oct. 20, is still unpaid.

EDITED FOR ICA VIOLATION

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My two October shops done prior to the 10th were paid December 26. If you haven't been paid for all your October shops, contact them. My August 26 shop was paid November 1. I don't know what their terms say, or if they have different terms for different clients.

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I pray it does not occur that the last thing I did before I died was vacuum the house or eat broccoli.
It sounds like they paid some October shops early. Payment terms (listed in the guidelines of all Service Sleuth assigments):

"Payment: Shoppers must use our PayPal system to get paid. Payments are submitted to PayPal approximately 60 days after the last day of the month in which they were shopped. Shoppers must set up their own PayPal account at www.Paypal.com."

Per the published Service Sleuth payment terms, October shops are due for payment January 1st.

When I take Service Sleuth jobs, I plan that I will not be paid for 90 days, because if you work early in a month, the 60 days doesn't start until the end of that month, so it frequently works out to about 90 days.
Mary, you need to edit your post and remove the client's name. By mentioning the client and provider in the same post you are violating your ICA and the rules of this forum. By the way if you have not been welcomed to the Forum, welcome to the Forum.
Now they are saying the $5 short is because I entered $10.75 instead of $15.75 for the expenses. My receipt that I uploaded clearly said $15.75. The report is not accessible on the Shop Log so I have no way of proving it. They were supposed to send me screen shots, but they did not.
What I notice about review scores, and this applies to other companies as well: The more negatives I bring up, the lower the score I get from the reviewer. If the shop went swimmingly well, everything was just perfect, she/he gives me a 10. Why hire us if all they want is praise? No, not the store's fault, it's the reviewer or the Mystery Shopping company. They are afraid the company management would get upset at the bad review. Honestly, that is the reason they pay us to find out what is going on.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/02/2013 07:53PM by MaryL.
Since bad shops tend to be memorable for me, I actually pulled up several negative shops for different companies and my scores were all nines and tens. In other words, about the same as for the shops that go well.

We occasionally hear of MSCs and clients allegedly only wanting positive shop reviews and that bad shops reflect poorly on the shopper. I am beginning to think it is nothing more than urban legend. It certainly is not going to affect my reporting and hopefully new shoppers won't be afraid to submit honest reports for fear they will never work again.

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.
I'll do an honest report and if they don't like it that's not my problem. I don't care what my ratings are, really, as long as they pay me. If they don't like my honest reports and don't want me to shop for them any more, there's plenty other fish in the sea.

But I DO like it when they are compliant because it's a whole lot easier to write a glowing report than a critical one. I will write the critical one hoping it makes a difference so next time I can do the easier glowing report. smiling smiley

I worked in management (grocery) too long not to appreciate the need for knowing what's wrong so they can fix it. That one FF shop I did in Williams -- it was obvious nobody had put eyeballs on that operation in ages, there were so many violations. I really hope that the next time I go through there (whether I'm shopping it or not, I WILL look!) there will be improvement.

I have a feeling even the health department hadn't been by there recently because there were health code violations as well.

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I pray it does not occur that the last thing I did before I died was vacuum the house or eat broccoli.
I generally get great scores on my negative reviews ..... and I should, I spend much more time writing a negative review than a positive one, because I want to make sure my review is totally objective, just the facts, and is fair. I try to give them credit for whatever good they do, no matter how bad they are. I usually try to say something like "Although she greeted me in a friendly manner, smiling and making eye contact, she did not introduce herself nor did she ask to take my order." and "Although the server made no suggestions for appetizers or for entrees, she was able to answer my menu questions and seemed knowledgeable."

As for the difference of $5 because the MSC says you entered $10.75 instead of $15.75, did you? I always keep a pdf copy of my reports and it should be easy to go back and look. Most of the Sassie companies give you the option to save a pdf copy of your report after submitting. When I submit reports for other companies (like Prophet) I copy and save. I never submit a report without saving a copy. When entering the amounts you have spent, be sure to double-check to see that you have entered the correct amounts. The amount entered on the report is likely what you will be reimbursed in many cases, regardless of whether the amount is different on the receipt that you upload. A typo can cost you money.
MaryL Wrote:
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> What I notice about review scores, and this
> applies to other companies as well: The more
> negatives I bring up, the lower the score I get
> from the reviewer. If the shop went swimmingly
> well, everything was just perfect, she/he gives me
> a 10. Why hire us if all they want is praise?
> No, not the store's fault, it's the reviewer or
> the Mystery Shopping company. They are afraid the
> company management would get upset at the bad
> review. Honestly, that is the reason they pay us
> to find out what is going on.

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I hear a lot of people say that they get lower scores if there is a bad experience. I have yet to notice that from my own personal experiences as a shopper. Having read a lot of bad experiences, I can say that people have a tendency to be more opinionated and less objective when writing about a bad experience. I'm not accusing you of having done this. I'm just saying that I've seen it numerous times. I'm fairly certain that most editors, especially the IC editors, really don't care about the results of the shop. They just want to make sure that your grammar is correct, your report doesn't contradict itself, and you followed the guidelines.

People also have a tendency to forget the guidelines when employees do a bad job. For example, let's say that you're supposed to walk into a store and give the associate five minutes to approach you. If you are not approached, than you are to ask the associate something about any product in the store to begin the interaction with the associate. If the associate is sitting there texting for the first five minutes, there are plenty of people who think it's acceptable to just leave the store without ever having spoken to the associate.

Just remember to follow the rules and be objective, and you shouldn't get dinged on your scores for getting an associate who doesn't do their job.

Instead of writing:

"When I walked into the store, the associate was too busy texting her friends to even notice my presence."

Write something like:

"When I walked into the store, the associate was seated behind the cash register using her phone. She did not acknowledge me within the first five minutes, so I approached her and asked her to explain the differences between product A product B."
Also keep in mind, (some) of SS reporting does not require a receipt, just your words on how much it cost. But they do remind you to keep the receipt for sixty days in case there is a question.

I, myself have not figured out how to make, a short copy of the report, online. So my narrative, depending on the number of words content, gets sent to me in a email. The subject is the ID and the name of the client. When I get the email, I make a copy and attached it to my copy or save it to the folder of the survey. Pictures of the "whatevers" are included.

It is easy to think one number and click on another one. Sometimes we don't realize it until it comes back to us. You may have to eat the $5. (again) grinning smiley Especially if you don't have proof, and they are reculant to sent you what you did send in.
I performed a shop for Service Sleuth January 31st, and submitted the report the same day. Today is 88 days after the shop, and I have not heard a single thing about being paid. I have emailed 3 times, including to the scheduler, and have not received a single reply from them yet. I can NOT recommend shopping for this company. I have shopped for many different companies. Some pay in 2 weeks. Most pay in 4 to 6 weeks. 88 days with no reply, and their unwillingness to reply to my query is unacceptable to me.
IMHO, they are one of the slowesttttt payers, BUT I always receive payment on time, per their time table. I do take that in consideration if I have a huge outlay.
MikeWBidwell Wrote:
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>>>> I have
> emailed 3 times, including to the scheduler, and
> have not received a single reply from them yet. I
> can NOT recommend shopping for this company........ and their unwillingness to
> reply to my query is unacceptable to me.


Service Sleuth has this statement on their web page----------->"Shops completed in February 2013 will be paid by April 30th.
*If you do not receive payment for your shops, please email: lisa.malkowski@hsbrands.com

Please do not email your scheduler about payment questions or concerns.

Please make sure your PayPal email address matches the email address you use to login<<<<<<"

Now that is acceptable to me smiling smileysmiling smiley and I would recommend the company. Sometimes you need to read the payment out schedule b4 accepting a shop. That's common courtesy.
So their May shops should be paid at the end of July/beginning of August?

I'm enjoying shopping for them, but that is a long wait for reimbursement.

Thanks!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2013 07:19AM by RiverSong.
Yes, it is, but if you do them regularly, after the first two months you'll get a payment from them every month after that. smiling smiley

I've done work before where they paid after six months. But it wasn't mystery shopping.

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I pray it does not occur that the last thing I did before I died was vacuum the house or eat broccoli.
Thanks! I'm always a little uncertain until I get that first payment from a new MSC, especially when it takes longer than the average.

To add to that - one of my first shops for them is one where I had to re-shop it because the location was closed when I went the first time. (The hours on the door didn't match the website, but they had closed early even according to what they had posted.) There were communications issues - the scheduler got an okay for me to go back, but the someone closed the survey while we were waiting for the okay and I had to get it reopened before I could input my report, then they reopened again so I actually had to submit it twice, then the editor wasn't informed why the report was late, etc., etc. Eventually, we got everything straightened out. The history page doesn't show the payment amounts for it as it does for the other completed shops, but I was told in writing that I would be paid, so I am keeping a special eye on that one.


itsasecret Wrote:
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> Yes, it is, but if you do them regularly, after
> the first two months you'll get a payment from
> them every month after that. smiling smiley
>
> I've done work before where they paid after six
> months. But it wasn't mystery shopping.
Just curious. . . . are they still offering the vitamin store shops? Haven't seen them in my area for a LONG time. Even though they take 3 months to pay, I like this company a lot, mainly for the vitamin store shops & the movie theatre shops.
I would respectfully disagree that if I give a shop a "honest" report. that my score will be lower.

I have had a few shops "challenged" by the reported store but I have always won and been paid, because of the video taping.

Case in point: I wrote a great narrative regarding a situation between a customer and an employee. (customer was incredibly rude and the employees remained calm) In this case, the customer caused the ruckus, not the employees.)

I got a 10.

I love Service Sleuth. They pay me quickly, give me good scores and I love their movie shops!smiling smiley
I did several vitamin store shops and a theater shop in May, and want more of the same! :-)
I had never noticed managers when movie going over the years, but when I do the SS movie shops I almost always see one right away. They seem to be hanging out in the lobby or near the concession stand. They are easy to recognize because of their clothes and name tags.....different from the other employees. You can always ask for the manager - planning a movie birthday party for your kid is a good excuse.
AustinMom Wrote:
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> I had never noticed managers when movie going over
> the years, but when I do the SS movie shops I
> almost always see one right away. They seem to be
> hanging out in the lobby or near the concession
> stand. They are easy to recognize because of
> their clothes and name tags.....different from the
> other employees. You can always ask for the
> manager - planning a movie birthday party for your
> kid is a good excuse.

Thank you! I always tried to figure out a good excuse but when you go back again and the same manager...you have to think of something new!smiling smiley
Of the more than 3 dozen MSCs I do work for, Service Sleuth is the slowest paying. They pay about 60-90 days after the assignment is acceptted. But they've always paid.
If you haven't checked it out already, Service Sleuth was reviewed in Issue 4 of the Mystery Shopper Magazine. You can find the article about this MSC here: [www.mysteryshoppermagazine.com].

~Ceridwyn
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Subscribe to Mystery Shopping Magazine for free at [www.mysteryshoppermagazine.com]
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Actually, I will never do any audits for service sleuth for that very reason! Everyone that I know who performed audits for them said they got paid 60 and sometimes 90 days after the did the job. I don't know about anyone else but that's absurd. Prompt payment is 30 and sometimes 45 days but 60-90 is their way of holding on and earning interest off the dollars that should be paid out. I have an associate right now who did an audit on March or something and still waiting to be paid for it. It's better to go directly to the company that owns the contract and is offering the audits on their websites versus the "Service Sleuth or KSS International" scheduling people. The next time they come up in the inbox begging for right away help Just ignore and find another audit to do b/c they don't care about paying you right away.. so unless you don't mind waiting until forever to get the little chump change they owe you...I'd say better off not going through them! It's just bad business in a day where everything is electronic and automated... all except the payment that is... There are plenty of other reputable companies that will pay in a timely fashion and why not help them succeed by assisting them with closing audits vs doing the ones for the companies that want you to get it done ASAP and they'll pay you when they feel like it? No thanks.
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