Don't trust Shared Insight

I just finished my first and last shop with Shared Insight.

I had a busy day scheduled but I needed a haircut and I saw that Shared Insight had a haircut shop that was on the way to my hotel shop. I was worried about the time so I made sure to download the survey before I accepted it. It looked great. A lot of questions with check boxes but no narratives required. I would get a haircut paid for and a $10 fee so why not?

Well, I found out, why not? They lied. When I got to the actual survey, every question required a narrative besides the check boxes. These were NOT shown on the sample survey.

I answered all the questions, skipping the narratives, thinking I might submit it the way they portrayed the shop and wait until they returned it to me but it won't let me submit it without the narratives. So, I will just tell them to forget it. It's about $25 including reimbursement and fee but it's the principle!

Now I know why they are always desperate for shoppers at the end of the month. So, be wary of this company. Know what you are getting into before you accept a shop from them.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2016 09:43PM by dakotagypsy.

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I am afraid that you have jumped to conclusions. Every question provides a space for a narrative, however, most of these fields may be left blank. If you don't know which fields you can leave blank, don't enter anything and the system will tell you which ones you must go back and complete.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/23/2016 05:35AM by Rousseau.
@dakotagypsy wrote:

I just finished my first and last shop with Shared Insight.

I had a busy day scheduled but I needed a haircut and I saw that Shared Insight had a haircut shop that was on the way to my hotel shop. I was worried about the time so I made sure to download the survey before I accepted it. It looked great. A lot of questions with check boxes but no narratives required. I would get a haircut paid for and a $10 fee so why not?

Well, I found out, why not? They lied. When I got to the actual survey, every question required a narrative besides the check boxes. These were NOT shown on the sample survey.

I answered all the questions, skipping the narratives, thinking I might submit it the way they portrayed the shop and wait until they returned it to me but it won't let me submit it without the narratives. So, I will just tell them to forget it. It's about $25 including reimbursement and fee but it's the principle!
Are you one of those mystery shoppers who is actually afraid of having to write narratives?
What an attitude.

No. If you had read my post, as you should have, you would know that I took it even though I was busy and based on the SAMPLE SURVEY they showed with no place for narratives. The point is not that I don't like narratives (I do a lot of hotel shops and/or Coyle shops so you know I have no problem with narratives.) I do have a problem with dishonesty though.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2016 11:48PM by dakotagypsy.
I've had a few shops (don't remember if they were Shared Insight or other MSC) where this happened. I usually grumble as I write the narratives then put the company on my 10-foot pole list. I also keep track to see if it is a regular issue with the MSC or just problem with one of their clients.
Maybe I quit too soon but virtually every narrative field I tried to skip said there a minimum number of characters required. That is not the point though. The sample survey showed one small narrative at the very end of the survey. It showed NONE throughout the rest of the survey. This is DISHONEST. Again, it is the principle. I am swamped this weekend due to a high-end hotel shop and I don't have time to spend doing a bunch of narrative. I never would have accepted the shop if the sample survey would have been accurate.
Do the guidelines say anything about narratives?

I have come across "sample" surveys from many companies that were just that, always aware they are an example. I go by the overall instructions and guidelines. For example, Coyle does not include several things on their samples that the guidelines indicate will be required. I do not see anything in your post about reading the guidelines.

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I do a at least 2 shops every month for Shared Insight and all of the forms have a space for narratives after each question. The only ones that are required are the ones that it will not let you submit without completing. I regularly leave the narrative spaces blank where a narrative is not required.

Edited to add: I enjoy working for this company. They pay regularly and I have gotten few if any questions from them.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2016 02:38AM by bdaves.
I can think of many companies that have inaccurate sample surveys. It is annoying but it seems to be common in this industry. And many instructions too that tell me I need to get more than is asked for in the report such as name and description and then do not ask or they tell me to get a name OR description and then want both. I always err on the side of collecting more info rather than less just in case this time they want both. The big pain is when they say I need a manager's name (who usually do not wear nametags) and then that question is never asked. I do not go by the sample survey as sometimes they seem to be an old version. But yes, I do not like it when those things happen.
No, several of the their clients are East Coast. The Italian Ice client is pretty good, especially since they realized some of the narratives were too long and shortened them and the regular mall food client isn't too bad either. I don't do the Tanning shop shops. I do agree that they should be a little more forthcoming upfrotn about what they want in their reports.
I do the Italian ice chain and occasionally something else as well. While there is always a place for a narrative, most are not unless you answer "no" or the equivalent. I let the form tell me that is required when I try to submit, IMHO, they pay reasonably well for the amount of work and pay reliably.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I think the subject line is a little misleading, as warning shoppers not to trust them is a bit dramatic all over a few little narrative boxes. I did a dinner shop for them that I liked. I've done their Italian ice shops and liked them, too.
I would normally not mind doing these shops, as many people have suggested except for the fact that they were dishonest about what the survey entailed. It was not a survey that took a huge amount of narratives but the sample survey showed NO NARRATIVE. I do not like companies that leave out important information. I have been doing shopping for over 15 years and I know that there are a lot of inaccuracies in the instructions but this appeared to have been intentionally misleading.

You are all entitled to your opinions and I would not disparage yours, but I still consider Shared Insight to be dishonest.
I take it you did not look at the actual survey then? From what I recall, Shared Insight doesn't require much in the way of narrative. I regularly completed some audits or them until the client went out of business here. Each question required a comment which to me is much different than "narrative." It was basically repeating the question. The pay was more than reasonable at $30 for an audit taking 20 minutes on site.

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.
They have a full service car wash in my area, I do that one every month. I've also done a mall shop and a home goods shop for them, I've never had a issue with too much narrative with them. They pay regularly and the bonuses are good when I've been able to pick them up.
@dakotagypsy wrote:

What an attitude.

No. If you had read my post, as you should have, you would know that I took it even though I was busy and based on the SAMPLE SURVEY they showed with no place for narratives. The point is not that I don't like narratives (I do a lot of hotel shops and/or Coyle shops so you know I have no problem with narratives.) I do have a problem with dishonesty though.
Yes, I agree; you do have an attitude. Yes, I read your post. If your schedule was that busy, you should not have accepted any new shops or new-to-you shops. I asked a legit question based on your op regarding having to write narratives in a report. A sample report is exactly that, a sample.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of "sample" is...
"noun
1. a small part or quantity intended to show what the whole is like:
"investigations involved analyzing samples of handwriting"
synonyms:
representative, illustrative, selected, specimen, test, ... more

verb
1. take a sample or samples of (something) for analysis:
"bone marrow cells were sampled"

If the MSC gave an entire report verbatim, some dishonest mystery shoppers would copy it word-for-word and just plug in the appropriate date, times, names and descriptions. This has happened in the past so the MSCs have had to adjust. You yourself said, "I do have a problem with dishonesty though." Well, the MSCs have a problem with dishonesty also.
I had a similar experience. I signed up to complete a sandwich shop at an airport. When I started the report I was surprised that I had to write a narrative for every single question. Even questions such as "Did the food look appetizing?" involved a narrative requiring a certain number of characters. I have no issue writing a short narrative for all "no" responses, but this report was quite tedious given the $5 fee.
I just signed up for and unsigned up for a shop with Shared Insight. It is a valet shop for $15. OK. The most I have ever been required to wait is 30 minutes so why not? I found out AFTER I took the shop that they expected me to wait 1 1/2 hours. 1.5 hours, plus the time for the report, plus travel time, plus gas = $5 an hour. No thanks.
I've done several of the Italian Ice shops for them now. I recall that the first time I did one, I had a question about whether or not the upsell was mandatory to buy if offered, because it was not clear in the guidelines. So I made a phone call to them (number is on the guidelines), and got my question answered, and also got a "thank you" for noting that it was not clear. Next time I did it, the guidelines were clear that the upsell was not mandatory. So if the OP found a discrepancy after the fact, maybe a phone call to them would have helped THEM to make sure their guidelines were up to date. And yes, many boxes of the ice shop required a minimum number of characters, but like LisaSTL stated, I basically just repeated the question in narrative form. Regardless, it sounds as though the bridge may have been burned, but for anyone else, sometimes an email or phone call is also a help to the MSC, as they can notify the Client. Or even calling and asking for a time extension may have been a solution. Oh well.....ideas for someone else, I reckon.
I did an airport yogurt shop for them while I was waiting for a plane connection. Straightforward, easy report, a few photos, good pay, and a delicious snack. Wish they had more in my area.

Now scheduling travel shops for the day after Christmas through mid-January.
Companies would save everybody a lot of grief if they noted how much of a report was yes/no and how much was narrative. It would also be swell if some of the companies would become professional and pay a fee in relation to the amount of information required.
I used to do their teriyaki bowl shops, where you only had to do narrative for the "no" answers. So, when I recently took a pizza shop that showed only a couple narrative sections in the sample survey, but in reality almost every question required a narrative, I was pretty peeved also. I plowed through and it took three times longer than I was expecting. I am not going to avoid Shared Insight completely, but I will think twice about taking that particular shop again.

Speaking of teriyaki bowls, I have not seen them for the past couple of months. Are they no longer?
I have done several different shops for shared insight including the haircut shop the op mentioned and the Italian ice one also mentioned in this thread. Narrative and a brief comment which you can restate the question are IMHO two different things. The reports have all taken me 10 to 15 minutes max. Haircut plus $10 is more than fair for this shop.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
For minimum character counts try N/A which works a lot with some companies or Satisfactory or even Nothing notable! and cut and paste it in to them all.
@MavenMom wrote:

For minimum character counts try N/A which works a lot with some companies or Satisfactory or even Nothing notable! and cut and paste it in to them all.
@indy101 wrote:

@MavenMom wrote:

For minimum character counts try N/A which works a lot with some companies or Satisfactory or even Nothing notable! and cut and paste it in to them all.

I do not quite understand.
If the survey won't let you submit it until you put some minimum number of characters in each Narrative Text Box, I would write N/A which stands for Not Applicable in every box. If that is too short (being 3 characters) try a short couple of words or phrase like Satisfactory, which is 12 characters, Nothing Notable 15 characters or "This question is not applicable as the answer above is YES" 56 characters. And see if it goes through that way. You can even cut and paste your word or phrase into EVERY narrative block where you didn't have a comment.
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