Intellishop: Is this a joke??

Just got an email from an Intellishop scheduler, asking me to "help him out" by accepting this shop. Here are the guidelines:

1) You will need to make an international call during this shop; we will provide a calling card upon request to cover the cost of the call, as we will not be able to reimburse for long distance/international charges.

2) You WILL BE making an actual reservation for a minimum of three nights during this call. Locations are all-inclusive resorts and require a 20 percent deposit. This will be reimbursed after the reservation is cancelled.

3) You MUST have at least $1,000 available credit on a credit card in order to conduct this shop. You will have to familiarize yourself with the property before the call because you ARE REQUIRED to ask specific questions about the property.

So...let's see...I need spend time researching the location, deal with the hassle of asking Intellishop for a phone card, agree to make a reservation on my own credit card for what looks like at least $1000, giving my credit card info to someone out of the country, then cancel it and and hope nothing goes wrong so I get my $1000 "reimbursed".

Total shop fee? Ten bucks.


This has gotta be a joke.

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How much would you do this shop for? I haven't done a shop like this before and it makes my brain hurt just thinking about it.

Lets see . . . inside the US, a call to a toll free number, make reservations, call back next day and cancel reservation. $25. The report was dates, times, names, a few sentences about making the reservation, another few sentences about the cancellation. Payment a couple of weeks later at the end of the month. That was worthwhile.
Sounds like Intellishop. The part that would bother me the most (besides the paltry fee) is the deposit and it being a foreign country. If they keep the deposit, how would you get it back? I doubt the MSC would be a lot of help.

Now scheduling travel shops for the day after Christmas through mid-January.
Not to mention that conversion rates vary on a daily basis. I'm not sure what currency the location would be charging in (not sure where it is located), but rate conversion changes could easily eat up the $10 fee if they move unfavorably between the time the deposit is taken and the time it is refunded.

Shopping central Arizona.
@JohnieQ wrote:

I saw this shop earlier too. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry.

I certainly didn't bother wasting energy on either. I just hit 'delete' and kept moving.
@PasswordNotFound wrote:

Sounds like Intellishop. The part that would bother me the most (besides the paltry fee) is the deposit and it being a foreign country. If they keep the deposit, how would you get it back? I doubt the MSC would be a lot of help.

Dispute the charge with the CC?

I did an Intellishop job where a good amount of money was put on credit cards. I got full reimbursement from them, plus accumulated a bunch of rewards with the charges. The fee was much, much more than $100.
@btemps wrote:

I did an Intellishop job where a good amount of money was put on credit cards. I got full reimbursement from them, plus accumulated a bunch of rewards with the charges. The fee was much, much more than $100.
It depends upon how much you trust a particular MSC. Last month I put enough on a rewards credit card to earn me a free flight -- but it was a company I knew would take care of timely payment. There are companies I'm willing to front large amounts of money for and those that I'm not.

I hadn't even considered silverstein's comment about the exchange rate. These would need to pay a lot more and be handled by a different MSC for me to take a second look.

Now scheduling travel shops for the day after Christmas through mid-January.

Hmmm...I am sure that there are many of us who have $1,000s available on our CCs. That's not why we are mystery shopping. At least me, anyway.
I mystery shop WITH credit cards to earn the points to pay for vacays & splurge items. MS'ing "paychecks" help pay off those credit cards every month so I never pay financing charges. Win-win.
I'm sure that there are many savvy shoppers who utilize credit cards and use credit card companies in a way that they don't like, LOL. I haven't paid interest on a credit card in more than 15 years, and I love all the freebies and perks I get with the points and miles!
Agreed, I pay mine off in full every month and have NEVER paid a cent in fees.

My beef with this shop is the requirement that give my credit card info to a foreign entity, allow them to charge $1000 to my card and then just hope like hell nothing goes wrong and I'm on the hook for the charges.
Yeah I can't blame you a bit! I bought some Groupon Certificates for one of my trips to Canada that ended up getting canceled. When I got a refund, they did not refund the foreign exchange fees and then I had to go round and round with my bank before I got them to reverse it. I wouldn't allow a US CC company to charge $1,000 to my card for that measly fee, much less internationally! I would think a proper fee would be in the $50 to $75 range (but for a company in the US, not sure I would ever allow that for international!).
I wouldn't do it for $10. I also wouldn't do a shop like this where the reimbursement wasn't just a reversal on the spot.
@jethrot wrote:

Saw that one. If I had $1,000 on my CC available I would not be Mystery shopping. Call me crazy...

You seriously wouldn't mystery shop if you had credit available on your CC? Why not? We're in business as shoppers. Wouldn't you want to capitalize on the fact that you're doing pretty well in order to do better?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/2016 10:35PM by ChicagoLiz.
When you spend credit and wait to be reimbursed a high amount of debt to available credit will reduce your credit score and may cause increases in such as insurance, etc.

*The More You Know*
HOLY COW!!!!! I never thought of shopping with a cc to get the points - and the cash back. Duh! Y'all are genius!
The shop that makes me laugh is the one where you need to be transferring at least $750,000 to an investment account. I don't think you have to show proof of the $750,000, but I personally don't think one would be cold calling "whoever is available" to help you invest $750,000. Heck, my IRA is tiny, but I still wouldn't cold call.
This reminds me of another shop for Intellishop (currently ongoing) where you call a car dealership and asked about the availability of a vehicle model, and if you don't get a sales person, you have to give out your real contact information and wait for them to call. On top of that, you have scripted replies to around eight questions to memorize and improvise the rest, and a required question that must be said EXACTLY, plus it is recorded. The hard part about a recording and completing a questionnaire is that inevitably there is disagreement between the editor and what you wrote because you heard it one way and they heard it another. Which means more time, sorting it out and you still have a report to complete with around 30 questions or so. Add up the time to prepare with the scrip, waiting for the person to get you the information while you are on hold or to call you back and they have your information, which means they won't stop calling to sell you that car and you have to continue to "fight them off", like a pack of wolves. ALL THIS FOR $5!!!

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/2016 11:31PM by jrcanshop.
You didn't have to say it was IS, we all new. And from a few other companies this is a $50 shop. But they would never bulk email the job.
I did one of these dealership ones, one time. The salesman kept calling me back to try to make a sale because I had to leave contact info when he wasn't available. I've done 416 shops for Intelli-shop, and a few have been truly great, and many have been okay, but I hit delete for all their 'phone call shops because they aren't worthwhile. Recently I had to submit a second photo on a shop, and I seldom have a second photo of a restroom, but I did. I've wondered if my shop would have been rejected if I hadn't had a second photo. One was slightly closer to the overflowing trash can. I had two points deducted because the proofreader "had to contact me." However, on the positive side, one day I did nine convenience stores with healthy bonuses added and made more than $120 total for relatively easy shops, and had some dubious snacks to eat.
Based upon all of the above comments and my own experience with Intellishop, I would not only say that this shop is a joke but Intellishop itself is a joke. Most of their shops and shopper policies seem to be very one sided in their favor especially their very low shop fees. This MSC expects entirely too much from their shoppers for too little compensation and shows no respect for their shoppers and these type of shops are also an insult to their shoppers intelligence. It is also true that providing credit card information to a business in a foreign country puts a shopper at risk for identity theft and could potentially ruin their credit rating, etc. and I am certain that should any of these problems arise, Intellishop would do little or nothing to help a shopper resolve such problems. This type of shop reminds me of these Nigerian check and Inheritance scams where you are asked to send a certain amount of money to receive a larger amount as payment for handling a foreign transaction. Not only is the fee a low ridiculous joke but all of the risk here is put on the shopper and not on Intellishop which are both good reasons not to even apply for such a shop in the first place.
iT could be a scam or it could be intellishop- I quit doing intellishop over an international problem. I was supposed to wire money to Mexico using a well known wire transfer company and then try to get it refunded and I was told the whole thing would be about 15 minutes and I would be paid $15..00 to do it. Hah except that it went badly wrong. I made the mistake of using some really common name like I was wiring it to Juan Garcia probably the most common name in Mexico except that there is a dangerous drug dealer whose name is also Juan Garcia. Long story short I was not refunded my money, I spent hours trying to get it back and then intellishop took their sweet time paying me. It was a real disaster. I finally got my money refunded from the wire transfer company but it took months- no help from Intellishop

Shopping til' I drop, no joke here!
I also saw this posting. I moved on because, well...Intellishop. Laugh or Cry? Exactly.
Despite paying promptly, IS is THE scumbag/bottom feeder of all MSC's....but then, we knew that, right?
I'm in that process of getting reimbursed for that same shop. Has been a week and nothing. Furthermore, the have not rated my report, which impede me to self assign other shops. I am really disappointed.

How did you finally got refunded?
I love Intelli-shop. They always score me high. I've never had any problems with them. I feel bad reading all the negative posts. As to the current topic- there's no way I would do that shop.
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