What happened to Inside Evaluators?

I still have not been paid for 4 shops completed back in June and July of last year. Repeated emails to Gary and Joan have resulted in nothing but promises of payments. It's been a year already and I'm owed over $500. This is insane.

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I email both on a monthly basis . The shop I completed in July of 2016, I am still waiting payment but have been guaranteed that I will be paid
It is very important to keep this thread alive until each and every one of us gets paid. Hopefully people considering taking assignments from Inside Evaluators for the first time will do their research and realize the difficulties we've all been having in getting paid.
Last I saw they had opportunities on their website in Hawaii and Florida, I think. I could be mistaken about the location, but they definitely had assignments available.
I guess we have to hope that they are still open for business and getting lots of work. The more successful they all the better chance we have a getting paid
I agree with you rboggs127! That's the only way we can hope to get paid! However, it is very discouraging that there has been zero response (at least here, and personally to me) from the owner. He seems to be ducking all responsibility and not providing any explanation or timelines of when we can expect payment. If I were a new shopper, I certainly would be wary of accepting any assignments from them.
@rboggs127 wrote:

I guess we have to hope that they are still open for business and getting lots of work. The more successful they all the better chance we have a getting paid

I don't agree. We've seen this before from several companies that went belly-up and closed their doors owing shoppers money. The most recent was Freeman Company. Freeman was guaranteeing everyone they would get their money, but many went unpaid for months, just like Inside Evaluators.. People were posting warnings on this forum and other forums. Shoppers were refusing to take Freeman shops and Freeman was unable to get shops assigned and completed. I was lucky - I was warned by other shoppers and never took their shops. Freeman Company's final push was to hire an independent scheduling company, Private Eyes. The owner of Private Eyes had a good reputation and had been around a long time. She guaranteed everyone they would get paid. She was able to schedule a lot of shops for them. And some of the people who had been owed money for 6 months or a year got paid because scheduling shops generated enough income for Freeman to pay a few shoppers. But most of the shoppers who were scheduled by Private Eyes did NOT get paid. And there were a lot of unpaid shoppes. Some were owed hundreds of dollars. Some posted here that they were owed thousands when Freeman declared bankruptcy.

It was like a big ponzi scheme. If Inside Evaluators needs to keep scheduling future shops to be able to pay off shoppers who completed reports months ago, then they are serious trouble. If this is the case, the only way they can dig out of the hole would be to increase the number of shops they are scheduling and continue to increase because they are paying past debts. This looks like the next dead MSC to me. Until they catch up on their past payments to shoppers, no way would I recommend that anyone work for them.


edited to fix spelling, hope I got all the mistakes,

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/04/2017 10:33PM by roflwofl.
This thread about nonpayment from Inside Evaluators started November 4, 2016, over FIVE months ago.

Has anybody who posted here been paid?
I have not yet. I even sent them a PayPal invoice to make it easy for them to pay me since they claimed an attempt to pay me via PayPal bounced back to them in February. I will call this a flat-out lie until they show me documentation of this. Why wouldn't they pay my PayPal invoice in March if they had intentions of paying me a payment that was due to me January 5th? Shady, shady company.
I don't think they are a shady company. I think they are a company in over their head and they are teateriing on the brink of insolvency. I think in the past they were a good, solid company but they now have cash flow problems and can't pay their shoppers. This is not the first MSC to get swallowed up by the economy and go from a dependable payer to a slow-pay to a no-pay.
I get your point, but this is my first experience with them, and when they say to email their "accounting department" for an update and I do just that and get no response, that's shady. I've also tried several times to get in touch with the owner both via email and telephone and I can't...that's shady. I honestly don't mind waiting if I have a clear, honest answer as to when I can expect payment. The lies, non-responsiveness, and downright nastiness in Joan's last post all point to shadiness in my book.
I agree. A drowning man grasps wildly for anything to stay afloat for another few seconds, even dragging others down with them. This is just what happened with other MSCs that went bankrupt leaving shoppers unpaid. They haven't given up yet and filed bankruptcy. They are still fighting to stay alive and in business, and the only way they can do that is to continue to find shoppers to perform their assignments. I am concerned, because every day more and more shoppers may be falling into the black hole of nonpayment.
@amandaw72 wrote:

I honestly don't mind waiting if I have a clear, honest answer as to when I can expect payment.

I'm guessing you answered your own question. They have no idea when they'll be able to pay you. I agree with the others. Good company that simply is having cash flow problems.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
You're very kind. I see a shady company running a Ponzi scheme. My post wasn't clear in that I meant to say that if they give me an actual payment date and stick to it (and obviously a date within reason, say one that gives them enough time to get a small business loan until they get back on their feet). They still have their "payment schedule" detailed on their website when those of us who posted here know they don't pay out according to this schedule. This is tricking people into working for them; why don't they revise their payment schedule? Is it okay to trick new secret shoppers in order to have money to pay out for past due payments? I have no doubt that they are having cash flow issues, but that doesn't excuse them for lying to me.
While I agree with you, anandaw, that there is no excuse for lying to you, I think you are seeing this only from a personal standpoint (it would be hard not to!) and you are not getting that this is business. There are probably hundreds of shoppers in the same position, owed money by IE. You are looking at this from a standpoint of "I'll get my money someday, I just want to know when." They don't know when. They don't have it. And, it might be time to accept that you may not get your money ever. Companies go bankrupt every day, leaving their contractors and accounts payables unpaid. It hits home when it is mystery shoppers, because we make so little, comparatively speaking. Few companies that are facing insolvency warn their suppliers not to do business with them. They continue to do business as usual, trying to catch up. These companies block any talk of cash flow problems to keep others working with them. Sometimes the companies are able to catch up and sometimes they are not.

I think IE hasn't revised their payment schedule because they don't know what to revise it to. I think they want to pay their shoppers but I don't think they can. And they don't want to admit that they have financial problems.
That's the kiss of death. If they post on their website what I believe would be a truthful statement, "We are having major financial difficulties and we don't know when we will be able to pay you or even IF we will be able to pay you," can you imagine that anyone would be willing to take their shops? If no one takes their shops, they might as well declare bankruptcy right now. So they are continuing to do business as usual, hoping they can catch up. I wish them the best and hope they can catch up, but I think this has gone on too long and I think they are drowning.

I would not consider working for them and I'm actively advising others not to accept their assignments. I think the best thing we as shoppers can do is warn other mystery shoppers. When Freeman was nearing the end, Jacob started a warning thread that was a sticky. Should there be a WARNING - NO PAYMENT - INSIDE EVALUATORS thread? There are many shoppers who do not visit our forum, but we can at least warn those who do frequent the forum.
Understood...but I was warning people not to work for Freeman WAY before that thread was posted, and it didn't deter very many shoppers. Only a small portion of shoppers read these forums, and I feel like a smaller portion listen to the advice posted here.

That said, the time for Gary to make good on his promise to pay shoppers has come & gone IMHO. The shopmetrics site is back up & running so the excuse they gave about not being able to pay is showing holes. Gary needs to address the community and explain himself if there is to be any faith in IE here. I don't think there's any more that Joan can say or do. She's not the one who owes the shoppers. It's my opinion that the "Accounting department" is simply an alternate email address for Gary. This company is not big enough to have that kind of staffing and a Google search of him gives a pretty bleak outlook for the MSC.

Freeman was once a good company, as was Restaurant Evaluators and so many others that followed this similar pattern. Shop at your own risk!...
Would legal action and/or small claims court be appropriate in this situation? I saw this thread first back months ago and it's absolutely disgusting that people have yet to be paid.
While I wouldn't rule that option out, Misanthrope, it hasn't seen a lot of success in the past, especially when the company may be gone before it ever gets to a trail.

My personal approach has always been to use every resource at my disposal to lean on the responsible party to pay me....daily. If you are not calling and emailing, contacting every trade organization and social media outlet for that party and making it worth their while to make you go away, you may end up on the losing side of a bankruptcy.
Why don't we copy and paste our names to who has not been paid, the amount and dates of the shop. I'll go first:
rboggs127 7/3/2016 $155
My husband has advised me to file a claim in small claims court but I'm not even sure where this company is. can I file in my own state or do I have to file in their state?
Here's the business registration information. Do you think there's enough of us for a class action lawsuit? (I'm joking, but I do wish there was some way to nudge them into paying us.)

[bsd.sos.mo.gov]
There is an old saying that you can't get blood from a turnip. I seriously doubt that IE is sitting on a pile of cash and that they have simply decided not to pay shoppers. A lawsuit, or BBB, isn't going to make them suddenly part with cash (That they most likely don't have). You will waste your time and effort on a court case with likely no results. Steve has given the best advice by far! Be the one that they want to give any remaining funds to, so that you will go away!

Added: I have no dog in the race, as I have never done work for IE.
removed

Joan Gingras
Senior Project Director~BarStoolie Mystery Shopping

Barstoolie@insideevaluators.com


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/2017 05:38PM by Inside Evaluators.
Thank you for the update, Joan. Hopefully that will be the end of the overdue payments.
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