What is the relationship between Grace Hill, The Training Factor, and The Shadow Agency?

A scheduler for The Shadow Agency sent me an email about apartment shops in my area. The email said to log in at The Training Factor using the link provided in the email. When I clicked on the ink, the page for Grace Hill popped up. The Grace Hill log in page has the URL "[thetrainingfactor.shopmetrics.com]; I have completed jobs for both The Training Factor and Grace Hill in the past. Are they now the same company?

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If not yet the same company certainly coordinating things closely. It is unclear to me whether a merger has actually happened.

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 thought Grace Hill and Training Factor had merged while Shadow was just helping get shops scheduled. I could also be totally wrongsmiling smiley

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.
The Training Factor changes their name to Grace Hill. They are the same company.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
This gets "curioser and curioser." In a single letter from (whatever they are called). It's like Russian Nesting Dolls or the guy with the shell game moving the shells fast....you never know which is which.

The "from" name in email was Grace Hill
But the address if you hit reply was from Shopmetrics.com
Inside the body, there was an email address from theshadowagency.com

The footer included:
an email address from shopmetrics.com
an email address from the shadowagency.com.
links to thetrainingfactor.com.
...the domain registration has expired there.
Phone number to Grace Hill in Georgia
A login to gigspot

By the way, doing a search on the phone, one finds The ShadowAgency-Newmark in Ft Worth Texas
It also comes up as Marketing Endeavors

And on this website, it appears Marketing Endeavors also has done business as White/Clay

The Mspa site lists white clay and shop metrics.

My father used multiple DBAs (with addresses at the front and back of his building) to send out bids and make one look better. And companies have wings that will sell services to themselves to avoid taxes. A company that provides a service could provide it to competitors of a company it owns and passes on leads. Companies can also use multiple names to confuse police or the IRS or anyone trying to really figure out who they are working with. It makes it difficult for a bad reputation to stick if they have multiple names--each has only a few complaints.

It's possible a rapidly growing and merging organization would have some confusion as to their name, but it appears these mergers go back quite some time. It's possible they haven't seen the need to work under one name and have a clear brand. It's possible each has a dedicated clientele and need to keep the old names, but there are ways to deal with that. Big companies have different businesses that operate independently, but for the most part have clear names (Amazon owns IMDB, Woot, Audible, Goodreads, and Whole Foods, and has independent businesses inside such as Amazon Fresh, Amazon Prime Now, Amazon Web Services, etc. which are treated separately.) Many proprietors form Corporations to have a better tax structure or to protect them from lawsuits. But what's going on here?

It's possible. But somehow I'm not really sure. If I'm confused, so are their paying customers.

As a shopper, who am I working for? How do I know? Does all this obfuscation mean a red flag?
It is common, probably too common, for MSCs to have more than one name attached to the business whether by merger or acquisition. ICCDS was the mystery shopping branch of North Fork so the PayPal came from North Fork. Similar things happened and may still be happening with SeeLevel which combined three different MSCs so scheduler email domains do not match up to PayPal. .

In the case of these three, Training Factor was first acquired by Grace Hill. Grace Hill has now been acquired by Shadow. It just happened this week I had jobs for both Grace Hill and Shadow. The email for each of the schedulers was Shadow. One shop is entered on the Shadow site, the others are entered on the Grace Hill site. All videos are uploaded to Shadow. I have no clue if all the payments will come from Shadow or not.

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.
Lisa has it right, as usual.

I have known the people who own Shadow and TF for years, through the IMSC conferences. All upstanding members of the MSC community. And, very shopper friendly and supportive. I know them from the video work that I have done for them over the years and from their presentations and networking at IMSC conferences. They are big supporters of shopper education and have helped some shoppers to afford conferences who might not otherwise have done so. This is a group that I expect to see expanding rapidly in the next 5-10 years due to their innovation and marketing to new industry segments for clients.

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.
Thank you. I'm glad there does not seem to be ill intent. Though it certainly sows confusion and doubt, perhaps in the ability to maintain a brand, email server and web site. Granted it takes a bit more than the change of address forms we use if we move, but those are the kinds of things that companies try to handle within the first year of a merger.
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