SQM Email ??

I received an email from SQM that includes the line with no context: "If you see a $10.00 bill, a $20.00 bill or a $50.00 bill, then SQM will refund the entire cost of the room and tax, less the amount indicated."

I see a $10.00 bill in my wallet. Does that mean SQM will refund the entire cost of my room?

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That makes no sense. What are they talking about?

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Is your email displaying an image? You may need to change your email settings to allow images. I would think the email means whatever amount the bill in the image is, SQM is the amount you will pay after the refund.
There’s probably something to click on to show the image.
I am on my 4th email with Michael from SQM. He is very nice and very professional in his detailed responses but he has yet to tell me what this means. If I see a $20 bill WHERE???!

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
They have images of dollar bills on the hotel postings. That is probably what they are referring to - although not very clearly
That's stupid. Just say it. Why make a convoluted game out of this? Just another thing that devalues what we do (in my opinion).

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
Hi Hoju, sorry about the belated reply we were experiencing some issues in getting to your very important queries. That was in reference to your hotel room assignment. Sorry if the message was not clear. We were trying to be brief and not inundate the reader with too much details (read: verbiage). Some shoppers are familiar with what assignments of this nature entails. My apologies again for any confusion. We promise to be more clear when offering assignment details in our Blastmails. I hope you're doing well. We look forward to be working with you and all our shoppers in the near future. Thanks for your question.

Marketing Coordinator at SQM Inc.
Thank you for responding. No need to apologize. Michael took care of the issue via email, which is way more important than responding here.
I just find it silly that companies play silly games to try to make this fun when really it just comes off as unprofessional and needlessly silly. If you’re paying extra money, just say so.

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
@Eric in Tampa wrote:

Lighten up, Francis. Geez.

Hey! Don't touch my stuff!

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/03/2018 08:00PM by Hoju.
@JimmyP wrote:

I'm not sure how this company finds shoppers for 50% reimbursement.
Half off an airline ticket for an hour's reporting time, observing things most people do anyway, is well worth it. For the hotels, I'm shocked that anyone would do them for half reimbursement.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
deleted
Moderator Note:

Deleted as MSC named in thread heading and client named in post. This is contrary to Forum guidelines.

@Lisannez wrote:

I have shopped *** for them several times now. If you have to fly a lot it is totally worth the 50% discount. But no I would not fly just to shop for them. I fly from the DC area to LA once a month, saves a ton of money.
You should remove the reference to the airline in your post. We arent supposed to name both the MSC and the client.
@iShop123 wrote:

@JimmyP wrote:

I'm not sure how this company finds shoppers for 50% reimbursement.
Half off an airline ticket for an hour's reporting time, observing things most people do anyway, is well worth it. For the hotels, I'm shocked that anyone would do them for half reimbursement.

50% off for a reasonably short report when I was going to spend that money anyway is pretty nice in my book. Excellent value for time spent. Doing 30 to an hour for a report and saving half on a bill I was going to have to pay full price for is incredibly efficient use of time. 50 to 100 bucks per hour is what it should translate to if you have a hotel between 100 and 200 dollars.

CEO The Mystery Shoppers Depot
US Wide route shopper with 10k+ shops completed over 47 states and two countries.
Airbnb host based in Chicago and 10% discount if you mention this forum
I was thrilled to get the 50% off... I was already flying to meet family and was happy to get over $100 back for an hour-long report....

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Oh nice, you doing a chicago one? Having a home base in downtown as an additional perk cannot be overstated.

CEO The Mystery Shoppers Depot
US Wide route shopper with 10k+ shops completed over 47 states and two countries.
Airbnb host based in Chicago and 10% discount if you mention this forum
If you look carefully you will often find trips offered to places like China, also for 50% reimbursement. When I just checked there were flights for nine different Caribbean countries as well as Mexico and the USA.
If you're looking for a cheap overnight getaway, the 50% hotel reimbursements are also a good deal. As for the $10 bill, $20 bill, etc, those are rarities that come along. They will have the amount ($10, $20, etc) beside the shop and it means you only pay the amount shown, i.e. $10, $20, etc., for your stay.
I have worked for them for probably a decade or more with no complaints.
@jrossetti wrote:

50% off for a reasonably short report when I was going to spend that money anyway
That's the key. The hotel they offer nearest me is nearly twice the price of the hotel literally next door that has comparable amenities. I can usually do nearly as well with a Q or discount, or better if I choose a hotel one step down.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
I've been watching this thread for some time now and I'd like to thank everyone for their questions, thoughts and concerns. I'd like to address the one item that appears to come up consistently throughout this thread, which is the compensation of 50% off the cost of the airfare. Yes, this is correct. This is the compensation for completing one of these flight evaluation assignments. Regardless of the price of the airfare, SQM returns to you half the airfare as your compensation for completing the assignment. It was never designed as a "make money" mystery shopping assignment (many reasons that I won't get into here) but more of a "money saving" program. A number of you mentioned that you were going anyway. That is exactly the idea. If you are already committed to getting from point A to B, why not save yourself a chunk of coin, plus air travel has so much wait time to put in, you can make yourself productive during those times? This was never setup to be a paid program; 100% reimbursement, or make money mystery shopping. We have many of those programs as well, however, this one sells out almost every month and works really well for all parties involved. We have completed thousands of flight evaluations for local, domestic, and long haul airlines for over 10 years. If you have plans, test it out by sending your travel plans to travel@sqm.ca
Again, thanks for the topic - I enjoyed reading your comments
Craig Henry
VP
SQM
Hi Hojo
Thanks for posting the question
The SQM hotel evaluation program is similar to the flight, rail, and bus programs in that they normally return back to you 50% of the cost of the hotel room (train ticket, bus ticket) when you submit your completed overnight report.
The $10, $20. and $50 bill is an additional incentive designed to save you even more money.
As an example, if you find a $20.00 bill, then instead of returning half the cost of the room, you will get ALL of is back, less the $20.00. If the hotel room were $120.00 per night, then you would normally get back $60.00. With this special, you would get back $100.00. (an extra $40.00 in this example).
The refund always includes room and applicable taxes. Hotels that make you pay for parking, usually results in SQM covering the cost of the parking 100% on top of the other costs.
Hey, did you know that SQM actually has a free bus fare program - all across the USA?
Craig Henry
VP
SQM
Heya @sqmcraiger,
I totally get that it's very nice to offer incentives on hotels. My issue is with the convoluted nature of the whole "if you find a $20 bill" scheme. Rather than making people figure out how to translate a picture of a bill on your website into what it really means, why not just say that you're reimbursing the full price for this particular evaluation?
Most of us have many different companies that we have to work with and we have to learn the nuances of every company. Avoiding cheesy incentive tactics like this would be a welcome change so that we aren't wasting time trying to figure out what you mean. Even if you tell me today that seeing a $20 bill show up on the job board means that the whole thing is reimbursed, it doesn't mean I'm going to remember that three months from now when I actually go to look at your board. Know what I mean?

About the airfare thing- If SQM is selling out every month at 50% reimbursement then there's no chance in hell that they're going to bother going up to full reimbursement. I haven't taken one of these jobs yet, mostly because all of my flying is done on points and miles, but I can't imagine that it's a whole lot of work; at least not based on the posts that I've read about them. 50% sounds reasonable to me.

As for busses... Eww...

______________________________________________________________________
Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
Okay, valid point. When discussing this topic inside this forum and outside of the SQM system, you are right, it probably sounds stupid, however, inside the SQM system and becoming familiar with what is available, this makes a lot more sense. As an example, some specific hotels are offering hundreds of room nights per year. As such, we place an additional incentive on a bunch of these so as to identify the differences between a normal 50% refund verse an all but $20.00 refund.
There is a posted list inside the SQM system, so that the shoppers are doing a random search to find them.
Previously, the problem was just the opposite. "Hey, which are the specials?"
This was a godsend to me for the two years I was in a long distance relationship east coast west coast. It saved me tons of money. I love the flight program. I found sqm very responsive, straight forward and their questions and survey reasonable. A few times I only had to do ground crew or flight crew rather than both. If you are flying already this is a great way to save money on flights particularly during the holiday season or busy summer season. It’s not money making its money saving. If you mystery shop and travel or even are going on a family vacay try it. You and your spouse can often even get approved to shop on the same flight. If anything me has questions about the program or the company Happy to help. I never have done hotels they don’t have them in my area.
@Hoju wrote:

As for busses... Eww...
The buses they evaluate are luxury double-deckers with full window upper deck front seats. We took one into New York City and it was wonderful.

They're not the kind you're going to get scabies from.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
I am familiar with the bus company they use and have taken it outside of secret shops. I agree with you, mine had wi fi too. On certain routes on the east coast the train costs far too much and its’ a hassle to fly, the bus works well.
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