Has anyone done a TrueGuest shop lately?

I totally understand why he gets upset. The instructions are convoluted and contradictory. They need to hire editors just for that. Obviously, Roldan knows all of it in and out. It makes complete sense to him.

Shop instructions should be structured to maximize comprehension. Less wordy but more logical instructions with repeating concepts help you to get a feel for the right thing to do in addition to the mechanics of a shop.

It's nice that he gave you feedback on your reservation report instead of just making a passing, snide remark. We all have better and worse days. No doubt companies are reading these threads as well as us. If they take notes, that's great.

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That is the thing is that Roldan in my experience doesn’t tell what it is exactly you did “wrong” unlike some of the other companies where there is more transparency and a working relationship. It’s a waste of time to keep planning and applying and they won’t tell you specifically that you won’t get any assignments
It's my understanding that they have put a lot of shoppers on a 'do not use list' without an explanation, which seems unfair.

I can certainly see why they don't want to discuss it, as it probably wastes a lot of their time, but after a few shops when I told them to lose my phone number, Adam certainly was quick to call me and ask why. I think they should offer shoppers the same courtesy that they expect. I was even slightly as annoying to work with as them, I would prefer that someone tell me...

The basic issue as I understand it is that the majority of their shoppers don't enjoy being on property. They are just doing for the money, so they don't mind working the whole time they are there. Add to that the fact that the company has no trust in the evaluators being able to submit quality work on time and you end up with with a situation where they are micromanaging you...which makes makes it a 10-foot pole company for me.
Absolutely. All of what Steve just said.
I said the same thing to them after my second eval with them and Adam insisted (in the nicest possible way) that we talk. He really is a nice person, which makes it harder to understand why he'd hire someone like Roldan. I'm convinced that he's like his son-in-law or something.
Anyway, Adam told me that I was "one of their best" and he was surprised to see that I choose not to work for them. I explained that the 3 or 4 pages of "corrections" that Roldan sent to me made me feel like I was far from the best. He fluffed it off as "oh that's just his way."
Welp, his way is costing them some very good contractors.

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/09/2019 11:52PM by Hoju.
@Hoju wrote:

Absolutely. All of what Steve just said.
I said the same thing to them after my second eval with them and Adam insisted (in the nicest possible way) that we talk. He really is a nice person, which makes it harder to understand why he'd hire someone like Roldan. I'm convinced that he's like his son-in-law or something.
Anyway, Adam told me that I was "one of their best" and he was surprised to see that I choose not to work for them. I explained that the 3 or 4 pages of "corrections" that Roldan sent to me made me feel like I was far from the best. He fluffed it off as "oh that's just his way."
Welp, his way is costing them some very good contractors.


very interesting insight! Is Adam the owner or something? I have only dealt with Roldan. I WISH WISH WISH that he would just give me a quick reply on what I need to improve instead I am wasting time applying and then get no assignments. Well, I mean I get the ok assignments but not the ones I really want.
Adam owns the company.

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
I did a Miami Heat game shop recently. I deal with Adam; he is pretty on top of things.
Adam is a stand-up guy. Is he the point person for everything now or was it just that game? Also, if the team was the client, you're not supposed to post that in the forums.

______________________________________________________________________
Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
The main thing for hotel shopping noobies to realize is that you are going to be working on your reports all of the time that you are on the property. There will be little to no time for anything else, and be sure to double check everything that cannot be re-done once you check out. Roldan, for all of his tedious ways, was kind enough to review with me ahead of my first time what these gotchas would be.

Like much of mystery shopping, the real issues are in the level of real compensation for the time spent, gas money, wear and tear on your vehicle. I was a little stunned that I outlaid more than $1200 to make, what, $100 per day on a luxury hotel assignment. I was hoping to parlay this into more frequent luxury hotel assignments, but it turned out that being there without actually being able to enjoy the place, for so little pay, was just untenable.

If hotels, or any other mystery shopping client, want quality work they will have to triple or quadruple what is actually going to the shoppers. Right now, the whole system seems predicated on churning and burning newcomers instead of compensating experienced shoppers. Everyone is chasing a perfectly reasonable dream of being their own boss and having the freedom of the open road and little supervision, and if you didn't have to stay up all night and wear out your car to do it, for a quarter of what your old job paid, that could be wonderful.

The work that I did on this luxury hotel, and other high-end, high-narrative shops that I've done, brought me many times that level of pay for similar work when I was a professional in industry. That mystery shopping asks professional level work from us at minimum wage shows the con in the gig eCONomy.

(Edit to reflect another poster's comment): TrueGuest pays in par, or better, than others for hotel/restaurant/bar shops. The pricing issue is an industry one.

(Edit to Edit: Actually, they pay below par. See thread below)

Doing my best, every day


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2019 09:24PM by Shoshi99.
I should probably update this since for me, things have changed since I posted that all of a sudden I could see no shops. I had a request to shop a local bar emailed to me, so I mentioned that I could no longer see any shops on the job board. I did agree to shop the local bar, and when I went to submit it - I found that once again all shops were visible to me again! So I don't know if it was just a system error that was causing the problem for me previously, or maybe I was placed on DNU and then put back into the active system because they really needed this one shop done... anyway...

My latest experience was totally fine - it was just a bar shop. I submitted it, no comments or questions from Roldan, pay received two weeks later.

I am going to add that I do agree with the poster above me regarding the pay level for the luxury hotels - it is low for the amount of work required and the fact that you cannot enjoy yourself much during the experience. This is somewhat mitigated by the large points haul that usually (but not always) is provided - these are very high dollar hotels so the points granted are significant. On the other hand, this MSCs payment for a bar, or a bar and restaurant is actually reasonable and in line with what other companies pay for similar (or even more) work.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2019 07:48PM by MickeyB.
I am off his list and understand why...I have never done a job for him, either timing or location was off, so I am banned. Companies have to do what is best for them, it's all good.

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping....
@Shoshi99 wrote:

(Edit to reflect another poster's comment): TrueGuest pays in par, or better, than others for hotel/restaurant/bar shops. The pricing issue is an industry one.

Agreed for restaurant/bars as stand alone, not agreed for hotels. TG pays similarly to Coyle for hotels, but Coyle gives you two nights vs. TG's typical one night, and Coyle has some truly unique properties worldwide that would not otherwise be accessible to the average person. Also, CHG does pay some travel, TG policy is no travel whatsoever. The amount of work is similar, but TG is crammed into one night vs. Coyle's two nights. All in all - Coyle's experiences are usually (not always) better.

TG and Coyle pay BELOW industry standard though if you just look at pay. The industry standard is $200-$250 per night.

Edited to add: that is not to say that sometimes TrueGuest might offer hotel evaluations that make sense for people. I recently did 4 nights in Maui at very expensive hotels (average night at $800 for hotel, plus meals) - I took along a friend who "repaid me" by paying for an additional 4 nights at a third hotel that she paid for that was also very nice (she redeemed points). Total result was 8 nights in Maui - where the total cost of just the hotel stay would have been about $6,400 - no cost at all to me. That doesn't even account for the two spa services, meals, drinks, etc. that were part of the shops and therefore free. I can definitely say that I did not care about the hotel fee that TrueGuest gave me at this point, it was about the stay. I didn't even get any points and it was still worth it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2019 09:28PM by MickeyB.
Thanks for the clarification. It takes some of the sting out of the experience. I am glad that other companies are getting closer to a fair trade for the effort.

Doing my best, every day
@Shoshi99 wrote:

Thanks for the clarification. It takes some of the sting out of the experience. I am glad that other companies are getting closer to a fair trade for the effort.


The other thing I think we have to look at though is the experience you are getting for the $200-$250 per night that is the going rate. While I have received that rate for a gorgeous 5-Diamond Property on the Rivera Maya, more often than not I am receiving that rate for smoky casino/resorts with interactions 24 hours a day/shift work that means more broken sleep than when my son required when he was an infant or in a hotel in the CBD of San Pedro Sula, Honduras with the only place I can go and “experience” is the mall across the street (and even then wondering if I should go to the mall as I have read the stories about San Pedro Sula being the most dangerous city in the Western Hemisphere, if not the world).

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/15/2019 02:18AM by MickeyB.
If I may ask, how is the "going rate" calculated?

The overnight stays I've done (probably about 15 now) have ranged from $50-$100. My one night stays typically pay $50 with the exception of one that paid $40 (and TG who pays $100 whether 1 or 2), while my two nights are often $75 or $100. This is across 5 different msc.
Having worked with TG many times I find that if you just follow the rules you will do fine. Roldan is doing his job as a scheduler and editor (BOTH!!) and probably does not have time for those that do not follow the requests within the guidelines and his pre-visit phone calls. He has always been fair and he does laugh!
@eyelove2shop wrote:

If I may ask, how is the "going rate" calculated?

The overnight stays I've done (probably about 15 now) have ranged from $50-$100. My one night stays typically pay $50 with the exception of one that paid $40 (and TG who pays $100 whether 1 or 2), while my two nights are often $75 or $100. This is across 5 different msc.

The going rate for full time hotel mystery shoppers. I know three who are ICs and not employees and this is what they require. They evaluate for the money and not the experience. They don’t really care where they are going (they say) and don’t work for lifestyle enhancement.

It’s not my going rate - I do get this rate from four different companies currently. I also do work for companies that pay less (Coyle and TG are two examples).
So are these companies the ones that don't have job boards and are invite only?

Obviously the commonly known ones aren't paying that rate. Most don't even cover transportation.
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