Trend Source (AKA The Source) BEWARE!

I recently did grocery store shops for this company and the company is refusing to pay me because they say the answers that I received from store employees are too similar among the different stores I visited. The shopper is given a choice of four different questions to choose from. So, when a shopper is assigned to 38 of these shops it's not like they can ask 38 different questions in the departments because as I said, there is a choice of four different questions for each department! There is no wonder a shopper will get very similar responses to simple and routine questions like "do you sell organic fish"?! The answer is typically yes or no. This is appalling to me. I have literally done over 3,000 mystery shopping jobs over the past five years and NEVER have I not been paid when I followed guidelines 100% of the way, did the shops on the correct date/time, and completed the reports on time. To add insult to injury, one of the shops that I am being refused payment for, I had to complete twice because the first time I did it, the scheduler changed the shop date on me AFTER I performed the shop and I didn't even know until I went to report the shop. I was then promised at least the reimbursement amount for that shop, but of course, have yet to receive that either. This entire situation is bizarre to me and I hope that other shoppers don't end up in the same boat.

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Wow I like those but the answer is usually the correct answer or some wild guess. Typically answers can be very similar.
I recall past months a deli question being something about do you have gluten free meats. That’s a yes or a no where some will expound and others will not.
Liz

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/07/2019 09:29PM by Traveliz.
Wow, I definitely don't blame you for being upset. I have definitely had bad experiences with TS but not with this particular issue.

Did you reply to the editing/rejection email explaining what you said above, that these are yes/no questions, etc.?

Sometimes they will reverse the rejection with a sufficient explanation and mark it as a resolved issue. I know they shouldn't need an explanation to begin with in this case, but it might be worth a shot!

Happily shopping the Pacific Northwest. Shopping since 2013 and editing since 2018 smiling smiley


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/07/2019 10:19PM by RedRose22.
I have done several grocery shops for them. I include whether they looked at me funny with a description of their expression. If they pause or whether they look clean, etc. You can always ask a follow-up question like whether they know where the fish comes from or if they say they don't know, asked who you would need to talk to. This is all about customer service and how there employees are talking to the customer.
Also, I put an audio recorder in my bra and I have forwarded the recording more than once when a disreputable employee denied doing or saying something or accused me of not asking a specific question. I HATE to not get paid. Good luck in the future.
I should have been more clear-3 shops. But three of the high paying shops with PAD of course. And, even after deciding they weren't going to pay me for these three, they still were going to let me complete 15 more?! How strange!!
Yes, I replied and the shops I am not being paid for are even marked as "Resolved". I really don't get it.
@anitaplatt wrote:

Also, I put an audio recorder in my bra and I have forwarded the recording more than once when a disreputable employee denied doing or saying something or accused me of not asking a specific question. I HATE to not get paid. Good luck in the future.

That is a great idea!!
I submitted a Better Business Bureau complaint and they responded that my complaint has been forwarded to Trend Source. Hopefully this will help with getting the payment that I am due. If anyone else has problems with Trend Source, you may also want to consider doing the same! I will post updates as to what the outcome is.
I record most of my shops this may not be ethical but I find it covers my ass. Benefit - I listen to it to get step by step and word for word details. I mean I do 80-150 shops a month things can be forgotten or missed. Just dont say anything you cant repeat and make sure you ask all the required questions lol
@Mysteriousways wrote:

I record most of my shops this may not be ethical but I find it covers my ass.
Not legal or useable in CA without 2 party consent.
I do 3-8 bonused grocery stores every single week. I have had no issues. I write each report “fresh” never using copy and paste. I also rotate through the 4 possible questions. I wasn’t even questioned when the associate told me, “I have no idea, I don’t know, and lettuce is good on the grill.”
@SoCalMama wrote:

@Mysteriousways wrote:

I record most of my shops this may not be ethical but I find it covers my ass.
Not legal or useable in CA without 2 party consent.
I do 3-8 bonused grocery stores every single week. I have had no issues. I write each report “fresh” never using copy and paste. I also rotate through the 4 possible questions. I wasn’t even questioned when the associate told me, “I have no idea, I don’t know, and lettuce is good on the grill.”

I do it the same way as you do. I got 4 different answers to the same question in the produce department one week
One guy in a meat department always had the same answer, “I don’t know. I don’t cook and really don’t like meat.” Oh ok
@Traveliz wrote:

One guy in a meat department always had the same answer, “I don’t know. I don’t cook and really don’t like meat.” Oh ok
Well that would be true for me too, but I’d still know the answer. Perhaps they should move him to produce? (Different union actually.)
Deleted
Moderator Note:

Post removed as it breached the Forum guideline which states, "Do not reveal the clients of mystery shopping companies". Additionally, it is an ICA violation to name both the MSC and client.

@carrilvm wrote:

I should have been more clear-3 shops. But three of the high paying shops with PAD of course. And, even after deciding they weren't going to pay me for these three, they still were going to let me complete 15 more?! How strange!!
How much was the PAD on the grocery store? Just curious, as all of mine have PAD now. They range from $5-$15 per location.
@SoCalMama wrote:

@carrilvm wrote:

I should have been more clear-3 shops. But three of the high paying shops with PAD of course. And, even after deciding they weren't going to pay me for these three, they still were going to let me complete 15 more?! How strange!!
How much was the PAD on the grocery store? Just curious, as all of mine have PAD now. They range from $5-$15 per location.

PAD was $26.
@carrilvm wrote:

@SoCalMama wrote:

@carrilvm wrote:

I should have been more clear-3 shops. But three of the high paying shops with PAD of course. And, even after deciding they weren't going to pay me for these three, they still were going to let me complete 15 more?! How strange!!
How much was the PAD on the grocery store? Just curious, as all of mine have PAD now. They range from $5-$15 per location.

PAD was $26.
That's a sweet PAD. I'll work on that. It must have been remote?
@SoCalMama wrote:

@carrilvm wrote:

@SoCalMama wrote:

@carrilvm wrote:

I should have been more clear-3 shops. But three of the high paying shops with PAD of course. And, even after deciding they weren't going to pay me for these three, they still were going to let me complete 15 more?! How strange!!
How much was the PAD on the grocery store? Just curious, as all of mine have PAD now. They range from $5-$15 per location.

PAD was $26.
That's a sweet PAD. I'll work on that. It must have been remote?

Actually, not all that remote. About 15 miles from a very large city.
@carrilvm wrote:

Yes, I replied and the shops I am not being paid for are even marked as "Resolved". I really don't get it.

Hmm, usually if they're marked resolved, it means you get paid! That's been my experience anyway. Otherwise it would say yes (not resolved) under the issue column. Did they reply to your reply and still say you wouldn't get paid?

Happily shopping the Pacific Northwest. Shopping since 2013 and editing since 2018 smiling smiley


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2019 04:00AM by RedRose22.
I do these, and I am very careful in how I ask the questions. For example, the organic fish question isn't, "Do you have organic fish?" I believe it is worded something like, what organic fish options do you have? I get more hung up with, "Was the department organized?" Whether you answer yes or no, you have to give an explanation. I am finding it difficult to come up with new ways to say, "Yes, it was."

Good Luck, Carrilvm.
I have a few of these scheduled coming up so good to know. I never get any PAD around here, they are gone so fast so I am jealous of all of you who get bonuses. On the other hand, another good client for grocery store shops MUCH easier than trendsource and better to work with is Second to None. They dont have set questions but give some examples in case you are struggling to think. Also, many less departments and interactions.
@MavenMom wrote:

I have a few of these scheduled coming up so good to know. I never get any PAD around here, they are gone so fast so I am jealous of all of you who get bonuses. On the other hand, another good client for grocery store shops MUCH easier than trendsource and better to work with is Second to None. They dont have set questions but give some examples in case you are struggling to think. Also, many less departments and interactions.

That is good to know! smiling smiley Best of luck with your shops.
@carrilvm wrote:

I recently did grocery store shops for this company and the company is refusing to pay me because they say the answers that I received from store employees are too similar among the different stores I visited. The shopper is given a choice of four different questions to choose from. So, when a shopper is assigned to 38 of these shops it's not like they can ask 38 different questions in the departments because as I said, there is a choice of four different questions for each department! There is no wonder a shopper will get very similar responses to simple and routine questions like "do you sell organic fish"?! The answer is typically yes or no. This is appalling to me. I have literally done over 3,000 mystery shopping jobs over the past five years and NEVER have I not been paid when I followed guidelines 100% of the way, did the shops on the correct date/time, and completed the reports on time. To add insult to injury, one of the shops that I am being refused payment for, I had to complete twice because the first time I did it, the scheduler changed the shop date on me AFTER I performed the shop and I didn't even know until I went to report the shop. I was then promised at least the reimbursement amount for that shop, but of course, have yet to receive that either. This entire situation is bizarre to me and I hope that other shoppers don't end up in the same boat.

UPDATE- I am not certain if it was the BBB complaint that helped me get the payment that I was due, but I am happy to say that I did receive payment this morning for the three shops I should have been paid for last week!
@ceasesmith wrote:

And now the question I'm dying to ask: are you still being offered shops by them?

I can still log in and accept shops at the moment anyways, but I have turned off all email, phone and text message notifications. After this extremely unpleasant experience I would never do shops for them again
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