Ardent Services

I hope I NEVER have a complaint! Because before me sits my very first assignment & check to fulfill the assignment. Hopefully it's all legitimate.

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This is a scam! You never get a check before you do a mystery shop. You're always paid after you do the shop.
Do NOT deposit that check. If you do so, it will bounce, but only well-after your bank makes the funds available to you and you purchase the ... gift cards, yes? and send them off.... You will be out the cash for the gift cards, unable to ever recoup the money. Moreover, when the check bounces your bank will charge you a fee for depositing a bad check. Plus, if you don't have the money to cover the gift card purchase already, you will overdraw your account and incur more fees from the bank.

The typical fee you get paid when you first start mystery shopping is in the neighborhood of $15 -and you receive that pay AFTER completing the shop and report - sometimes months later. You don't get contacted out-of-the-blue, unless you are a known mystery shopper already and very rarely fronted money (and then only by a company that knows you well.) Real mystery shopping can make you some money, but it's not a "get quick rich" thing.

@SugaLove69 wrote:

I hope I NEVER have a complaint! Because before me sits my very first assignment & check to fulfill the assignment. Hopefully it's all legitimate.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Don't get too excited. The check is bad. Call the bank to verify it.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Passing a fake check can get you into a lot of trouble. I used to be an editor for Ardent. They NEVER pay in advance. Their assignments pay a flat fee for the restauarant client they have, which is the only client they have. It does not involve buying gift cards or money wiring. The fee gets paid the month after you complete the assignment.
I sent the OP a PM. Sadly we may never here back from them.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/2020 07:12PM by kenasch.
And we all know it's not the "real" Ardent, since not only do they NOT pay in advance, shoppers have to go through training before they are allowed to complete any shops.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

And we all know it's not the "real" Ardent, since not only do they NOT pay in advance, shoppers have to go through training before they are allowed to complete any shops.

Apparently not everyone knows. I suspect, as in other cases, the OP has not posted again because they fell for it.
The "we" didn't mean everyone, it meant all of the forum members who posted above (not including the new OP).
@kenasch wrote:

@JASFLALMT wrote:

And we all know it's not the "real" Ardent, since not only do they NOT pay in advance, shoppers have to go through training before they are allowed to complete any shops.

Apparently not everyone knows. I suspect, as in other cases, the OP has not posted again because they fell for it.

Too soon. She'll know next week though.
I wonder if she'll come back to let us know she was scammed.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Although she didn't post a second time, she did come back after the responses from azn and MF were posted, so she may have read them and avoided the scam.
Thank God and Thank all of you! Yest I received what i had hoped have bn my 1st assignment.......but i was still extremely skeptical. It was actually my 3rd Check, but the 1st 2 only came instructions on confirming receipt of package and depositing check, no assignment. So i called that #, no answer, but they caused back later. As soon ss they spook, i knew it was a scam. But what i got yest almost seemed legit.....indepth instructions, everything was worded and spelled correctly, cashiers check looks legit. But what kept setting alarms off was that (1) I signed up for Krogers, $400 to spend, and keep what i bought.(2)Not $1950 to deposit n my account, then buy $1650 n ebay cards that i was too scratch pins of and send pics of along with the survey.......????.........that $300 would have helped our family out so much!

So I know that mystery shopping is an actual thing, what do i have to do to find the real ones to do?

SMHinegardner
hi SM,all the mystery shop companies listed below where it says official list are legit. You can start by signing up for some of them and also read the new shopper section. Good for you for being careful and doing some research before stepping in and accepting those checks you got.
Unfortunately right now the vast majority of mystery shops are shut down but you can use the time to research companies to sign up for. Even though all the companies below are legit not all companies are equal.
Glad you didn't fall for it! Yeah, like sandy posted above, right now is not a good time to get into the biz as there are not many shops available and many of us who have been doing it for awhile are just sitting around waiting for businesses to reopen. Some may discontinue their mystery shopping programs as they are strapped for cash and are having a hard time just paying their bills. But it's a good time to spend some time reading and learning. There is a link for new shoppers below along with the link to the list of official companies. There are phone shops that can be done currently, but they don't pay very well.
The mystery shop companies in the official list below are indeed legit but only if you login to their official site. Many scams are using the name of a reputable mystery shop company and spoofing the Internet address. So you may think for instance that you are responding to Ardent but in fact it is the scammer.
Thank you! Ive always wanted to do this, but wasn't sure where to go. Now that Im fighting for disability for my 13 yr daughter and myself, and being a seperated mother of 2 girls........trying to survive off child support is almost impossible! But hey, Now Ive got plenty of time to research all this, and hopefully a distraction from the fighting kids!!!!

SMHinegardner
When i was still n school (Holy Crap 27yrs ago- lmao) , my Aunt was a secret shopper n Texas........i was an army brat living n wv, but i thought it would b so much fun......when she said she got to keep what was bought, i was hooked. I've lived n Va for 25 yrs and have never met anyone or even heard of anyone doing this. I understand not letting anyone figure u out while ur at the store or whatever, but is this seriously so hush, hush we r the MS version of Fight Club?

SMHinegardner
It isn't a good idea to share what you do with many people, IMO. If you tell your friends who live nearby about it, you might be creating competition for yourself. And as far as telling people which MSCs have what particular clients, that's a definite no-no. You have to sign contracts as an IC when you sign up with these companies and that includes not sharing proprietary information.

Keep in mind that if you do shops where a purchase is required, you are laying out your own money out of pocket until you get reimbursed, and that can sometimes be 1-2 months after the shop is completed and accepted. I would stick with MSCs that offer shops for clients where you don't have to make a purchase initially. And also keep in mind that in many states those types of businesses are not open and are not currently being shopped. I think it might be 6 months before I start shopping regularly again.

You really should read the new shoppers section thoroughly. There is a lot of great information there.
Many shoppers love the shops at grocery stores though as they get reimbursed for something they needed to buy anyway. So you may consider them when the time comes that you can get those jobs again. But be aware of prices when you choose shops with reimbursements. Some of the places you go are pricier than the place you usually shop so if they reimburse you $10 you might only get $6 value out of it.
As far as telling others, you do need to pick and choose who you tell based on if you trust that person to be silent and also how difficult it is to get shops in your area. I have yet to meet anyone I have told in my life who started mystery shopping but I have had people who have gone with me on shops that require two people (restaurant shops) where the other person almost gave me away to the server.
Yeah, my MIL almost gave me away on several occasions for restaurant shops. She would ask me too many questions when we were seated at the table and wasn't quiet about it. Also my husband's cousin found out I did it from another family member and started doing shops in my area. She would take them at base fee and I lost a lot of bonused work to her. And now there just aren't a lot of shops available so the competition is going to be fierce when it starts back up. I definitely won't be doing any restaurant shops unless they are takeout.
I had to quit doing dining shops that require two or more diners--friends and family were so excited about a fine dining meal and so talkative they almost alerted the servers of the ordering requirements!

@sandyf wrote:

Many shoppers love the shops at grocery stores though as they get reimbursed for something they needed to buy anyway. So you may consider them when the time comes that you can get those jobs again. But be aware of prices when you choose shops with reimbursements. Some of the places you go are pricier than the place you usually shop so if they reimburse you $10 you might only get $6 value out of it.
As far as telling others, you do need to pick and choose who you tell based on if you trust that person to be silent and also how difficult it is to get shops in your area. I have yet to meet anyone I have told in my life who started mystery shopping but I have had people who have gone with me on shops that require two people (restaurant shops) where the other person almost gave me away to the server.
And then there are loving family members who get annoyed after the second or third time you gently go over the rules and remind them on the way over not to ask for a refill or order an appetizer or side until it is suggested. But if you do not remind them they go ahead and do those things. Oh, sorry! I forgot.
A few times, I delivered a swift kick under the table.

@sandyf wrote:

And then there are loving family members who get annoyed after the second or third time you gently go over the rules and remind them on the way over not to ask for a refill or order an appetizer or side until it is suggested. But if you do not remind them they go ahead and do those things. Oh, sorry! I forgot.
Yeah, and you tell them, "If I order a filet mignon, you must order the ribeye or another cut or a different menu item, you can't get the same thing as I do." You say it a few times on the way there as a reminder and they say, "Yeah, I know, I know." And you tell them: if I order the ribeye after you have ordered the filet, you can't say, "Oh, that sounds good. I changed my mind, I will have that too." NO, it doesn't matter if it's a different size or if I ordered mine medium rare and you order yours medium. But, they do it anyway and you have to change YOUR order to something else. By then the server is looking at us both oddly and a lightbulb is going off in the server's head. And later your companion is saying you didn't tell them any of that.

Or how about that second cocktail they order when you tell them it's one drink per person?

And what about when you told them repeatedly earlier to not touch the food until you take the photo, but when you reach to get your phone, you turn to see them dumping parmesan cheese on the pasta or even worse, shoveling the first bite of food into their mouths.
Oh so funny Jas. My laugh for today on a boring day for me. I remember the time I added parmesan before I myself remembered but I could not see the small amt I put on so I took the pic. The editor had better eyes then I did but they just told me I should not do that again and paid me. Another time it was a different pizza (at least i would not have lost $100 or more on fine dining) and I took a very small bite and then remembered I needed a pic. I had not bitten it off yet but there were teeth marks. This was a job that had not needed a pic before. I was able to smoosh the tip together and smooth out the teeth marks and it was okay. Easy to get mad at yourself when you do these things. I know I sound like I do it often but there are only a few stories like that I did myself.

@JASFLALMT wrote:

Yeah, and you tell them, "If I order a filet mignon, you must order the ribeye or another cut or a different menu item, you can't get the same thing as I do." You say it a few times on the way there as a reminder and they say, "Yeah, I know, I know." And you tell them: if I order the ribeye after you have ordered the filet, you can't say, "Oh, that sounds good. I changed my mind, I will have that too." NO, it doesn't matter if it's a different size or if I ordered mine medium rare and you order yours medium. But, they do it anyway and you have to change YOUR order to something else. By then the server is looking at us both oddly and a lightbulb is going off in the server's head. And later your companion is saying you didn't tell them any of that.

Or how about that second cocktail they order when you tell them it's one drink per person?

And what about when you told them repeatedly earlier to not touch the food until you take the photo, but when you reach to get your phone, you turn to see them dumping parmesan cheese on the pasta or even worse, shoveling the first bite of food into their mouths.
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