Curinos mystery shopping company 'blind requirements'

Has anyone else worked with Curinos and found that many of their shops have what the scheduler calls 'blind requirements', which are deliberately not listed in the shop description (such as required shopper gender, age, or something similar). It's so strange, and I've never seen a shop that does not let me know in the shop description if they're looking for a male shopper, or within a specific age range. Ever since I signed up with this company, every shop I've tried to apply for is a struggle because it tells me I'm qualified to self-assign, but when I try to do that, nothing happens! Then I email the scheduler and she tells me that they're looking for a male. I've only done one shop for them and she had to manually assign me for that when the system declined my application. It's terribly annoying, and what's even more strange is that the scheduler insists that this is standard practice in market research and is for the client benefit. The logic is very bizarre. I'm signed up with about 20 other companies, and I've never seen this before- either you're eligible or you're not, but I've never had to play guessing games when trying to apply for a shop. Curinos pays fairly well, but I'm so annoyed at having to waste so much time only to find out that I did not qualify for a shop in the first place!

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There is nothing unusual about this. Whenever the client needs to be certain that members of different age/gender/ethnicity groups are being treated similarly by its employees, this is done. And, to prevent shoppers from trying to "game" the system, the shop offering does not state which characteristics are needed for each available shop. Clients like to contract with Curinos because they need those strict protocols in place. And, in some cases, strict protocols may actually be required by court orders when the client has been judged guilty of potentially discriminatory service practices. In other words, some MS assignments actually exist to monitor client compliance with court orders. I am NOT implying that this is the case with any single client of Curinos or any other MSC. Some clients undertake such protocols to make sure that their employees are "doing the right thing" without any prior finding(s) of problems.

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.
Curinos does financial shops. So at times they look for certain credit scores. Other times, they might look for certain demographics (age/gender/ethnicity). If you find it too frustrating and that you don't qualify for most of their requirements, maybe spend time finding other shops. Curinos is not going to change their requirements if that is what the clients want. I have seen other MSC that do banking shops also look for certain demographics for compliance reasons like @walesmaven mentioned
I totally understand a shop needing shoppers with specific demographics. What annoys me is when the shop posting does not list the required demographics. It is a waste of shoppers' time to NOT list those demographics. When a shop requires a male shopper but the shop posting does NOT say that, it is a guarantee that a lot of time will be wasted since most shoppers are female.

I wasted my time once asking for a shop, only to be told it required a male shopper. Next time I saw a similar posting from the same scheduler, I emailed her to ask if it again required a male shopper and she said "no." Then, when I asked for the shop, she came back and said it did require a male shopper.

ANNOYING!

Unless I am totally new to Curinos (and I am not), why hide the gender requirement? It's not like I can (or would) game the system.
I understand it can be frustrating. Many times I see them post specific credit scores needed for certain projects. I think Curinos does a pretty good job overall. I really haven't noticed this from them that often.

There is another MSC out there doing financial shops right now. In their posting it says nothing about not having a CC with the bank already. It only says you have to be a customer (checking/savings). They want you to go and apply for CC and see what happens. Only in the report did I see that it asks if you already have a CC with them. Good thing I looked first. Rather lame they don't say it upfront or even put it in the guidelines.
@BusyBeeBuzzBuzzBuzz wrote:

I totally understand a shop needing shoppers with specific demographics. What annoys me is when the shop posting does not list the required demographics. It is a waste of shoppers' time to NOT list those demographics. When a shop requires a male shopper but the shop posting does NOT say that, it is a guarantee that a lot of time will be wasted since most shoppers are female.

I wasted my time once asking for a shop, only to be told it required a male shopper. Next time I saw a similar posting from the same scheduler, I emailed her to ask if it again required a male shopper and she said "no." Then, when I asked for the shop, she came back and said it did require a male shopper.

ANNOYING!

Unless I am totally new to Curinos (and I am not), why hide the gender requirement? It's not like I can (or would) game the system.


I've never experienced this with them, but I think that sometimes they send out the mass emails needing different ages, genders, etc. and then they fill the quota and by the time we may respond, that our particular market demographic is filled. I think some companies also do this in the event you may refer another person or someone with the demographic they need.
HiJacking here--How long does Curinos generally take to edit a report? I turned in one SIX weeks ago and am still waiting for a comment indicating someone read it.
Maybe I am not reading this question correctly. It is late and I am tired but I am equally annoyed when any info which is important to me like pay rate, location, place of business etc is not given until the job is clicked on and read,. Living in a large city I will often see a list of 45 or more shops listed (for the same shop) in different cities within my state. There may be 7 or 8 or 12 of these listed simply as Los Angeles, Los Angeles jobs can be in a place that is an hour drive each way for me with a parking fee higher than the job fee but I have to click on and open up each and every one of those jobs to see where in this large city they are while checking carefully where I am in that list so I do not click the 5th on the list twice, By the time I have found out that none of them are worth my doing I have spent as much time as you have applying for a shop and hearing you did not qualify.
If a shop posting email includes shops that have different demographic requirements, the scheduler could at least include something in the email that tells the shoppers there are different demographic requirements
digikiss opines--Curinos pays fairly well,

Bob disagrees--Curinos pays extremely well. I have completed five shops this year. the total time invested was approx. two hrs. and I was paid $175 to set at my computer. No travel time or expense, no repetitive or redundant reports and exceptional communication. Although I have never been annoyed with Curinos, they could just pester me almost to death.
Curinos Employee here! Just wanted to add that when searching for shops in Sassie there is filter that you can select to only show shops you are eligible for so your profile meets all the requirements. I am finding many shoppers don't know the filter exists. Hopefully that will save everyone time and frustration.

Briana Baca
Senior Field Director
Curinos

Formerly, Informa's CXR Team (formerly Informa Financial Intelligence and Informa Research Services)
Briana.Goldman@Curinos.com

“Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.” —Jane Wagner
Briana,
Great news!

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 just did a Curinos bank shop for a credit card. They wanted you to print out 10 pages of the report. You had to fill out the report, handwritten, than scan to a PDF than submit all 10 pages. I did the report in PDF, filled it out. They sent it back, saying all the questions had to be answered HANDWRITTEN. I told them I was not going to write out a 10 page report by hand for this shop. They only paid $32. It's much easier to fill in the report on the computer using PDF. It's faster and easier to read.
@shopperbob wrote:

digikiss opines--Curinos pays fairly well,

Bob disagrees--Curinos pays extremely well. I have completed five shops this year. the total time invested was approx. two hrs. and I was paid $175 to set at my computer. No travel time or expense, no repetitive or redundant reports and exceptional communication. Although I have never been annoyed with Curinos, they could just pester me almost to death.

Just wondering if they required the reports to be handwritten?
John,
All of their clients appear to require this. Apparently you missed the post about typing an addendum for all of the narratives and submitting that with the balance of the report where you just check boxes. Eay peasy solution that many of us have used for years. Recently posted for the umteenth time, btw.

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.
@walesmaven wrote:

John,
All of their clients appear to require this. Apparently you missed the post about typing an addendum for all of the narratives and submitting that with the balance of the report where you just check boxes. Eay peasy solution that many of us have used for years. Recently posted for the umteenth time, btw.

you forgot to mention 5 sections of step by step paragraphs of the shop.
I just cancelled a Curinos shop on an MSC site. When I read the guideline and saw the report is handwritten, I just cancelled it. I don't do handwritten reports. This is not 1992, it's 2022. We have PDF's for filling out reports online.
Count me as one of those shoppers who never really looked at the filter options before reading your post. I played with it on several Sassie websites. It looks like each company uses it a little differently.
@MSFDINF wrote:

Curinos Employee here! Just wanted to add that when searching for shops in Sassie there is filter that you can select to only show shops you are eligible for so your profile meets all the requirements. I am finding many shoppers don't know the filter exists. Hopefully that will save everyone time and frustration.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
John,
Those paragraphs are the very narratives that I was writing about! Type an addendum and substitute that for the handwritten paragraphs! DUH! The report will be accepted.

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.
@walesmaven wrote:

John,
Those paragraphs are the very narratives that I was writing about! Type an addendum and substitute that for the handwritten paragraphs! DUH! The report will be accepted.

So I walked into the bank, got help from a personal banker. They gave me a flier and brochure, told me about the benefits of the cards. I got their business card and left.....that's all that's needed?
Hi John,
What we really need is the signature the client requires an actual signature so if you can type the rest and print the last page and sign it then use the typed form it will be accepted. We have been actively trying to get this client to allow for a digital signature for years and they are just unwilling to accept that even 99% of mortgage companies minus the final escrow signing all accept electronic signatures so I get your frustration!

Briana Baca
Senior Field Director
Curinos

Formerly, Informa's CXR Team (formerly Informa Financial Intelligence and Informa Research Services)
Briana.Goldman@Curinos.com

“Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.” —Jane Wagner


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/26/2022 02:10PM by MSFDINF.
Hi Rho,
We only had editor at the start of the project but have since brought one 2 additional editors to help ease this backlog. I apologize for the wait but these shops take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to edit per shop and we have hundreds of them. We did try to bring editors on earlier but it is a difficult time to find quality candidates. Your patience is appreciated and we are working to get these edited at top speed currently.

Briana Baca
Senior Field Director
Curinos

Formerly, Informa's CXR Team (formerly Informa Financial Intelligence and Informa Research Services)
Briana.Goldman@Curinos.com

“Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.” —Jane Wagner
@MSFDINF wrote:

Hi John,
What we really need is the signature the client requires an actual signature so if you can type the rest and print the last page and sign it then use the typed form it will be accepted. We have been actively trying to get this client to allow for a digital signature for years and they are just unwilling to accept that even 99% of mortgage companies minus the final escrow signing all accept electronic signatures so I get your frustration!

If they need just the last page signed I can do that. I will not write out every answer by hand. The client is making the work harder for the mystery shopper.
Hurrah! The message finally got through!

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 got a response from y e-mail. I have been told the client wants both online form filled out and a written copy of the same form. I was told it's redundant, but that's what the client wants. I was also told even though 99% of the companies accept electronic signatures, the client refuses to budge. So this isn't about any banking regulation. It's the client's fault........I'm not filing the same report twice, and I'm not doing any hand written reports.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/26/2022 07:05PM by johnb974.
John concludes his latest post--I'm not filing the same report twice, and I'm not doing any hand written reports.

Bob comments--That is one of the wonderful aspects of self-employment. One has the prerogative to refuse work that has been offered, but not accepted. One suggestion, though, replace the word FAULT with REQUIREMENT.
It's something I've never encountered in the 8 years I've done mystery shopping. I was always able to apply for or self assign shops that were displayed on the job boards, unless there were specific requirements, such as gender or age limitations. It's probably why I won't work with Curinos again after this - it gets frustrating to look through available jobs, many of which are well paying. Nowhere does it say that I don't qualify- so where is the sense in making people apply when they don't meet the demographic qualifications?
I certainly hope they're not looking at people's credit scores without permission. I would never give permission for a low paying shop to access any personal data. This shop did not even require applying for credit, it was just about evaluating the way an associate offers credit and what other information they provide.
Thanks Kathy. I wish my scheduler had been this helpful. I always assumed that I would either be qualified for all shops displayed in my account, or the requirements would be listed in the shop description.
I signed the last page and was told they would make a one time exception. My shop was accepted. They wanted all the of the report hand written and I told them I would sign the last page only.
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