What: Mystery Shopping

Expected pay: minimal

Rating: $SSSS

Where: National

Requirements: Free time and a pulse

Review: It’s a bad sign when you try to email a company for further information and the email address on their website comes back as “unrecognized.” It’s another bad sign when the company (Certified Field Associates) gets an “F” rating from their local Better Business Bureau. (MarketForce inexplicably gets a high BBB rating.) But it’s even worse when review after review says your company stinks. Although MarketForce’s BBB rating is high, 25 people have complained to the BBB about a host of abuses, from “invalidating” shopper reports — which gives the company an excuse not to pay you — to requiring a ridiculous amount of work for practically no pay. Avoid this related duo. $ideHusle doesn’t have a zero-$ Husl $core; one $ is as low as we go –and these companies earned it. 

What their shoppers say:

“This is a terrible company. They are disrespectful to their contractors and have vague guidelines. Yet, they expect perfection and will not hesitate to invalidate a report, which means that you did all the work and they found a technicality upon which to withhold payment. I suspect they still submit these to the client and it is a way to get work done for free that they are still being paid for by the client. They are a shady company who does not value those who do the work for them, nor do they value their time and effort. Pay is ridiculously low and not worth it. Keep far away from this company. They have questionable business practices.”

“I find this company sets standards as if you are an employee but yet pays you well below minimum wage. For instance a shop at a jewelers where you are required to do the shop on a certain day, read the myriads of paperwork then print the paperwork, do a certification test, then do the shop, then login and fill out to their subjective desires your narrative where they tell you how long it should be and when it has to be done by and pays $8.00 is not worth your time!! Then if you decline a shop based on pay and you still have an active shop to do they tell you (specifically Karen S shopper advocate) that they could not give you anymore shops unless you did not cancel!!! Go elsewhere or complain to the IRS that they do not meet guidelines and should be paying into social security on your account and more!! I do not have time and value my worth more than this type of company pays me and others which us far less than minimum wage would be. You cant deactivate your own account and they demand you give them your social security number and somehow without your knowledge pull your what appears to be your work history that you never gave them. I have asked them to delete any knowledge of my bank account as well as social security and want my account deactivated which has no link on their site to do.”

The following BBB complaint was answered by Market Force, which should give you an idea of why you shouldn’t waste your time with these jokers. Spoiler alert: This worker had to fight to get paid $12 — $7.02 of which was her out-of-pocket cost to shop the establishment.

5/27/2017
Problems with Product/Service 

Complaint

I did a job for Market Force on May 3rd. I completed the job on the day, time and at the location asked of me. I did the shop correctly as stated in their requirements. I submitted all receipts showing the location, amount paid, time and who the cashier was. During the time to do paperwork online,… I’m not sure if It was me or my auto correct, but a “T” was put in front of the name of the person and the rest of the spelling of the name was correct. They marked it “invalid” and refuse to pay me. It angers me that though I submitted the receipt and did everything right, they refuse to pay me for something so simple as a “T” placed in front of a name. It’s like they found a reason to not pay me instead of looking past a small error that doesn’t effect the job itself. People are human and mistakes are made. You can’t not pay someone for a job they completed and done everything correctly!

Desired ResolutionMy monies for this job. I paid $7.02 out of pocket which was promised to be reimbursed and the additional $5 promised to complete the shop, which I completed correctly.

MarketForce response
The Complainant acknowledges that somehow when she was entering her shop data into her report the name of one of the employees was misspelled.  The mystery shopper has an obligation to review her report data prior to hitting the Submit button so that any mistakes made by her are caught then and…
she can correct them.  If they are caught by us or the Client, as they were in this case, the shopper risks having her shop be invalidated.  Usually by the time the Client or we discover a mistake in a shop, it is too late to pull it back because the shop is put out for reassignment immediately to be done by another Shopper following an invalidation so that we can meet our contractual obligations with our Clients.  An uncaught mistake also calls into question whether other mistakes were made in the report that the shopper’s foregoing of the very crucial step of checking her work might have revealed.  We will not be offering this shopper any more assignments and in return we will pay her the sum requested.

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