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Mystery Shopper Companies - What You Need to Avoid

Jun 9, 2008
While most mystery shopping companies have solid reputations, there are a few that don't. The mystery shopping industry has skyrocketed with the consumer demand constantly on the rise; there are over 400 mystery shopper companies within the US alone. The best mystery shopping companies will have the customer's interests at the top of mind and will ensure that there mystery shopper experiences provide true value. Over the past few years, the amount of mystery shopper companies has grown over 11% per year, making this industry sector a $600 million per year business.

Most people have a good idea of what to look for in good mystery shopper companies but we wanted to dedicate an article about the specific things you should avoid. Unfortunately, some people become greedy, always looking for ways of making money but without putting in the time and effort to do it the right, or even legal way. This means that customers are ripped off, often for large sums of money, and shoppers are paid with bogus cashiers or standard checks. You need to all you can to protect yourself when making a decision about mystery shopper companies.

Of all known issues that relate to mystery shopper companies, fraud with bad checks or other payment means is by far the most serious and prevalent. In this case, consumers are being sent letters or finding classified advertisements that promise a way of earning quick cash or gifts by performing mystery shops and/or service evaluations. One scheme in particular involves so-called mystery shopper companies, asking shoppers to cash checks, followed by wiring the money back to a certain address, most often to a foreign country.

For handling, the shopper is told he/she would keep a percentage of the check. However, once the check is cashed, the shopper is advised within a few days by the bank that it bounced, leaving him/her with serious financial issues that could be as much as $5,000! One company, GFK Custom Research, explains through their North America's marketing communication department that they are taking this personal, working to get the word out about this horrific crime. GFK is among a list of top mystery shopper companies and they do not want their reputation smeared.

If you are looking for one of the best mystery shopper companies then MSPA is one that you should contact. They aim to give businesses exactly what they need in order to improve and they are also constantly exposing various different fraudulent schemes.

In fact, MSPA give out tips to mystery shoppers to help them to avoid getting involved with fraudulent companies. They tell you to never pay a fee to join a company. Usually mystery shopper companies hire their shoppers for free. Also you should stay clear of companies who tell you that they will pay through money transfer or check cashing. If you follow those tips you should successfully avoid fraudulent companies.
About the Author
You need money, they need shoppers. Mystery shopper companies need you to tell them what they are doing wrong. Your words, their money in you pocket. Free Mystery Shopper
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