Thursday, July 13, 2006

A friend of mine was extolling the virtues of mystery shopping to me, so one afternoon while I was bored I did a search for mystery shopping companies. I came across and decided to sign up for their free bronze account.

When you are signing up, it is explained to you that one of the reasons to upgrade to a better account is so that you can get email alerts for mystery shopping assignments. I figured I didn't want email alerts, I'd just check the job boards manually when I felt like it.

What they don't tell you is that you will get emails anyway, but instead of being an informative alert, it will have the bulk of the email snipped off with a message saying that if you upgrade your account you can see the whole thing. As an added insult, the job boards that I thought I'd peruse at my leisure also have snipped listings. Apparently, the bronze members only have access to listings that are past a certain age, and typically that assignment is expired by then.

Not to be deterred, I took advantage of an offer to upgrade my account for one month instead of paying for a whole year. I went ahead and paid $9.99 for the Gold package figuring I'd just get the max access and see if it's worth it.

Turn out, no, it's not worth it. Once you have access to the listings, you find out that just about every company that posts a job wants you to go register at their site, as well. is definately not the central hub of activity that it claims to be. Basically, if you already know the names of mystery shopping companies, you can just save the money that you'd pay to and register directly.

To rub salt in your wound, I registered with another site, and it is some third-party scheduler that asked me to register with another site.

This is just all too much work for what I thought was going to be some free pizza every now and then. Save your money and time.


Anonymous said...

The exact same thing has happened to me. After reading this blog, I guess I'm out of luck with my $99.00 Shadow stole from me without my permision. Is there someone to report this to? It is so hard to make money and to think someone has the nerve to steal it you.

Tim said...

I would get a refund from your credit card, to start, then file a complaint with the BBB.

Anonymous said...

Shadow shoppers is a complete joke! I registered and did one or two surveys and then realized, after I did the math that between the time it takes to do a survey and the amount they "pay" for the survey, it's not even anywhere close to minimum wage! And now, regardles of how many times I have requested they stop sending me emails they won't!

Tricia Luddington - Irish said...

Thanks for the advise. It looks like you have saved me both money and hassle. If they want people to sign up for this they need to have honor in their practices.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I could read this post because I was receiving mail from them and thought maybe it was a good thing to do. Fortunately, I always ignore the upgrade mails and if I knew sooner, I would have never wasted time in registering to their site.

Anonymous said...

Thanky you, thank you, I was about to go through with this registering. I decided to see what type of reviews I could find. I felt that this was going to be more work than I was willing to put into shasowshopping. All the surveys just to much. Thank you agian.

cynthia said...

Thank you for sharing. I decided to do some reviews before signing up. I have heard of the raves of secret shopping.. and well.. Thank you. Have a blessed day!

BJ PUP said...

For Anonymous - you can file with the BBB and/or file a complaint with the FBI. Don't laugh. If there is a money-back guarantee, then by not refunding your money they are committing wire-fraud which is a Federal offense.

Having sat on a Federal Grand Jury the FBI has divisions for handling these types of things. Scams are investigated. I've sat through these types of cases when the AUSAs are going to an indictment.

Thanks buy the way. I thought it could be fun to do.