Our Member’s Favourite Companies Winter 2018

Companies used by UK Researchers
All of the below companies use self-employed mystery shoppers (as opposed to employed ones, through a payroll).

You can sign up to as many companies as you like. The more you sign up with the more choice of jobs you will have.

This is just a small list of companies that lots of us on this thread use. Googling “Mystery shopping” will bring up others, but DO NOT join any that ask you to pay out anything up front. You will NOT get work from them and you WILL lose your money. This list is NOT exhausted, and nor does inclusion here mean they are recommended. Comments in GREEN are JUST comments – a personal opinion by a shopper. Your experience may be different!

Many other companies exist and are mentioned in this and the alerts thread. Have a read there for further info, and for an idea of what type of jobs they have (and what we think of fees!)

AMBER ARCH
Allocation of Jobs – newly introduced Sassie System.
Pay Day – by Paypal only.This company has fallen out of favour with some of the regulars are the fees are lower than some other companies.

BARE INTERNATIONAL (if you get a current MSE’r to refer you they’ll earn 1 Euro! So please ask)
Allocation of Jobs – Self allocation although they contact you to tell you if you are successful in obtaining assignments.
Pay Day – Around 22nd of the month following the assignment. By BACS or PAYPAL. NB They pay in Euro and some banks CHARGE for this. At the time of writing (Feb 2010) the following do NOT: Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Nationwide, Smile; and the following DO: Alliance & Leicester, Halifax, Nat West, RBS, Satander group
Contact no. 02 03355 9265 Lots of car visits. Decent company

BLUE APPLE
Allocation of jobs: by email.
Pay Day: Payments are made directly into your bank account within 4 weeks of receipt of your completed pay claim.

CATALYST
Allocation of Jobs – from the website (Sassie). NB: This company is Irish so the rates of pay are usually shown in Euro – however, you will receive payment in Sterling.
Pay Day: By paypal (you’ll pay a tax-deductable paypal fee), towards the end of the month following the month in which you did the job or even early the month after. So, for example, regardless of whether a job is done on 1st April or 30th April you will be paid at the end of May or beginning of June.

CHG do UK (London only) Hotels, restaurants, lounges and overseas hotels etc. BIG up front expenses and long reports, but decent fees.

Ask or PM blindman if you want more details

CUSTOMER PERSPECTIVES LIMITED 
Allocation of Jobs – By telephone.
Pay Day: 21 days maximum, but usually within 7-10 days

E DIGITAL RESEARCH
Allocation of jobs by invitation to an email on the site
Pay: By cheque on around 20th of the month
You need to post off paperwork before you can be accepted.

ESA
Allocation of jobs online. Self-allocation for certain jobs once you’ve completed a certain number of satisfactory assignments for them.
Pay Day: Job cut off is 31st, , pay date 10th following month by BACS. ESA generally have nice, short tick box reports

GAPBUSTER known affectionately as “Gyp” by regulars on this forum!!
Allocation of Jobs – Self allocation, you need to keep checking the website
Pay Day – 27th of the month following your assignment by BACS

To contact them re: payment enquiry use: ShopperPaymentUK@gapbuster.com , and for any other queries: ShopperAssignmentsUK@gapbuster.com
GAP are quite a good place to dip your toe in -they have lots of jobs, and if you can deal with the nerves of timing with a stop watch, you should be OK. Also, it’s not a big expense if you mess up.

GRASS ROOTS
Allocation of Jobs – Self allocation, you need to keep checking the website
Pay Day – Varies but usually 3-4 weeks after your assignment by BACS
They offer jobs on a ‘nearest first’ basis, so it can be worth making your additional postcodes supermarket/ shopping centre postcodes. Nice and straitforward briefs and reports

HELION RESEARCH Allocation of Jobs – from the website (they have their own platform that is ever improving, they welcome all suggestions and feedback)
Helion specialize in Mystery Shopping but also complete Audits, Exit interviews and recorded visits & calls.
Pay day – Middle of the month following your completion. Paid by Bank transfer or PayPal.
Contact by phone +32 (0)3 609 50 02 or you can email for a call back to uk@helionresearch.com
They also keep an eye on this thread, and often pop up if we mention them. They also have very thorough training on their site, so definitely a great one to sign up to.

JKS
Another company using the Sassie system.

MARKET CHECKER
Takes a while to get established but they have a good range of assignments.

MYSTERY CUSTOMER EVALUATIONS
Allocation of Jobs – By email
Pay Day: 30th of the month – if you do a job on 1st, you’ll get paid on 30th – do a job on 27th and still get paid on 30th!
Tel. No. 0131 208 4433

MYSTERY DINING COMPANY AKA EATING COMPANY THAT CANNOT BE NAMED, as they don’t like to be talked about.
Allocation of Jobs – Self selection from website. 4 levels – Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, you get a higher rank as you do more jobs and the higher ranks see the new jobs first.
Pay Day: By BACS 4-5 weeks after doing the job!
Tel. No. 01225 470 281 Reports are lengthy and detailed. They have good sample reports on the site

OPTIMUM CONTACT
Allocation of Jobs – By e-mail, acceptance of allocation is done online.
Pay Day: About 2 weeks after work is completed, by BACS. Need to submit invoice on their website.

PERFORMANCE IN PEOPLE
Applications are done online, visits are self-allocate and data entry in online.
They do mainly video work, but their main two non-video clients are a car dealership franchise and a high street building society.
Payment: is by BACS paid by the 15th of the month following the month in which the work was completed – sent automatically with no need for the MSer to send an invoice.

QDOS MYSTERY SHOPPING
Allocation of Jobs – by email, telephone or text
Pay Day: generally pay by cheque 2 weeks after the assignment is completed.

REACT SURVEYS 
Allocation of jobs by email, but also use a “Sassie” system website.
Pay Day: complete the invoice and expenses claim form when you submit the job details. Pay date is 26th Good briefs, helpful staff

RETAIL ACTIVE
Retail active have fallen out of favour with the regulars here, as they’re fees have plummeted, to below national minimum wage levels for many jobs.
Self allocation online
Payment – automatic payment following job (can someone who works for them please tell me timings/dates of payment please?).

MARKET FORCE 
Formerly known as RETAIL EYES (and sometimes referred to in this thread as MFers)
Allocation of Jobs – Self allocation, you need to keep checking the website
For Telephone and hotel jobs, you must have a valid work email address and phone number, i.e. not gmail, yahoo, aol, hotmail etc.
Pay Day – 10th & 25th of the month (jobs done 1st-15th get paid on 25th; jobs on 16th-end of month are paid on the following 10th) – by BACS – remember to add your bank details!
Good entry company, but fees are sometimes ridiculed by regulars here

RETAIL MAXIM
Allocation of Jobs – By text message or email. They also have a new self allocation website.
Pay Day – Each month the cut off date is the 14th and everything received, completed & edited by them by this date goes through for payment on the 26th of the same month, (Or the next working day if the 26th falls on a weekend), and will take two to four working days to show in your account. Anything received, completed & edited after the cut off will go through for payment on the 26th of the following month.
Interim payments are paid throughout the month to refund purchases of £18 and over, so that you are not out of pocket for long periods of time. Payment of fees, expenses and any other purchases made throughout the month are included in the monthly payrun.

SERVE LEGAL
For 18 and 19 Year olds ONLY. They do test alcohol purchases.

SERVICE MEASURE
Mainly restaurants.
Allocation of Jobs – by email
Payment: by cheque

TNS
They also have a Sassie System, you need to register with this separately to the main site.
Allocation of Jobs – Self allocation, you need to keep checking the website
Pay Day – BACS on the 28th of the month following the assignment
Contact no. 0208 967 4164 (database administrator)
Contact no. 0208 967 1333 (payroll)
Contact email: contactus.mshop@tns-global.com

TERN
Notification of jobs by email, apply online and you will be notified if you’ve been successful or not
Payday: By BACS – sometimes really fast.

ITS INCOGNITO]Allocation of Jobs – By email. Type of work – Specialises in the hospitality industry. Mystery shopper telephone calls but also Mystery Guest visits, and office quality assessment site audits.Valid business contact details required for hotel Mystery Guest stays]Looking for Mystery Shoppers in Manchester and London (as of Feb 2013) Pay: Usually by 14th of following month with hotel expenses paid sooner

Douglas Stafford
Some report visits but mostly video reports. Payment on the last working day of the FOLLOWing month (work on May 2nd, get paid June 30th) by BACS. Good company, that expects good reports