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Let's take a closer look at this mystery shopping company!
Who doesn't love free stuff?
Well, imagine getting a night out at a nice restaurant or an overnight hotel stay for free.
That's exactly what you can get if you register to be a mystery shopper through a company named A Closer Look.
I love to share about this company. I was first introduced to this company when I took a mystery shopping class at my local community college.
One of my classmates had a hankering to perform restaurant and hotel shops and this company was presented as one of the best companies to do this with.
Let me preface everything by saying that this company is certified with the MSPA , the Mystery Shopping Providers Association, which only certifies legitimate shop companies.
I always like to share the story about the gentleman who was in my class, because he got a little more than he bargained for with this company.
The homework assignment given to us by our instructor was to apply to 25 Mystery shopping companies.
The gentleman in class decided he would do something different. He applied to one, and only one, Mystery Shopping company (A Closer Look) because he was interested in doing restaurant shops.
After signing up and receiving a welcome e-mail and a list of some of the available shops, he contacted the shops scheduler via e-mail and wrote:
"If you need a mystery shop to be done around here, consider me your go-to guy!"
He got in a little over his head.
My point is that there are lots of mystery "shops" available.
Sometimes schedulers are scrambling to get their shops completed by the end of the month, and so some of them may even even offer you more money to get them done, so keep an eye on your e-mail in box , especially towards the end of the month.
A closer Look specializes in hotel and restaurant mystery shops. You will pay for the dinner or hotel stay yourself, then get reimbursed by the Mystery shop company as long as you keep your receipt.
Most times, with the hotel and restaurant shops, you are not paid in addition to the cost of the hotel room or the meal. Your payment is that you get a nice overnight stay at an awesome hotel or you get a dinner at a fancy restaurant for free.
With a restaurant shop, unless specified, you will only get reimbursed for one meal plus tip, unless they allow your partner/friend to complete a separate mystery shop during the same meal.
The company will give you a pretty long and detailed list of instructions (what to order, what parts of the hotel to check out, who to talk to, etc), so please be sure to do the shop exactly as instructed , so that you are paid.
As long as you go through a company that is certified by the MSPA, such as this one, you will get paid if you are careful to do the Mystery shop as instructed.
I've never had a situation where I did not get paid (in case you were wondering!)
Hotel shops will cover the cost of the room for the time specified but please be advised that any "extras" such as use of the mini bar, ordering movies and room service, are not covered, unless specified in your contract.
I was offered a restaurant shop with A Closer Look a few years back. It was for a restaurant named Twin Peaks.
I had no idea what type of restaurant this was; big mistake. So, when I asked my husband to go with me, he raised his eyebrows and said, "You want me to go there?"
I guess Twin Peaks is similar to Hooters restaurants, if you catch my drift.
Um, yeah I ended up cancelling this shop with my scheduler (way in advance , to give her time to find someone else) which is apparently kind of a no-no according to my Mystery shopping instructor.
However, schedulers understand if things come up, and if you give them enough time to find someone else, no harm is done.
What will give you a black mark in this industry is being a "flake" which means not showing up for your shop and not letting anyone know what happened.
Not only will you get blacklisted with the scheduler you were dealing with, they will make sure to spread the word to other schedulers about you being a flake, so be careful with that.
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