Mystery Shopping

Are you a parent who is at home with the children and would like to earn some money? If so, Mystery Shopping could be for you.

What is Mystery Shopping?
Many companies test the quality of service their staff are providing to the public. In order to do this they will ask members of the general public (you) to visit them and report on the level of service you receive. You will in turn receive a fixed fee for completing the assignment. These assignments are managed by Mystery Shopping companies who specialise in customer satisfaction research.

How is the Assignment Allocated?
Some companies will call with an assignment and others will send an e-mail invitation with details of the assignment. The e-mail will include the amount you will be paid, where you are to visit and what you are required to do. You are given a number to call if you wish to apply for the assignment and they are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

How do you sign-up to receive the Assignments?
There are many different mystery shopping companies on the internet, you will be required to sign-up to the company giving them details about yourself and they will send assignments they believe are suited to you.

Here are a couple of example Mystery Shopping companies -

How much will you be paid?
You will be given a pre-agreed fixed fee for an assignment, this will be paid directly to your bank account. If you are required to travel you may be paid travel expenses. You are required to pay your own Tax and National Insurance on any earnings as you are required to be self-employed.

Example Assignments
There are many different assignments that may be offered and many will depend on your particular experience and skills. You must remember that although the assignments may seem attractive you are required to report back on the service you receive and are working during the assignment.

Assignments examples are -

A meal at a restaurant/pub
Purchasing of a product from a store
Opening a bank account

This is an actual example of an assignment sent to a Mystery Shopper -

We are writing to offer you the opportunity to earn £90 over the next 4 months by taking part in a special project that requires you to undertake 4 separate visits to the branch of Barclays specified below.

GU32 3HW

To take part in this project:

  • You must commit to undertaking all 4 visits associated with this project (details below).
  • You must be willing to undergo a credit check as a standard part of a current account opening process (you will not be required to make changes to any of your existing banking arrangements).
  • Dates of visits for part 2, 3 and 4 of the assignment will be notified to you approximately 1 week in advance of the assignment.

To be eligible to open the types of current account we need to assess and to take part in this project:

  • You must have a regular household income of at least £15,000, which is not based solely on benefits (please note, if your only source of household income other than benefits is mystery shopping or occasional work this is not classed as regular income).
  • You must not hold, or have previously held, any accounts or products with Barclays.
  • You must not have any CCJ's (County Court Judgements.).
  • You must not be a full-time student.

Barclays objective is to assess key elements of the lifecycle of a customer from opening a current account through to enquiring about closing the account. Details of the 4 assignments associated with this project are as follows:

Part One - April Assignment

  • Valid visit dates - from 16.04.07 to 20.04.07
  • Valid visit times - between 10am and 3.30pm
  • Scenario - Open a Barclays current account
  • This will not require you to make changes to any of your existing banking arrangements. You are only required to use this new current account for the simple transactions associated with this project.
  • In cases where someone is not available to handle your account opening, you may need to make an appointment and return to the branch to complete this part of the project.
  • This assignment will require you to be credit-checked.
  • Payment - £50

Part Two - May Assignment

  • Valid visit dates - 15.05.07 to 19.05.07
  • Valid visit times - between 10am and 3.30pm
  • Scenario - Counter Transaction and Enquiry
  • You will also make an enquiry (for example: how long it takes for a cheque to clear).
  • Payment - £10

Part Three - June Assignment

  • Valid visit dates - 12.06.07 to 15.06.07
  • Valid visit times - between 10am and 3.30pm
  • Scenario - Service/Product Enquiry
  • You will make an enquiry (for example: what is the difference between a standing order and a direct debit?).
  • Payment - £10

Part Four - July Assignment

  • Valid visit dates - 17.07.07 to 20.07.07
  • Valid visit times - between 10am and 3.30pm
  • Scenario - Account closing enquiry
  • You tell a member of the bank staff that you are considering closing your account.
  • Payment - £20

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