A few years ago I was surfing on the internet when I saw the ad: „Get paid for shopping.”
Hahaha! Could it sound more like a scam? I am not falling for this. Or am I?
It somehow still made me thinking… Well, I heard about this guy who does mystery shopping and he never complained. Checking out the company’s website won’t hurt. I started exploring the page…
I saw logos of prestigious clients, I even discovered some brands I liked. I remembered, last time I went to that shop, the salesperson was really rude and I had the feeling I was ruining her life by asking for a smaller size of that shirt. How funny it would be to go to that very same shop and leave feedback about her. I will register.
What? Why on earth do they have to know how tall I am?
Later a friend told me that her boyfriend had registered for a mystery shopping company. They called him to offer him a mystery visit including a test drive with one of the world’s smallest car. They asked him how tall he was. After he said he was 1.92, the agent kindly apologized for having called him. He would not even fit in the tiny car.
And also my bank account number?
OK, they have to pay me somehow. I guess if it is only the account number, not the credit card number and my PIN, it is pretty safe. After I registered, I was checking my job-board regularly, but there were mostly visits which required owning a car, so I didn’t apply for any of them. As a funny twist in life, I came across another mystery shopping company when I was looking for a job. BARE International hired me as a recruiter. My job is to look for people in several countries, who are interested in doing mystery visits. I thought it would be beneficial to try mystery shopping, so that I can answer the people’s question and I know exactly what I am offering them
Mystery shopping, here I come! But how is it all done?
How could I learn it? I am so confused…oh, there is an online training! Sounds good. I went through the slides and the test, I have to admit it took a lot of time and I wanted to give up at some point. But I remembered, every time we start something new, we have to invest time and energy into learning it.
I visited my job-board and found some mystery calls.
Before the visit I had to read the long guidelines but at least I was confident on what to do while on the phone. When I finally dialed the call center, my knees were shaking like jelly and I thought they knew instantly that I was a mystery shopper. I was shivering and stuttering. It took at least 5 minutes to feel normal again. I will never forget that rush of adrenalin in my body. Fortunately, the customer service representative on a the other end of the line was doing a very decent job and I was happy to leave a feedback about him in the online questionnaire. I hope his boss will read it and he will get promoted! Since then I have done several mystery calls. Sometimes it was a pleasant experience.
Yet, other times I received terrible customer service.
First I felt very bad reporting about it in the questionnaire. I felt like I betrayed the customer service representative. But I developed this theory, that if they do not have the necessary communication skills and inner motivation to behave recpectfully with the customers, they should change jobs and do something they really like.
I can say that including the good and bad aspects, I became a fan of mystery shopping.
I like the adrenaline rush, when I start an assignment. I appreciate working in such a „green industry”. There is no production, no printing, everything goes online. Last but not least I like the moment when I receive the notification that my shop fee was transferred to my account. Some say the payment is low, but usually it’s enough to cover a good dinner in a restaurant. Money best spent.
Szintia is an employee of Bare International.
Besides her work in the Social Media and Recruitment team, she loves sports, travelling, and she is learning her 6th language. She is a Couchsurfer. She has a master’s degree in Strategic HR Management and she is a professional pastry chef.
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