Newest Review: ... and conditions of the assignment can be read. This may be as simple as if you have a bank account with the bank that is being looked a... more
The grass doesn't grow under your feet with this mystery shopping
Grass Roots Group Mystery Shopping
Member Name: jillycat
Grass Roots Group Mystery Shopping
Advantages: see review
Disadvantages: see review
Why a review on this
I joined Grass roots mystery shopping a few months ago following reading a review here about it and I have found it an interesting experience. So I thought I would share my thoughts on it. Plus in these credit crunch times I thought a review on money making opportunity wouldn't be a bad thing to do.
About the company
Grassroots is a mystery shopping company that has been established for 25 years. They are now an internet based company for mystery shoppers to join login into and accept assignments.
The data base of companies that they represent and send assignments out on includes Retail shops including supermarkets, restaurants, hotels banking and finical companies and automotive companies. You get paid per assignment the cost of which can vary depending on the assignment and what is involved.
How do you join?
To become a panel member and receive mystery shopping assignment you need to register with the company. This is a simple process and involves completing some questions including your name, email address and a brief statement about what qualities you have that would make you a good mystery shopper. This whole process takes a few days from you submitting your information to getting an email with your login id and password. I found it straight forward and self explanatory to use and had no problems at all.
Once you are registered you can then give further details of when and where you are available for assignments. Each day is broken down into times of the day and location. You can enter up to 5 locations so if you work for example in a different place to where you live you can save your work address to do an assignment in your lunch break. I have saved two addresses and received assignments for both of them with no problems.
There is also a section for you to fill in when you're not available for example on holiday. This is very easy to navigate and use.
How does it work and my experience
Where an assignment comes up in your area you receive an email telling you that a new assignment is available. You then log on and check the details to see if you are eligible. There is a box on the screen giving details of an assignment for you to check your eligibility this can vary from holding a bank account with a company to ensuring that you don't have family working at a shop. If you match the criteria then you can confirm you will accept the assignment and click on which day you will do the assignment. One thing that is always crucial is that you can log the information on the form on line within 24 hours. So if you know that will be a problem my advice is don't accept the assignment as it may affect future offers of work.
Once you have clicked on accept you receive a confirmation email and generally anywhere between straight away to 24 hours before the assignment you will receive the full briefing notes. This is a printable form of the information you will need to log on for your report and includes a full breakdown of what you will be looking for. For example if it's a bank assignment you may have to check the logos are correct, that the bank is clean how well the staff are presented queue lengths. I always make a point of reading these through as sometimes something can be a bit ambiguous e.g. which checkout to use and then I always seek clarity from the contact desk. This stops any problems as if you do it wrong you may need to repeat the trip which is frustrating. When I have phoned up the staff have been great and answered my questions straight away.
When undertaking the assignment I always read through the notes either in my car before going in or just before I leave my office if I am doing it in my lunch break. I find this is important as it makes all the details fresh in my mind before I go to the shop or the bank. As often you need to time how long you have been there I always use the stop watch on my mobile phone as I can just press it as I go in to set the time and repress for another "lap time" if I then need to approach someone for example in the shop to ask a question. I think by using a mobile phone it is more discreet than a stopwatch as if you are seen looking at it people assume you have just got a text message. But most of the time it just stays in my jacket or trouser pocket with me just pressing the button
After completing the assignment I always fill in the most pertinent details on my printed form in the car or office so I don't forget and then I can log these on the computer at later time that suits me.
Logging the details on the computer forms is very straight forward there is generally a next button so it logs one question at a time. You can save the form as you fill it in so it doesn't have to be filled in all at once. The form also has a spellchecker bit at the end and you have to review the details before submitting them.
After this it generally takes in my experience 2-3 weeks to be paid for you assignment. This is done through the banking system BACS so you need to provide the company with your banking details. I have never yet to date not being paid for an assignment so feel very confident in recommending doing mystery shopping with Grassroots. Some assignments just have a set fee for example a bank visit whilst others where you have to make a purchase have an amount to cover a purchase generally about £5-8 in my experience.
Pros of Grassroots
* Easy to use site to sign up and fill your details in
* Frequent assignments in your area
* A variety of things to do such as shopping and banking
* Can lead to improvements in customer service
* A bit of extra income
* A fun thing to do I have enjoyed all my assignments
* Payment is straight into your bank account
Cons of Grassroots
*I have yet to see a meal out or holiday become available in my area these may be more popular in areas such as a London though
*Don't forget to declare the income for the tax man as you are employed as a consultant hence you are self-employed
*It's not a guaranteed income earner as you have no control over when assignments become available.
*Depending on how many people are doing this in your area you may need to be quick off the mark before the assignments are taken.
This is a fun way to make some extra money but you do have to work for it and be observant about the services you are reviewing to ensure that you do this to the high standard expected. The website is easy to navigate to sign up and once signed up the company has a good communication system for let you know there assignments available. The staff if you need to speak to them are helpful and knowledgeable and I personally have never had any problems in all of my dealings with them. If you want to know how to be a mystery shopper for Grassroots the webpage details are below. I am still waiting for the holy grail of mystery shopping though a meal and a holiday who knows it may come soon.
Summary: Life as a mystery shopper with grassroots