Written By Ceridwyn

KSS International Review (Kern Scheduling Systems)

Company Overview: Not a mystery shopping company per se, this business entity connects shoppers with many available assignment opportunities with other mystery shopping companies.

Previously known as Kern Scheduling Services from 1998 to 2001, this scheduling company now goes by the name of KSS International. The business is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was started by Lori Kern, President and CEO, and is the oldest and largest scheduling company. It coordinates assignments in the US, Canada, UK, Latin America, and the Bahamas. KSS International claims it schedules more shops than any other company on the Sassie platform.

KSS International also states that it scheduled more than 1 million assignments in 2010 for over 80 MSCs.

The type of assignments available vary as much as do the MSCs. Typical assignments include banking, alternative financial services, and retail.

Monetary payments are made via PayPal by the actual MSC.

Signing up with KSS International is straightforward. Visit their website at www.kernscheduling.com and click on “New Shopper Sign Up”. You will encounter the typical Sassie-type application, so signing up is easy and logical.

No shops are submitted on the KSS Sassie site. Their site is a recruiting tool only. Jobs are first posted on the site of the MSC that KSS is scheduling for, then later their own. Either navigate to the MSCs job board to apply for jobs directly, or respond to the assignment email announcements sent out by KSS International.

One common complaint on the www.mysteryshopforum.com regarding KSS International has to do with an extended application process before assignments are awarded. Going along with that, forum members report that at times jobs will be closed out on an MSCs board yet will show as being available on the KSS job board. Shoppers feel that information about job availability is stale and outdated.

Forum members also report inconsistency in their experiences with different schedulers at KSS International. For the most part, shoppers report few problems. Yet some believe that there is a disconnect between some of the schedulers and shoppers, with a lack of understanding on the part of the schedulers as to what is required of a shopper. Most posters have shared positive experiences, but there were a few comments on the forum about unpleasant or rude schedulers.

One other topic that creates negative feedback is the use of hero citations versus providing bonuses. The majority of shoppers feel that these citations are useless, and once again demonstrate that schedulers really don’t understand the needs of the shopper.

Personal Experience: So far I have completed almost 100 assignments through KSS International, mostly banking and alternative financial services. I haven’t run into any issues. Interactions with schedulers have been professional and effective. My email communications with this MSC have been reliable and prompt.

I have to give KSS International a shout-out for how they worked with me during a recent personal emergency. My heavily packed schedule could have been a sheer nightmare to rearrange. But all KSS reps worked with me with courtesy, kindness, and respect. I am very appreciative of their understanding and tolerance, even though my situation caused them much inconvenience.

It is permissible to open up negotiations for distance or bonus pay, and schedulers have been fair in regards to this. Don’t hesitate to contact a scheduler when you are building routes and can pick up an assignment in an out-of-the-way place.

Your Comments:

  1. Walter J Becker says:

    This company entices random consumers to buy $$ gift cards for them while the check they give you for that purpose is fake, leaving the consumer as a pawn,buying money cards for the company with fraudulent checks!! Stay away honest people

    • Lisa Kenny says:

      I just received an express mail with a check, asked me to deposit and then buy the cards. The check looks legit front and back. I surely wouldnt buy any cards until the check cleared. Were u instructed to do something different?

  2. Russell Clear says:


  3. Bailey B. says:

    KSS International is a legitimate mystery shop scheduling company as the article suggests. They partner with many reputable mystery shopping companies to recruit shoppers. The letter you received with a check was a scam. A huge problem in this industry is that scammers are impersonating many Mystery shopping companies. Mystery shop companies are clearly stating this warning on their websites when they become aware that scammers are using their name on fake emails and mail. You should NEVER ever ever cash a check you receive in the mail for anyone you don’t know and trust or fall for the gift card scam! Those are NOT legitimate mystery shops. The best thing to do when you receive communication like that is to look up the companies website directly, NOT the website the letter or email suggested. Or look for the company profiles in the “Mystery Shop Professional association america” website to see the contact info or real website for the company. Be sure to type america bc they too are being impersonated unfortunately, and so that is the official site. The reputable MSC’s will be members of the MSPA. Also, never ever pay a company to become a mystery shopper! Its a shame that there are soo many scams in this industry that people are falling for. Please do your research to prevent getting scammed.

  4. Thomas K says:

    Was sent a check in the mail with KSS International on remitter look real deposited check waited 3days called my bank said the money was there bought the cards kept my end out then my bank said the check was no good I got SCREWED even after my bank said the money was there again iam a dumpa–

  5. Joe Brown says:

    Got the letter with a check which happened to be drawn on the bank I do business with. Alerted the bank with copies and as suspected was told the check was bogus. Alerted postmaster with copies of documents including the express envelope. Alerted WalMart managers with copy of letter. Rec’d test message during all this from culprits #15097613154 in mainland China. A federal crime for sure.

  6. Lucia Alonso says:

    New Shopper? If you would like to sign up for a NEW ACCOUNT on the KSS International SASSIE System, or if you’re not sure if you have an account on our SASSIE system, please enter your email address below and we will search to see if you have an account (only one account per email address).

  7. Andrea johnston says:

    Gotta check for 1500 I’m ßuppose to deposit ít theñ buy gift cards

  8. Guy Belanger says:

    Was assigned 3 Chevron shops by KSS and did them Feb 18th. Haven’t got paid for them and KSS is just saying to contact Ipsos that they just do the scheduling. Stay away from subcontracted scheduled shops. Worked for nothing…

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