Company Overview: Texas Shoppers Network, Inc (TSN) has the only registered U.S. Patent within the mystery shopping industry. That patent covers the process developed to evaluate client’s businesses. With experience as a vendor and merchandiser for major retail stores, Sondra Pulford founded TSN in 1996. The company’s purpose “is to form long-term relationships with clients to help them strengthen their market positions as champions of customer service.” The company serves retail outlets such as grocery stores primarily in parts of Texas, but also in other parts of the United States.
The company used Prophet in the past but now links shoppers to the ISecretShop portal (https://isecretshop.com/) to complete the application process and find jobs.
The company website is here http://texasshoppersnetwork.
Paypal is the method of payment that arrives 45-60 days after the shop. The company FAQ state an invoice is required to be submitted for payment. This company holds MSPA membership. The company website says part of the patented process is to provide feedback to shoppers. Facebook is used to both solicit clients and offer shops to shoppers.
What others have to say: Comments on the forum are very limited and most are years old. Some are very favorable saying they are great to work with and pay on time. Others complain of a lack of responsiveness and slow pay. One shopper says the pay is adequate but the reports are slightly more lengthy than the norm. Two shoppers describe submitting a report by phone. Several comments about a grocery shop indicate this is a longstanding client. There are no comments about shop feedback from shoppers. The BBB lists this company with an A+ rating. It does not accredit TSN. The company was also featured in a Texas TV news station story about mystery shopping. That video can be found on YouTube.
Personal Experience: I have seen the name on ISecretShop for some time. I have also signed the TSN contract on ISsecretShop. However, I have not seen shops in my area. A Google search gave me a prophet site that had an application process. However, when first attempting to apply on the company’s website, I was directed to the ISecretShop portal. Thus, I conclude this company has discontinued the used of Prophet as a platform. Although I’m not sure how the requirement of an invoice works on ISecretShop it may have been a difficulty for shoppers in the past. I also noticed shops posted on Facebook as recently as May 2015.
Overall: This is a small company with a long history and MSPA membership. It has the singular achievement to have patented the mystery shopping evaluation process. For those of you interested in reading more about that, you can link to more detailed information about the patent from the company website. Shops are limited to parts of Texas and some areas of other states. Shopper experiences reported on the forum are few and old. The comments about slow pay and non responsiveness are offset by few positive comments.