Written By Ceridwyn

A Closer Look

Company Overview: This company is lauded as a favorite of shoppers time and time again, so consider adding this one to your list of MSCs.

A Closer Look was established in 1994 and is headquartered in Norcross, Georgia. They offer many assignments in hospitality including bistros, hotels and resorts, breweries, and casual and upscale dining. They also have clients such as spas, fitness centers, dental offices, senior living facilities, and retail businesses. This MSC spotlights some of its many clients on its website.

Payments are made via check, and are sent out the 4th Monday following the month a visit was conducted.

Go to www.a-closer-look.com to get signed up. Click on “Become A Shopper”. The application process includes a pre-application test as well as submission of a writing sample. Starting in 2013, there is also an 8 minute video to review, followed by a short quiz.

Once signed up, you can view available assignments, which are listed as “Events” on their job board. New assignments are posted for the following month between the 20th and 25th. Jobs are self-assigned.

However, shoppers without MSPA certification or a successful history with ACL may not be able to view or assign themselves higher end assignments. To earn this access, shoppers need to work their way up by taking less favorable assignments and completing them well.

Sometimes there is a limit on the number of assignments a shopper can self-assign at any one time, usually about 5. Talking to a scheduler directly may result in being able to assign more shops.

Job announcements are frequently posted on the Mystery Shopping Job Board on the forum.

What others have to say: Many shoppers on www.mysteryshopforum.com state that ACL is their favorite mystery shopping company. It frequently appears on lists of “best companies” in forum discussions.

With only a few exceptions, shoppers respect the professional and positive feedback from editors. Forum members state that they are courteous and easy to please.

However, it has also been stated that it is readily apparent when a new editor comes on board at ACL. While they are learning the ropes, editorial requirements are not consistent with the past experiences shoppers have had while reporting on visits. This can cause some issues that need to be escalated to another ACL representative. In those cases, resolution is usually prompt.

Pay is reported to be reliable and on time.

Other positives that shoppers describe about this company are schedulers that are easy to work with. They are helpful, easy to communicate with, fair, responsive, and flexible with assignment deadlines when necessary. Shoppers say they are treated with respect by schedulers, and that they willingly assist with answering questions and concerns.

One shopper writes: “This MSC has multiple tiers of shops available. If you put the time in with them and do good work, it pays off.”

Most reporting for the higher end assignments requires extensive narrative, but samples are usually provided so shoppers know what is expected.

Reporting for more casual assignments is described as being reasonable and not overly tedious.

The only major complaint about ACL has to do with the sometimes inadequate amount of reimbursement, especially for the assignments that require a greater outlay of cash from the shopper. Although many shoppers report that their expenses have been under the allowed reimbursement.

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