Company Overview: Sometimes there seems to be a disconnect between what shoppers are asked to do while on an on-site visit and what is truly feasible and realistic. One mystery shopping company that “gets it” is Associate Consumer Evaluations.
The founders of this company, Tiffany Steward and Julie Simbo, were inspired to create a business that would improve customer service in their small college town. They themselves were the first mystery shoppers for their company. This gives them a unique perspective on what is or isn’t doable out in the field, as well as what shoppers expect and want from a mystery shopping company.
Although this MSC started out as a local operation in Warrensburg, Missouri in 2001, it now has a nationwide presence. ACE, as it is more commonly called, also has assignments in Canada and Puerto Rico. ACE claims it has a shopper base of more than 160,00 ICs.
ACE also states on its website that they offer a wide variety of assignments including, but not limited to, automotive, convenience stores, food services, insurance companies, financial services, grocery stores, government agencies, clothing and accessories, gas stations, fitness clubs, and other retail businesses.
Payments are posted to PayQuicker on or around the 15th of the month.
ACE is operating on the Shopmetrics system. Visit their website at www.acemysteryshopping.com to sign up. Click on the link “Mystery Shoppers”. Then click on “Become a Shopper”. You will first fill out a basic profile. When done, you will fill out an extended profile, which includes submitting a writing sample. Applicants will receive an email within 24 hours regarding the status of their application.
Shoppers will receive emails when available assignments are in their area, or shoppers can review the job board. The shopper will receive an email confirmation when awarded an assignment. Report deadlines are typically by midnight the day of on-site visit.
ACE does not utilize the job board on the Mystery Shop Forum to post open assignment opportunities.
ACE states that preferred shoppers are given first choice of some elite assignments. Preferred shoppers are those that are “reliable, responsive to ACE staff communications, and are excellent at writing reports.”
There were no negative comments on www.mysteryshopforum.com regarding ACE. Instead many repeated comments described timely and accurate pay, and friendly easy-to-work-with schedulers. Likewise, many forum members feel that Associate Consumer Evaluations is a good company to work with. The assignments are easy, simple, and straightforward, as are the reports.
There were only two issues that shoppers posted about on the forum regarding ACE.
One involved using PayQuicker to receive payments. Some shoppers dislike this payment method so much that they have quit working for ACE. There is a workaround, though it does cost the shopper money on their end. A check can be requested for $2.50. Also, there is also a 59 cent charge for those using the PayQuicker debit card.
The other issue was that shoppers posted about was the lack of available assignments from this MSC. Several stated that the only assignments they see in their areas are for cellular providers and similar retailers.
Personal Experience: My experience with ACE mirrors that of other forum members. I’ve completed many assignments for them with no issues whatsoever. Pay is prompt, but I’m not a big fan of PayQuicker. I just don’t need one more method of payment to track. Also, like the others, I would very much like to see assignments other than cellular providers. In the several years I have been working for them, I’ve seen nothing like the assignments they describe on their website.