Company Overview: In the haste to get signed up with mystery shopping companies when starting out, it is easy to skim over information provided on their websites which state their policies. When those policies involve payments made to shoppers, and the shoppers are not aware of those policies, shoppers can become unduly annoyed and/or frustrated. Avoid finding yourself in a similar situation, especially with this MSC.
ath Power Consulting started operations in 1997. They are headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. This mystery shopping company holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
This company’s niche clientèle are financial services. They state that they “execute more proprietary banking audits than anyone else in the industry”. Assignments involve banking, credit cards, mortgages, insurance, and investments. Many of their clients are promoted on their website.
ath Power Consulting claims to have 500,000 shoppers in the U.S., and that 10,000 assignments are completed monthly. They have a national presence, but are expanding into South America as well.
Sign up with ath Power Consulting on their website at www.athpower.com. Click on “New Shopper Sign Up”, then “Sign Up Now”. ath Power Consulting has a typical Sassie application that is quick and easy without requiring a writing sample.
The fine print that many shoppers fail to review or understand when signing up with this company is that payments to shoppers are not made quickly. This has caused the creation of repetitive complaints on www.mysteryshopforum.com about slow payments. The policy of ath Power Consulting is clearly posted on their website. Shoppers should be aware of what they are signing up for – literally.
Checks are cut at the end of each month for assignments completed the prior month. Those checks are processed and mailed within 7 to 10 days. For example, if a shopper completes a job on the 1st day of May, the check will be cut on the 30th of June. The shopper should receive the check in the mail prior to July 10th. That means it is possible to wait about two and half months for payment.
ath Power Consulting instituted an alternative form of payment about a year ago. Using Bill.com, an e-payment can be made directly to a shopper’s bank account.
Shoppers need to decide which option works best for them, or if neither does.
ath Power Consulting has not posted open assignment opportunities on the forum job board for over a year. Coincidentally, that is the point in time in which shoppers noticed a drop-off in email assignment announcements received as well as postings on the company’s own job board. Several forum members stated that they haven’t seen any assignments in their locales for a very long time.
Even with many shoppers getting fed up with the slow pay and deactivating themselves from ath Power Consulting, there doesn’t appear to be a corresponding increase in assignment opportunities for many shoppers. It’s possible some clients have migrated to another MSC.
Most shoppers posting on the forum have expressed that the majority of assignments and reporting are straightforward. No nonsensical feedback is provided. On the other hand, forum members have also stated that the pay is not only slow but not competitive. They also have posted that the reports are getting lengthier.
Personal Experience: I completed a handful of easy banking assignments a couple of years ago. Bonuses were generous, and freely given. Like many other shoppers, I haven’t seen anything available from this MSC in my area for a year or so now, and wonder if I ever will again.