Company Overview: Smaller mystery shopping companies tend to have advantages over larger entities, such as maintaining a more personable relationship with their shoppers. Yet they are also at a disadvantage when it comes to being able to offer steady assignment opportunities.
B Business Solutions is one such company. It has been operating since 1998 from Mountaintop, Pennsylvania. This is a certified woman owned business, composed of the CEO and about a half dozen project managers.
BBS states that they have clients nationwide and in Canada. Those clients are involved in the entertainment, hospitality, dining, auto, and retail industries. Some are highlighted on their website.
To register with B Business Solutions, visit their website at www.bizshoptalk.com. Under the Shopper Resources area, click the “Apply” link. Then click on “Apply to be a BBS Mystery Shopper Here”. After completing the application, if the company wishes to avail themselves of your services, you will be contacted.
BBS does not maintain a job board. Available assignment opportunities are announced to confirmed shoppers via email. This MSC has also used scheduling services such as Star Scheduling and Private Eyes to recruit shoppers for open assignments. Two years ago, BBS was posting assignments on the Mystery Shop Forum job board regularly, but that has since ceased. Occasionally, one of the independent scheduling companies would post a shop, but that hasn’t happened for quite some time – about 10 months or so.
B Business Solutions utilizes two software platforms. Prophet is used for the majority of scheduling and reporting, but Sassie is also utilized for some clients.
Payment is made either by PayPal or check within four weeks of a completed assignment.
B Business Solutions is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and it has an “F” rating. This does not seem to be reflective of the positive opinion shoppers have of this company, however.
This company gets high marks from shoppers posting on www.mysteryshopforum.com about their relationships with the staff members of BBS. Schedulers and editors are described as responsible, polite, respectful, friendly, appreciative, pleasant, and supportive.
Comments about pay vary. Some say that BBS pays reasonably well. Others say that the great amount of work required for some assignments, especially hotel visits, is not in line with the compensation.
One thing has been made very clear in the forum discussions. This mystery shopping company requires very heavily narrated reports. Numerous shoppers have posted about tedious and repetitive reports that are returned by editors multiple times for clarification. One forum member stated that no matter how descriptive a narrative is provided, shoppers are always required to add more. Some feel that many of these clarifications are unnecessary and/or redundant.
Shoppers state that completing the reports for BBS is very time-consuming, as is getting a report finalized and approved due to the continual back-and-forth emails for editorial requests. Other shoppers went so far as to say that they would only recommend this company to very detail-oriented people. Still others have said that other MSCs in the industry have similar client visits with far less reporting issues.
Personal Experience: I registered with BBS for years ago, and have yet to be confirmed as a shopper. It would be much appreciated if MSCs would at least acknowledge receipt of a shopper’s application as a professional courtesy. After such a lengthy period of waiting, it seems reasonable to expect a response one way or the other.