Company Overview: Business Evaluation Services was founded by the current President, Charles Stiles. Charles comes from a background in retail; owning a number of retail gift stores in national malls for over 8 years. Quickly realizing the only way to really differentiate his stores and stand out from the competition was to develop a consistent service culture and create a process for measuring the success of the training that was implemented. Through this process in 1996, Business Evaluation Services was created. Today, BES is a National mystery shopper company with over 16 years’ experience, serving a variety of industries.
This is also the company behind Mystery Diners on Food Network. There was some discussion about the show on www.mysteryshopforum.com and the general conclusion was that the show was not necessarily an accurate representation of mystery shopping, although it was probably accurately portraying the restaurants involved.
The company has their own registration system at: http://mysteryshopperservices.com.
Personal Experience: I have completed several shops for them where there is a required reimbursed purchase as well as a fee for doing the shop. I find the reimbursement does allow for a useful purchase with little to no cash outlay on my part (meaning that the reimbursement will cover most, if not all, of the price including taxes). I find the fee is commensurate with the reporting requirements. The reports I’ve done have been relatively easy, with some narration required, but they are certainly not arduous to write.
What Others Have to Say: In researching the company on www.mysteryshopforum.com, I found the majority of the negative comments leaned towards the length of time for being reimbursed for shops, with some shoppers experiencing reimbursement times in excess of 90 days. My own experience has been reimbursement times of 45 to 60 days, although I suppose it could depend upon the particular client. While a 90 day cycle for reimbursement is, in the opinion of most shoppers, a bit over the top, I don’t object because I continually sign up with MSC’s that have a wide variety of payment schedules, some as little as 3-5 days. By working with a large number of MSC’s, the particular idiosyncrasies of individual companies becomes less important.
Overall: As I’ve never had a payment denied by this company, nor have I seen reports of denied payments, I find that to be in the company’s favor. Likewise, although I find a potential 90-day turnaround for payment to be a bit long, it’s a known factor going in, and therefore the responsibility of the shopper to balance the companies they are working with to insure that a long turn around won’t have an adverse effect on their cash flow. I rate Business Evaluation Services 8.5 out of 10.