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DSG Associates

Company Overview: This company was formed in 1981 as a consulting company. It first focused on the hospitality industry with mystery shopping, and other related services. Today, DSG touts itself as, “A leader in all types of mystery shopping, intercept interviews and specialty field services for a broad range of consumer businesses, manufacturers, agencies, and associations in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.” It is a charter member of the MSPA and is based in Van Nuys, California.

Around 12,000 shops a month are completed by their shopper base of 300,000 people. It uses Prophet as the platform. Shoppers may access the site here. Payment is made by check approximately six weeks after the shop is completed. They have a 24 hour reporting time on shops. DSG also uses Twitter to announce shops.

What people say about DSG. Shoppers have posted numerous positive comments that go back years about this company. Up until about three years ago, many shoppers called this a good company. It had easy shops. Schedulers were good to work with. Pay was quick, about every two weeks as one shopper reported.

However, this company then started to outsource their schedulers to a foreign call center. The location of this call center (or call centers) was reported by shoppers as being in different countries in Asia. Wherever it was located, shoppers clearly reported difficulty understanding the schedulers because of static on the lines, poor command of English, and other office noise on the line. Shoppers also reported some instances of inconsistent instructions between schedulers and written instructions. Many shoppers stated they stopped taking calls from this company and some stopped working for them. One shopper reported writing to the company with this complaint. That shopper reported a prompt response that created a notation in the file for only the US based schedulers to call that shopper.

Two posts cite a change in ownership at about this time. However, both the company’s history on its website and an internet search does not support this claim of an ownership change.

Despite the complaints about the call center, shoppers do not complain about payment issues.

Personally, I have been signed up with them for six years. I have no record of receiving an email offering shops in my area. Likewise, I cannot remember seeing any shops in my area when searching on their Prophet based website. The BBB has accredited this company since 2000 and it earns an A+ rating.

In conclusion this company has a prior history of shopper satisfaction. The one change to an outsourced call center resulted in a great deal of shopper discontent. Perhaps shoppers should take the lead from the shopper that complained and resulted in a note in the shopper’s file for only the US based schedulers to contact that shopper.

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