Company Overview: As one iconic character on the Mystery Shopping Forum expressed concerning the practices of this MSC, “A leopard seldom changes its spots.” My somewhat cynical nature would normally agree. But it does seem that they are doing just that.
Goodwin & Associates, based out of Concord, New Hampshire, specializes in restaurant assessments throughout different regions of the U.S. While that might be very appealing to mystery shoppers who favor these kinds of assignments, for quite a while shoppers were deactivating themselves as indie contractors for this MSC.
Why, might you ask? Goodwin had the reputation of being one of the slowest payers in the industry. While the majority of shoppers did eventually get paid, and most report accurate payment, far too many had to initiate the “chase the payment” game that all shoppers so detest. It was not unheard of for shoppers to not receive payment for half a year, some even more. Shoppers were getting more disgruntled as time went by, and many began to boycott the MSC.
The very public issues presented to the Mystery Shopping Providers of America, or MSPA, concerning a different MSC that was not paying shoppers appears to have been a wakeup call for Goodwin. The owner of the Mystery Shopping Forum became the voice and representative of shoppers that had been unfairly and unethically treated by the MSC. Through his exchanges with the MSPA, Jacob Jans illustrated that the shopper community can come together to police the industry if those within it choose to handle their businesses in a shady manner.
It was after this that Goodwin made definite and noticeable changes in their payment policies. Sometime in early fall of 2012, shoppers were posting about receiving regular and timely payments without having to resort to contact the MSC first. One after another, shoppers reported in to relay the good news and to ensure others were experiencing the same. Since then, the forum has been absent of excessively slow payments with this company.
So far, so good. We can only hope that this trend continues, and what happened in the past stays in the past. Because Goodwin really does have some yummy assignments, pun intended. They openly publicize their clients on their website, many of whom are very enjoyable to visit. Assignments include casual and fine dining, pubs, bars, hotels, and more.
Goodwin went to paying via PayPal in 2013. The company states that compensation will be made within 30 to 45 days.
To get signed up with Goodwin & Associates, go to their website at www.mysteryshopperprogram.com. Click on “Shoppers Registration”. You will need to take a brief orientation test and profile. The test is utilized to assess your writing skills and attention to detail. Once the test is passed, you will be emailed a link to complete your profile.
Goodwin utilizes the Prophet software platform. You can look for assignments that are available on their website, or respond to email assignment announcements. They are also very active in posting opportunities on the mystery shopping job board on the Mystery Shopping Forum, so be sure to check those out on www.mysteryshopforum.com.
Other than the former issues regarding slow payment, this MSC has a noteworthy lack of complaints. Several forum members consider their schedulers to be some of the best. The caveat to this is that some shoppers suspect that some opportunities are given to favorites and never posted on the job board.
Personal Experience: Like others, I also experienced laggardly payment in the past. However, going forward, I do not expect to do so again, and eagerly anticipate my next assignment.