Company Overview: Reality Based Group, based in Austin, Texas, is a “reality based consulting company that installs a self-funded, continuous business improvement process. Founded in 1992, Reality Based Group™ serves regional companies up to the Fortune 500.” According to posts on the www.mysteryshopforum.com website, RBG is the old Gamefilm Consultants, and they use the Gamefilm site to recruit video shoppers.
The company is accredited with the Austin, Texas, BBB and has an A+ rating. Over the past three years there have been two complaints with the BBB regarding “problems with product or services.” As the complaints are over a year old, the details are not visible.
Personal Experience: A 200-mile radius search from my location revealed no video shops for this company, although I found a number of traditional shops. There was a shop for a regional bank that had the potential of becoming a route; unfortunately the requirements of a shopper not being able to do more than 2 per day and 10 per month destroyed any hope of creating a route. The language used indicated that this was non-negotiable and engraved in stone.
I have done some convenience store and fast food shops for them, in fact doing one route that was completely unprofitable in the hopes of proving myself and getting additional work from the company. After scoring all 10’s, I was dismayed to discover after the fact that RBG does not have that much work in my area.
What Others Have to Say: Comments from shoppers at www.mysteryshopforum.com are generally neutral to positive. The company is reported to have good communication practices and pay is generally considered to be average, although some shoppers feel the pay may leave something to be desired.
There are not many comments regarding the video shops for this company. Apparently they have some retail establishment video shops, and there are enough that an experienced shopper could put together a route, but the overall tone of comments is not necessarily encouraging. In fact, where novice video shoppers are concerned, the veterans do urge extreme caution, warning of the pitfalls of video shopping, and urging novices go with some of the more established video MSC’s where they are more likely to receive prompt assistance with any problems.
There were very few comments regarding problems with getting paid by this company, and the impression for this author is it happens where the information falls through the cracks—human error—rather than a deliberate attempt to not pay for work correctly done.
Overall: Reality Based Group is one MSC where trying to provide an overall summary is an arduous task and can, in fact, provide an erroneous view of the company. The comments reveal a company that tries to help the shopper whenever possible. One comment is about a shopper who shopped the wrong location and, although not able to pay the shopper, RBG did reimburse for the required purchase. At the same time, the company seems to want to give novice video shoppers a sink or swim approach.