Company Overview: Based in Tampa, FL, Regal Hospitality Group is, “a quality assurance/integrity shopping firm that provides an array of services for hotels, resorts, restaurants and retail shops around the world.” There is no obvious indication of how long the MSC has been in business, although their website has a copyright date of 2008.
Personal Experience: I have been signed up with Regal Hospitality Group for about six months but have not had any shops from them yet. Based on comments on www.mysteryshopforum.com, I’m not too disappointed that I haven’t received any shops from them.
What Others Have to Say: Initially, their reimbursement period was 45 days. That has been increased to 90-100 days. Shoppers have mixed opinions about this reimbursement time. Some shoppers object to the MSC “using” their money for such a long period while other shoppers don’t have a problem because of the hotel points that they obtain from the shops. These shops do tend to be 4-star properties, so a shopper doing a series of these shops should expect to experience a significant cash outlay before seeing the reimbursements.
The reporting has been described as being in line with what one should expect from a property in this price range. Other shoppers have observed that, after having done reports for Coyle, these reports are relatively easy.
There have been some reports of shoppers not getting reimbursed for their expenses after submitting reports. What I find disturbing is that it appears that the MSC doesn’t notify the shoppers if there is a problem and they won’t be getting paid.
Overall: I would caution new shoppers wanting to venture into this area of shopping to treat these shops as vacations to places you want to go to anyhow. With any of these high reward shops, there is also the high risk element to deal with. In the beginning, especially, you run the risk of failing to get all the needed data and are then out the reimbursement. If you treat the first few as vacations to places you wanted to go anyhow, then it helps to take the sting out of a failed shop.
On the other hand, an experienced shopper can make these shops profitable, especially if they are using their rewards credit cards to increase the points they receive for each shop.
I feel that this is a case where I must give two grades, one for “newbie” shoppers and one for the more experienced shoppers.
For newbies, I give this company a D. I would not recommend Regal Hospitality Group to a new shopper because of all the potential problems. On the other hand, for an experienced shopper, I would grade Regal with an A, and encourage the shopper to add Regal to their list of MSC’s, assuming that Regal had shops in areas frequented by the shopper.