Written By Ceridwyn

Service With Style

Company Overview: At times it is desirable for a mystery shopper to be able to categorize mystery shopping companies by the types of clients that are evaluated regularly. The problem is, sometimes these niche MSCs are hard to find, as they tend to be smaller and less well known.

Service With Style is one such company. It is headquartered in Brandon, Florida. Its focus is on the hospitality industry. Although it started operations in 1998, more than a few mystery shoppers are unaware of its existence.

However, Service With Style has a wealth of knowledge about the hospitality industry. Its founder has over 29 years of experience in this field, and is an owner of several restaurants himself.

Although the hospitality industry is the bread and butter for SWS, it also offers assignments in other areas, such as insurance, gyms, and seminars. Several clients are advertised on their website.

SWS is on the Prophet software platform. To sign up, visit their website at www.servicewithstyle.com. Click on the “Become A Shopper” tab. Click on the “Apply Now” link at the bottom of the page. This will take you to a typical Prophet-style application. This includes two writing samples. One asks you to explain why you feel you would be a good observer, which is the term SWS uses instead of “mystery shopper”. The other is a narrative describing quality food.

After submitting, you will see a statement that explains you will be contacted by email notifications if SWS ever has any observations in your area. Once again, SWS uses the term “observations” in place of “assignments”.

SWS does not post assignment notices on the Mystery Shop Forum job board.

Payment for completed assignments is by check. The SWS site does not clearly state the time period for payment, however. Posters on the www.mysteryshopforum.com have stated that this is usually between 10 to 12 weeks. Some have reported receiving payment much sooner than that time frame. Payments have been described as fair and prompt and as promised. No complaints were made about having to chase payment.

However, more than a few forum members described the reporting process as cumbersome, needlessly repetitive, and requiring lengthy narratives. Prospective shoppers can visit the SWS website to review several sample reports before making up their own minds about this issue.

On the positive side, this mystery shopping company landed on several forum lists for favorite companies and companies that are trusted. Several forum members stated that they very much liked working with this company. Pay is decent, assignment instructions are straightforward, and the on-site visits are pleasant.

I must provide one caveat, though. There has been discussion on the forum that this company will fine a shopper $25 if an assignment is canceled in less than 48 hours. How that is enforced, no one seems to know. Still, a word to the wise seems to be in order. Although this shouldn’t affect the majority of shoppers, those that have problems organizing themselves and their time effectively may want to take a new look at their scheduling habits or take a pass on working with this mystery shopping company.

Personal Experience: I hope to be offered an assignment in my area soon. So far, no luck. I’m not sure whether that is because my area is saturated with shoppers, or if Service With Style has no opportunities in my area.

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