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Shared Insight (Formerly Retail Eyes)

Company Overview: This company started in the United Kingdom as Retail Eyes in 1998. In 2012 a portion of the business was sold and the remaining company renamed Shared Insight. This new company is based in California. Its overall business includes mystery shopping, website feedback, and customer surveys. It offers a limited number of mystery shops in the hospitality and retail industries.

These shops are located nationwide, some in airports. The website is on a unique platform that can be accessed here, http://www.sharedinsight.com/. Payment is either by check that is mailed approximately 55 days from completion or by Paypal that is processed on the 27th of the month following the shop.

They maintain a MSPA membership and are BBB accredited with a rating of A-. In addition, shoppers can find postings on Facebook and Twitter.

Personal experience and what others have to say,

Generally speaking, forum users are positive about this company. The pay is good for the work involved, it pays quickly, and it is a good company to work for. There are some comments complaining about a lack of responsiveness or problems. However, those are few and not confirmed as a practice of this company.

Personally, I have performed three shops for this company, one of those when it was named Retail Eyes. The shops were relatively easy. I found the survey was on the long side with repetitive questions and the pay reasonable. Payment for two shops were a few days slower than promised and came without chasing the payments. Paypal was recently introduced as an alternative to payment by check.

Emails offer shop fees in the form of, “Up to $xx.xx.” This offer will include the fee and reimbursement together while website displays the fee and reimbursement separately. This company maintains a presence on the forum and once started a thread to answer questions about itself.

The website is so different from the norm so that one shopper called it, “beyond bizarre.” [sic]. For example, if you wish to look for shops in a different area, you may add a ‘defined area.’ However, the results for the new area will not display immediately. It will take overnight or perhaps up to a month to be displayed. To perform a shop, the shopper is required to perform a series of steps in sequence before being allowed to move on. For example, one must read the shop notes before being allowed to apply.

There is also a points system. The method of awarding points is clearly stated on the website. However, my points level has never accurately shown the work done for this company. Other shoppers described similar situations including not being awarded points for successful shops. Self assignment of shops makes the reason for the points unclear. Payment details are presented only for current shops in the payment cycle without presenting a complete payment history. Also, shoppers may register their interest in different types of assignments. Available shops will then be displayed according to shopper preferences. A list of answers to FAQs help shoppers navigate the website.

Overall:

This company is a smaller, well-liked company that does things a little differently. Shops are of a limited nature throughout the country in the retail and hospitality industry. Airport shoppers can benefit from a client located in many airports. Their website has some interesting quirks to get used to, such as the point system. It also maintains a presence on the forum, which can be an additional contact point for shoppers.

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