Paul Lamb

AboutFace Corporation

Aboutface Corporation is one of the largest mystery shopping companies in the United States. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and was founded in 1995. According to their Facebook page, they have won the most mystery shopping awards for five consecutive years, although they do not mention what the awards consisted of or who presented the awards.

They offer shops in nearly every industry imaginable, including high-end cosmetics, auto parts, HVAC sales, car washes, debris removal, hotel audits, exercise equipment, pharmacies, tree services, calling plan inquiries, storage units, veterinarian, and many more. I have only completed one shop for them, since I live in a rural area and most of the shops seem to be concentrated around large cities.

The assignment I completed was actually a revealed hotel audit. It had a very simple questionnaire that was completed with the help of the hotel manager and also required a couple of photos of the room interior and the exterior of the building. The audit was requested by a railroad company that furnishes rooms for traveling employees. I was paid $40 for the assignment.

Although the corporate website states that they pay 15% higher than other companies, most of the shops I have seen are about average. I did a quick search of their job board for several different areas of the U.S. and found pay rates ranging from $3 for pharmacy shops to fill an actual prescription to $70 for tree service inquiries, which requires someone from the company to come to your home. Bonuses are sometimes offered, but I have never spoken with any of their schedulers so I don’t know how willing they are to negotiate fees. Payment is made within 45 days through Paypal.

Registration for new shoppers consists of the basic five page Shopmetrics application and shoppers can request assignments immediately upon its completion. Some shops do require a certification test. Shoppers can register at this website: http://aboutfacecorp.com/shopper-pathway/become-a-mystery-shopper/

Experienced shoppers have given this company excellent reviews on MysteryShopForum.com and most of the complaints seem to be about having shops rejected. Having previously worked as an editor for Aboutface, I know that the editors and schedulers will do everything they can to help a shopper get a shop submitted and that shops are only rejected if the shopper failed to follow the instructions so blatantly that the report cannot be corrected.

Recent discussions of this company include a kudos to one of their schedulers, a discussion of their pay cycle, and a discussion of doing a route of their ‘optical shops.’

The reports are very thorough and since many of the shops are targeted for a specific employee, inexperienced shoppers may have problems completing assignments until they get a few shops under their belt. Comments are mandatory for most questions and the editors will send an email for clarification if comments are not made or are contradictory. One of the things that I like most about this company is that the editors do provide feedback and a score for nearly every shop. This seems to be especially helpful for new shoppers and it is nice to actually know how you are rated. Many other shopping companies seem to have a secret formula for shopper ratings. It is hard to improve your rating if you aren’t told what you did to justify a lower rating.

Even though there are very few assignment opportunities in my area, I would rate Aboutface Corporation as one of the top companies for which I have worked. As I mentioned, I have only completed one shop for them, but was highly impressed with the professionalism of the training I received and the experience I acquired as an editor.

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