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Telephone Mystery Shopping

Telephone Mystery Shopping is a great way to make some money without leaving your home.  There are many different types of assignments.  Some are real short and pay $1 or $2 per call.  Others will take half-an-hour or so and pay $10 or more.

Telephone mystery shopping is an opportunity for mothers with young children to earn extra income.  At least in between baby naps.  The shorter phone calls would work better for wahm (work at home moms).

Many mystery shopping companies have a phone system set up that will record all phone calls.  The mystery shopper will dial an 800 phone number and enter a number of codes to start the recording.  Once the codes are entered, the call will be dialed to its desired location. 

In recent years, more mystery shoppers have been recording their own calls and uploading a workable file.  There are some apps that allow you to record a call on your cell phone and send it as a file when you submit your report.  Sometimes there are issues when files are loaded incorrectly.  You may not get paid for a shop if the problem with a file is on your end.

Telephone Mystery Shopping Audits

Telephone mystery shopping can be done many different ways.  Some telephone mystery shops are strictly audits.  I did some phone calls for a donut shop where I had to ask three questions.  Each call paid $.50 with a correctly submitted report.  Calls with 10 or more questions will pay between $2 and $4 per call. 

I also had a phone list from a clinic to do follow up calls and rate the service.  I usually had a list of 300 names and I had 10 questions to ask.  I had 10 days to complete the phone calls.  If a person answered my call and completed the survey, I would receive $2 for the completed report.  If a person answered my call and hung up, I would be paid $1 per call.  If there was no answer, then I would call again at a later time.  If there was no answer after three attempts, I would not be paid for that person.  They were easy calls and took very little time to submit.  

Prize Giveaways 

Some telephone mystery shopping calls were just the beginning of an assignment.  A phone call is often required before visiting an apartment to conduct the major portion of a mystery shop.  The same may be the case for new home builders and retail sales locations. 

I've ordered many pizzas for telephone mystery shopping.  I would receive a list of pizzas shops to call.  I had to place an order and wait for the order taker to give me an upsell of a soft drink and breadsticks.  If it wasn't that, it would be a special promotion for a pizza that I had to hear.  If the pizza shop employee gave me the upsell, I could reveal myself as a mystery shopper and award the person a $10 gift card.  If they didn't, I would make an excuse and cancel the pizza order.  Not all pizza assignments offered a prize.  But, for all of them, I had to make an excuse (like my wife brought food) and cancel the order.   

Telephone mystery shopping is used extensively in the Medicare industry.  I was assigned to many of these calls over the years.  You have to act like you are turning 65 years of age and you want information about the Medicare plan.  If you were assigned to more than one call, you would have to make up a different name and address for yourself for each call.  Usually, you were given a few questions that you had to ask during the call.  Some of these calls were recorded through the mystery shopping company, but most of them weren't.  The Medicare company records many calls.  They could look on their end if a discrepancy came up on a report.  These calls took 10 minutes on the phone and had some narrative to write.  The pay was between $6 - $10.  Of course, you have to sound like you're 65 years of age.

Mystery Shopping Business

It's important to complete reports and meet deadlines in mystery shopping.  Any report that is incomplete, late, or missing a lot of details, may result in partial payment or NO payment for the work done. 

Not only does the mystery shopper lose out on the money, they may be banned from doing any more assignments with that company.  Mystery shopping is a legitimate business that wants people who are serious about each assignment.

When you're assigned a mystery shop, you'll be given an online questionnaire that you will use to submit your report.  Make sure to study it before you do the assignment.  Print it if you have to.  

Telephone Mystery Shopping

I wrote an book about my mystery shopping experiences for both written and hidden video assignments.  I include a list of mystery shopping companies that I have worked with and companies that I would consider reputable.  The book (and eBook) is titled "Take That Job And Mystery Shop It!"

There should be no fee to join a mystery shopping company.  If there is, even if it's $2, stay away from them.  Mystery shopping companies should pay you after you complete assignments for them.

"Take That Job and Mystery Shop It!"

Do not cash any checks before you do any mystery shopping assignment.  There is a popular scam where people are sent checks for as much as $5000 to perform mystery shops at check cashing locations.  These checks are fake.  If you cash them, you will have to repay the bank and all associated fees. 

 Read more about mystery shopping scams.

Read this government report about the legality of mystery shopping.

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