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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions not listed below then please feel free to get in touch.

Q. Who are GfK Mystery Shopping?

We're one of the largest and most experienced mystery shopping companies in the UK, and have been operating since the 1990's.  For more information please visit our About Us page.

Q. What does a mystery shop involve?

Mystery shopping assessments can be visits to stores, telephone calls or emails to a whole variety of companies.

Each assessment varies, but typically you will be required to pose as a purchaser or prospective purchaser of some product or service.

You may be asked to make some observations about a store appearance, and report on the quality of service you receive. You may be required to wait for a follow up telephone call or to receive literature sent in the post or via email after your assessment.

Q. How long does each assessment take?

This varies. A mystery telephone call may take as little as 5 minutes, a 'typical' store visit, around 20 minutes and a complex assessment, anything up to 1 to 1 ½ hours. The estimated length of each mystery shopping assessment will be clearly stated in the briefing notes before you accept it.

Q. Will I need to buy anything?

Depending on the requirements of the job, you may be asked to purchase an item and subsequently return it or keep it, or agree to a particular service or product and then cancel it.

Your briefing notes will clearly indicate whether you are required to make a purchase as part of your mystery shopping assessment.

Q. Do I have to do mystery shops within a certain time period?

Yes. Most clients require mystery shopping assessments to be carried out either on a particular day, or within a given time period. We often have no influence and very little flexibility with these dates, so when you accept an assessment, we need you to commit to complete it by the specified deadline.

If for any reason you are then unable to complete the assessment, we ask that you de-allocate it from your schedule as soon as possible, so someone else can complete the work for us. It may be possible for you to amend the date you have agreed online. Follow the instructions on your scheduled visits page.

Please note that if you complete an assessment outside of the specified dates, it may not be valid, and we will not be able to pay you.

Q. How do I report my results back to you?

All results are entered online, unless indicated at allocation or in your briefing notes.

Login to your scheduled visits page, select the visit, and then click on Enter Results. You will then be able to enter your mystery shopping results in an online questionnaire.

Assessments are required to be reported back to us on the same day you carried them out. There are exceptions, but these are clearly stated in the briefing notes for the assessment.

Q. What happens if something doesn't go to plan?

You will be given briefing notes for each mystery shopping job you carry out, but we understand that things don't always go to plan.

If you can, complete the assessment as best you can, then contact us immediately to discuss the issues.

You can contact us by email, or if it's urgent then call our telephone helpline (free from UK landlines) 0800 279 6979.

If something happens that prevents you from even starting the assessment (e.g. the store is unexpectedly closed), please ring us immediately for advice.

Q. How are mystery shopping jobs offered to me?

The vast majority of mystery shopping assessments are offered online. You will receive an email notification that work is available.

Work is offered based on the client requirements, your location and the information you have provided in your census questionnaire.

We will offer assessments to a number of assessors who fit the 'profile' nearest to a particular outlet location.

Assessments are allocated on a first come first served basis, i.e. the first person to click 'Accept' gets the assessment. Popular assessments can be allocated in a matter of hours, so it is important to keep a regular check on your email.

We may also telephone you to allocate work so please provide us with an up to date telephone number which is best to contact you on.

Q. How can I get more of a particular type of mystery shop?

When you complete your profile at registration, tell us as much as you can about yourself and your lifestyle - the more information we have about you, the more likely you are to be eligible for a variety of work.

If anything changes in your personal details, please login, go to My Details and update your Personal Details page, and your profile information.

Reliable mystery shoppers are also more likely to get work offered to them, so complete your assessments on time, accurately and fully, and we will contact you in preference to complete assessments.

Q. I work full time, or am a student. Can I still work for you?

Yes. Mystery shopping is rarely a full time role. It is a great way of boosting your income if you have a little spare time and an interest in customer service.

Q. I don't know much about customer service, can I still do mystery shops?

We don't want customer service experts - we want you to evaluate the service you receive as a 'normal' customer would. We give you plenty of background information and key pointers for each mystery shopping assessment.

Q. What's the best thing about being a mystery shopper?

Where else could you be assessing a new restaurant, then public transport, then your favourite shop all in one day, followed by a call to your bank in the evening?

Mystery Shopping assignments are varied and can be fun. Sometimes you can do assessments with your partner, or family too.

Q. What's the worst thing about being a mystery shopper?

Our clients have high standards and expect the best. Consequently, we expect high quality, timely and accurate results from you. Deadlines can be short and scenarios complex and detailed.

You need to follow instructions, think quickly, and never reveal you are a mystery shopper.

We don't ask you do to anything a real customer wouldn't do, and we have staff on our helpline to support you if you have problems with your assessment.

Q. How do you use my personal information?

At GfK we take your privacy seriously.

We will not use your information for any 3rd party usage, and keep your personal details in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

Please refer to our Privacy Policy for more information on how we keep and use your personal data.

Q. How much will I get paid for being a mystery shopper?

Mystery shopping is never going to make you a millionaire, but our fees are considered fair for the amount of work required to complete each job.

The payment for each job will vary depending on the amount of time the job will take and its complexity.

We don't pay expenses, such as mileage, parking etc, so it is best to accept jobs that you are going to be in the area for anyway, so you are not out of pocket.

Q. How old must I be to become a mystery shopper?

At GfK Mystery Shopping we require our mystery shoppers to be over 17 years of age.


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Mystery Shopper Helpdesk
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