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Market Force Information / Scam

United States Review updated:
Market Force Information, Inc. ripped me off. If you ever decide to work here, you will most likely end up regretting it. Seemed like a great idea at the time-- even fun perhaps. Getting paid for your opinion, experience at writing AND reimbursed for your meals? Hey, I love writing and I give my opinion freely-- so why not get paid for it all, right? Hmph! Was *I* in for rude awakening!

On the initial application they want to know everything there is to know about YOU. Do you own or rent a home, do you have any type of disabilities, what's your gender, your race, are you married or single, what's your household income, what's your birth date, your Social Security number, your hair color, eye color, do you wear glasses, how tall are you and how much do you weigh??! Many of those criteria sounded very suspicious or even illegal to me but I ignored my intuitions. I knew that there were some mystery shopping jobs that were a scam and you had to be careful so I checked them out with the BBB. When I saw that they had a decent rating I eagerly signed up with them. I wanted this job. Badly. It sounded like my dream job so I ignored any skepticism on my own or anyone else's part.

They wanted me to take a written test that would test my attention to detail on the last place that I shopped. Spelling and grammar counts even though when you do the actual reports for them, you have an automatic spell checker-- but yet they still have an actual spelling test on there and they want to know the exact time right down to the very second that you started taking their test and EXACTLY when you ended it!

Then, if you're accepted, you have to read and then take a 35 question test on an 11 page manual. 5 pages of the manual are dedicated entirely on how to start and stop timing the workers at the restaurant. They devoted about half of the questions to things like: What is the timing point 1, 2 and 3 for the walk in, what is it for the drive in... which timing point is #2 and which one is #3 and then what are timing points #1-3 for the drive-thru. You only get 2 chances to get a 100% of all questions correct-- and you must get them all right either the first time or the second time!

When you're doing the actual evaluation at the restaurant though you have to be very discreet about your timings. Can't actually write them down while you're there or you could blow your cover. You're supposed to be able to remember exactly down to the second: "When did you come to a complete stop in the drive thru, what time you stop and pay for your food, what time you did you receive your food and drink, how many cars were ahead of you, what time did you go to the walk-in line, how many people were ahead of you, how many cash registers were open, what time was it when you were told the total cost of that order, what time was it when your food actually arrives... It shouldn't be more than 10 seconds or something's wrong with the worker! There are so many requirements that need to be met, so many questions that they ask, so many details that you have to remember but you are not allowed to bring these list of requirements with you because you are supposed to look and act as if you are an ordinary shopper. You can't even bring anyone else along. You must be alone, pay entirely in CASH, be very hungry, go to a specific location between a specific time frame. You must be able to eat, drink and honestly scrutinize 2 consecutive full meals all by yourself.

The night before my first assignment, I worked on my computer for over an hour downloading and printing out 10 pages of their rules and instructions. The next morning I woke up, got myself ready to snoop, took the time to go to Wawa to get $20 in CASH, (which was all I could spare this week), went to McDonald's and did the absolute best mystery shop that I could do with what I had to work with.

You would think with all of the pages that you have to download and print out, they would actually USE these pages to make it very clear exactly what to order for each part of this review but they are STILL unclear because they REALLY do not want to pay you for all of your hard work! For example, on page 3 of their 10 page "Information Sheets", they said you need to order one sandwich, fries and a beverage-- but it was unclear to me if they wanted me to do that for the walk-in AND the drive thru. They said you need to order: "either a sausage biscuit or sausage biscuit with egg, a sausage mcmuffin or a sausage mcmuffin with egg, a sausage McGriddle or a sausage egg and cheese mcgriddle. Then it says for the second order, (the drive-thru portion) you have to order one of these choices.. either: "a bacon egg and cheese biscuit, an egg mcmuffin or a bacon, egg and cheese mcgriddle." It did not say to order yet ANOTHER side and a drink... and I thought it would certainly be ridiculous of them to expect anyone to eat 2 entire meals all by themselves so I just got the sandwich for the drive-thru, just like it said to do in the upper middle portion of that page.

For each evaluation, you have to answer questions about the server's friendliness, their attentiveness, their communication, their speed, the accuracy of the order, the food quality, the store's cleanliness, how the drive thru was and how the restrooms were. Ok. No problem there. That is what I expected to do but it was disappointing to me that they did not have any space for me to write in my own comments and observations, which I feel are just as important as the other things that they want scrutinized. (I thought the restaurant was fine. The only thing that could use some improvements were the fact that the tray was very wet and so was the counter top in the ladies' restroom.)

I filled out their report on the walk-in, the surrounding area, the drive thru AND the restroom then I scanned the receipts and the "CPI", which is the Contractor Payment Invoice-- the form that they have you sign that you must also print out when you print out the useless 10 other pages of their requirements...and you have to print it out right at that time, not later on.

After waking up early to go to this place, spending my time and my money, doing their report, scanning everything that they wanted, they still have to try to find something--anything that wasn't done precisely so they don't have to pay for all of this.

It took me hours to try to upload my CPI. I tried it a dozen times but every time it just made my computer freeze and then I'd keep getting an error message. I shut down the computer and started it again 3 more times before the site finally said everything was received. By then I was angry, frustrated and was really starting to feel like this wasn't worth my time or aggravation. Not too surprisingly, a few hours later I received an email from Market Research Information saying that they were not going to pay me ANYTHING for all that I did because I only ordered a sandwich, drink and hash browns in the walk-in but I only got 1 sandwich in the drive-thru!!!

It was a very belittling and condescending letter!

Now if this were a reputable company, they would have prorated their assignment fees-- especially for my first experience working with them-- but they don't. It's all or nothing with these crooks. What I did was surely worth something but THEY acted like all my hard work and money were worthless and they allegedly "could not use it".

Now that I know how crooked they are and all that they demand, I think back to what my husband told me when I first told him about this place. They simply do not pay the reviewers nearly enough for all of this even it was done entirely correct in their mind. I also feel that they expect too much from the McDonald's employees too with what scanty amount they get paid! For this assignment, if I did it entirely how they say they wanted it, they were only going to pay me $7.50 plus the cost of food.

I thought this would be a fun job even though it doesn't pay well but this anal company is clearly not worth the time, money, effort and aggravation.

More Market Force Information Complaints & Reviews


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  13th of Apr, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Received today a cashier's check for $1, 460.00 from Finance Central Federal Credit Union though signed can not make out Signature. Letter attached has "Sarah Hayes" as the Training Coordinator at 1-(832)608-8631. Letterhead has the name of "marketforce" in all lower case. Have not researched Market Force to see if the company logo is the same as reflected in this letter. Email sited in the letter is "hrcoordinatorx@gmail.com." The letter and cashier check amount seemed unrealistic. Perhaps a copycat company scamming is my guess. Thanks to all who took time to post to protect those of us that followed.
  17th of Apr, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I received the same letter. I'm trying to figure out the same things as hawkeye2011. What is going to happen if the check is cashed?
  19th of Apr, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I too was a victim of money order scam by an individual posing as a employee of Market Force. I am now $10, 000 debt. I was instructed to wire transfer thru western union and money gram after i received the money order that they sent me. I recieved 18 counterfeit money order in all, by the time I realized they were fake money oder I have cashed 10. They use multiple names, emailaddress and phone number, and all are impersonating that they are employee of Market Force, mkimora7@aol.com, mkimora7@gmail.com, garymaydpt1@hotmail.com, brainsawyerr@jobs.com, brainbsawyer@aol.com, here are the phone number, (714) 798-5691 (603) 446-6379
  19th of Apr, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I receied an email from market force, thank you for your advice. I did not respond and deleated their email.
When you put your resume on line, scamers will respond. If it sounds too good to be true, beware.
  19th of Apr, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I did a Panera shop for Market Force and they pay $7 for the food and require you to buy 3 items. Much to my surprise the first item came to $6.99 before tax and so I lost money on the shop without even counting my time, gas, and time entering info. online. What a rip off. You could not possibly know you were going to lose money on the shop. When I saw the prices I thought for sure I just read the assignment pay incorrectly. In my 20 years of doing mystery shops I have never been asked to do a shop where the minimum costs were not met.
  20th of Apr, 2011
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
ban this schmuck and be sure to talk up online about avoiding the store being pushed
  1st of May, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I think MF is real, though they sound like a nightmare, but...a new phishing scam is out there using them. I have been out of work for awhile now, so always on Craig's, where you know you have to be careful. Well, I had heard of companies willing to pay you for a car wrap and advertising a companies goods or services. Well, got one of those emails that you just know. Signed by somebody from MF, but when you look at the return address it is a gmail address. You don't see the broken English like you used to, but still some grammer issues as another person mentioned. Then, "we will send you two weeks of pay, AND the money to get your car wrapped, we then need you to send the money via Western Union to the vendor that does the car wrap". Sigh...so sick of scammers wasting my time.
  12th of May, 2011
Agree Disagree +2 Votes
Thanks for the information, I will avoid doing any mystery shopping then and advise friends to be careful.
  22nd of Jun, 2011
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
So here's the deal; the way I see it you can't expect to be a mystery shopper or any time of entry level consultant and make a good deal of money - it simply isn't reliable for steady income. However, if you have a good job and make steady living there is no good reason why you shouldn't attempt to sign up for something like this. It may be that the requirements are tedious and generally off the wall ridiculous; but that is what it is.
My wife and I really enjoy going out to eat, but going out to eat is expensive and we honestly can't afford to do it as much as we do; but if once or twice a month we can find a good mystery shop at a place we'd both be willing to eat at - we can do it at no cost to us. The truth is that we would go out to eat anyways so if we screw up and don't do the shop well enough, then we pay what we would have otherwise. I personally don't care If i'm required to do a certain number of stupid and useless things - honestly it gives me something to do.
On the other hand, it may turn out that doing all of the details ruins the experience for me, in which case I simply won't do it anymore. My suggestion is if you have never mystery shopped before (which I haven't yet) to make sure that the first shop you do is something you would have done anyways. In fact - don't do any shop you wouldn't normally do until you are confident that you will do it correctly and that you will (as a result) receive compensation for the shop.

Anyone else have thoughts or comments? I'm up for listening to them. My feeling is that most of the complaints here are from people who were expecting to be compensated and paid for doing something they wouldn't normally do, people who in my opinion are expecting this industry to be something that it simply is not.

Nathan Danks
  9th of Jul, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
How does this company continue to have a good credit rating with all of this information?
  16th of Jul, 2011
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
I have shopped for them for over 10 years. When I started out shopping for them they were under the name Shopnchek. In all the time of shopping for them, I do believe I only had 1 shop rejected and it was my fault - ordered the wrong items. They even sent me a free digital small stopwatch to make it easier to get accurate timings. I knew when I started with them it was not a get rich quick scheme and attention to detail was a necessity. Now they frequently offer me bonus money if they need a shop done quickly (and they offered me a bonus shop as a birthday gift). I like the freedom of being able to take or not take the shops that are offered. They have always been honest and more than fair with me and friends that also worked for them. Re the checks that have been sent - they are NOT from the companies that they appear to be from. All the various companies I work for have specific warnings out that they never ask you to cash a cashiers or any other kind of check.
  27th of Jul, 2011
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
Signed up about 15 minutes ago and now regret it. Called back to cancel and already getting the run around. They gave me a number to customer service and it is not a working number. Already spoke to Brian Greene, Derika, and Ashton Howard, and Tanika. I cant get any where, what do I do now.
  19th of Aug, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
This company is FAR from my favorite, as they are so impersonal and the helpdesk frequently could be called the clueless desk...but their instructions are VERY clear, and if you mis-ordered after reading the instructions incorrectly, then no one is at fault but you. They have few shops of interest to me, but the ones they have are EASY.
  21st of Aug, 2011
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
The internet and Google have helped tremendously in researching things like this. My wife got a letter, postmarked in Canada, from Ecomleads Market Research, with a check made out to her from Wells Fargo. Similar instructions as hammer200 posted. Too good to be true? Always. Thanks to those who took the time to post honest complaints here. You have helped others avoid being victims of this rip-off.
  21st of Aug, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Ha ha! The internet and Google have helped a lot of people avoid scams and ripoffs like this. Thanks to all who posted honest opinions here. My wife got a similar mailing as hammer200 did, except it originated in Canada. Why, when the company Ecom Leads is based in Brooklyn? After reading these postings, the entire mailer will go into the shredder!
  1st of Sep, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
The thing I don't understand is whether or not people here are writing about the same company that I researched into. It is true. Many companys hide behind a legit name but those companys are usaully scams. Everyone says Market Force. Or another one I read. Was it marketshops.com? I have never gotten an email telling me about how I can make money by purchasing at restaurants or retailers. No one has emailed me asking if I would like to be a mystery shopper. People here say that they are mailed a large check from some odd location, they take it to the bank and it ended up being a fraud. My point is that a lot of people on here have confused the name of the market company. The actual name that I have been aproved for and might work for soon is Market Force Information, Inc. (or in short they call them selves MFI) When speaking to their market researchers on their page. Not Market Force. They have an email with their name included. They have a fax number, and they also have a telephone number. They gave me a long test to see if I met their qualifications. I was exepted. One of the rules was that you have to be over 20yrs. old. I read a comment on here that says that the company he was looking at said 27 yrs. old. That's another detail that I have gotten that shows me that he was involved with a different Market Force type company than me. I haven't done a job yet for the company even tho I have been approved. I am going to wait about a week until I am satisfied and have completely read all their information. I have done so much research about if they are a scam. If they're legit, reviews, and complaints. I'm reading the comments on here and they don't sound anything like the company that I have come across. I understand that people get ripped off and I can see everyones point. I now am also scared after reading these reviews that this is all going to happen to me. But wait. I'm not with Market Force. I think a lot of people might have found one of those disguised names. As for Sylvia 103, she is describing exactly the market research company that I'm looking at to the dot. She wrote the same exact questions they asked of me. I'm actually paying attention mostly to her comment the most. All I can say is that I will give it my first shot. I'll try not to pick out a fast food location. Market Force Information, Inc. has said that they do need to have the shopper have a stop watch to time the length of service. I sure hope they don't give me the ruff time that they gave Sylvia! I am going to do my first shop. I'll try to make sure that I won't be paying too much to do it just in case I don't get paid. I also think that the first time is always the hardest on most things. I am going to do a shop a second time. I may get the hang of it and it may not be as bad as my first experience. I think that some people have commented some wise advice by saying "learn form your mistakes". That's why I'm going to try it at least twice so that I can see any mistakes that I might had made and try not to do it again. It will also help me know a little bit about how Market Force Information, Inc. really works. I'll get to know them better also. After trying a few shops, I will then decide whether I am getting myself into some "money hungry screw ball company". I'll cross my fingers that I won't!
  1st of Sep, 2011
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
Thank you very much for writing and for reading and appreciating what I wrote. I wish you the best with this. Just remember to do everything exactly as they say and keep track of every detail or they'll use it as an excuse not to pay you. You'll probably be videotaped so they can be sure that you do everything their way and are accurate right down to the second. I now think they may be quasi-legit but I just found them to be too demanding for what little they pay. If your interest in doing this is more like a hobby than a way to make a living, this may even be interesting and enjoyable for you. Good luck and best wishes. Let us know how it goes... --Sylvia
  13th of Sep, 2011
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
We (couple) have worked with marketworce fro over 2 years. If you have not been paid it is only because you have not completed the assignment. Many of thier clients have special requests specific to the assignment. Read the assignment carefully. You can decide if you can comply with the requests or not, & can turn down any assignment without predjudice. Do the ones you like, & decline the others & you will have a great experience with them.
  10th of Oct, 2011
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
Yes indeed...the McDonald's shops suck and they don't pay S H I T cheap bastalllllss! You get the drift right. Cheap, Very detailed and i use a stop watch for the timing. Still got the report disqualified and didn't get reimbursed for the food which was $20.00 yeah I am pisssssed!
  6th of Dec, 2011
Agree Disagree -2 Votes
You sound so damn bitter. Ever think it was your dumb ### that didn't get it right?

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Market Force Information Logo Market Force Information
Customer Service
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2 Reviews
Colorado OfficePost Office Box 270355
Louisville, CO 80027

United States
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