The Mystery Dining Company (now HGEM) beware

Doc_NDoc_N Forumite
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I wonder how many members of MSE are also Mystery Diners for The Mystery Dining company, now called HGEM?

There are discussion forums on their website, but whenever anything critical pops up, it's very quickly deleted, along with the thread.

This may prove to be an alternative method of communication for Mystery Diners who like to discuss matters with each other without the company intervening every time there's any adverse comment.

Once upon a time, when it was still Mystery Diner, there was mystery dining - and there was a reasonable reimbursement for dines undertaken. Nowadays it's almost entirely cheap snacks at pubs (often drinks only, no food) and places like Subway, where the reimbursement doesn't always cover the cost.

Travelling expenses can easily exceed the reimbursement, and the reports can take as long as three hours to complete. Hardly worth a reimbursement which can be as little as £5!

Some people are fine with that, a lot aren't. That's fine. But any discussion is likely to be quickly chopped down on the internal forum - they really do not like free discussion!

Think long and hard before you consider signing up. Minimum wage doesn't apply (not an employment) and it's an awful lot of work for what's often a tiny reimbursement. There are far better companies out there - best go for one of those if you fancy this kind of thing.

Just a personal opinion, based on quite a lot of knowledge as to how they operate. Others may disagree.......... :)
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  • edited 19 July 2017 at 7:17PM
    hollydayshollydays Forumite
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    edited 19 July 2017 at 7:17PM
    Doc_N wrote: »
    I wonder how many members of MSE are also Mystery Diners for The Mystery Dining company, now called HGEM?

    There are discussion forums on their website, but whenever anything critical pops up, it's very quickly deleted, along with the thread.

    This may prove to be an alternative method of communication for Mystery Diners who like to discuss matters with each other without the company intervening every time there's any adverse comment.

    Once upon a time, when it was still Mystery Diner, there was mystery dining - and there was a reasonable reimbursement for dines undertaken. Nowadays it's almost entirely cheap snacks at pubs (often drinks only, no food) and places like Subway, where the reimbursement doesn't always cover the cost.

    Travelling expenses can easily exceed the reimbursement, and the reports can take as long as three hours to complete. Hardly worth a reimbursement which can be as little as £5!

    Some people are fine with that, a lot aren't. That's fine. But any discussion is likely to be quickly chopped down on the internal forum - they really do not like free discussion!

    Think long and hard before you consider signing up. Minimum wage doesn't apply (not an employment) and it's an awful lot of work for what's often a tiny reimbursement. There are far better companies out there - best go for one of those if you fancy this kind of thing.

    Just a personal opinion, based on quite a lot of knowledge as to how they operate. Others may disagree.......... :)

    Three hours?!!!!!!

    I can understand them not liking you naming clients though as you have just done.
    It's not professional.

    Many years ago when used to make a decent amount of pocket money out of mystery shopping, I was in the fortunate position of being able to pick and chose where my main job was each day to fit in with ms jobs. There are many people who made it work in that way.
    If working for them doesn't suit-don't!
    Unless the subway visit was somewhere you were going anyway, a cup of coffee and five ponds is worthwhile for some- are you seriously alleging that would involve three hour reports for that?
  • hollydayshollydays Forumite
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    I see , they name their own clients on their ( public? ) Website, but that doesn't mean they can allow criticism of the work linked to that client.
    You can understand that surely?
  • Doc_NDoc_N Forumite
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    hollydays wrote: »
    Three hours?!!!!!!

    I can understand them not liking you naming clients though as you have just done.
    It's not professional.

    Many years ago when used to make a decent amount of pocket money out of mystery shopping, I was in the fortunate position of being able to pick and chose where my main job was each day to fit in with ms jobs. There are many people who made it work in that way.
    If working for them doesn't suit-don't!
    Unless the subway visit was somewhere you were going anyway, a cup of coffee and five ponds is worthwhile for some- are you seriously alleging that would involve three hour reports for that?

    I didn't actually name Subway as a client - I said 'places like Subway', which is rather different. They do name their own clients on the website, though, so it's no great secret really. The important part is not to disclose your identity. I agree entirely with you about the freedom to work for them or not. The purpose of this thread is twofold:

    1 To shed a bit of light as to what's actually involved for a very small reimbursement.

    2 To provide a forum for any members who might wish to use it - the internal ones are heavily censored for any adverse comments. It's a bit like an old-style Communist state in there!
  • hollydayshollydays Forumite
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    Why is the important part not To disclose your identity
  • hollydayshollydays Forumite
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    Do you know there is a mystery shopping thread on mse?
  • Doc_NDoc_N Forumite
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    hollydays wrote: »
    Why is the important part not To disclose your identity

    So that the restaurant/cafe/pub isn't aware that they're being checked and reported on.
  • Doc_NDoc_N Forumite
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    hollydays wrote: »
    Do you know there is a mystery shopping thread on mse?

    Yes. But it doesn't include Mystery Dining. Please feel free to ignore this thread if you feel it to be irrelevant to you or of no interest.

    I've explained why I created it, but if it's of no interest to you, just ignore it. My apologies if I've wasted your time.
  • hollydayshollydays Forumite
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    Doc_N wrote: »
    So that the restaurant/cafe/pub isn't aware that they're being checked and reported on.
    Sorry I don't understand what you are saying.
  • hollydayshollydays Forumite
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    Doc_N wrote: »
    Yes. But it doesn't include Mystery Dining. Please feel free to ignore this thread if you feel it to be irrelevant to you or of no interest.

    I've explained why I created it, but if it's of no interest to you, just ignore it. My apologies if I've wasted your time.

    No you've not wasted time but I think it would be of interest to the mystery shopping thread
  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
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    I used to do MS about 25 years ago - when everything was in writing and you posted reports off etc and were well paid because they had to actually advertise and be spotted by you and to 'interview' you etc.

    Proper money.

    Now you're just volume fodder, cheap volume fodder, they can simply post on Facebook and get 100 people will to have a free sandwich 20 miles away, between 2.30pm and 3.15pm on a Wednesday and submit a report answering 150 questions (that you need to bone up on before you go home) .... and be "pleased" to get £2 reimbursement for the sandwich and £1 on top as a "thank you".

    That's the way of things today I'm afraid.... and increasingly so.

    The minute any company becomes "established" they start cutting back on promises/payments they made to their early adopters... preferring instead to continually take on the great unwashed in huge volumes, use them once and spit them out.
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