I have been involved in more than 10 focus group/research discussions with many different companies. They were all fairly positive experiences with happy outcomes for myself and the companies. I have never been treated as poorly as I was tonight at Assistance in Marketing (aka AIM Research, AIM Forum) . I was cold called at home for a "concept car" focus group. I answered the questions to their satisfaction and was chosen to participate. I was then called back a few days before the appointment date they set, to answer the questions again with another person. I once again answered in a way which qualified me for the focus group. I was told to take my ID and auto registration and be at the Long Beach facility on Kilroy Airport Way, 15 minutes before my appointment time to fill out some papers.
I got there 20 minutes early and quickly filled out the papers. I was alone in the waiting room for about 10 minutes then others began to show up. They also were given papers to fill out which they began to do. My appointment time came and passed and the two new people were still filling out their papers and I was still sitting waiting... Employees were entering the room during this whole time, looking around, speaking with the receptionist, then leaving again. The two men who came in after I did, by this time had been escorted to the back to begin. I asked a male employee name Chris who had been in and out repeatedly when I would be taken in. He said "not for quite a while". I asked him "why?" He told me they were backed up in the back. He then left the room, came back, looked at my paperwork, spoke with the receptionist, and left for the last time.
The receptionist then came over and told me that "they could not use me." I said "what are you talking about, I answered all your questions?" He said I answered a question wrong, I explained that I answered it the same as I had previously had twice before. He then told me that they were not going to pay for my time either as per Chris. This was 5 pm. My appointment was at 4:35, and I entered the facility at 4:10. I drove 20 miles there, and 20 miles back home for absolutely nothing. I was furious. My paperwork had been sitting there all that time. The receptionist and the a** of a man "Chris" had both looked at it several times without any complaints. It was not until I questioned why others were taken in and not myself that I was told they "couldn't use me". How very unprofessional . I have worked with other local focus groups and they treat their participants as guests and not beggars. I have a good job and a working spouse. I do these groups for extra cash which I spend on my grandson and kids.
When I called to complain to the director a Ms Marilou Murphy-Molinas, I was disconnected a few minutes into the call. I called back and was transferred to her line which was never answered again...I stayed on hold for 15 minutes, then hung up and sent her an email. I will update this review if and when I ever get a response about the unprofessional behavior of her staff.