I felt compelled to write this report after researching the credibility of this company and reading dozens of reports similar to my experience this morning. I read an ad in the SJSU Spartan Daily Classifieds that states verbatim, "Earn Extra Money / Students needed ASAP. / Earn up to $100 per day being a Mystery Shopper. / No Experience Required. / Call 1-855-204-0677 (No company name in the ad, either).
As a starving student, this deal seemed really good. Apparently it was too good to be true. I called the number to find out more about the job. An exhausted sounding lady droned on monosylabically at me about being able to set my own schedule and being compensated for around $50 a shop. She then proceeded to ask me for my area code. This seemed harmless enough as they didn't ask me for my whole telephone number. She told me that this was for verification purposes or some bologna like that.
It all seemed harmless enough until she asked for my address. I was a little wary about her needing my address, but I thought maybe it was so they could cater the registration/application process to the caller's residential area. I figured, what can the company do with my address besides clutter my mailbox with spam or try to sell it to a third party? It's not even my permanent address anyway.
After I gave her my address the red flag came down like a gate during a San Quentin prison break. She asked me for my credit card information and informed me of a $2.95 registration fee. I thought, "oh $2.95, that's not so bad - but what about the other $100+ they're going to try to rip off from me in about a week?" I asked her for the company's website to which she robotically regurgitated "Extra Money Zone.com", which as I entioned earlier, wasn't even listed in the original classified ad. She then told me I could look at the website and call back tomorrow upon which another representative would assist me. Before I could even ask her for her name, she hung up.
I didn't call back, nor will I in conjunction with the phone experience I had earlier and the rip-off reports I have read.
I think these people probably prey on impoverished or struggling individuals who don't have a clear grasp on how easy it is for companies like Extra Money Zone to rip off consumers. They rely so much on the trusting nature of the common individual who believes that the wheel of capitalism could be so gracious as to offer something for nothing, that they ensnare these individuals in a tapestry of false freedoms (i.e. setting your own schedule, picking your own assignments, etc.) These kinds of workforce benefits come from hard work and determination, not from a scrambling, muttering, droning, fast-talking shady internet company.
I DO, however know that mystery shopping is a viable job oppurtunity if done the right way...possibly via an in-person, real-life, actual face-to-face interviewer-interviewee interview (is that redundant enough?).
So, don't write off mystery shopping as a scam because it really is quite important to consumerism and to company feedback and improvement - just go about it the right way and go through a credible source. Conduct your "due dilligence" and research whatever company to which you are applying your time, energy, AND/OR money. Do, however, write this company off.
I wil be an avid Rip-Off Reporter for life. I have been ripped off enough times to want to do something about it.