Report: #642355

Complaint Review: American Institute of Consumer Studies

  • Submitted: Mon, September 20, 2010
  • Updated: Thu, November 15, 2012
  • Reported By: miamisun22 — Galloway New Jersey United States of America
  • American Institute of Consumer Studies
    18 Campus Boulevard, Suite 100
    Newtown Squar, Pennsylvania
    United States of America

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The American Institute of Consumer Studies is on a Nationwide hiring spree. They have job listings posted everywhere craigslist, carreer builder and so on, There are no jobs. They want you to work for free. They will promise you employment with travel and perks, and then send you door to door to get surveys for them and then tell you there are no jobs or you didnt make it through the qualification process. They are sending out packets to people to get surveys and they tell you that you will get $100 if you get 10 surveys, but you can only go to 20 houses. This company is a scam and a fraud, what they are in essence of doing is getting people to work for free then selling to "few" surveys you do get to companys. Just another company taking advantage of the economy and the unemployed, stay far away from them as there are no jobs or money to be made. Any Company that is hiring in every city in the country be wary of, hope this saves someone the aggervation, and time that Ive wasted with them.
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/20/2010 06:13 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 UPDATE Employee

Hiring Policies

AUTHOR: Hani - (USA)

I am currently working for AICS and would like to set the record straight. I have many years of field interviewing experience for NORC at the University of Chicago and Wetstat. Because of that experience, I was not required to do the 10 sample interviews. When I was in training, there were 5 of us, 3 experienced interviewers and 2 with no field experience. The 2 that had no previous experience were required to do the sample interviewing. How else would it be possible to find out if this line of work suits someone? Field Interviewing is a very specialized type of work and it is not suited to everyone. This “sample” interviewing is a very good practice since other companies that do not use it end up losing huge numbers of new hires within the 1st month of a study when these people find out they do not like knocking on stranger’s doors. So with all the government-funded studies, an inordinate amount of dollars go to training people that will quit the study, does that make any sense? And further consider, AICS does not use taxpayer money and they are performing a valuable service, they provide the best field support I have ever experienced, including a mentor that has been doing this job for 16 years! I would like to know the true reason that this “report” was posted… 

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#2 Consumer Comment

Annoy, Disrespect, and Annoy

AUTHOR: Peeved Steve - (United States of America)

I live in a house on a marked PRIVATE road.  On a SATURDAY, a person from the American Institute of Consumer Studies drove up the private marked road.  Over my berm, she asked if she could do an interview I said NO.  She immediately drove UP my private driveway and proceeded to pester me about how it was her job and that she represents the GOVERNMENT to do these studies.  Angrily, I told her to leave.   While at work the next week, she left 2 letters in my door of my house and says she will return this weekend.  I am out of town and this is very alarming.  Several other neighbors are complaining.  PLEASE STOP THIS PRACTICE!
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Again.. Original Report is Bogus!

AUTHOR: Jake - (USA)

AICS is all about your people skills. If you can't demonstrate that you have the ability to coax people into a media trends research study as an application process - they will not waste their time and money to train you. When I worked my 10 sample interviews, I did so in my own neighborhood and told the householders that I was doing this sample interview in order to qualify for a job. It was so easy! 

The sample interviews are a very small percentage of the questions on the full surveys. After the householder does in interview, he/she is handed anywhere from $20-$50 in cash for their time. They are then given a booklet of other questions that they can answer on their own time. When the field interviewer picks up that survey they are handed even more cash. It is a great deal for the study as well as the householder. 

If you are selected to continue in the application process, (after you complete the 10 sample interviews) AICS flies you to Philadelphia, puts you in a nice hotel, feeds you and then trains you for a week. 

I quit working for the company two years ago and I still have airline and hotel points from all the nice assignments I've worked for them. 

I find it completely stupid that the people who feel the company is a fraud are the ones that were denied employment. Whereas the ones who qualified for the position of field interviewer actually know the facts and have the knowledge/experience to back it up. 

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#4 Consumer Suggestion

The original report is accurate

AUTHOR: Research Expert - (United States of America)

I have extensive experience working in the field of survey research with multi-national organizations and I can confirm the original facts in this report as I also applied for a position with ACIS back in June 2011. I went through the same set of procedures, but I raised concerns about this so-called candidate selection process because it raised red flags.

First of all, it is unethical to use a prospective employment candidate to contact households to perform data collection under the name of AICS. This is NOT an industry standard practice to determine whether a prospective job application is qualified for a position in survey research. The survey respondent is misled into believing that the individual (Field Interviewer) who is conducting the survey is a representative or employee of AICS when in fact this is not the case.

Also, I have seen AICS posting the same job advertisements for the same field interviewer position every other month or so with the Department of Labor in different States. In their Field Interview job advertisements, ACIS is seeking applicants with approximately 5 years of experience conducting field interviews. It appears that ACIS is using local unemployed candidates to identify, list and obtain some type of preliminary demographic data about households in a dubious manner that is not consistent with Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocols, and therefore it is an unethical business practice that the company should cease.

GFK Mediamark Research and Intelligence is a consumer market research company that actually contracts with ACIS to collect the data for the American Consumer Survey. Perhaps Mediamark should be informed about the methods and practices of AICS to ensure public accountability.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

AICS is 100% Legitimate.

AUTHOR: Cary Nation - (USA)

I have worked for American Institute of Consumer Studies since September 2, 2011. It is a reputable company that has been in business for over 30 years. It is one of the very few companies left in America doing face to face interviews and has an unequalled prestigious standing in the business world for getting accurate, timely, consistent results for those companies utilizing this form of statistical interviewing.  The company ethically works to keep the interview process and the data and transmission process separate, so that field interviewers have no ability to bias results. Every interviewer is tested and retested to produce consistent accurate results for every interview they do.

The interviewing and hiring practices are stringent, but they are honest and explained very thoroughly.

The person writing the SCAM report has unjustly made his comments. Much of what he said is factual. You are asked to conduct a short limited survey, you are told you will get paid for your time, and you are limited to your choice of 20 houses to interview to test your skills. That is where his facts end. This process is meant to allow a potential employee to ascertain if they have the ability and desire to continue to the next phase of hiring. They are told that this is a practice interview and that the results are not used for statistical purposes. This is in fact TRUE. The type of questions and the brevity of this interview make them worthless to the company for anything but a limited ability to assess a potential candidate for hire. It checks ability to follow directions, report results accurately, show ability to professionally gain access to information from a stranger and to do this in a limited, but adequate time frame. Further it allows one to self assess whether this job might in fact suit ones needs, personality, and ability to handle this type of work on a regular basis. They get thousands of inquiries for employment, and most of those candidates weed themselves out rather quickly. The company would be happy to hire candidates that upon showing potential, can actually perform what is necessary to handle the job requirements. It does take a special person with somewhat special skills. I resent the unfair and inaccurate accusations this individual has made and I further resent someone judging us by these slanderous remarks that pop up for AICS via this webite. One sour grapes individual can do a lot of damage using the internet. I hope I have cleared up this subject. Anyone wanting or needing further information and historical proof of our legitimacy should visit the company website at and phone them for further information.
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#6 UPDATE Employee

American Institute of Consumer Studies

AUTHOR: Sherri - (United States of America)

I am a field interviewer for the American Institute of Consumer Studies. I can assure you that this a very reputable company that has been doing research for well over 30 years. When you apply for a job with the company, you are required to do 10 practice interviews to see if you have what it takes to get people to talk to you at the door. Upon completing those little interviews, if done properly, you will be invited to trainning, all expenses paid.  Apparently the reporter of a bad experience with the company was unable to do the interviews correctly and was not hired.

I have been working now in the field for 5 years and love the job. I do travel all over the United States and all of my expenses are paid as well as my salary.   A job with the American Institute of Consumer Studies is an excellent job for anyone who shows they can do the job, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves to meet new people, go exciting places, and wants to be paid to do it.  Sorry, that just like with any job, some people do not meet the standards.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Original Report is completely false.

AUTHOR: Jake - (USA)

The person who reported this gripe is completely off base. I've worked for AICS and it is a great company. I made good money as I traveled all over the nation. Chances are this person simply didn't qualify and wasn't hired. AICS has been performing this media trends research study for the past 30 years in the continental US. I would still be working for them if I wasn't tired of all the travel. 
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