After recently becoming a stay-at-home wife, I found myself still wanting to somewhat contribute and do something with my time. I started mystery shopping for a few companies and then, when researching, found a blog that mentioned "MysteryShoppingOnlineJob.com" and after some light research, decided to give it a try. After all, the first job sheet had no costs. It was simply complete the tasks and send it in. Easy enough, right? After thoroughly reading and signing up, I received my first job sheet. The time estimates given are fairly underestimated but I wasn't worried because I had plenty of time. I took notes and screenshots as directed, then submitted my work. I received my second job sheet shortly after with some new assignments. What you need to understand is that these jobs essentially consist of signing up to get spammed by email or phone. Example, you could be asked to act like you're interested in signing up at a college or vocational school, or that you're looking for new car insurance, or legal assistance. [continued below]....
..... You'll take the calls, make your notes and move along. However, be prepared for constant bombardment from these companies even after you've mentioned you're no longer interested, multiple times. My second job sheet had some jobs that required a credit card for their trial membership and some of the memberships would cost minimal amounts ($1-$2). Considering I had not been paid from my first job sheet yet, as I still had a week until their scheduled pay day, I was initially hesitant. I ended up going through with it because the cost of the risk seemed minimal. Payday (the 3rd if every month) rolls around and nothing had hit my account. I had a strange feeling so I went through and checked my emails thoroughly. Sure enough, buried in all the spam chaos, an email from MSOJ asking for my employment verification and PayPal info to pay me. I felt relieved and silly at first. I submitted my information and was told late pay out was on the 18th. Ok. Awesome! I had 2 job sheets finished and they said they didn't have any new offers, but would send more as they received them. I imagined they get so many monthly and they couldn't have me repeat offers I had already done. Payday rolls around and nothing. Ok. Maybe it takes a day or so to process. A couple days pass and I sent them a message asking if there was a processing period for payments. No reply. A couple more days pass and no payment received. I sent another message, a little more firm this time, questioning whether or not they were actually going to send a payment. No reply. This is when it hit me. I've been scammed. I spent a couple hours working for this company. I spent time answering my phone to all these spam calls telling them to please stop calling me for the millionth time. I spent time trying to unsubscribe to all the email spam I signed up for and the other sites that I had not subscribed to, but they had my information from these other companies. And now, I was not going to be paid. While this is where some people would give up and just take the hit, I got very angry and determined. The amount was nothing to bat an eye at (compared to our household income from my husband) but it was the principle behind the fact that these people were actually going to try and get away with not paying for services I had rendered as a contractor! I hopped on my computer and pulled up their ICANN WHOIS information. Of course, they registered privately, but I looked up the company they registered with and gathered their legal department's information in preparation for my fight. I sent a much more detailed email this time to MSOJ. I explained that they had until the end of the week to respond about my payment before I would pursue them in small claims court. I explained that a private web domain registration does not protect them from legal action and that I could obtain the information I needed to file a claim for a very nominal fee. I explained that every charge I incurred attempting to collect what was owed to me would be added to the amount, including a reasonable hourly rate for my time spent working on the case to collect the debt. Within hours, I received an reply AND payment. Their excuse? Our email got hacked and we just now got back into it. No apology. No attempt to remedy the relationship. Just a defensive "we weren't ignoring/dodging you" response as if to say "how dare you demand overdue payment you're owed!" No. What happened was you realized I'm not a door mat, you would have lost miserably in court, and would have ended up paying a lot more than you initially owed me in the first place. You got scared, so you cut your losses and realized I couldn't be scammed by you. To anyone looking to make extra money and thinking, "hey, maybe I'll give this company a try," do yourself a favor- don't. Unless you are legitimately prepared to go to small claims court if you're not paid, I do not recommend taking the risk. Had I not threatened them with legal action, I would not have been paid or responded to. I cannot say it would turn out the same for you, if you do not have the same understanding of your legal rights and the process of taking a claim to court. Please, do not put yourself through this headache! If this has already happened to you, please, don't keep quiet about it. That's how they'll get away with scamming people. If you haven't been paid, put them on blast.
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