Top Phone Mystery Shopping Companies

Top Phone Mystery Shopping Companies

Are you interested in becoming a work-from-home mystery shopper? Some people like the idea of mystery shopping but either prefer not to leave their houses or don’t have transportation. 

Phone-based mystery shopping can be a good source of extra income for someone who wants to work from home. However, since most legitimate mystery shopping opportunities are in-person shops, it is important to only work with those phone mystery shopping companies that are proven to be scam-free.

Legitimate Phone Mystery Shopping Jobs

Compared to other mystery shopping opportunities, phone shops can provide a decent wage. You will need to feel comfortable over the phone, making a high volume of calls in just a few hours’ time. 

Phone secret shopping companies vet their shoppers more intensely for phone etiquette and writing skills. As such, it is slightly more challenging to get a phone mystery shopping job than it is to get a traditional mystery shopping job. 

While these calls may feel like “cold calls” at times, you won’t have to do any selling. You are simply there to gather information and rate the quality of the service you received. Most pay you on a per-completed-call basis. Therefore, you should expect to spend some time calling numbers that do not answer. Regardless, a good phone mystery shopping gig is surprisingly lucrative and easy.


To be considered for employment at InteliChek, you must first submit an inquiry and an application. If they have work available, they will contact you with directions for setting up an interview. During the interview, the company will want to confirm that you are available to make calls a minimum of 15 hours/week during normal daytime hours (8am-8pm).

Your work schedule will be flexible, and you can use your cell phone to make calls. Since they expect you to be a regular shopper, background noise is perfectly acceptable. InteliChek trains new hires so that they can learn the ropes of making calls and following directions. Your pay starts at less than $1 per call but increases the more calls you make. At the beginning, they pay you monthly or bimonthly via check. After you’ve completed a set number of calls, they will offer you the option to receive direct deposit payments. 

While InteliChek advertises itself as an agency within the automotive industry, you may be asked to make calls to other industries as well.

Perception Strategies, Inc.

The first thing you should do if you want to sign up for Perception Strategies is see if they are hiring shoppers in your area. If they are, complete the application on the main shopper page and await further guidance. Part of the vetting process involves conducting a sample call.

Compared to InteliChek, Perception Strategies does not pay quite as much. However, that also means that you will not be required to dedicate as many as 15 hours/week. Typically, your assignment is due within a week of the date assigned. If you’d like to make more than the average mystery shopper caller, you can choose to make in-person mystery shops as well.

Quest for Best

In terms of pay per shop and shopper support, Quest for Best is a good option. The difficulty with this company is that they do not service all areas of the country, and if they do serve your area, there may not be very many opportunities. But that is not the same for everyone. You can check opportunities on their interactive map here.

Complete the online application here. Once completed, you can expect an email giving you further instruction. After completing the application process and training, you will have the opportunity both for phone surveys and in-person mystery shops.


ARC is strictly a phone-based mystery shopping company. Working for ARC will look more like InteliChek over the others listed here. Many refer to ARC mystery shopping as a regular, part-time position. Additionally, the company hires a sizeable number of people that do call monitoring and analysis, positions that are typically filled by those that formerly mystery shopped for ARC. In other words, ARC mystery shoppers can actually grow within the company.

Because ARC is more of a serious employer than most mystery shopping companies, space is limited. Anyone may complete the online application, but you are not guaranteed a spot in training. After completing training, you are given limited work for a probation period. Once you and the company confirm that you are a good fit, your call volume can increase per your preferences. Pay at ARC is higher than average, often more than $3 per call.

Yardi Matrix

Of all the legitimate phone mystery shopping jobs we’ve found, Yardi Matrix is the only one that hires their mystery shoppers as W2 payroll employees. From a pay perspective, this is good news for those that would like to do phone mystery shopping as a legitimate part-time job. The company is a fairly large firm within the property management industry. Therefore, it is possible for mystery shoppers to advance into other full- or part-time positions.

Instead of completing an online application, Yardi Matrix currently requires prospective shoppers to email their resume directly to [email protected]. Training occurs quarterly, and if selected to attend and complete training, you will be offered a temporary payroll job with the company.

More Mystery Shopping Companies

If you don’t mind leaving the house now and then to mystery shop in a wide variety of categories, there are many to choose from. Here’s how to get hired as a mystery shopper, along with a list of companies to check out.

Don’t Get Scammed

If a mystery shopping website asks you to pay a registration or membership fee, you are getting scammed. You should leave the site immediately and stick to one of the companies listed below. When it comes to sharing your personal information, you should only have to share enough so that they can pay you. Most mystery shopping companies pay you through direct deposit, paper checks, or PayPal. If at any point the company indicates that you are giving them payment information (as in, you are paying them something), then the company is unsafe.

For tax purposes, many legitimate mystery shopping sites ask you to complete a W9 tax form so they can report your income to the IRS. However, you should be sure you are working with a legitimate company before you share your social security number or other personal information.

For more information, you can check out these tips from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) before you register with a mystery shopping gig. Additionally, consider reviewing some of the most common job-related scams and tips to avoid them.

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  • August 10, 2021