Tips for Newbies

Read the instructions carefully even if you don't understand it; as long as you do it, you will get paid.

Keep in mind FA is a secret shopper kind of thing, so do not tell anybody in the store what you are doing.

Do not use zoom when when taking pictures.

Make sure you look at the address at the bottom before accepting a job; not often but sometimes, FA may accidentally place a job in the wrong area or even wrong state.

I would really suggest putting your phone on vibrate when doing a job so nobody hears the noise when you take a picture. It could cause people to wonder what you're doing etc.

If, for any reason, you accept a job and realize you can not do it, keep in mind you have 5 mins to cancel it with no penalty otherwise you will lose a point. And please note some seem to think they will just let time run out and not lose a point but you WILL. So if you can't do the job cancel right away so somebody else can do it.

If you get below 75 points you will not see jobs anymore.

There's a learning curve... but once you get the hang of it, it's smooth sailing (so don't get discouraged if you get a rejection or two).

Read up... there's lots of great info out there (how to's, videos on how to deal with employees, videos on how to take pics, rules and other good to know info). I'd start with the "useful links" on Field Agents FAQ page.

Have fun and good luck :):)

- Posted by Barbara, Michael, and Jess on Field Agents Facebook wall.

How to cancel a job

Tap the menu button in the top left corner then select "My Jobs." Swipe your finger over the job, where the arrows are, from left to right (or vice versa) and a red "Cancel" button will appear. After you tap cancel you will be brought to confirmation screen, select yes.

click to enlarge

Scavenger Hunt Jobs

We wanted to post some perspective on the purpose of this work.

In this situation, our client has a few gaps in a large set of data and our goal is to fill in the gaps. We're giving you everything we know about the product and hoping you can fill in the blanks.

We know these can be tough to solve, and we really appreciate the diligence and work you've put in!

-Posted by FA on their Facebook wall.


What's the purpose of these jobs?
Mary Ellen: Out of curiosity what's the purpose of these "scavenger hunts"? Don't companies/vendors know where their products are distributed?

Michael: I'm sure Jess will chime in soon with the correct name but basically there is this company who doesn't know what these products are so they give what info they have (which we all know for some isn't very much) to FA and FA gives them to us so all tho not all will be done atleast some of them will. FA gives out all the info they have and if get lucky enough to find some great.

Jess: I think it's Nielson (I could be totally wrong but I've seen these jobs posted before and they were by them).

Nielson had this "homescan" program... they give selected people scanners, every time the family makes a purchase (and I do mean EVERY time) they scan ALL of the products they purchased. You get points every week and you can trade in your points for rewards (sounds awesome, huh? Not so much! Max points you can get a week=150. The cheapest thing on their prize list is 45,000 points, a toaster oven I could pick up at Walmart for $20-25. It would take me 6.5 yrs to "win" that toaster oven. And the scanning becomes EXHAUSTING! When I get home with $175 worth of groceries, I just want to put them away! I don't want to scan them and then enter in the price of EVERY item!)

Sorry, got off track!

Anyway, Nielson uses this info to analyze customers shopping habits... how families of four spend their money, how families with children spend their money, how families of a specific income spend money, do we buy more brand names or store versions of the product, how do we pay- cash, credit, debit, check, etc... If a panelist (or scanner person) submits a UPC they can't analyze, it sends their systems into a frenzy.

So why doesn't Nielson ask the panelist... because the program is so tedious (yet advertised as so easy and fun) they have a high turn over rate of panelist. I lasted 2 months then I threw in the towel!

So, to Michael's point, Nielson gives FA all the info they have rearding a product. If we can find the product and fill in the blanks then Nielson can analyze that panelists shopping trip, if not, that shopping trip can't be analyzed.

It could be that the SH product was purchased at a store in a completely different state.
Let's say they're looking for a product purchased at a Winn Dixie in Louisiana, the scavenger hunt for that product would be posted in every state that has a Winn Dixie in hopes that someone may be able to find it.

FA: Thanks all for the great information - everything here so far has been great intel. To your specific question about location Mary, we actually don't know where the product is sold for sure, so Jess is right on. We're still working through how to best execute these, thanks for the conversation here!

-Posted by Mary Ellen, Michael, Jess, and FA on their Facebook wall.


The best approach to these jobs
Karoline: I think I'll just stop trying scavenger hunts. Seems impossible!

Ryan: Just check the app when you're at a store and see if the product in the title happens to be there too. But I don't advice going out to specifically do them. That's when people are having problems.

Wayne: The scavenger hunts are pretty widely acknowledged to be some of the hardest jobs Field Agent offers. I consider myself lucky when I can do more than 2 or 3 in a wave. Ryan's approach is better than savaging one's agent score by taking on several at the same time in advance only to be stumped.

-Posted by Karoline, Wayne, and Ryan Postell (one of FAs "top agents") on FAs Facebook wall.

Do not use the zoom

Don't use the zoom on your iPhone camera in Field Agent jobs. It decreases your image quality. Utilize (what we lovingly call in-house) 'the mom zoom.' Walk up closer to what you're taking a picture of to get the best possible image.

-Posted by FA on their Facebook wall.

Cash Outs

Here's the process for retrieving payment online:

1. Go to www.fieldagent.net and log in as an Agent using the email and password you entered in the Field Agent app.
2. Choose a method for payment (PayPal or Dwolla).
3. Enter the email associated with your account.
4. Click the gray “Cash Out" button.

-Posted by FA on their Zendesk site.


Here's the process for retrieving payment in the app:

1. In the app, tap the menu button in the top left hand corner.
2. Select "Cash Out."
3. Tap the orange "Cash Out" button.
4. Verify your email address and select a payment method (PayPal or Dwolla).
5. Tap the orange "Complete Transaction" button.


Is there a minimum amount for cash outs?

No. FA allows you to cash out at $2.50 or $250.00... completely up to you.

-Posted by FA on their Get Satisfaction site.


Is there a fee for cashing out with PayPal? What about with Dwolla?

There is; HOWEVER, FA pays that fee so their agents get to keep EVERY penny they've earned.

-Posted by FA on their Get Satisfaction site and on their Facebook wall.


How long will it take to receive the payment?

It varies. If you need the money for something important, cash out two weeks before the money is needed (just to be safe).


What is Dwolla?

Dwolla is just like PayPal... they're a payment network that allows any business or person to send, request and accept money. The only difference is, they are not like those other big payment companies that rely on plastic cards and charge hefty fees. Instead, they've built their own network that securely connects to your bank account and allows you to move money for just much less (and because Field Agent pays those fees for us, it really is just like PayPal). 

Find out more about Dwolla herehere, and here.

Cash Out Troubleshooting

If you have followed the directions to cash out (found here) and the money has been returned to your account, make sure you have entered your email address correctly. I know, it sounds so obvious but, for hours, I was having trouble logging in to one of my accounts. I checked my email address and it was correct... well, the part before the @ was, but I wrote gmial.com (yes, this tiny little mistake had me so frustrated and it took me almost three hours to figure out). So, double check every part of your email address (even the obvious parts).

Even though you've been using PayPal/Dwolla for years, it doesn't mean your account is set up to receive funds! Yes, you can successfully pay for things without ever having to set up your account to receive funds! I had NO idea there was a difference either!

Make sure you login under your country... here are the links to login by country: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom.

If you've followed the cash out directions, checked your email address, and set up your account to receive funds and your funds are still being returned, email support... they are the only ones who will be able to tell you what the problem is.

Push Notifications

Push notifications are 100% active.

We don't push every job because that would cause hundreds of Agents to try to be the first to get 1 job. We'd end up with one happy Agent and lots of upset Agents.

Instead, we use push when a job sits out there available for a while or when it's time critical, like a retail demo audit (those only last 5 hours). The notifications you probably received were either an error (which does happen) or they were for demo jobs around the weekends.

It's basically used on an as-needed basis.

-Posted by FA, on their Get Satisfaction site.

Disappearing and Reappearing Jobs

Explanation One:
It's ok if the job keeps posting. It disappears and reappears many times because of this: A job is posted nationwide but is only accepting for example 500 responses, when those responses are met, the job is immediately pulled from the system (disappears), but if one of those gets rejected they launch it nationwide again (reappears) to get one more response to take the place of the job that was rejected. This can happen a few times resulting in the disappearing, reappearing, disappearing, and reappearing of a job multiple times. So when you see a job pop back up take it as soon as you can before someone else picks it up! :)

-Posted by Yvette and Ryan Postell on FAs Facebook wall.



Explanation Two:
Let's say Walgreen's is the client and they request 500 responses.... FA pushes that job to Apple with every Walgreen's location in the USA (let's call this the main list of locations). Apple then pushes the job to us.
As soon as 500 jobs have been reserved. The job is pulled from the app.
As the completed jobs trickle in, the FA staff reviews them. The locations at which jobs have been successfully completed are pulled from the main list.
When a job is submitted but rejected, that one job goes back out into the app... not only at the rejected location but at the thousands of other Walgreen's that weren't picked from the main list the first time.
So, you may never see the job again... as it all depends on who Apple pushes to first and the finger-tapping speed of 164,999 other agents.

-Posted by Vanessa and Jess on FAs Facebook wall.


Explanation Three:
This happens because the same jobs are listed out of your region. A major retailer will post jobs at all qualifying locations, but only needs a sample locations, ie < 100%.

What you're experiencing is jobs accepted outside of your region. When enough jobs are accepted, then the remaining locations are no longer listed & will not appear under reserved jobs; nor will jobs accepted outside of your region. Likewise, when accepting a job that is listed at all locations for a retailer, the remaining locations may disappear because that was the only location or last location that was required for that sample.

Some jobs are re-posted later if they need more submissions because of denied submissions or expired jobs. Because all jobs are posted by the client directly, jobs appear at anytime. 

They key is to check the Field Agent app as often as possible. Checking once daily is not likely to provide many opportunities. Quick acceptance can also be helpful, as anyone who has seen a job slide off of the screen can attest to!

-Posted by Sandman619 on FAs Zen Desk site.

Troubleshooting

101: The Basics

Here are some helpful tips if you're having trouble with app crashes or slow upload times:

1. Make sure that you have the most recent iOS for your apple device

2. If you haven't, download the latest Field Agent App update

3. Try closing all other apps when submitting your job. The multitasking feature on the iPhone can sometimes cause conflicts resulting in crashes. We recommend a hard shutdown of all running apps before completing the job.

4. If convenient, try to connect to a High-Speed connection for the most efficient submissions

5. As a last resort, try a soft reset of your phone by holding down the home and power button on your phone until the apple appears on your screen. We've seen good results with this for those experiencing chronic app issues.

-Posted by FA on their Facebook wall.


102: Advanced

Here are some possible fixes. None of these is guaranteed, mind you, but one or more tend to help when I have crashing problems during jobs:

1. Be aware of whether you are coming close to reaching your device's storage capacity. I seem to

get more crashes when I drop below 1GB of free space. If you are almost full, offload some files.

2. Periodically hit your home button on the bottom center twice and see what apps are still running the background. Repeat that process when it's time to do a job and close all of your extraneous apps by holding your finger on one to start the "wiggle" and then touch the "x" in the corner.

3. Make sure you keep the Field Agent app "fresh" by using the steps described in the second sentence in (2.) to close the Field Agent app and then restart it by tapping on its icon where you normally keep it.

4. Turn off your phone and then turn it on again. Better yet, do a reset by keeping the power button and home button simultaneously pressed until the Apple icon comes up on the touchscreen.

5. Delete the Field Agent app and then redownload it from the App Store.

Granted, these tips, when typed. seem rather like bleeding a patient rather than using antibiotics, but they have worked for me, either alone or together, in getting me through even a tough 15-step job despite crashes. I hope they help you as well.

-Posted by Wayne, a fellow agent, under the comments here.


103: Important Notice

If you are in the process of submitting a job and the app crashes, here are some tips from a fellow agent:

If there's still enough time left on the job, try completely shutting down ALL apps and power off the phone (not sleep, but complete shut down). Wait a minute and power on. Open FA app and try again. Avoid opening other apps till you're done with the job. This fixed whatever was causing the same issue on my phone which I'm guessing was likely lagging memory.

Also, if worse comes to worse, you can delete and reinstall the app, however if you do this when you have jobs waiting completion, you'll lose them after reinstall. It'll be the equivalent of cancelling. But if you email support & describe the circumstances, they'll likely update your agent score so there's no negative impact. If you don't end up reinstalling, be sure to double check the app store to make sure there isn't an update out there.

-Posted by Debbie, a fellow field agent, under the comments here.

"Help! I can't see any jobs!"

When you see "Sorry. There are no jobs currently available based on your search criteria," don't panic!

It could be the nature of the FA app. Sometimes there aren't any jobs in the system. The longest "dry spell" I've experienced is a week and a half (but it felt like an eternity).

It could be that there aren't any jobs near you. Sometimes a job will be regional (meaning it will only be available in the north or the northeast or the south or the... well, I think you get the point).

I just wanted to mention... 
jobs are created and launched by the client. 
They are NOT created or launched by FA. 
So, asking FA for jobs is pointless.  

It could be quotas, finger tapping speed, and Apple (see Disappearing and Reappearing Jobs for a full explanation).

It could be that more people are discovering FA everyday! The more agents there are, the harder it is to snag a job!

It could be your settings. In the FA app, click the menu button in the top right corner. Make sure "Near Me" and "Within 90 Miles" have a check mark next to them. In your iPhone settings, make sure "location services" are turned "on" for the FA app and the maps app.

It could be time to fill out your tax form. If your YTD has reached $450, and you haven't filed out your tax information for this year, your account could be frozen (see Taxes to learn more).

It could be you. Demographics (age, sex, ethnicity, etc...) play a role in which jobs are available to you... so, it's possible your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, friend, or neighbor may see jobs you can't and vice versa. The answers to your profile questions also play a role in which jobs are available to you. As does your agent score (see Agent Score for more details).

It could be your agent score. If your score is below 75, you won't be able to see jobs anymore.

It could be none of the above. If you haven't seen any jobs for an extended period of time, something may be wrong with your account. The only way to get it resolved, is to email support.



Here's what you should do...
Go to the app, tap the menu button in the top right corner-> check off "Zip Code" by tapping on it-> tap "Search Zip"-> enter 90210 and tap "Save"-> tap the menu button (you may need to refresh your screen if it doesn't do so itself).


click to enlarge

If you see jobs on the board then nothing is wrong with your app or your account... there are just faster agents near you.

If you don't see any jobs, move on to Troubleshooting 101 and 102.

In my opinion it's best to try these tricks/tips before you email support. Here's why... the support team may be backed up; in which case, it could be days before you hear back from them (which means you'll go days without seeing any jobs). Once you do get a hold of support, they will want to make sure the problem is not your device or user error... so they will give you the troubleshooting tips first. If it's not you or your device, then they will investigate your account in their system. Bottom line: you will save yourself some time (and hassle) if you complete the troubleshooting steps before you email them.


Just a few things to keep in mind when you email support:
  • Be as thorough as possible! Explain why you think your account needs to be looked in to. Tell them what troubleshooting steps you have already completed.
  • You may get a response in a few hours or it may take a few days. Occasionally, they do get backed up... but they will get back to you.
  • Emails are responded to "in the order they were received." They do not respond based on "urgency"... every agent sees their problem as "urgent."
  • Emailing support ten times will not "bump" you to the front of the line... nor will bashing them on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Include the email address associated with your account (see: Help Them Help You for more details).

Don't forget, you can check the status of your ticket/email on the Zendesk site (click here, to find out how to set up your Zendesk account and why it's useful to agents).

One last thing... whatever you do, do NOT create a new account (see What NOT to do and How to get yourself fired from FA)!

The store is not there

If you get to the ADDRESS listed on the job, and the store is permanently closed, moved, was taken over by another store, etc., that is VALID information for our Clients. While still at that location, take a photo of the outside of the building (if the job requires a photo), and let us know the status of that location in the comments field at the end of the job. That is a HUGE help to us, and helps get you paid for your efforts/ travel.

* I wanted to add: in order for the job to be accepted EVERY question must be answered.
If a picture is required, take a picture of the closed store front... better yet, take a thumbs down picture in front of the closed store.
If "N/A" or "no" isn't an option, pick the best possible answer.
Don't forget to explain "the store is closed" in the comment section at the very end.

-Posted by FA on their Facebook wall.

Store Operating Hours

We (Field Agent) do not track all operating hours for all locations for all jobs. Most Agents complete jobs local to their home/ work, so we expect that you are familiar with most store hours. If you’re traveling out of your way to complete jobs, double-check store hours of operation before you head that way.

-Posted by FA on their Facebook wall.

Travel to the Address Listed

Always travel to the ADDRESS listed on the job. The map is provided as a help but is not 100% accurate, all the time. We're always working to improve this, but it's also always a good plan to double-check where you're headed before you hit the road.

-Posted by FA on their Facebook wall.

What happens to the data collected if the job is rejected?

When we deny a job, we discard the data we collected, send out the job again and pay another Agent to complete it correctly. Therefore, we do not use your data, since it was not what the Client requested and we do not get paid for it. Therefore, neither the Client, the Agent or Field Agent wins.

-Posted by FA on their Get Satisfaction site.

The Five Minute Rule

FA allows agents to cancel a job within 5 minutes of accepting it.

*When you cancel within the first 5 minutes, there are no questions or penalties.
*In order to review the job completely, you must accept the job then go to the "My Jobs" tab. Select the job you wish to complete. You will probably get a warning screen informing you that you're not at the correct location... it's ok! Click "continue." Read through the questions but do not hit submit or you will not be able to complete (or cancel) the job and you will lose points.

-Posted by FA on their Get Satisfaction site.

Number of jobs you can do daily

Doug: Is there a house maximum on the number of jobs you can do in a day?

FA: Really great question - there's no maximum on how many jobs you can do in a day :)

-Posted by Doug and FA on their Facebook wall.

Help Them Help You

Help us help you. When you write into support@fieldagent.net, please make sure that you provide your Agent email address in that email. This helps the team find you in the system faster, which helps resolve your email faster :). If you write in from the Field Agent app, we populate that info into the email for you!

*This is for people with multiple email addresses. If you email them from an email address other than the one you use with the app, include the email address you use with the app.

-Posted by FA on their Facebook wall.

No Photography Allowed

Most stores (ok, pretty much all stores) don't allow photographs in their store. They all have different reasons as to "why." So, it's really important you try to be discrete when completing a job.

Turning off your phones volume so the "shutter click" doesn't play when you snap the photo and pretending to be really shopping might help.

If confronted by store personnel, a "story" might be your only choice. Ryan, a fellow agent, has a great video on how to deal with pesky personnel. You can find the video here.

It's important to remain calm and try not to escalate the situation... the store can call the police (if they really want to be jerks).

The police were called on a fellow agent. He remained calm and reasonable; thankfully, they didn't press charges on him. Here's his story:

Michael: Just thought I'd tell everyone to be careful at Dollar General stores doing jobs. Twice, at two different stores, I had problems with Managers. The first time the Managers asked what I was doing, I explained and they said that Corporate policy didn't allow photographs being taken in store and asked me to not do so again. At the second job I also got stopped by a manager, I explained and again they told me Corporate Policy did not allow for photographs of the inside of the store or it's merchandise to be taken and called the Police on me. I explained to the Police and they just let me go with a warning.

-Posted by Michael, a fellow agent, on FAs Facebook wall.

Taxes

If you earn $600.00 or above in a calendar year with one entity, you are required to file taxes as contract labor. Here at Field Agent, we request your W-9 information once you hit $450.00, and can limit the jobs you view if you do not provide that information. That being said, we will only file if you hit/ surpass that $600.00 mark. Feel free to write into support@fieldagent.net with any additional questions on that!

-Posted by FA on their Facebook wall.


How much will I be taxed?

Gregge: Question about taxes. Never had to file/pay on my own (taken out of paycheck automatically) say you make $1000 how much would taxes be?

Jeff: I'm a tax geek in real life! There isn't a simple answer to your question. People will pay different tax rates on the $1,000 income based on their "effective tax rate" at the end of the year. Your effective tax rate is based on MANY different things including whether you take the standard deduction or you itemize your tax return. Not to mention some states have an income tax and some (like mine here in Tennessee) do not. So, to give you a short answer I usually tell my friends and family that ask me these kind of questions to assume that about 15%-20% is going to be taxed.

Again, I do not know your annual income or tax situation, so this is purely an educated guess. The best thing to do is ask a certified CPA that is familiar with your tax situation.

*I wanted to include... you can "write off" your mileage.

-Posted by Gregge and Jeff on FAs Facebook wall


The Paperwork

There are three ways to submit your tax paperwork to FA: fax, snail-mail, or email.

In my opinion, here's the easiest way:

1. Get a copy of the W-9 form here.
2. Print and fill it out.
3. Download a free app which takes a photo and turns into a PDF (I recommend "Genius Scan"). Then email the PDF (straight from the app) to support@fieldagent.net with a subject line of "2013 Agent W-9."

"Primary Location" Jobs

Christi: What is it with this new clause I keep seeing that states something like: this store must be your primary location to buy stated product and if you accept the job all other similar jobs at other retailers will be denied to you?  I think this is really crappy. I buy laundry items equally at three different stores because none of these stores carry all of the products I use... I'm starting to get sick of all the 'clauses' listed in these jobs... Get over it.

Jess: I don't think FA is coming up with those rules (they've never had a problem with an agent completing as many jobs as possible), I believe it's the client. I understand your point and frustration (I shop based off price so to say I shop at a particular store for a particular item is difficult) HOWEVER I'm thankful FA put the information in the details up front... if I ran around to a bunch of stores, submitted my work only to find out it can't be accepted, I'd be extremely annoyed... I think we all would.
They're damned if they do, damned if they don't :/

Wayne: I'm with Jess here: there have been a number of job waves in the past couple of years that have limited agents to a *single submission, period*; this wave simply limits agents to doing jobs at one self-selected "go-to" chain per product class, which is nowhere near as strict. It just doesn't help to argue on FB about the wisdom of what clients want; I'd rather earn $7 than earn $0 because someone complained about not earning $14.

-Posted by Christ, Jess, and Wayne on FAs Facebook wall.

iPhone 5 and its panoramic abilities

Jeff: I have a job in my feed that is asking for 8 pictures of a display to be connected together. Will that be able to be performed with the panoramic ability of the iPhone 5 or will the 8 pics still have to be taken? Just curious for the future because I think that would help to be more stealthy.

FA: We're looking at how this feature could be used, but sometimes pieces of the image get cut off with panoramas so it's still not ideal.

-Posted by Jeff and FA on their Facebook wall.

What is Zendesk for?

It provides answers to some basic questions about the Field Agent app but the most valuable feature it offers is the ability to check the status of your ticket (aka, an email you submitted to the support team).

To use this valuable feature you must login. If you don't already have an account, create one.

In order to see the status of an existing ticket (and all previous tickets) you MUST use the same email address you use when accessing the app.

Your password to Zendesk does NOT have to be the same one you use with app.

Once you've created an account and logged in, click "check your existing request." Here you will see your ticket (aka, email sent to the support team) and the status of your ticket.

First your ticket will be at the "operators desk," then you will be "assigned an agent." Shortly after you've been assigned an agent, you will get a response from a FA staff member. The response will be emailed to you, but can viewed at this location as well.

You can also view your "recently solved and closed request" by clicking on the link on the right side of the "check your existing request" page.

Agent Score

Any perks of having a higher Agent score?

There's really no benefits of a higher score, it's more to measure the effectiveness of an agent. But don't let that stop you from increasing it as high as you can go!

*I wanted to add: if your agent score gets too low, you won't be able to see jobs anymore.

-Posted by Jordan and Ryan Postell on FAs Facebook wall.


What exactly is an Agent score for?

Do you have any plans of publicly displaying that information so we can all know who the best agents are?

We do have plans to show some sort of leader board down the road :) Agent scores help us understand how experienced an Agent is and in some cases we'll send special jobs to top performers. Great questions! 

-Posted by Schuyler and FA on their Facebook wall. 


What is a good Agent score?

Hmm... That's hard to answer because it depends on your experience (or how many jobs you've completed).
We all start at 85. You get points added when a job is accepted and completed successfully. Points are subtracted when you get a job rejected, don't complete the job (let the clock run out) or cancel a job.
So long as your getting points added (rather than subtracted), I'd say you're doing good ;);)

-Posted by Greg and Jess on FAs Facebook wall.

What NOT to do

In order to avoid getting your account "red flagged," create your own PayPal account when cashing out and always use your own phone and your own account to complete jobs. Here's why:

Jason: I don't know if it was a problem but my wife cashed her jobs on my PayPal. She doesn't have one and we thought it was ok. Now neither of us are seeing jobs. What is the issue and can it get fix? I have been trying to get support to fix it for three days now.

Jess: I would think when your wife used your PayPal acct, it probably triggered a warning for suspicious activity :/

FA: Sorry to hear about the troubles. Email support is the only way we can really take a look at individual situations. If you've already emailed, awesome - we'll find the answer as soon as possible. Thanks!

Jason: I wish it was clearer in the FAQ, I didn't think we did anything wrong.

FA: Definitely understandable - we'll look at how we can communicate this more clearly up front. We're still working out the best way to implement these flags in our system, thanks for working with us on it.

FA: Jason - because we take a pretty careful look at these it takes a little more time to resolve. We'll look in to it and based on this situation I'm confident it will be resolved shortly. We appreciate you working with us on this!

2 days later it got even more complicated...

Jason: I don't understand what is going on. Field Agent is saying that the same Paypal account is OK for family members. But that we were been completing jobs on each other accounts. This is very frustrating and I don't understand.

Jess: Has your wife reserved a job on her phone and you completed it for her on your phone (or vise versa)?
Or did you log in to your account on her phone and accept and complete a job (or vise versa)?

Jason: no, If we are traveling together we will work together but we never switch phones. The day before it was suspend we went to Trader Joe's on the other side of town and did the jobs in that area, but we don't switch phones.

Jason: I want to share that there was one job that I did for my wife a few weeks ago. I didn't remember. After discussing with Support I do have to apologies, as I want to be a a productive agent. Thank you Field Agent for the warning and please accept my apology. Your Business Model is amazing!

*In the end FA did say using a family members PayPal account was ok.
However, it might cause their systems to "red flag" your account, thus preventing you from seeing jobs until it can be sorted out.
The choice is really yours.
Personally, I'd rather be safe than sorry.

As for using someone else's device... this individual was given a warning but you won't be as lucky. As of August 30, 2012, the Participation Agreement now states, "you may only access your Agent account from one device at any given time." If you violate the Participation Agreement, FA "reserves the right to terminate your account."

-Posted by Jason, Jess, and FA on their Facebook wall.

How to get yourself fired from FA

Over the past month or so, a few agents might have accidentally got themselves fired for breaking FA rules.

In my opinion, reading comprehension plays a huge part and will ultimately determine if you're a successful agent or not and, consequently, whether you get to keep your job or not. I don't know about you, but I like this job! It's easy money, and I don't want to lose it.

So where can you find the rules for the FA app? In the Participation Agreement.

Don't roll your eyes and start scrolling down yet... just hear me out, ok?

It's not that long... and it's not filled with legal jargon that makes it impossible to understand. Actually, it's a very easy read.

Here's the most important part... it contains valuable information about what will get you fired, permanently!

Here are some highlights (note: these are just a few of the rules, for more information, please read the agreement in its entirety here):

1. You may only register once. Re-registering under a different email will get you fired (don't think you're going to be sneaky and re-register on a different device, under a different email, and they will never figure it out. Eventually, they will figure it out and when they do, they won't have to pay you for the work you've submitted because you violated several sections of the Participation Agreement).

2. Never log in to your account on another device (I understand this to mean, EVER, not even for a moment... something to think about if you have an iPhone, iPad, and/or an iPod touch).

3. Don't represent yourself as an employee or agent of FA or the client.

4. FA does not tell us who the client is. Even if you think you've figured it out, don't contact the company to sort out any problems. All complaints must go through FA and FA alone.

Again, these are just a few of the rules I've paraphrased. You should definitely read the rest of the Participation Agreement found here.

Remember, violating the agreement gets you FIRED! Depending on the severity, FA may or may not give you a warning. There are people discovering FA every day; the brutal truth is, they don't have to "keep you around" if you create problems.

Using an iPod touch to complete jobs

Jamie: Do I have to be at the store when I complete a job? I use an iPod touch, so if I don't have wifi, I can't complete them, and most stores don't. If I take a picture will I be able to submit it from home?

Michael: Yes you can do the whole job (at the store) and then send the info from a wifi area. But keep in mind you still have to do it with in the two hour limit given. All pictures and questions are "time stamped" so they can still see the location and time.

FA: Jamie thanks for the question, and Michael thanks for the great response! :)

*The Australian version of Field Agent is quite different than the US, UK and Canadian versions... the time stamped, geo tagging feature on iPods is available in the US but that's not the case in Australia, they can only use iPhones :/ This information can be found here.

-Posted by Jamie, Michael, and FA on their Facebook wall.

Impact on Your Phone's Data Plan

We have received some questions from Agents regarding the amount of your phone's data plan that Field Agent uses when you do jobs.

When we launched Field Agent, we knew that we needed to be sensitive to the cost to transmit data for jobs. To counter this, we created an ala carte pricing model that charges Clients, and pays Agents, per piece of data. This means that each response submitted earns you more money for the job, usually $.50 more for each question and $1.50 more for each photo. This should more than cover the cost of that data on your account. However, if you're still curious, here's how it breaks down:

Overall Job Information (Downloaded each time you search for jobs):

Instructions / Description / Location Information: 2.5 KB

Each Question (Downloaded when you accept a job):

Quest Text and Help Text: 300 bytes
Help Pic: 100KB to 200 KB

When uploading information:

Prices, Yes, No, etc.: 100 bytes
Picture: 500KB to 700KB
Free Form Question: 50 bytes to 400 bytes

As you can see, we don't use that much data and the amount you make per question far outweighs your data cost, so keep up the good work!

-Posted by FA on their Get Satisfaction site.

The problem that was...

In July of 2012, there was a delay in processing cash outs. (Let me clarify... agents were being paid, it just took longer to receive payment.)

On April 17, 2013, Field Agent celebrated their third birthday and posted this:

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ORIGINAL POST

If you're having trouble cashing out, follow the directions here and the cash out troubleshooting directions here.

The information below is only being provided as a acknowledgment that there was a delay at one time.


Regarding Cash Outs
A note from our CEO:
Dear Agents,

Since the beginning, it’s been our mission to pay people real money through their smart phone for doing good work. So far we’ve cashed out over $1.8 Million in real money! As many of you have recognized, cash out deposits have been unusually slow lately. We’re deeply sorry; we know how important this cash can be.

We’ve considered many different solutions with the goal of creating a better system for everyone. Avoiding gift cards or redeemable points and other kinds of incentives that get in the way of you making money is really important to us. We believe real cash is the best compensation for work.

The online payment infrastructure is a broken system. As a result of the way we process payments, we’re actively looking for new ways to do this and get back on schedule. There’s a lot of really great innovation going on with companies like Dwolla and Stripe to rethink the way these kinds of transactions take place. We’re excited about the future.

For now, we’re doing our best to create solutions in a broken system. You may see your cash outs continue to take a little longer for the time being, but please know we do care and we’re working hard to fix it. We will always deposit payments as soon as possible. We know this can be really inconvenient and we appreciate your patience as we continue to work to sign clients and put jobs out there so you can put some extra money in your pocket.

As always, if you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you at support@fieldagent.net.

Rick West, CEO
Field Agent

-Posted by FA on their Facebook wall.




Delays in Processing Cash Outs

Agents,

We really appreciate you engaging here on Facebook and through email. We've heard the requests for updates and we're really sorry about the continued delays. We're working hard to solve the problems at hand from several different angles, and we'll do our best to provide firm updates when we have something meaningful to share. Unfortunately there isn't a silver bullet in this situation and we’re trying to determine the best steps to take. Please know that no matter what you will be paid the money you earn, but it may take a little longer to cash out (for now). Our goal will always be to pay you as soon as possible. We love working with you providing a way for folks to earn a little extra cash through their iPhone.

Thank you (really, thank you) for your support and for bearing us. We’re excited about the future of Field Agent and we’re learning and improving every day.

-Posted by FA on their Facebook wall.




More insight regarding the delay in cash outs

From FA, "The simple truth is that we are currently behind on our payment-processing schedule. For the time being, it is going to take longer than it used to

All Cash Outs are processed in order of Cash Out request. We are doing our best to get all of the requests processed, but there are still a lot to catch up on.

While the transactions have slowed down significantly, we promise that all cash outs will be received eventually - and all we can ask for is our Agents' continued patience."

In my response, I asked for clarification. Maybe I'm alone here, but I was under the impression from the CEOs note the issues with the payment process wasn't going to be solved right away... there is no "quick fix. I understood it as "they are actively looking at other options but haven't found anything they find acceptable yet; it could take a while (possibly even months) to get this sorted out."

FA responded, "Unfortunately, it's not a quick fix. We're doing our best to speed things along, but at the same time we don't want to go so fast that we overlook something important in the process."

-Posted by Jess, Ryan Postell, and FA on their Facebook wall.