Your all ready, you have your Job sheet open, the Getting started guide on hand, you have your drink and snack and you click on the first link and BAM. You receive a message stating "Site has been blocked" because your web browser indicates that the site is not safe?!?
You read all the instructions and know that all assignments must be completed but how are you supposed to complete your Mystery shopping services when your web browser is blocking a link saying it a Harmful website!!
Now your not feeling so sure and begin to feel like something is amiss.
It has happened to a few of our shoppers and we understand their concerns. We don't want any viruses nor do we want any our shoppers experiencing that as either.
We are all about sharing and all those other vital lessons learned in kindergarten (wash your hands, be kind, no hitting, sharing is caring ect.) but no one wants to share viruses. Not the ones that make your nose run or your PC not run!
We have learned over the years that there are many reasons why this error can occur. There are many ways to remedy it as well. The most common cause for this is MS excel not trusting the assignment links. They are landing pages set up for our clients to know that our shoppers are working through us and that they (the client) will need to pay for your services.
We have had a few Mystery shoppers who searched for our clients main page via Google or other search engines and complete the work assignments and then our clients never give them credit for their work. Our clients have no record of their services. This is because they didn't follow our links. But how do you follow a blocked link?
One option is to just click on the tiny words "Allow web site" (the message may vary depending on your web browser) The next option which seems to be the main culprit to this problem is to "enable editing" or Disable security alerts. We only recommend "Enable editing" because we know that our spread sheets are safe but don't want you to not block a bad spread sheet links you received from a different source. However please feel free to choose which ever option you want.
Microsoft knows all to well about people with bad intentions and has a default protection in place for its Office users. The average Office user doesn't receive many Excel spread sheets from other sources. Which is why there are drastic differences between a MS Office home edition and a Professional edition.
It's mostly security and accessibility differences.
Those who are proficient with MS Excel can catch those subtle differences. However our average shopper is not an excel formula writing master and may not notice the small "Enable editing box in the top right of the ribbon. Nor do we expect them to. I worked here for years before we upgraded our Office suite and began receiving this error. I like to consider my self pretty tech savvy but I still had to go search Google to figure out the cause.
If you are using MS Excel this may be the cause of that issue. I test all of our Job sheets and found when I started using a new PC I keep getting that warning. I work here how is that happening!!
Well after a little investigating I found the remedy to that complication. I found the solution to my problem on MS's support page
Here is the link.
I set mine up to Disable Security Alerts (Again I work here and trust all the Excel docs I receive but if you don't want to disable all the alerts just click the Enable Editing button each time you open the Job sheet).
Sometimes it is Google. All the main web browsers use Google's data for Safe Browsing. The remedy for that was to just clear my browser data (cookies and cashed images and files) Then everything worked fine.
However these remedies didn't work for all of our shoppers. Their is still about 10-15% who have followed our recommendations and still receive the Blocked page error. Now what?
We would never ask our Shoppers to do anything they do not feel comfortable doing. We try hard to keep our name from being associated with a scam. We have been in business since 2005. We have paid thousands and thousands of hard working Mystery shoppers over the years and all it takes is one bad review on the wrong site and years of progress can be lost.
For the Mystery shoppers who encounter this issue we give 2 suggestions 1 click on the Allow button, or 2 temporarily lower your browser settings.
I hope this helps :)
Thank you and Have a great day!!