“Good morning, Field Agent.Â Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to gather retail intelligence on behalf of our clients.Â This tape will self destruct in five seconds”.Â Sound familiar?Â OK, maybe this is not Mission Impossible, but this may be as close to being a real “secret spy” as you’ll ever get.
The Field Agent app has been available in the US for about a year now but it has just hit Canada and is currently the only app that actually pays you for using your smart phone.Â It gives iPhone owners the chance to play secret shopper with none other than their super spy gadget–the iPhone.
By using the GPS location on your device, Field Agent will present jobs which are in close proximity to you.Â These jobs pay anywhere between $2.00-$8.00 and involves going to retail locations and taking photos and/or answering questions about a particular product from within the app on your smart phone.Â Jobs are available on a first come first serve basis and you have 120 minutes to complete your assignment, otherwise the job goes back into the system for other agents to complete.Â The jobs go pretty fast.Â Make sure you check in the morning if you want your pick of jobs and location, otherwise, you may be out of luck.
My first job was for Loblaws for a product called Luscious Lemon Pudding Cakes.Â I had to take a photo of the display and answer 6 questions about the display itself.Â This took me all of 5 minutes to complete and the job paid $6.50 for my trouble.Â Thing is, it really was no trouble as I shop there anyways and the display was easy to find.Â If you know me, you know that I’m never without my dear iPhone, so this was easy for me to do.Â The only darn thing is in my excitement to complete the job, I forgot to take screenshots for this blog post and as I found out, once you submit your findings, there’s no way of going back.Â In fact, other than my account balance and agent score, there’s no detailed history of the jobs I completed.Â So in a way, the job did “self-destruct”.
Once the job has been verified, the money goes into your Field Agent account (which never expires) and you can cash out through PayPal.Â What’s even better is that Field Agent pays for the transaction fees incurred by using PayPal, so agents earn all the money as stated.Â Jeff Doucette, the GM for Field Agent in Canada tells me that each job is verified by Field Agent back end staff members who verifies that each element of the job was completed correctly and that the GPS coordinates match with the store location.
We all know that in the corporate world, there are performance reviews.Â Well in the Field Agent world, there’s the Agent Rep Score which reflects your reliability and accuracy in completing the jobs.Â Agents start with a score of 85 out of a possible 100 points and points are rewarded upon successful completion or deducted for failure to complete jobs or for providing inaccurate or false information.
Doucette informed me that an Android version is in the works for 2012.
So, I left Loblaws with $6.50 in my pocket and a box of Luscious Lemon Pudding Cakes.Â Wait, the cakes cost me $6.99, so I actually lost money on this job.Â These missions could prove to be dangerous after all.
Ready for your first mission?
Image credits: Field Agent