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Mystery Shopping Company Discussion

EPMS targeted apartment shops
Posts:165
When you get permission to ask for your target agent by name, what do you say if asked how you got their name? Thanks!
January 19, 2012 08:59PM
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Posts:339
I believe I read somewhere on the EPMS site a recommendation: Don't say you got it from a friend or close associate, because the target may ask further questions about the person. Instead, say you got the target's name from "John" or "Susie" (or some such common name) whom you met at a party. Then laugh and gush about how you're so bad at remembering names! (Despite the fact that apparently you managed to remember the target's name.)

I could see this self-contradictory story actually working, though. If all else fails, use some sleight-of-hand. Might be a good time to drop your purse, spilling the contents all over the floor, or trip on your own shadow and stumble and fall. That should change the subject.

D'Agosto


"What does it mean? You ask. I answer not/For meaning, but myself must echo, What?/And tell it as I saw it, on the spot."
January 20, 2012 04:25AM
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Posts:165
Dagosto Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I believe I read somewhere on the EPMS site a
> recommendation: Don't say you got it from a friend
> or close associate, because the target may ask
> further questions about the person. Instead, say
> you got the target's name from "John" or "Susie"
> (or some such common name) whom you met at a
> party. Then laugh and gush about how you're so bad
> at remembering names! (Despite the fact that
> apparently you managed to remember the target's
> name.)
>
> I could see this self-contradictory story actually
> working, though. If all else fails, use some
> sleight-of-hand. Might be a good time to drop your
> purse, spilling the contents all over the floor,
> or trip on your own shadow and stumble and fall.
> That should change the subject.


HAHAHAHA! That description actually made me laugh out loud. I can see how that story could work! It's a pity I can't use the stumbling portion over the phone, though.
January 21, 2012 12:23AM
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Posts:7,741
My line is that I drove around the area last weekend and then walked around to check it out. On the grounds I met a woman who said she liked living there and that I should be sure to talk to 9target name) about getting an apartment there. What did she look like? "Kinda tall, with dark hair in a ponytail."

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
January 21, 2012 09:15AM
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Posts:180
I've gotten to the point where if I don't reach the target in three days, I cancel the job if new ones show up on the board. All of December, I spent over 4 weeks (yes, you heard this correctly) attempting to read two targets. They kept rescheduling once I asked for them by name and the scheduler wouldn't cancel the shop. Then there were like 4 who no longer worked there.

I am trying to make money and EPMS does not make things easy for a shopper. If the target no longer works there, they need to reach the client and that can take up to a week at a time..a week where I can't request a shop sometimes because I am at my limit. I also wonder how they do not know that the target no longer works there? Shouldn't the management company be telling them this?

So far, I've cancelled 5 shops in one week because the target is not simply picking up or because the target is refusing a tour because they have nothing available. I might cancel a 6th one because it is a small property and the wife keeps picking up, but I need to talk to the husband.

I am used to pulling in at least $600 per month with EPMS but December threw me off. I wasn't very happy with the shops and wasn't happy that they wouldn't get back to my route requests on time. I explained to them that I was more than happy to keep reaching the two targets, but that I'd like some routes, because waiting on the two leasing agents to get their schedule right was messing up my bottom line.
January 22, 2012 12:18AM
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Posts:363
I had a challenging shop with EPMS but really appreciate the way this company works with you. Nothing ever seems to go as planned with apartment shops!

I listened to many pre-recorded calls from another shopper. I learned through this method, the correct way to pronounce the agent's name.

After doing jury duty, I stopped by the complex (located right in same block) and asked for the agent, citing that I learned about her from jury duty. I kept my jury duty sticker on.

I suspected, from the previous shoppers' and my own attempts, that the target was ducking. I showed up and asked for her, and she refused to show me around. EPMS asked me to write it up. It was a pleasant surprise to be able to complete the report.

Feel free to use the jury duty story. No one expects you to remember names from that!
January 22, 2012 09:39AM
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Posts:14,883
What a great idea!

AnonymousGirl, do they allow cancellations because of a hard to reach target? It seems if you spend some time and then cancel another shopper has to start the process all over again since your attempts aren't going to count anymore. The site says if a shopper is interested in a route they can contact EPMS about assigning shops if it would put them over the limit. Doesn't this apply when multiple shops are basically "on hold" awaiting information from the client?

*************************************************************************
It's been real and it's been fun, but it just isn't real fun anymore.
January 22, 2012 09:56AM
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Posts:180
LisaSTL Wrote:
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> What a great idea!
>
> AnonymousGirl, do they allow cancellations because
> of a hard to reach target? It seems if you spend
> some time and then cancel another shopper has to
> start the process all over again since your
> attempts aren't going to count anymore. The site
> says if a shopper is interested in a route they
> can contact EPMS about assigning shops if it would
> put them over the limit. Doesn't this apply when
> multiple shops are basically "on hold" awaiting
> information from the client?


Well, when you cancel, one of the options that you can click on is cancelling because you are unable to reach the target. Considering they allowed two shops to be on my job board since mid-december until just a few days ago, I assume that they are not on a time limit.

You can contact epms, but vdickerson forwards your email request to the correct schedulers. So by the time you e-mail her, and she forwards your email, the shops may already be gone. I even emailed her and said that I didn't mind chasing the agents around for the two shops, but that I wanted to know if they could automatically assign two shops in my area before they hit the job board sot that I could at least be completing shops. Whenever I get a shop, my goal is to have it shopped within 48 hours, and they should see that from previous reports.

But I never received a respond to that request. Since they won't work with me, I will continue to do what is best for me. Leave the hard to do shops to the backup shoppers. They may get lucky and reach a target that was out during my three day attempt. I was a backup shopper for two days and someone cancelled the shop. I reached the target on my first attempt and she informed me that she'd been out of the office the last two days.
January 22, 2012 01:32PM
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Posts:14,883
Thanks for the explanation and heads up.

*************************************************************************
It's been real and it's been fun, but it just isn't real fun anymore.
January 22, 2012 01:38PM
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Posts:35
It's always tricky when you have to ask for the person. If I have to ask for someone I use two names. For example, if I have to speak to 'Nancy' I say, "Is there a Candy or Nancy there?". Then I tell them a friend (common name if asked) referred me. I've worked for them for many years and now doing their hidden camera shops.
January 22, 2012 08:23PM
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Posts:36
I agree, reaching the target is almost impossible. I'm on day three trying to reach one and when I look at the log there have been quite a few calls unsuccessful. Good ideas on who rrcommended. Thanks!
January 26, 2012 10:56PM
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Posts:165
Thanks everyone for the great suggestions!

The funny thing was that once I got the permission to ask for the target by name, she was the one who answered my call! I almost fainted smiling smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/28/2012 12:52AM by cirmi2000.
January 26, 2012 11:41PM
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Posts:1
I have not been infrmed of any jobs from this site, but like to get some jobs. Thanks,Marie Bailey lilly5104@windstream.net
January 27, 2012 03:36PM
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Posts:14,883
Marie, as this is a public forum you really should use the edit link for your post and remove the e-mail address. Leaving it could open you up to all sorts of spam.

Have you been looking for jobs on the EPMS website?

*************************************************************************
It's been real and it's been fun, but it just isn't real fun anymore.
January 27, 2012 03:49PM
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Posts:48
I called a target shop over ten times and never was able to get in touch with the target. I then had my son call. When he called, he asked for the person by name and was told they no longer worked at the location. I called and informed them of this. I asked how is it the client does not know who works for them! Why on earth would they have you ask for a target who is not employed with the company? Can you believe that? I spent well over an hour trying to contact a target that no longer worked there and then they did not pay me for the time I spent trying to contact the target. I now have my son call if I call twice and cannot reach the target. I will not spend more than ten minutes anymore wasting my time on target calls.
January 27, 2012 04:55PM
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Posts:379
I had a shop with them where they told me the target worked only on Saturdays. After trying two Saturdays in a row, I was told I could ask for the target, only to find out she didn't work Saturday at all. You do wonder what the company knows about their employees.

But most of the time I have no problem reaching the target. I like doing shops for EPMS. The pay is good and they pay on time.
January 28, 2012 12:49AM
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Posts:8
I have been doing a lot of shops for EPMS lately... have finally gotten the hang of it! But their reports!... Oh My!!! Such details that they want in the additional questions segment.. I've gotten so I go into "Word" as soon as I get home, and write a play-by-play descriptive narrative on the property [I also record the shop on my cell phone] Then all I have to do is cut and paste for the narratives...

But what I'd like to know is this: why isn't there an easy way to print out the questionnaire in its entirety before the shop? I HATE their "accordian" system! It makes things much more difficult than they need to be!

I'm doing two audio shops for them within the next two weeks. - Wish me luck!---

chereeguitar
January 29, 2012 10:33AM
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Posts:36
Question on the audio shops.Best place to put the recorder? The first one I did they said put it in your purse, so I did I have a front pocket on the ourse, all I got was static. Then it was suggested I out it in my bra, did that but audio was still poor, any suggestions?
January 29, 2012 10:44AM
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Posts:14,883
The purse is a terrible idea, there are too many things that can make noise. Most of us haven't had any problems with the bra and that is the same are where video shoppers put the mic. Are you sure the mic was positioned facing up or out? Otherwise it might be quality of your recorder.

*************************************************************************
It's been real and it's been fun, but it just isn't real fun anymore.
January 29, 2012 10:51AM
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Posts:7,741
darmody2,
If you are not using an Olympus recorder, that might account for the quality problem. also, the sound level can be turned up AND, the mic has to be facing outward.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
January 29, 2012 10:54AM
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Posts:48
If I'm lucky, I get about five or six EPMS shops a month. However, you're correct, the report is a headache. The information required is repetitive also. I have not done any of the audio or video shops for fear of rejection. And if I get a rejected shop, that's it. I will not return and perform it a second time if that is allowed, or even attempt to. One vist is enough for me. EPMS pays on time everytime. I have not had a problem receiving payments from this company unlike Franchise Compliance.

Has anyone done a car dealership recorded shop? They pay exceptionally well and the time/requirements are minimal.
January 29, 2012 11:35AM
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Posts:7,741
Why fear a rejected audio or video shop? You cannot go back to any EPMS location within 18 months, so that's not an issue. With video and audio, there is little chance that the client or target can successfully challenge your shop, since the target has been recorded doing/saying what you reported. Thus, less chance for a rejected shop. What's the big deal?

I have done a lot of car video shops. No big deal.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
January 29, 2012 12:25PM
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Posts:36
walesmaven Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> darmody2,
> If you are not using an Olympus recorder, that
> might account for the quality problem. also, the
> sound level can be turned up AND, the mic has to
> be facing outward.
Thanks for the inout. Yes it is an Olympus from the company and I did have sound up and mic out. Have another coming up tomorrow will try again. Thanks!
January 29, 2012 01:23PM
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Posts:856
You tell them you spoke to them a few weeks ago. They aren't gonna say they don't remember your call.
January 29, 2012 01:56PM
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Posts:121
I did one of those targeted shops one time several years ago. It was a disaster. When I finally reached my target I was able to make an appointment for the tour. I arrived on time and met the target and she immediately turned me over to her associate to continue the tour. What was I supposed to do?

I finished the tour and did the report explaining that I didn't actually shop the target and why. EPMS gave me grief over that. They said I should have resceduled but I don't see how I could have done that without tipping my hand.
January 29, 2012 08:38PM
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Posts:7,741
This is very strange. The rule at EPMS is that you shop the person you are turned over to, if you had an appointment with the target and the target disappeared.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
January 29, 2012 09:14PM
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Posts:121
Well I did say this was several years ago. Maybe they changed the rule since this happened to me or maybe the schedular I was dealing with was as new to it as I was and also confused.
January 30, 2012 01:03AM
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Posts:36
I have four shops and cannot reach any of the targets. This is getting very annoying!!
January 30, 2012 10:26PM
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Posts:7,741
darmody2,
Just call your scheduler and ask for permission to ask for the target. I don't understand why so many shoppers will spin their wheels making as many failed calls as they report, without taking this step.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
January 31, 2012 09:09AM
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Posts:14,883
I was struggling with that last week and the scheduler told me specifically that the client would not allow me to ask for the agent by name.

*************************************************************************
It's been real and it's been fun, but it just isn't real fun anymore.
January 31, 2012 09:14AM
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