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Mystery Shopping Company Discussion

Ellis/EMPS
Posts:220
I am a new shopper and was wondering what any of you have to say about EMPS. I have done three apartments shops for them (one being three weeks ago) and they all say that the report is pending. I have heard nada from the company. My first apartment shop was a nightmare. The agent I was shopping was not personable and I eventually had to ask all of the questions and pry information out of him. Needless to say, I couldn't lie on the report. I reported the truth. I'm wondering if this is the reason the report is still pending.

Just Me and Wylie Shopping the Pacific Northwest
September 11, 2013 07:06PM
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Posts:1,867
When did you do the shops? Their shops can sit in pending for quite a while. I wouldn't worry about it.

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I'm not from round these parts...
September 11, 2013 08:58PM
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I have the same problem, where my 3 reports were pending. I contacted them, and they indicated that there was a problem with my banking information. I checked and I had forgotten to change my account information for the direct deposit. I corrected the problem, but have to wait until the next date they pay.
September 13, 2013 10:30PM
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Posts:9
I have done 1 shop for Ellis so far and have 2 more scheduled but am very confused as to the "phone" part of the shop. It says I have to give another name or they will know I am a shopper because they keep everything recorded in their computers and I gave my name and phone number before. However if I give a fake name and number then what happens when they ask for ID and see the real name, and how will they do a follow up if I don't give my right number. Also the instructions say that I must give them my correct number but it also shows that they have my number recorded. Can anyone explain this to me? I have emailed EPMS but I don't think they get what I am saying.
September 16, 2013 02:01PM
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Posts:51
creid2: You use a variation of your name (middle name, nickname, etc.) so that it doesn't match exactly. You have to provide a correct phone number for follow-up purposes but you can get creative using home, cell or work numbers. You can also obtain 'generic' phone numbers through Google Voice that will forward messages to a phone you designate.
September 16, 2013 02:38PM
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Posts:9
jncut: thank you, I am not familiar with google voice but I will look into it.
September 16, 2013 07:12PM
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Posts:222
I have had a strange situation. I used to make a lot of my monthly money from EPMS. In the last few months somebody has grabbed almost all of the EPMS shops in my area and I'm making more money now than I ever did before. I think I was putting so much time and effort in to their long reports that I was slowing myself down. I like the company but another shopper taking most my local EPMS shops may be the best thing that has happened to me.

Single mom just trying to make a living 1 sandwich shop at a time.
September 18, 2013 11:32AM
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Posts:182
It is an issue with ID as I can't use a variation of my name at all. Even still, sometimes they just take your ID and start writing your name down right at the beginning when I sit down. They don't even ask me for my name. I don't even attempt fake names anymore.
September 18, 2013 06:27PM
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Posts:8,118
I have done many as they have tons in my town...my biggest compliant (along with many others), is the difficulty in reaching the target, though they will work with you after calling three times a day for three days, you can then ask for the name and make the appt. at their request. The report is long and repetitive and very detailed, but after awhile, gets easier. You must have a great memory, as the target (agent) is always with you, difficult to take notes. These do get easier, and
if there's no driving time, duable. We are paid 40.00 here, would not do it for less. The schedulers are easy to work with.

Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.
September 20, 2013 11:15AM
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Posts:29
Stick with them. They will work with you. I've asked for extensions, help with contacting the targets. Just remember to keep them informed via the little envelope next to the shop ID you've accepted. They want to know that you're working on the shop. I forgot to do that once only because in my head, I knew when I was going to actually perform the shop, but they didn't, and they cancelled the shop for me. I contacted them to let them know what happened and what I was planning to do, and they gave me the shop back and told me to remember to keep them informed.

With your first shop, the leasing agent didn't do her/his job, that's what EPMS's client wants to know. You're not supposed to ask a lot of questions. Simply include in your report that the agent 'did this' or 'didn't do that'. EPMS may contact you to ask for further information, and you can provide it there. Since you asked a lot of the questions of the leasing agent, that may be the reason the shop is in pending now. They're trying to figure out what to do. You can ask a few questions, but certainly not a lot.

I've been with them for about 2 years now, and although the reports are typically long, I like the pay. If I do 6 shops with them per month, that's $240 easy money. Just don't schedule more than two a day, unless you like sitting and typing for hours at a time. The most I ever did for them in one day was 3. I vowed never to do that again! If you get your shop reports 100% done and submitted by the 7th of the month, you get paid on the 22nd. They're very consistent with their pay schedule.

Remember, even though you may have been mystery shopping for a while (I've been doing it now for almost 10 years) each company is different. I know how to shop Ellis' apartments, but another company's apartment shop requirements can be totally different. Always make sure you read the job description and adhere to it. If you have a question about something that doesn't make sense to you, ask the scheduler. Good Luck!!
September 21, 2013 11:00AM
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Posts:220
Thank you, all for your comments and suggestions. I really like the work they give and do not want to have to deal with an MSC that does not pay. EPMS finally accepted my first three shops last week. I really didn't expect EPMS to accept the negative report I submitted. I expected, at least, an email asking me to clarify, etc.

Thanks again,

Robbie

Just Me and Wylie Shopping the Pacific Northwest
September 21, 2013 10:06PM
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Posts:9
I have now received 2 payments from Ellis right on time and excited to do more of their shops since they do pay very well.
September 23, 2013 07:44PM
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Posts:378
I like EPMS. Except for the long reports. Got paid today by direct deposit. And I have submitted many negative reports, and never had a problem with them.
September 23, 2013 10:08PM
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Posts:2
As far as "You must have a great memory, as the target (agent) is always with you, difficult to take notes." I carry my cell phone with me in my hand and record the entire conversation. When I get home I play back the conversation and jot down all my notes. I do this on almost all my shops. Makes it so much easier to get details and not obvious as so many people now a days walk around with their cell phone in their hands. At the end of shops I also record myself stating name and description of people I had contact with.
September 25, 2013 11:42AM
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Posts:284
califmoon Wrote:
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> As far as "You must have a great memory, as the
> target (agent) is always with you, difficult to
> take notes." I carry my cell phone with me in my
> hand and record the entire conversation. When I
> get home I play back the conversation and jot down
> all my notes. I do this on almost all my shops.
> Makes it so much easier to get details and not
> obvious as so many people now a days walk around
> with their cell phone in their hands. At the end
> of shops I also record myself stating name and
> description of people I had contact with.

Just make sure not to violate the recording laws of the state you are in. Search the forum for several different discussions regarding this issue.
September 25, 2013 11:51AM
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Posts:378
Another problem with recording a long shop is then your reporting is lengthened by the time you spend listening to the recording. I record them, but half the time, I don't listen to the whole thing.
September 25, 2013 07:23PM
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Posts:25
I've shopped for them since 2008 without problems until recently. I picked up a last minute, bonused ($10) apt. shop FAR from my house to help out a scheduler. It took the usual hour onsite to do, plus an hour drive time round trip, then another 2 hours to write up, etc. (FOUR hours total!!) I got a check from them where they docked me my $10 bonus, no explanation. I called and they claimed my direct deposit had "rejected"... "no account found" according to bank. I re-confirmed all bank info on record, and it was CORRECT.

I told them they owed me my $10 and was told.. drum roll please... "We are physically not capable of cutting checks anymore and the next direct deposit won't be until the 22nd." Funny, since they had JUST cut me a $35 check to pay me for the shop??? I asked if they could just cut me a $10 check and was told NO. The ONLY way I would get paid the $10 they owed me was to pick up ANOTHER shop!!!!! Really? Are you kidding me? Are they that desperate to get their shops filled? I deactivated my account and will never shop for them again. Funny, in the last week since this all happened, I've been bombarded with available shop emails in my area. I feel bad for the schedulers. If EPMS accounting department is pissing off shoppers, they don't stand a chance of getting people to accept their low-paying shops. Try Remington instead... they START apartment shops at $40 plus $12 in available bonuses!
October 10, 2013 09:39AM
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