I recently canceled a shop because of where it was located. In the middle of a busy college town with no parking. The low fee wasn't going to be worth my time driving around to find a parking spot and probably ending up in a parking garage, dodging 45,000+ college students with a weather forecast of rain. I felt a little bad for canceling, but I think it would've been more of a hassle to do this one.
I haven't canceled a shop, and I don't think I would do so unless I were to have a genuine emergency and absolutely couldn't do the shop. I've taken shops that I later realized were absolutely not worth the hassle (photo audits where I had to take and submit 50+ photos, plus writeups, for $12, ugh), and definitely learned from my mistake, but still did the job 'cause I said I would. I've also had car wash shops where, after mileage, I took a significant loss on a car wash that I didn't even need or want, but I still did the shop because I had agreed to it and I didn't want to let the scheduler down. I had car troubles a couple of weeks back and was doing shops on the bus for a bit, in nasty weather, no less. Pain in the rump but I still did it. I do wonder whether others would do the same. Am I too adamant about maintaining my integrity?
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2012 01:11PM by Omgee.
I cancelled a shop when my father died that morning. Also when we got dumped with almost 2 feet of snow overnight and my part of the county was in a state of emergency. I've only cancelled twice in the 18 years I've been doing this so I think my record is pretty decent.
Her Serene Majesty, Cettie - Goat Queen of Zoltar, Sublime Empress of Her Caprine Domain
Weather emergency that cancels local schools and/or causes the state police to request that folks stay off the roads; illness that limits my mobility and/or is contageous; death of family member or close friend. End of list.
Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel
I had to cancel a car dealership job last week that I had scheduled several weeks prior. My doctor had me on a strong pain killer for my back. They made me kind of loopy, so I just didn't feel safe driving my own car let alone a demo on a test drive.
I hated having to do it at the last minute, but __it happens. I have no deep affinity for this MSC, but I just won't cancel anything unless there's a truly serious reason. If I expect to be treated like a professional, I have to act like one.
I've canceled a handful of shops where the instructions were not available prior to my applying. After I was assigned and I reviewed the instructions on each of these shops, it was apparent that the shops were far too involved for the fee. I felt no guilt or shame. The MSCs knew the shops were lousy, and I felt misled. And I told them exactly that.
I also canceled a shop that advertised a fee of $xx.xx, which turned out to be reimbursement only. Again, I felt deceived. I'm fair and honest in my dealings with MSCs, and I expect the same in return.
whatever the reason, if a shop has to be cancelled, (and many should simply be re-scheduled) make it known as soon as possible. Don't let the shop sit in your assignments folder and assume the MSP will take it away. Remember, wether the scheduler believes the reason you cancel a shop or not, there will likely be a note added to your profile about a cancellation.
Moral of the story? Only sign up for what you can be sure to get finished, and finished well
I have cancelled, but always try and re-schedule, if not, I always give enough
time for them to be re-scheduled. Giving 3 or more days kinda lets you off the hook, or re-scheduling is a better way to do it...mine msc's have always worked with me.
The most important item in mystery shopping is to read the instructions immediately after signing up for a shop. Then if you don't want to do the shop, cancel the shop. A lot of times you can't get the details until after you are assigned the shop. The scheduler will not be upset if you cancel right away, but please don't sit on shops for weeks and then decide I don't want to do the shop or it is located someplace you wouldn't shop.
Sometimes you don't know the area and you choose an area you are not comfortable with. If you ever drive to a location and find you may be in danger, please cancel the shop. No company ever wants to put you at risk. Or if you choose a shop in an area that you don't see anyone that looks like you and it would be obvious you are a mystery shopper as there are very few people of your race in the area. Things happen. Schedulers do understand, but a quick note as to why you cancel is always greatly appreciated. Sometimes it's the date that doesn't work. Well, if you don't do the shop, the scheduler does have to reschedule the shop. Most of the time, the shop date can be changed, not always.
The most important thing is to not get in the habit of canceling shops or you will be removed from that MSC database. Most schedulers are understanding. They may not like having to reschedule shops, but it's part of the job.
I had to cancel a route of three shops when a family member was placed in ICU in a coma over 600 miles away and again later that month when the same family member passed away. The trip I made for the hospital visit, and again for the funeral, was 1300 miles round trip and I ended up with a blood clot in my leg which necessitated another cancellation. This was an unfortunate string of cancellations - all stemming from the same family emergency - which caused my shopper rating to drop from near perfect to 55%. I called the scheduler each time as soon as I was aware of the problem. I felt terrible about letting the company and the client down but there is nothing I would have done differently. It is what it is sometimes. If the situation is unavoidable and out of your control, you can't do anything else.
I would always go with the reschedule option first when there is something that comes up. With significant snow, family deaths, and car break downs I have rescheduled. If the MSC can't reschedule, I would cancel, but in 4 years of shopping have managed to avoid it.
If I don't like the requirements, I still complete the shop, but make a note and don't take the shop again.
I wasn't offered the option to reschedule because I didn't know when I would be available to shop. The shops needed to be completed within a couple of days. I was very disappointed to see my rating go down. It's not as if I had just "Changed my mind", didn't show up,didn't call or just didn't feel like going out.
I get bronchitis twice a year. I also do video shopping. I had to reschedule 2 apartments last week because of my excessive hacking. If it weren't video then I would go ahead and complete but for courtesy of the MS company and the client I would reather them hear the agent instead of me.
I've only cancelled once, because a flat tire delayed me getting to the store until 2 minutes before it closed. But the scheduler misunderstood my email about it and rescheduled the shop for the following week. So I did it anyway.
"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."
I canceled a shop once because I could not find parking. The shop only paid $12, was located in the heart of downtown and the cheapest parking was $15. I drove all the way there, drove around in circles for 15 minutes trying to find a curbside spot then gave up. I apologized profusely and still do tons of shops for this company.
I will cancel and tell them why if they are one of those companies that don't give you details until you accept the assignment. Genuinelly I will say "after reviewing the guidelines I find the compensation inadquate for the work required"
I did tell one schedular that normal people don't look at the coffee brewing baskets located at truck stops but he emailed back and assured me they did.
LOL. Normal people, they are the minority these days.
> I will cancel and tell them why if they are one of
> those companies that don't give you details until
> you accept the assignment. Genuinelly I will say
> "after reviewing the guidelines I find the
> compensation inadquate for the work required"
> I did tell one schedular that normal people don't
> look at the coffee brewing baskets located at
> truck stops but he emailed back and assured me
> they did.
I cancelled dining shops when I had food poisoning. I have cancelled when the guidelines/instructions turned out to be dramatically different from what I applied for. I cancelled once because of a snow storm.
But usually I can reschedule. We've had floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, ice and snow this year. So far my schedulers have been great!
> I haven't canceled a shop, and I don't think I
> would do so unless I were to have a genuine
> emergency and absolutely couldn't do the shop.
> I've taken shops that I later realized were
> absolutely not worth the hassle (photo audits
> where I had to take and submit 50+ photos, plus
> writeups, for $12, ugh), and definitely learned
> from my mistake, but still did the job 'cause I
> said I would. I've also had car wash shops where,
> after mileage, I took a significant loss on a car
> wash that I didn't even need or want, but I still
> did the shop because I had agreed to it and I
> didn't want to let the scheduler down. I had car
> troubles a couple of weeks back and was doing
> shops on the bus for a bit, in nasty weather, no
> less. Pain in the rump but I still did it. I do
> wonder whether others would do the same. Am I too
> adamant about maintaining my integrity?
If I sign up for a new shop and find the initial instructions were misleading and the shop is going to entail a lot more work than I imagined, I still do that shop - but never again.
I've had situations pop up, but have always been able to reschedule, not cancel.
Hoever, I did cancel 5 shops recently, for a company that usually assigns shops ahead of time and then asks you to verify that you will do them. I did shops for them for years. On the last go-round they said there was a new requirement - I had to sign up for Geo tracking.
The MS company said they would not do anything with the tracking information, but when I read the TOS for the Geo tracking company, they said I was giving them the right to use my data as they saw fit. So, not only are they charging the MS company for their services, they are free to sell my data to other companies. No thanks, Big Brother.
The MS company said no tracking, no shops. So, I canceled the shops - and canceled any future work with the company.
NOTE: I'm not on the forum every day. If someone comments on my post, I might not reply right away. I've been a shopper since 1991. I've never done any work for a MS company in any other capacity.
I don't believe in the whole tracking thing on principle and certainly don't find it fair to shoppers who don't have smart phones. What is deplorable is the company requiring a shopper to work through a third party vendor and then not having any type of arrangement which protects the shopper's privacy.
Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
> "after reviewing the guidelines I find the compensation inadequate for the work required"
This is the main reason that I would ask to have a shop reassigned. It will usually be a new shop that I have not done before. My reaction after looking at the requirements and paperwork involved is, "yeah right".
I have only cancelled three shops, all on the same day. In all other situations I've found I could re-schedule. The shops in question required me to do a secret price check of 40 items. When I got to the first store I found it was three aisle wide and about 40' long. There were ceiling cameras mounted covering each aisle plus there were two clerks on duty.
With my back to the camera, I started the first item. Before I'd reached the second item I had a clerk beside me asking if he could help me. From that point on it was impossible (with my skill level) to complete this shop. I asked the clerk if they carried something or other and then left the store.
I phoned the scheduler from around the corner and told her I just didn't have the skills to do these shops so she cancelled them. They remained on the board for a few days and then disappeared so I assume someone figured out how to do them. I was not penalized for cancelling.
I have had shops where I wouldn't do them again, but if I have agreed to do the shop, then I will do it (if conceivably possible) as a deal is a deal. If I expect the MSP to honour their end of the deal, then I should honour my commitment as well. If I found the instructions extremely contrary to what was advertised before I accepted the job, I might reconsider but so far that has not happened. Minor variations, yes, but flagrant misinformation, not so far.
I cancelled one shop because the fee wasn't going to cover all the hassle it was going to be. I cancelled as soon as the paperwork was released and I realized what it was.
Last week I cancelled two shops because I had the flu and lost my voice. I emailed the scheduler and tried to reschedule first but there were no other dates available. Hopefully I won't be dinged for those. There's nothing I can do about being sick and losing my voice!!
I was in emergency last week and, although I had done the shop and almost finished the report, it was going to be late in submitting. I emailed them as soon as I got home, apologised and sent a scan of the ER note. I figured I'd send it because I am sure they get a lot of fake excuses. I got a nice reply back saying they didn't need a doctor's note and my report was accepted a bit late.