I have my first airport shops today. I was supposed to do 5 shops for 4 different MSCs...I spent most of last night preparing and reading over guidelines and such. I notice that in the guidelines for the shop I'm doing for Customer Service Experts, it doesn't make it clear what the name of the company is that I will be shopping, so I email the scheduler. I hear back from her this morning with the exact name and location, but according to the Philly airport site, that company is located in a different terminal than she told me. I inform her of this, and she insists I'm supposed to be shopping the Pittsburgh airport. My shop log lists both the Pittsburgh and Philly locations. When I applied for the shop, it was listed as being in both airports and I applied only to the Philadelphia location. I told her I applied to the Philadelphia location and thought I was assigned a Philadelphia shop. She said no, I was assigned a Pittsburgh shop and now she will cancel it. I asked her why I was assigned a Pittsburgh shop when I applied in Philadelphia. No response.
This was obviously a mistake, but now I am out the revenue because she wouldn't try and schedule me for Philly like she should have done the first time. I don't even get an acknowledgement that she messed up or even a response to my question? Pretty f***** rude.
This is the second time I was assigned a shop with CSE that I couldn't complete because something was not made clear up front that should have been. (first time was the golf shop. They didn't state in the application you need to have your own clubs. After reading the guidelines I had to ask to have the shop canceled.) Seriously considering deactivating my profile with them now.
Sorry for the rant, just wanted to vent. At least I still have 4 other shops so it's not a total bust.
Sometimes those airport shops can be a bit murky as to where they are. I've had to look stuff up on the airport maps before because the instructions we get from the MSC are totally inadequate at times. Sorry this happened to you.
You have a good point. I have also had difficulties and currently do not accept shops with CSE. However, I encourage you to NOT deactivate. It will make no difference to the company whether you deactivate yourself or not, but it may make a difference to you at some point.
When I determined that I was annoyed by CSE, I chose not to deactivate. I currently accept no shops but my account is still active. So, just in case I get over being annoyed, OR, if they get a great client and I decide performing shops for that client would justify the annoyance, I will still be signed up and ready to work.
Work for who you choose. Select the clients you want. Take the assignments you find attractive. Keep your options open.
I have worked for the same MSC for many years. They are a good company to work for. Sometimes it is difficult to find the right locations. Always go into the airport shops on the airport web-site, put in the terminal and check locations.
Inmotion Entertainment could be Tech Showcase, Tech Interaction, Sound Balance, Inmotion. This is sometimes difficult especially if you are not familiar with the airport. The schedulers are not familiar with all of the airports, they only know the locations they receive. Look carefully at your log, usually the Gates are correct and the Terminal.
Be sure to answer all of the questions in your report in your narrative. Best to fill out your forms at the airport. Pay attention to how the Associates are dressed, greeting, parting remark and airport questions, make notes. Of course if you are at the wrong airport or the scheduler is nothing will work. I have shopped over 1000 shops for them, so I certainly know their needs. Be patient, they are a good training for all narratives, many times at first you will be upset with the editors. MOST IMPORTANT, REVIEW ALL GUIDELINES, SOME ARE TIME SENSITIVE, AM OR PM. 8-2 IS AM, 2PM TO EVENING. BRING YOUR REPORTS WITH YOU. FILL OUT THE FORMS IN THE FOOD COURT OR TERMINAL WAITING AREAS. I CAN NOT STRESS ENOUGH ANSWER ALL THE QUESTIONS ON THE FORMS. I USUALLY GET A 10, DEPENDS ON THE EDITOR.
I enjoy working for CSE too. They have shops nationwide and I have shopped in PA, Ohio, NY and NJ. Once you get the gist of the reporting requirements, it is not difficult to write to their required specifications. I find the key to working with them is documented communication. In your case, I would have followed up with the scheduler in a copy of the "Accepted" email for the shop. Projects have different schedulers. I currently work with three schedulers depending on the project.
Added: They often have generous bonuses on unfilled shops. I'm am completing one airport shop next month with a nice fee, a and reimbursement, a generous $25 bonus, plus transportation reimbursement. Recently, I was badged and can now shop the quarterly airport circuits. These shops are not advertised on their job board in my location. I too would suggest you keep your options open.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/26/2014 06:33PM by Pooch5210.
I do shops for them and find it funny I just did 9 shops in one day and had at least 3 different people people review mt report, the first person wanted to know if the agent smiled or not, to me if I did not say she smiles she didn't I can put in 20 negatives as far as what she didn't do, but I corrected it and got an 8, another one made some corrections and I got a 9, the rest were all 10's great job, even though my narrative detail in all of them did not mention anyone smiling. Just odd, this was my 2nd time doing that many shops and I think the 3rd time I will have the work down for sure.
Everyone who responded, thanks so much for the advice and the feedback!
The other 4 shops I already had I did with no troubles. The airport turned out to be like a mall with planes.
As for CSE, I guess I will have to rethink deactivating. In my area they do not have anything other than golf and airport shops. But as AustinMom mentioned, that could change.
I agree with others suggesting you not deactivate yourself. I understand it can be maddening when a company does something that makes you never want to work for them again. For me, I have had issues with several companies in the past and never deactivated myself. I have turned off email notifications, stopped looking at their job board, or otherwise ignored them. In three or four instances, I later changed my mind and applied for a job. My profile was updated and in instances were you can describe yourself, I did so. I told them I was an active mystery shopper, just haven't worked with them recently. I found it much easier to get jobs as an inactive long-time member of their database rather than a new applicant.
As for CSE, they are a legitimate source of business for you and as others said, things can change. That scheduler can move on. They could acquire additional different clients that are more to your liking. They might pay better in the future. You might look at them differently in the future. It's all about you and your business.
Happily shopping Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut
This is Erin Outtrim, I oversee all mystery shopping activity and the Coordinating Team at Customer Service Experts. I am very concerned to hear about N-TownShopper's interaction with CSE. Our number one service standard is courtesy and it sounds like your interaction did not meet your or our expectations. We believe our shoppers are our customers and strive hard to provide timely and accurate information. Therefore, N-TownShopper if you would like to contact me directly I would be grateful to hear about your experience in more detail so that I can review with our Coordinating team to helps us continually improve.
For everyone else that also commented on this thread, please feel free to reach out to me to discuss any issues you have encountered. We take all feedback very seriously as we want to build and maintain strong and positive relationships with our shoppers. Thank you to those shoppers who have shared their positive interactions working with CSE, this is something we want all shoppers to experience.
Here is my contact information and I look forward to hearing from you:
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There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots
When you try to please everybody, you end up pleasing nobody
I just did my first airport shops this past weekend and it was interesting to say the least. I was able to line up 4 of them on one go (albeit in two different terminals). I'm not badged but bought a couple of fully refundable airfares. What I found confusing is it can be hard to tell what part of the terminal the particular location to be shopped is in. I got lucky because they actually let me through (after going through security) to the destination shop even though it was in a different gate area. I guess the guy took pity on me because I was booked on an International flight which had been delayed. He asked me if I knew I was in the wrong gate area and I said yes but I wanted to go shopping since I had some time to kill. He let me through. I don't know if that will always work but it worked for me.
A refundable fare for an international ticket? Ooy but that would scare me, what if they denied the refund? If I have to do refundable tickets I try to stick with Southwest, because if there's a snafu with the ticket I can at least use it in the future. I have done the other carriers, but it makes me nervous!
Did you check the airport website map? It will usually tell you what shops and airlines are at what terminal, and even the location of the business. If there are multiple in one terminal I have found the form will give the gate or give a point of reference, ie next to Starbucks.
I did airport circuits for years and enjoyed them immensely. But now that my son is not working at the airport, not quite so much. It was a blast to get food, snacks and trinkets to pass onto him.
I wonder, were the scheduler and MSC from different companies? It seems like those are a bit more likely to suffer from communications and timing issues. I did a shop for CSE recently and they were very professional throughout -- scenario spelled out clearly, highly available staff responding to my questions, and all my what-ifs answered by the docs. I hope your experience was just a fluke!
I agree with the comments from others about the difficulties in scheduling an airport "route". It seems quite profitable if you can figure out how to do these, but while you're in the "figuring" stage....they are risky. Know your airport, google your target location, know your terminals. I still have a lot to learn but the lure of being paid to take a vacation is irresistible!
I had one almost go south because my flight kept getting cancelled and delayed, and the airport had a 4-hr maximum for advance check-in...every hour the flight slipped was another hour into the allowable shop window! I was on pins and needles but in the end I had the time and may I just say, I rocked it with a 10/10. Wahoo!
I once had to same-day cancel a shop because the terminal was not accessible due to the non-international ticket I was carrying...seems like they could have mentioned the terminal/rules in the description, instead of just saying I had to be ticketed -- but it's my mistake for not doing more research :/. It was my first cancellation ever!
I've been working with CSE on another project they have....I've done these kinds of shops before and knew what to expect...doing the report wasn't hard at all and will continue to find these kinds of shops.
Regarding the airport shops...I was out of town recently in Atlanta and in Florida....I was tempted to take the shops for the Atlanta airport and am glad I didn't....as that is a huge airport I would have spent more time looking for the shops (especialy since you have the option to take a monorail between the terminals). As it was, my friend and I walked from our gate to the baggage area...wow didn't expect that long of a walk!!
Silver certified (since 2009) and willing to do shops all around the greater Chicago, NW Indiana, and Southern Wisconsin areas (including airports!.
I do the CSE Airport Circuit shop in Boston because I work a few blocks away from the airport. As long as you read their guidelines and take notes while the interactions are fresh in your mind (thank goodness for the many restrooms and gate waiting areas - I don't write in the food court since many of the shops include the food court area).
I have found the schedulers to be very responsive to my queries and very helpful with rescheduling if I need to change a date.