The client should pay if they cancel the shop

This happens from time to time, but it is so frustrating! Bestmark has had it where they cancel their online shops. It doesn't look like it is as bad as it has been before, but seeing that email is almost painful. The shop is so simple because you can do it from anywhere! I love filling my docket with them. If the cancel essentially charges us (not paying) when we do the do the work and its not acceptable, the same should be true when they cancel (they pay).

Or how some MSC's give you a small stipend if you go and the location is closed.

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I don't quite understand the last part of your final sentence. You are suggesting that that the client should pay for shops that they cancel, despite the fact that they haven't been done?

Further, some MSCs do, in fact, pay for the shop if the location is closed, provided that you send them a picture of it.
I think I understand.
You schedule a shop and it's canceled by the client of the MSC they want to be paid.
The OP's argument is that they committed to it and their commitment should be honored.
I've felt that frustration, especially when I've turned down other shops that would have made me more money.
Same for the closed shop fee. It's frustrating to take the trip and find out a shop is closed. The nominal closed shop fee is something I'd never accept for even a two minute walk.
However, I know darned well that it's one of the risks I take when I accept it.
Yes that is what I am saying. I have had a few shops with bestmark get cancelled. I committed to them and was planning to get them done. I should be paid.

If I go to a location and it is closed, I usually still get paid.

Fortunately the ones bestmark cancels are online ones, but the client/msc should still pay us. We committed to them...we had it marked that we were going to do it.

A lot of us start keeping track of shops we are contracted to do. We enter a contract saying we are going to complete that, so they should be liable for paying us unless the reason it isn't done is our own fault (flake or seriously mess up the shop by now following directions).

Sorry if I my first post doesn't make sense.

I've had the same frustrating experience with Best Mark, doubly so when it's been cancelled the day the assignment is scheduled.

"She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the type of person who would keep a parrot." Mark Twain
The client pays the MSC, which in turn pays you. Why should they pay if they no longer want the service?

That's like if you wanted a new roof put on your home, you changed your mind, should the roofer charge you for a roof they didn't put on?

I've had clients cancel shops. I don't expect to get paid for something I did not do. smiling smiley
The precedence that would set would be perched at the top of a very slippery slope. I've never had to cancel a shop, but if I ever do I wouldn't want to be charged. What's good for the goose and all.

There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
Although it would be ideal, not all shoppers actually complete the assignments they commit to completing (and even if they are completed, it's not guaranteed they were completed correctly). Do you expect to receive a grade in school before you turn in a term paper or exam? Do you expect to be paid for a shift before you work it? I understand where you're coming from and it would be really nice if MSCs could rely on all scheduled assignments to be completed the first time around, but that's just not the case.

If the location is closed, I expect to be paid at least a partial payment for my time and effort in visiting the location, and in my experience I haven't had an issue receiving partial payment from MSCs for these instances. But, I understand that clients change their minds, have budget issues and whatnot, want to change the scope of their program on a dime... and I don't expect to be paid for a shop that I haven't completed.
I get the logic that people flake, it is just a bummer that this happens at all. If you treat it like the roofing example, you often times put a non refundable deposit down. If you cancel, they keep it, if they bail they owe it back to you.

I get they don't have to pay, but it would be nice if they did...or at least re-evaluate their policy so that the shop is 100% committed to by the client before a shopper picks it up. We as shoppers are entering a contract saying we are going to complete the work, i would hope that the client would have the same commitment we do.

I completely get budgets change and several other things can change, but it would be nice for the MSC to better evaluate with the client to ensure that the shop is 100% committed from the client side so when a shopper takes it, its set.

You need to go be an employee, where you get paid for showing up when scheduled, whether there is any work to do or not.

It's not always the client. Sometimes the MSC posts a shop incorrectly, causing the cancellation. Wrong date, wrong store, wrong pay rate, wrong scenario, whatever.

Yes, it's annoying, but it's part of the "job" to roll with the punches when these things happen. Just as we appreciate when MSC and client are forgiving of our errors and pay us anyway, we need to be a little understanding when an "oops" happens on their end too.

Do unto others....

If a tax client calls me and says they will call me on Thursday at 4 to do their tax return and I hold that slot open and don't make any plans, and then their kid gets sick or they didn't get their W-2 and they have to cancel -- how long do you think I'd be in business if I demanded they pay me my usual fee for the cancellation and then charge them again when I do the return?

If you can see how ridiculous that would be in that context, why can't you see that a cancelled mystery shop is the same thing?

Stuff happens. If you can't roll with it, you need to find another way to make a living because client cancellations (the MSC and their client are *your* client) are part of being self-employed.

Time to build a bigger bridge.
Last weekend I went on a shop. I had to shop a specific department in the store, that was listed in the paperwork, that the client obviously gave the MSC. Well low and behold, I get to the store and they don't have this particular department in the store, due to size. I filled out the report and explained that I could have completed the shop as assigned, because the Guidelines said to shop a department the store does not have.

I wasn't paid anything. Nada. No even the closed shop fee for my troubles. I told the MSC to remove me from their roster of shoppers. The error didn't happen on my end. Either someone messed at the client's HQ, or someone at the MSC messed up, because I can't believe that someone at Head Office doesn't know this location does not have xyz Department. I don't want to work for anyone who messes up and punishes me, thank you very much!!
Unless you have a contract where you can be paid if the client cancels, then suck it up and get used to it. As others have said, life happens, you need to roll with the flow.

In my other job [professional photographer], I don't ask for deposits when I sign a wedding contract. I ask for a retainer. What difference can that one word make? Plenty. Deposits are, by law, refundable. Retainers are not. My contract says if the client cancels, I get to keep the retainer, unless I can rebook the date. Also, I let them apply the retainer to a future date, as long as it's within one year of the original date.

Our ICAs are contracts. As long as the terms are being honored, nothing had been broken.

Have PV-500 & willing to travel.
"Answers are easy. It's asking the right questions which is hard." (The Fourth Doctor, The Face of Evil, 1977)

"Somedays you're the pigeon, somedays you're the statue.” J. Andrew Taylor

"I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him." Galileo Galilei
I received that same letter from Bestmark, and they canceled 4 shops of mine because the client chose to take a new direction in their marketing and needed to essentially, "go back to the drawing board." The shops cancelled were in mid November, so it's not like I actually made plans. The ones that didn't cancel are still next week, and those fun fun $70 each Exit Interviews (that I love to jump on as soon as I get that email) are still in tact, so I really don't care about losing $20 in phone calls when I have big ticket shops that are still on my job board.

Actually, when I got that email, I was scared I was going to open it and see that my exit interviews were cancelled, so I had a huge sigh of relief when I read that it was the phone shops.

Just like a doctor's office, they gave more then 48-hrs notice of cancellation, unlike shoppers who call schedulers next day after shop due date to say they can't shop. I bet those schedulers wish they could charge shoppers for canceling, since they tack on $50 "hero" bonuses.

In the meantime, just keep scouting jobslinger for more business.
I have had shops cancelled before the scheduled day, but I didn't do the shop, so why would I expect to be paid for work I didn't do, as others have said.

What happened last weekend was a different situation. I went in good faith to do the job, but was unable to because I received the wrong Scenario. And, the MSC said because the shop wasn't completed, they couldn't pay me. I explained that I was given the wrong paperwork, and Scenario, and that I couldn't couldn't complete the shop as assigned. Either the MSC or the client made the error. I still wasn't paid, not even the closed fee. I know everyone makes mistakes...but I also know that those who make mistakes pay for their own mistakes, not the mistakes of others. Because this was not the first time I had problems with this MSC, I decided to end the working relationship.

Friends, I can't stress it enough...If the way an MSC works doesn't work for you, dump them. Or, if you don't want to stop working for them, then keep them around but only take the assignments you really want.
no one is demanding payment, I am just saying that is should be a practice that is considered. This is a behavior that is being exhibited by best mark on multiple occasions so they really need to look at their process. I have yet to see it happen to any other MSC, but I have experienced it with best mark several times now. So either they should start paying when they cancel, or get their ship in order on the back end to make sure they are 100% set before posting the job.

mysteryshoppinggurl Wrote:
> no one is demanding payment, I am just saying that
> is should be a practice that is considered. This
> is a behavior that is being exhibited by best mark
> on multiple occasions so they really need to look
> at their process. I have yet to see it happen to
> any other MSC, but I have experienced it with best
> mark several times now. So either they should
> start paying when they cancel, or get their ship
> in order on the back end to make sure they are
> 100% set before posting the job.

I don't understand your argument that shoppers should still be paid, even though the job was cancelled well in advance of the scheduled date? A shopper and the client entered into a deal that the shopper would complete the shop on November xx, and ABC client agreed to pay the shopper the stated fee, provided shopper did the shop to their standards, including the date they wanted it done on. If something comes up for shopper, she can cancel the shop without penalty if she does it prior to the date scheduled. Likewise for the works both ways.
I've had a client cancel 3 Golden Arches in a row. I just scratch them off my calendar and move on....

My only complaint at that moment, my calendar is now messy!!! tongue sticking out smiley
I think Shoppers should only be paid if they go out and discover location is closed or that client canceled and no one informs them. I do not feel there should any pay if the client/MSC inform the shopper that a location or string of them cannot be shopped.

Silver Certified ~ Shopping all of Toronto and beyond
dixiewhiskey Wrote:
> I think Shoppers should only be paid if they go
> out and discover location is closed or that client
> canceled and no one informs them. I do not feel
> there should any pay if the client/MSC inform the
> shopper that a location or string of them cannot
> be shopped.

Especially if you drove over there, did the shop, drove home and filled out the report, but later found out they cancelled it two hours prior to the shop and you did not see the email.

That is far different from advanced notice (24 hours or more) that you will not go to ABC liquor store and do a shop smiling smiley
I actually had a shop where it required you to make a phone call before completing the shop. You had to speak to someone in the department they wanted you to shop later. I called and the store did not have the department. When I called the company to get further instructions, they cancelled the shop and did not offer any compensation. I know it is only a call, but these are shady tactics to get legwork done for free. I had another that required an advance call for a "morning" shop to be done between certain hours. Again-cancelled with no compensation when the location was not open until later. These were two different companies, and both are large and well known. These deceptive practices foster distrust, and have cost us time, wether we used gas or not. I have been denied payment for closed locations when I did not make the call (same company as the second call scenario). This tells me they are intentionally USING shoppers for their research with no intention of paying. Although I still shop with these companies, I am very selective in the assignments I accept, and will not accept assignments that require a call first. I was VERY mad at first, but it is not worth harboring ill feelings.
Yeah i understand. I did a smash burger shop a few months ago. Showed up and there was a sign saying the store was closed for "remodeling" and would be open the next day. The entire staff looked to be having a meeting and I knew the remodeling was bogus because the location had opened 1 year ago. After several hours of calling and emailing the scheduler they offered to let me try again, but i couldn't work with their schedule so cancel. I was very annoyed, especially because when I have done 5 guys, they will give you a small portion for the location being closed.

I big time commend the MSC's that pay a fee for when the location is closed.

I have also had three shops scratched while I was out doing them. So far-Those have been paid (the last one is still in the works, as it was only last week) Even if I cannot submit the report, because the job was cancelled, I do expect some sort of compensation for a job that I have done in good faith. Annoying as it may be, a cancellation that is at least 24 hours before the event, would be acceptable as the cost of doing business. When that has happened, I have been disappointed, but not nearly as upset as the other option.
Here's the deal on cancellations with my MSC:

(1) If the cancellation notice is received after I have done the shop but before I have debriefed it, I simply contact payroll and the team responsible for the shop and the shop is paid in full.
(2) If the cancellation notice is received after I have done the shop and invoiced it, I just wait until shops done at the same time are paid and see if I was paid for the shop. If I wasn't, I contact payroll and the scheduler to ensure payment is given.
(3) If the cancellation is received before I do the shop, I don't do the shop and no harm--no foul.
(4) If I visit the location and it is closed as in out-of-business, I take the necessary mandatory photos and debrief the shop as per usual. I will be paid the basic fee without any reimbursements.
(5) If I visit the location and it is closed because I arrived after business hours, I contact the scheduler and either schedule a re-shop or cancel the shop. If the former, I will be paid when I successfully do the re-shop; if the latter I will forfeit any payment for the shop as it was my fault for not doing my homework (calling ahead of time to find out their operating hours).

One buzzard to another while circling high overhead (paraphrased), "Patience hell! I want to shop somewhere."
I know there's more than one way to look at this but I believe the MSC shouldn't be expected to pay if they cancel ahead of job execution. I think that's what we're talking about here. For example, I got a call from an MSC this morning cancelling a shop scheduled sometime in the next few days. I wouldn't think of suggesting they pay me.

From time to time life happens. We have some kind of emergency or break down and we have to cancel shops. We would be appalled if the MSC sent us a bill for the cancellation and their search for another shopper along with any possible penalties they may incur for a late shop.

Since in almost all cases they let us cancel without financial penalty, we should be willing to graciously accept it when they have to cancel. In each case, one party will be disrupted and perhaps unhappy. Sometimes it will be us, sometimes it will be them. It all works out.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
To those MSC's that hit us with a citation if we have to cancel, yes we should be paid (at least partially) if they cancel on the shopper. Turnabout is fair play.

If I drive to a location and it is closed/out of business etc, I deserve to be paid (again partially).

If a MSC cancels before the day of the shop, I may not be happy but that's life. Day of the shop, you need to be paying me something for messing up my ability to schedule another shop for that time slot.

Just my two cents....
Sorry to point out the obvious, but what should happen is what the ICA you signed with that company says should happen, superceded by the actual shop instructions if they say something different than the ICA. e.g., the ICA may say they pay in 60 days; if your shop instructions promise pay in 2 weeks, the shop instructions take precedence.

This is one of the risks we take when we decide to be self-employed. We get to pay SE taxes and we don't get paid if we don't work. If we don't like the terms of an ICA, we don't have to work for that company.

We don't get to change the terms after the fact, and not knowing that the ICA said that does not change anything. (No, I haven't read most of the ones I signed either; I did read every word of the first one. But I know I agree to be bound by them.)

Time to build a bigger bridge.
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