How do you handle last minute schedulers?

Almost every company I've signed up with has been pretty great so far. Fronline Shoppers seems to prefer to schedule shops on the last possible days to get them done. How do people plan their lives or routes with scheduling that way?

I tried to pick up one out of town last week in a town I was already heading to a few days before going there. Didn't hear back, the evening I had already been and gone to that town with the shop due the next day as the latest possible time to do it I get awarded the shop. I emailed to say sorry, too late. I didn't realize I would get it that late or I would have tried to cancel scheduling it.

I tried to pick up a shop with them a few days ago, I wanted to do it tomorrow, but I assume if it gets awarded it too will get awarded close to the absolute due date. If I haven't gotten it by noon, I'll see what the edit button on the assignment does.

Do other people have problems trying to schedule shops like this, or do you learn what MSCs schedule late and take not as much work from them?

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If I can, I put an expiration on the application. If I can't and I don't hear something the same day, I go back and delete the request.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
We don't plan our lives and our routes around companies choosing to take a long time to award the shops. Depending on if it is just a filler or something I actually want dictates how it is handled. If I feel it is too late to put into my route, which could be the day before or the week before, and it's not a big deal the app is deleted. If they are shops I want to help build a route the scheduler gets an email.

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.
If you get an email or call about a shop that has a very short deadline, it is usually because another shopper flaked on the shop and left the scheduler with a shop to fill and a very short deadline to do it in.

Judy

Judy Davis
Independent Scheduler
judyschedules@gmail.com
I picked half a dozen shops off their board on the same day (3 or 4 days before they were due) and was awarded 2 of them the night before they were due. One was the town I live in, so it was not a problem, the other was 45 or so minutes away. I figured maybe it was a one of, but it seems to be happening again. Being new I was just curious if this was the norm or not. I'll watch better in future and cancel my requests when it gets too late.
Glad to seee this thread because it has been happening more and more to me too.

When you learn, teach, when you get, give. Maya Angelou
Picking and choosing works both ways. If I apply and they don't accept in a timely fashion, the date's off the table. I'm moving on to somewhere else with somebody else. No hard feelings, just business.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
I do the last-minute shops when I can. Sometimes it is impossible to shoehorn a last-minute shop into a schedule.

Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June.- Al Bernstein
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I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
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CureMS, tell them when you need to know and stick to it. As in yes, I can do that for X dollars and I can hold the offer (application) open for twenty minutes while you get a decision. If you don't get back to me by then I'll know you didn't get an approval. Thanks for trying, maybe we can do something together later on if this job doesn't work out.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
First come first serve for me.. If I don't hear back within a reasonable timeframe or if other shops from other MSCs get assigned quicker, I cancel the application(s). I always say what days and when I can do it. If the MSC doesn't respond in time, tough beans for them. smiling smiley

Silver Certified ~ Shopping all of Toronto and beyond
What do you do when you can't cancel an application? I haven't tried till today. The only button on Frontline Shoppers jobs is to edit, and apparently do not have the permissions for that. I don't want to be a pita, and would like to be able to cancel in a good amount of time.
Your only choice then is to contact the company. While it can be a pain, letting them know why you're canceling may result in getting the shop assigned to you. And it is less of a PITA for them to know before than it will be if they assign the shop too late for you and you have to cancel then.

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.
Yeah their system is a bit strange compared to other MSCs.. only thing you can do is reach out to them and let them know smiling smiley

Silver Certified ~ Shopping all of Toronto and beyond
Thanks guys smiling smiley I emailed this morning to find out that the scheduler for the shop I applied for wasn't the person I contacted, but I got an oil change at another location from that scheduler and she said she'd cancel the shop I had replied for.

Good to know that I should email in future, it makes sense that canceling before assigning is kinder then cancelling after the fact.
If you cancel before they have accepted the shop offer, then there is no meeting of the minds and the contract does not exist.

It's not flaking and should not be held against you for retracting an offer that was not accepted.

I always try to get the scheduler on the phone and get a yes or no if another assignment comes up that I could take that conflicts with an applied for shop.

If I find a better assignment, I have no problem backing out of the application. If the scheduler really wanted you to do the job, they would accept the offer within a reasonable amount of time. A good scheduler will assign it within 24 hours on a work day.

To leave you hanging and tying up your schedule without accepting the job offer means they risk loosing your offer to do the job.

To leave you hanging in the applied status while they have another shopper do the job and have you sit in this applied status as a "backup shopper" is just immoral and I would think twice before applying for shops with an MSC that would leave a job in pending status for several work days.

This is where the Shopmetrics software shines. They have a "Backup Shopper" option that you can apply to be the fall back shopper. You know that your not getting the job unless the first shopper flakes.

Sassie on the other hand makes it as simple as one click to retract your offer to accept an assignment.
Thank you all for your words of advice and wisdom. It's difficult knowing what's okay, and what makes you a nightmare applicant. Funnily enough the job I applied for, is still available and now the due date has been pushed back a week and a few days. I was totally willing to do it within 3-4 days of applying for it.

I'm still so new I don't have many phone numbers. I actually seem to have had a scheduler flake on me from another MSC. I was emailed and asked if I would take an assignment. I said I could fit in in the next day. She was enthusiastic told me to log in do the test and reply to her. I did and got an out of the office reply. Next day emailed again after not hearing back and seeing it hadn't been assigned to say I'd be leaving to shop by noon, so I needed the guidelines before that please. Never heard back. Was weird to me.

I like sassie's software, good to know about the retraction option. Until this I hadn't realized I could or should, let alone looked to see how to do that.
Hi Mafia_Princess,

You are learning how to deal with the different companies and different ways they assign shops. To the good advice already listed I can add a couple of points. If you need a group of shops to make it work, say so. For example, if you need four shops that are in an area 15-30 miles west of you and you decide you need all of them to make it worthwhile to make the trip, tell the scheduler, even if it means a separate email. The second point is relationship building. Think of an application or inquiry as the start of a business relationship. If you don't get this shop or group of shops, there will be next time. Contact them with this in mind.

Good luck!

Happily shopping Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut
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