Trend Source [client name deleted] Shops

I have just lost my cool on a recent commitment with Trend Source to do a [client name deleted] Shop. After I commit for the shop and the day of the shop I discover I am required to submit a 15 pages of the most confusing, detailed, contradictory and ridiculous shop report I have ever encountered. Am I being childish or can anyone provide me with their evaluation of a [client name deleted] Shop.

Mod note: Please do not link the client with the MSC. It is against forum rules and an ICA violation.

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Um, I'd love to discuss this particular shop but you need to take either the MSC or the client name out of your post. We are not supposed to link them. It's one of the forum rules and it goes against your IC agreement.

That being said, they are easy once you get used to them. The questions are usually dumb but I ask them anyway. I like to do those shops and do them often.

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
Please remove either the msc or client name.

I've done a few of these grocery shops and they were a PITA (pain in the ***). Way too many interactions for the pay.
Jeez yes, Phoebe! When I told a scheduler the shop was a PITA and then said the location I was being asked to shop had gone ghetto, the scheduler terminated my IC contract with them.
i have done that assignment several times. They really aren't that bad if you print the form and tuck it in the shopping ad that everyone carries while shopping. I just fill it out as I go by slipping in empty aisles and no one working there seems to care. I do usually wait until there is some pad added though. It does help that payout is quick and allowed to use coupons as long as you spend at least the reimbursement amount.

Shopping across Indiana but mostly around Indianapolis.
Just for future reference, a more professional way to state this complaint would be some variation of, "I am no longer (or not very) comfortable shopping in this location due to the disorderliness of the clientele and the rising crime rate." This is probably something they hear fairly often if they routinely schedule shops in the area, and it is up to you to decide whether or not the pay is incentive enough to send you to a shop in a certain location. If the MSCs are really desperate for shoppers, that is when they start offering the larger bonuses.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2015 04:37AM by OceanGirl.
Ditto here...less than 50 minutes total for a decent amount. Who doesn't grocery shop?

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
I have used the word "ghetto" in a shop report before, but I did back it up with factual examples of graffiti, a busted drive-thru order confirmation screen, and a profanity-laced conversation a crew member was having with a "customer" as "giving off a ghetto vibe." Interestingly, this particular location closed down a few short months later (I pass by it often).
For me, and I know I'm still fairly new, but I always re-read and see if I've written anything that is a personal opinion. Unless specifically asked for that, they only want facts. I think the word of 'ghetto' implies an opinion. It would have been better to just state the facts. Let them on the other end come to the ghetto conclusion.
I haven't done these shops in a long time, so maybe the requirements have changed. From what I recall, it was a lot of work. I grocery shop weekly, but I like to go in and out quickly. I recall having to have interactions with several employees, count the number of employees in the store, order something from the deli, ask a question in the meat department, evaluate the restroom, put an item under the cart, etc. It paid a total of $14 which included grocery reimbursement. Our store is huge (sells furniture, clothing and kitchen items) and it took way too long for the $14 pay. YMMV
If you are talking a out the grocery shop, I agree that it requires too many interactions for the pay/reimbursement.

However, to keep my relationship with the MSC, I would have done it, chalked it up as a learning experience and just not sign up for it again.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2015 07:37PM by christinereed.
@jerrysi wrote:

I have just lost my cool on a recent commitment with Trend Source to do a [client name deleted] Shop. After I commit for the shop and the day of the shop I discover I am required to submit a 15 pages of the most confusing, detailed, contradictory and ridiculous shop report I have ever encountered. Am I being childish or can anyone provide me with their evaluation of a [client name deleted] Shop.

Mod note: Please do not link the client with the MSC. It is against forum rules and an ICA violation.

15 pages? The shops I do for this client in my area are either 2-3 pages, depending on if the location has all of the departments to be evaluated or not. Most of the answers are multiple choice, and the narrative requirements are extremely basic. I do dislike the fact that a considerable amount of the report asks for subjective opinions, but that's what the client would like so that's what they get from me.

But really, it doesn't get much easier than this.

"Was the employee paying attention? Yes (Joey was stocking when I approached him. He looked up from what he was doing, made eye contact with me, and asked if I was finding everything okay."/No (Joey was stocking when I approached him. He did not look up from the cart, so I asked him where [Product] is.)

"Did your cashier know what he/she was doing?" Yes (Betty handled the register like a boss. She scanned all my items quickly and didn't even blink when she got to the weird and completely unidentifiable produce item I found hanging out in a bin on a dark shelf.)/No (Betty acted like a poorly-trained chimpanzee while completing the transaction. She punched random buttons on the register until it beeped and emitted a puff of smoke.)
It's a bit difficult to comment since the name of the store is what would have been most useful. I however do a few grocery shops for this MSC and it's true that the report can be long. They do not usually require comments however, just yes or no responses.

Something else to consider is that sometimes, printing the report before hand will yield all the possible questions for that type of shops. When you are actually working on your own report though, only the applicable questions will pop up and not all of them.
While I do not know the specific shop you are discussing, I have done many grocery shops for this MSC. Firstly, there are a bunch of interactions necessary for the base fee plus reimbursement. Secondly, I can rarely get this shop done in under 40 minutes. I now choose to only accept this shop when given a decent pad and if I'm having a slow week. Just not my cup of tea.
I'm curious. Is this forum for shoppers only or are the shopper companies also a part of the forum.?
Personnel from MSCs can and do post here. The general expectation (or at least hope) is that they disclose their affiliations when posting, and many do so in their "signature" line.
@d111055 wrote:

I'm curious. Is this forum for shoppers only or are the shopper companies also a part of the forum.?

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I have simply had it with Trend sources grocery shops, the pad isn't even worth it. I just shopped a terrible shop which turned out to be so much farther away then my GPS indicated, the store was simply huge, with fancy porcelain dishes and clothing and jewelry, more like a big box store. took forever, then some stupid glitch in their software wouldn't let save my work. Every time I tried to save it this little revolving circle just kept going around and around for like 10 minutes and I couldn't input date, then I would get an error message on screen saying their Tech staff knew there was an issue, so I screen saved every inch, (but that didn't work as I couldn't cut and paste later) finally I finished the entire form, hit submit and lost the entire thing. By now it is 1:AM and after hours of input over and over I gave up went to bed. I The next morning there is an email from my scheduler saying "Hey why don't you call we will walk though this together, so I do and she keeps saying just re input the data. I tell her I don't want to do that until I know the problem has been fixed. By now I am only making about 3 dollars an hour to do this long distance shop. Finally the shop worked , now they say the receipt isn't legible. Sure is legible on my screen. No more grocery shops from Trend source for me.

Shopping til' I drop, no joke here!


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/24/2015 07:07AM by aprilredbird.
@aprilredbird wrote:

I have simply had it with Trend sources grocery shops, the pad isn't even worth it. I just shopped a terrible shop which turned out to be so much farther away then my GPS indicated, the store was simply huge, with fancy porcelain dishes and clothing and jewelry, more like a big box store. took forever, then some stupid glitch in their software wouldn't let save my work. Every time I tried to save it this little revolving circle just kept going around and around for like 10 minutes and I couldn't input date, then I would get an error message on screen saying their Tech staff knew there was an issue, so I screen saved every inch, (but that didn't work as I couldn't cut and paste later) finally I finished the entire form, hit submit and lost the entire thing. By now it is 1:AM and after hours of input over and over I gave up went to bed. I The next morning there is an email from my scheduler saying "Hey why don't you call we will walk though this together, so I do and she keeps saying just re input the data. I tell her I don't want to do that until I know the problem has been fixed. By now I am only making about 3 dollars an hour to do this long distance shop. Finally the shop worked , now they say the receipt isn't legible. Sure is legible on my screen. No more grocery shops from Trend source for me.

That sounds like a really frustrating time, @aprilredbird. I've had the same issue with project input from time to time, and in my experience it's always been because of an issue with my internet connection. May I offer a few suggestions in case you run into the same problem in the future?

I typically save my work after every single narrative field on the form. It helps minimize issues with losing work, since it's basically saving as I go. The multiple choice fields aren't a pain to redo, but those narratives... ouch!

Sometimes I forget, and there are issues with the form saving. When that happens, I open a new browser window and put it next to the other one, so I can read the text from the first form and retype it in the second. I've never had issues scrolling the first form so I could read it even when it's frozen on the revolving circle.

Another thing you can do is copy and paste every part of the narrative into a text document if you're having issues that keep you from saving. That way you won't lose what you've already written and have to redo it.

They've been really great and understanding with me when I've had technical issues, even if it was with my home internet connection and not a problem on their end.
I have not done grocery shops for Trend Source, but for another MSC ,report is 3 pages and very little narratives, pay is not great, I don't mind them, as I always need groceries.
I had to contact the scheduler for these shops several months ago and give one back. I am on food stamps and per the instructions that you only got AFTER you signed up, food stamps were no longer an acceptable form of payment. The scheduler tried to get me to use another form of payment but I was quite firm that I only had food stamps available to pay. The shop was removed.

Silver certified for 11 years and happily shopping Arizona!
Have no idea which shop it is.. there are usually only inspections where I am these days. But I find some of their reviewers to be a little ignorant to how things are different here e.g. licensing, company structure, etc. Even when you explain thoroughly whatever the issue was on the audit, they continue to ask the same question. So I respond a little disgruntled.

I'm sure if you print the instructions and ask any questions for the shop, you will be OK. Just prepare to be possibly asked a ton of questions that were already explained tongue sticking out smiley

Silver Certified ~ Shopping all of Toronto and beyond
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