Is This a Vindictive Scheduler?

I had one done one other shop for this company and got dinged for the quality of my narrative. SO I did another shop yesterday after I understood what they wanted and got a 10 (immediately).

Concurrent to this I applied for a smart phone coupon shop for the same day. The scheduler emailed me and said she wanted to package the easy, fast coupon shop with a valet shop in a downtown location with a $40. outlay. I declined and said cancel my app on the coupon shop.

I finished my shops for the day and went to a social event in the evening (Friday night). At 7:45pm the scheduler approved the app for the coupon shop, report due at midnight same night. Since I do not play cards with my cell phone on, I did not know this until the next morming at 8 am, when I got notices for failure to complete the shop.

I sent an email to the scheduler questioning the fairness of this. She immediatley sent a SHOPPER CITATION, worth a rating of 1 on 1 shop.

HUH? Thoughts?

The was for Reality Based Group (RBG), who strangely do not appear to have any posts on this board.

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Reality Based is a great company. I've worked with them for many years and love them. I like many of their clients/shops, their reports are relatively easy, their editing is reasonable (they are REALLY easy graders), and they pay like clockwork. That's why they have few posts on the board - except for the Kudos section, most posts about companies on our forum seem to be complaints, and I see few complaints about RBG.

The timing on this assignment is ludicrous. And for it to have resulted in a citation is appalling.

Just out of curiosity, was the scheduler an independent scheduler, scheduling on behalf of RBG? I have twice had unpleasant situations with independent schedulers (2 different ones, both with the same scheduling company) who were scheduling RBG shops.

Regardless, I encourage you to follow up on this and request that the citation be removed. My go-to person at RBG has always been Robin Myers, who, as you will see by the Kudos thread, has many admirers. Her e-mail is rmyers@realitybasedgroup.com

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2016 03:31PM by AustinMom.
Thank you for your insights.

I noticed that Robin is the scheduler for some of the other jobs on their board. The scheduler in question is Tracy Ziemendorf and I do not believe that she is independent. She assigned and edited both of my other shops for RBG.
Just to be sure it all gets said, let me add: Never tell a scheduler to cancel your APP for you if you are using a Sassie company. Log in and cancel it yourself. I routinely cancel apps for shops if they are not assigned quickly enough and/or the time frame is no longer appealing to me. Telling someone else to cancel your app for you means it may or may not get done.

Having said that, unless I am misunderstanding your post, the assignment was made at 7:45 p.m. on the night the shop was due. If I received an assignment at 7:45 p.m. for a shop due that night, I doubt I would be willing to drop everything and leave the house to go out to do and report the shop. If I understand your time frame correctly, the citation appears blatantly unfair. I personally would pursue it simply because it seems so wrong.

Did you log in and check to see if a citation was added to your Shopper Log page? Perhaps in anger and frustration Tracy e-mailed you that she was issuing a citation but thought better of it and did not actually issue the citation.

Please let us know. I would be very disappointed in Tracy. And if a citation like this were allowed to stand, I would be very disappointed in RBG.
The action of this scheduler brought my rating down to a 7. Upon further investigation, going back a year or two, there seems to be a snottiness factor to this company. There are plenty of other MSC in the sea. I make $30. a pop w EPMS, I do not need this aggravation for a $7. shop with no bonuses when they are desperate.
PS Her response to my request to cancel the app was to tell me I could not have that assignment without taking the valet assignment which has gone un-completed for weeks.
Tracy posts jobs here on the job board.

@liddlekiddle wrote:


The was for Reality Based Group (RBG), who strangely do not appear to have any posts on this board.

Edited for spelling

Kim


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2016 04:27PM by kimmiemae.
I would suggest first contact Tracy to politely explain why you think the citation is unfair, then escalate it to the MSC if needed. There may be shops with RBG that you want in the future and so it's best to protect your rating.

She has been in the business a while and is generally professional. Perhaps she was having a bad day. It's no excuse for the citation, but we all have those days...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2016 04:46PM by SteveSoCal.
I am a semi-retired college professor who uses my mystery shop money to help pay for gasoline money. I always treated my colleagues and students fairly and with respect, regardless. I think day laborers make more money than these jobs pay.

So I think I am going to pass on RBG. It takes me 1 or 2 shops to get the hang of each type of shop, and over two years finally I have the hang of the odd shopper user interfaces. I will just continue with other MSCs who appreciate, grade fairly and compensate my work.
Tracy has always been reasonable, from all the times and any issues I had. Just follow up with her once more via email clearly explaining the situation. I know it's additional time and effort needed; however, the time may be worth it to clear things up.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 31 year old male and willing to travel!
You should escalate it if you cannot work it out. I was on the receiving end of this scheduler's bad day about a year ago with something similar. I just dropped RBG like a hot potato and moved on. There are plenty of other MSCs. I regret not reporting it, because apparently this is not a single isolated incident. If a scheduler routinely kicks shoppers in the butt to alleviate her frustration, the MSC should know it.
I too would encourage you to politely and professionally sort this out. I have found RBG to be a good company to work with. I haven't done a lot of shops for them as most of their clients are not interesting to me and some years they have no clients of interest. But when they do have a client I want it is nice to be able to sail in and pick up the shop.
I escalated it. After I get paid this month I will be deactivating. Former employer list for this scheduler makes for interesting reading. As a former supervisor of college professors, I am very familiar with the God complex. Been there done that.

I am in a Southeastern seaboard state where RBG does not have that many jobs to begin with; no loss.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2016 06:47PM by liddlekiddle.
I would encourage you to ignore rather than deactivating. Deactivation is a permanent condition and if they subsequently get clients you really would like, too bad. I wouldn't let one scheduler ruin the entire company for me ever again. I did that once and have regretted it from time to time.
What Flash said ^. Robin is very easy to work with. So are the Summit schedulers. This is a great company to work for. Don't let one bad experience ruin that.

Now scheduling travel shops for the day after Christmas through mid-January.
@liddlekiddle wrote:

...Former employer list for this scheduler makes for interesting reading...

Stating this is totally irrelevant to anything and I question how you would even have a list of the MSP's this scheduler has worked for.

If a scheduler has worked for an MSP or scheduling company that has had serious issues, it means nothing. Schedulers do the job they're hired to do and have nothing to do with a MSP's inner sanctum.

If a scheduler has worked for a lot of MSP's, that also means nothing. Most schedulers are IC's and are free to change MSP's as they wish. Many times a switch means only that the MSP's workload has decreased. Or they may only have been scheduling for that MSP for a limited time due to a need to increase staff for a special project.

In addition, many schedulers schedule for multiple MSP's concurrently.

To me, your statement insinuates that this scheduler has a negative past and it may lead members of this forum to make unfair and/or untrue assumptions about her based only on your subjective opinion.

Just my 2 cents.

Joan Gingras
Senior Project Director~BarStoolie Mystery Shopping

Barstoolie@insideevaluators.com
@Inside Evaluators wrote:

@liddlekiddle wrote:

...Former employer list for this scheduler makes for interesting reading...

Stating this is totally irrelevant to anything and I question how you would even have a list of the MSP's this scheduler has worked for.

Please don't be naïve, Joan. When folks post their credentials out there on the web and you have an issue with the person, most folks will google and find them with ease. 'Fools' names and fools' faces . . .' and all that sort of thing.
@Flash-Maybe so, but that statement still doesn't have anything to do with the OP's issue.

Vindictive Scheduler? maybe
Vindictive Shopper for making that statement? definitely

Joan Gingras
Senior Project Director~BarStoolie Mystery Shopping

Barstoolie@insideevaluators.com


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2016 08:51PM by Inside Evaluators.
Can you describe what the shopper did wrong? Assigned a shop at the last minute is acceptable practice these days? I would agree that the shopper should have cancelled the request herself from the SASSIE platform shop. But requiring you do shop A in order to do shop B which you want to do when A you do not want? Is this now acceptable practice? Doesn't that come with a regular paycheck and benefits as an employee?
I'm not saying the shopper did anything wrong.
And no, it is not an acceptable practice unless it is posted as a "package" shop.

What I am saying is that the statement "Former employer list for this scheduler makes for interesting reading" has nothing to do with the price of tea in China (or with the issue the OP has with this scheduler). It is totally irrelevant to the issue, and (since I've never heard that phrase used in a positive manner) I feel it unfairly casts a negative shadow on someone just because of the MSPs and/or scheduling companies they've worked for.

Joan Gingras
Senior Project Director~BarStoolie Mystery Shopping

Barstoolie@insideevaluators.com
I guess it depends on where you stand. Part of her profile includes name/names I would be unwilling to associate with. Sometimes it is just better not to publish your past.
I think a negative shadow has definitely been cast on this scheduler. On that, I agree completely. However, I don't think when the OP stated " Former employer list for this scheduler makes for interesting reading" it particularly affected the negative shadow that was already cast. That statement is one of the most benign parts of the thread. The shopper has not identified any of the former employers, good, bad or mediocre. The shopper hasn't implied that the scheduler bounced around from job to job because she got fired. The shopper hasn't implied that she was part of any scheme to not pay shoppers or to do something illegal. The statement's is left to the perception of the reader.The whole story is about as negative as you can read regardless of her former employers. Perhaps it's an irrelevant statement, but, in itself, that statement casts far less shade on the scheduler than the scheduler actions detailed in the thread.

I'm very disappointed. I'll get over it, of course. I've been disappointed before.
Wow; firestorm. I am amazed at the amount of feedback not aimed at my point. But OK; PR is PR. Thank you for your input, all.

I feel it is just as valid to keep people from experiencing what I just did or to validate a similar experience, as it is to post Kudos.
@liddlekiddle wrote:

I feel it is just as valid to keep people from experiencing what I just did or to validate a similar experience, as it is to post Kudos.

And many of us agree with you and applaud you for coming forward and telling your story, without bashing, and giving details of what happened.
...and I also **truly appreciate** the comments about going back to cancel the app. But I was hoping to still get that small job perhaps the next day (not the evening of a day when I raced around doing 4 bank, cell phone sales and retail shops.)
If I am not mistaken, Tracey schedules for other MS companies, not just RBG. Something to keep in mind.

Like others have pointed out, there may be something down the road -- with RBG or another provider -- that you will really want.
@jay225 wrote:

100% sounds vindictive to me, but you messed up by not cancelling the app yourself.

I disagree. The note to cancel was sent to the scheduler: "I declined and said cancel my app on the coupon shop." liddlekiddle should not have been given a citation for the scheduler slipping up and assigning the shop mistakenly, if that's how it all went down...

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 31 year old male and willing to travel!
In my experience, liddlekiddle, perhaps you should have texted or email your cancellation. That way, you have written proof of your cancellation. You only asked to cancel your app verbally. I found that some MSC are really anal about the communications regarding anything about their shops so it would be best to have some form of written statements to back up your end of communication.
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