Difference between MSPs and Scheduling companies?

I haven't been doing this long enough to be able to figure out who's who and which is which...

I got a job from a schedule with a "do not contact the MSP" message, but then when there was trouble with the input system I was told to "contact the MSP".

This is very confusing...

So, what exactly is the difference?

Are there lots of scheduling companies?

Shopping & Auditing Western Colorado, North Denver, the Central Rockies ~~~ and all stops leading to Aspen & Vail.

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From my experience, scheduling companies find the shoppers to do the work. Once the shop is set, the shopper will go to the MSC's site to fill out the report.

Alternatively, a MSC will send out blast emails to shoppers for available shops. Interested parties will then apply or self assign on the MSC's website or platform.

A note about schedulers: some (I am thinking of one in particular) will bombard your inbox with shops with no consideration for your geographical preferences.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
When both the MSC and the scheduling company post the same job is there an advantage for going through one vs the other to apply?
i dont think there is a benefit per se...but sometimes going through the scheduler is the only way to get a shop assigned.
One advantage for a new shopper is that signing up with a scheduling company can get your foot in the door with others. Let's say that Summit Scheduling has a job in Timbuktu for MSC A and that you're able to complete it. They might also have a job in Timbuktu for MSC B. Also, for scheduling companies that have job boards, if you sign up with the scheduling company, you're able to see jobs for all their clients, not just one MSC.

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

i dont think there is a benefit per se...but sometimes going through the scheduler is the only way to get a shop assigned.

Very true. One MSC solely uses a scheduling company for one type of shop. Once you have completed a few shops for them, the MSC will contact you directly for more shops.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
This was so confusing for me when I started mystery shopping. I thought that KSS was a MSC when it is a scheduling company - same with Summitt. There is one company that I work for that only schedules thru KSS (Kinesis) and that was a bit confusing at first. Then you are expected to log in to the scheduling company to complete their little questions before doing the actual report. Honestly I think it would be so much easier to just log in to the companies website but...... that is just how it is. What really bugs me is when I get a request from a scheduling company that does not include which MSC that is scheduling the shop since there are some companies that I will not work for no matter what the bonus is.
If you scroll down to the bottom of every page there is a link titled, "Official List of Mystery Shopping Companies."

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
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@mikehoughton2010 wrote:

Is there a list somewhere of each.
There aren't that many active scheduling companies. Some that I have worked with are:
Summit Scheduling
Kern Scheduling Service
Quality Scheduling
I'm sure there are others, but those are three I would recommend.

Now scheduling travel shops for the day after Christmas through mid-January.
If the Mystery Shopping Provider isn't scheduling their work for their client on their own, they'll hire a sub-contractor (scheduling company) to schedule for them. Sometimes, they'll share the scheduling work with a sub-contractor, for whatever their reason is (staffing, exposure to larger database of shoppers, etc.). Think of it as a bunch of contractors working with each other to make the Mystery Shopping Provider's project for the client work.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 31 year old male and willing to travel!
@mikehoughton2010 wrote:

Is there a list somewhere of each.
The iSecretShop platform also schedules for various companies.
@guysmom wrote:

@mikehoughton2010 wrote:

Is there a list somewhere of each.
The iSecretShop platform also schedules for various companies.

Thank You!
Thanks everyone!

Shopping & Auditing Western Colorado, North Denver, the Central Rockies ~~~ and all stops leading to Aspen & Vail.
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