MSC is asking me for additional information 20+ days later, after report was approved

How can the MSC ask me for more information after my report was already submitted, approved and good to go? They are saying that the report form changed in the US but they forgot to change in Canada and there were some additional questions added. I can no longer remember the names of some random salespeople and what exactly they were doing when I walked past them. I usually take and keep notes, but this particular time most of my notes ended up being in my shop reporting, which is no longer available to me. Why is their mistake my problem?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/28/2017 05:02PM by IsleOfView85.

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It's not your problem it's your client's problem. Money is generally made by solving problems. Solve this one best you can or be hard to get along with about it. One will likely result in more work and one in less.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@IsleOfView85 wrote:

How can the MSC ask me for more information after my report was already submitted, approved and good to go? Why is their mistake my problem?

If it is 20 days later and the shop was edited and approved, it doesn't sound like the questions are the MSC's questions, whether they forgot to change a form or another reason. It sounds like the MSC edited and approved the report and submitted it to the client and the client has come back to the MSC with questions. Depending on the MSC, if the client does not accept the report, it could affect you.
It seems like a lot of shoppers ditch their notes and/or documentation after they have been paid or after the shop is approved by the MSC. But in all the guidelines I've seen, it says to hold on to the paperwork for 6 weeks or more. That makes this lack of information the shopper's problem as well as his client's problem. Three weeks isn't that long ago. I'm sure if you gave it some thought you could come up with what is needed.
If you can't remember what happened two weeks ago and you did not save a copy of your shop (to refresh your memory) then there still a chance of not getting paid, at all or partial payment, and no more shops (for Client and or from MSC.) Just saying.

Fall on the sword and relax, deep thought, and refocus on the day of the shop. smiling smiley

Most MSCs or Client want Us, the Shopper, to keep info and requirements for a shop, for 6 months. Nothing is obscure especially if you have not gotten paid yet.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/28/2017 07:31PM by sojo917.
Then I would answer what could, apologize for not being more helpful, and offer to try answering any other questions they may have. If you think reading your submitted report might jar your memory I might ask for a copy.

What I would not do is come across as accusatory or defensive like your post here.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
A decent msc would pay you since it was their mistake. They will be very appreciative if you help them get paid and save face with their client.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I know the feeling. I had something similar happen not too long ago. I'd respond honestly and tell them due to the time passage, you can't accurately recall the events but you did include everything in your shop report. I'd apologize for the inconvenience and wash my hands.
I went round and round with my favorite MSC because their client was BSC. No lie, the client wanted the exact tip amount I gave to some random kid who picked me up on a golf cart (he offered) as I was walking to the lobby to check-out. I did not submit the amount for reimbursement. It was either $2 or $3. After a half dozen emails of "It's $2 or $3," the client was finally satisfied. She was nuts. I know this because I did a phone debrief for the job.

So, be helpful and not defensive. Get a copy of the report. It usually helps me when this comes up.

You should be keeping your notes until you get paid or at least 1-2 months as a rule. This is not an unusal occurance.
I know better than to be accusatory to the msc. This is a forum and not an official report and I am venting. I think it's ridiculous that the msc can come back and ask me to do more work for no additional pay when I've already completed what I was supposed to do, and completed it well. I have my original notes, but it would take me a ton of time to go back over everything without access to the written report that I submitted. And yes, I requested the report from them but got no response.
I think you are looking at this from an employee/employer standpoint instead of supplier/client.

Say you went to Lowes and bought a mower, then took it home and it did exactly what it was supposed to do, but for some reason it did not cut as close to the edge of your house as you need it to. So you go back in and say hrm I made a mistake and didn't tell you I need this to cut close to my house. Is there a way to make it do that? Your response to this situation is like them saying "maybe but you bought it already and took it home and you're not paying me to look at it and see what I can come up with. If you want it to do additional work you're gonna have to pay me extra to tell you how."

You're looking at it from the standpoint of I went to work today and di some work, now my boss has a question about it but I went home for the day. He can ask me again when I'm on the clock tomorrow and he's paying me.

You're Lowes, you're not the employee.
Keep your client happy, help them out when you can, they'll come back and buy more mowers from you.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I'll give you a real world example. I do a ton of work for a company. This particular scheduler reads this forum and she's totally gonna who I'm talking about but it's whatever. She's one of my favorites. So sometimes I've had the person who handles questions from clients ask me follow up questions on their shops weeks after. I always try to help when I can remember, because I want to be helpful. And I did the work and the client had additional questions. Sometimes that happens. It's not a big deal to me. One day I was on the phone with this scheduler about a shop and she's frantic because a shopper just flaked on like 3 or 4 shops that were an hour or so away from me. I told her immediately to drop them on my board and id take care of them when I finished the one I called her about. That was the end of the conversation. I got home and she had put the shops that had a base rate of like $10 on my board for $65 each. Do you think she would have done that if I had complained or drug my heels when they had questions? Don't get me wrong, I didn't do those things hoping to get something out of it. I try to be helpful because it's good business.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I hard copy everything along with digital. I have an accordion binder with everything in it in hard copy. After I finish a shop, I staple my notes to my proof of visit and stick it in the binder. They may be hand written or prints. I do the same with my logs and payments- digital and hand written. It does suck to be asked after several weeks -_- but it can happen. I had a company message me three-ish months after I was paid. Luckily, I kept notes in my binder. Whew!

MegglesKat
It happened to me a while back. After two months, while I was at the hospital when my husband was on life support, I received an email asking for more data on a mall shop which was actually already paid. I replied where I was and told them I would give them more info as soon as I went home as my notes were there. I told them what I remembered but they answered so nicely. They told me not to bother and just to take care of my husband. After a week, I received another email asking about the condition of my husband. That's why that MSC is among the top on my list.
I did a shop at the end of last year which involved getting a free phone. about a month after the good paying $50 shop I get an email from the MSC asking if I could tell them if the phone was a pixi unite or a pixi xyz and if it was 3g or 4g. They told me in the email they would pay me an additional $8 to email them back the answers that day. I did not need any additional money and would have answered the questions via email for free. Now of course I wasn't going to say no keep the extra $8 but the point is it was a great gesture but unnecessary.

I have also done a cell phone shop where a question was mistakenly left out of the report. The MSC sent an email asking to answer it a literal checkbox yes no question and resubmit the report. They added a $1 to the pay for the trouble. This was only a day after submitting report. Again nice gesture but I would of done for free.

Questions come up and you do your best to answer based on notes and memory in accordance with time passed. Be open and honest. This is the cost of doing business or as others would say part of the job or industry we are in.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
@bgriffin wrote:

Don't get me wrong, I didn't do those things hoping to get something out of it. I try to be helpful because it's good business.

100% agree. The MSC that I mentioned earlier just paid for an international trip for 2 that was just assigned to me. I'm easy to work with.
I had a gas station that I was contacted 3 WEEKS after the shop was submitted. The editor said they wanted more pictures! I gave them everything I had (never throw away pics til I am paid) and the editor was happy that I had them! But I asked myself, why 3 WEEKS later? smiling smiley
@bgriffin wrote:

I think you are looking at this from an employee/employer standpoint instead of supplier/client.

You're Lowes, you're not the employee.
Keep your client happy, help them out when you can, they'll come back and buy more mowers from you.

I agree with your assertion that being helpful to the MSC is the best way to handle this situation. It's what I did the one time I was asked for more info after a shop was completed and paid.

However I don't agree that the OP is looking at this from an employer/employee perspective. Time is money. From the OP's post, it sounds like it could take him/her a considerable amount of time to be helpful. They could ask for an extra fee for that time, but the MSC could say no, and they'd be within their rights to since the shop has a set fee the shopper already agreed to.
When I have a bookkeeping client who asks me to do extra, I happily comply, but I also charge them for the time it took me to do their extra work. I don't do more work for the same amount of money, and my client doesn't expect me to.

@IsleOfView85: if they haven't responded to your request for the report, I wouldn't sweat it too much. If this additional info was that important to them, they would have gotten back to you when you tried to help.
@N-TownShopper wrote:

When I have a bookkeeping client who asks me to do extra, I happily comply, but I also charge them for the time it took me to do their extra work. I don't do more work for the same amount of money, and my client doesn't expect me to.

But if one of your bookkeeping clients came to you and said "NTS, I'm curious how you got to this number here, I looked at it and thought it should be larger, can you explain that to me?"

Are you going to say yes and explain it or are you going to say no not until you pay me an extra $20?
This is less akin to asking for more work and more like asking for explanation of work already done.

I'll tell you one thing. If I asked my accountant to explain something they did and they attempted to charge me for the explanation they would not be my accountant any longer.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/2017 01:00AM by bgriffin.
To me the issue is twofold with the elapsed time being the minor of the two. Regardless of how much time has passed, I do my best to provide additional information. In the OP's case the questions asked were not part of the scope of the original assignment. Even with copious notes the OP may not have the answers.

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.
Of course I would TRY my very best to remember whatever details they were asking, but I think the OP's posting was asserting that it is not very reasonable to come back weeks later, after a report has been approved and paid, and ask for details that were not even on the original report. I would certainly agree with that and would be professional about providing whatever detail I could, but as for shopping for that company in the future? I'd think twice about ever taking shops with them again.

Kona Kathie
Why? It's not like they're complaining because you didn't answer the questions or saying you won't get paid because they want more information and you can't give it.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@LisaSTL wrote:

To me the issue is twofold with the elapsed time being the minor of the two. Regardless of how much time has passed, I do my best to provide additional information. In the OP's case the questions asked were not part of the scope of the original assignment. Even with copious notes the OP may not have the answers.

Yeah but it's not like the MSC is complaining. Unless the OP misstated the request it sounded more of a "hey we screwed up this report and didn't put a couple of questions on it that we should have. Can you possibly go back through and see if these are questions you could answer?" I did not get a "hey we screwed up the report and now you have to go back and answer these questions or else" vibe. If that was the case then maybe. But it didn't seem like it to me.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
bgriffin, I wasn't suggesting the MSC was complaining or being anything else. It just struck me the majority of the answers focused on the elapsed time. I wanted to point out the OP may not be able to provide the answers if their notes were based on the original guidelines and questionnaire. Personally, I would not note anything beyond what was asked for unless it was something very unusual or memorable.

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.
I suppose the word "issue" threw me. I don't see an issue. They had some questions. I personally would answer their questions to the best of my ability or tell them that I wasn't able to because I did not note the information.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Issue - an important topic or problem for debate or discussion.

I was using issue as "topic" not "problem."

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.
Yes. I was reading that as "problem." Twas why I was confused.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I retired recently and took up mystery shopping for all the reasons that most of us do. I worked in the business development department of a major telco. Many of my projects required mystery shopping to be done. So, I became "a client" and I retained the services of a msc. There were times when, after reading the reports prepared by the msc, I would say to myself, "Whoops I never thought of that, I need some additional information." or "I wonder if the shopper could tell me if they observed "Blah blah...." I would call up the msc and ask if they could get back to select shoppers and ask an additional question or two. Wanting to keep the client, me, happy the msc went back to the shopper. I was the cause of the call to the shopper asking for more info.

Now, I am the shopper and someone else is "the client". I understand totally how and why the msc is calling me and asking for additional information. When I get requests for more information I do my best to provide it. After all, I want to keep my client happy.

I'd like to share with all of you something that I do that makes it easier to go back in time. I wear a digital recorder in my shirt pocket or sometimes I hand carry the recorder which brings the microphone closer to the subject. In today's world just about everyone is carrying a device of some sort in their hands. I've never been challenged.

I've made it a habit of taking photos of the storefronts of any location that I shop, whether the shop requires one or not. I also digitally store everything and anything that pertains to the shop including, the job board and any shop descriptions provided on the board, copies of the shop guidelines and project guidelines, the shop questionnaire and the shop report that I submit. On occasion I create paper notes which I then scan and store

Because all this information is either provided digitally or I create it digitally, it takes very little time to store the information. When your memory of a past event is not clear, being able to see an image of the shop location and to hear the words spoken during the interaction may jog your memory about what happened during the shop. I no longer have to keep my paper shop notes for weeks, months or longer. If the information being requested cannot be found in my digital audio, visual and text files, the event probably never happened.

Keeping my client, the msc happy, which then keeps the msc's client (aka the "Uber client"winking smiley happy is collectively known as providing good customer service.
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