Is there anything I can do if the reason the company is not paying me is because they gave me the wrong form to complete?

I'm relatively new to mystery shopping and would appreciate any help, thoughts, comments, advice you all have. Should I fight for compensation or let it go?

I received the shop form and followed the directions exactly as printed.
The form said I must complete the shop by a certain time and I did. However, they later contacted me to say that I did not complete the shop by the right time and was 4 hours late. I double and triple checked everywhere, the time they stated was not mentioned in the submission form, sticky note, guidelines, comments (I took screenshots). The only time mentioned was the one I followed. Then they responded saying sorry, they sent me an outdated form and the new time was different.

Do I deserve to be compensated if the reason my shop was denied was because of a time I was unaware of due to unreliable information from an outdated form which the company provided me with? Had I known the correct information and failed to complete the shop by the deadline, I would understand, but this was not the case.

I responded to them and the editor replied that maybe I shouldn't work with them if I think their information is not trustworthy (wtf? did I not receive incorrect information that equated to me not getting paid?)

Please help me and tell me if I am expecting too much? I've only been mystery shopping for 2 months and this was my first negative experience. (there was another bad one but that is a question for another day) Is there anything I can do? I know it's not a ton of money but it just doesn't seem fair to be penalized for an error that the company made when I completed the task according to the information provided.

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Of course you should be paid. If you tell us which company, someone may be able to provide you contact information for someone farther up the food chain. The editor should be ashamed of themselves for the response and I hope you saved the email.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
If everything you posted is accurate, and I have no reason to doubt you, then you should absolutely be paid. I would pursue it and ask to speak to a supervisor. I'm not sure that I would want to continue with this MSC so there probably is nothing to lose. If you let us know which MSC I'm sure you will get plenty of comments, negative and/or positive about their reputation.
You can name the MSC since you did not name the client. We would love to help you if we can. Your editor was wrong in the way that they responded to you.
Please provide the company name so some of the experienced shoppers can respond with more specific information. If the situation is exactly as you presented it in your wordy post, you should be paid for the shop.
Someone here can probably also provide you with a contact name and phone number/email address to elevate this after being told by an editor "maybe I shouldn't work with them if I think their information is not trustworthy." If you can document that you were provided information that was not trustworthy, and that is the only reason your shop was not accepted, I think the scheduler, account managers, and company president might be interested in hearing the situation.

Disclaimer: if there is any additional reason that the shop was denied, or there are any other mistakes, elevating the dispute may not be a great idea. As my dad used to say, only move forward if you are sure you have clean hands.
I was told to do a donation shop but my paperwork said employment connection shop (where they help you find work) I knew the store did not have an employment center and it was Saturday. I could not contact anyone. I did my best "guestimate" and performed the shop as a donation shop. I wrote the scheduler and she said I did the right thing! smiling smiley She said they accidentally linked me with the wrong paperwork.
Thanks everyone for your responses. I did not know if it was okay to name the company; I do not want trouble. The company is CSA.

I should make it known that in my first email response back to them I did question the trustworthiness of the information they provide their shoppers if I was not to be compensated for my time and effort for an inaccuracy on their part. Maybe that was too much, but I was trying to be direct in addressing why the reason for the misunderstanding was because I received incorrect information. The editor did not take it very well and said I was accusing them of providing false information. (This I don't understand because I literally attached a screenshot of the "false information" and the editor referenced in the email that they gave me an outdated form)

The CEO may already be aware of the situation because in another instance which I alluded to earlier, she contacted me to inform me that a shop I did was unacceptable and she was aware of another pending shop which she was discussing with her team. I do not think this other shop is relevant, but I can expand on it if you want. I do however think it is interesting that they are referencing other pending shops in my shop history while trying to reprimand me for a totally unrelated instance.

Sorry, I know I can be wordy..
I am going to guess it's a Sassie platform company due to the "sticky note" reference, but if it's Intellishop, I can't imagine why they wouldn't own up to it and just pay you. That's a huge company that could certainly own up and pony up money for their mistake. I mean, how much did the shop pay? Maybe $12-$15? Pretty much any company that can afford to use the Sassie platform should be able to pay when they are in the wrong, and of course whether or not they can afford it or not, they should own up and pay!!!!!
Ahhhhh. I am really not familiar with this company. We crossposted since I was writing when you were writing...and never apologize for being wordy, what you wrote is not wordy and it's pertinent information.
Yes, it was a Sassie platform and it paid $20, which in the grand scheme of things, may not be worth the headache but my sense of justice just feels so cheated! I work 2 other jobs and I scheduled my day around driving to a different town to do this shop by the (incorrect) deadline and I did a good job! Just frustrating.
@asvsc wrote:

The company is CSA.

I should make it known that in my first email response back to them I did question the trustworthiness of the information they provide their shoppers if I was not to be compensated for my time and effort for an inaccuracy on their part. Maybe that was too much, but I was trying to be direct in addressing why the reason for the misunderstanding was because I received incorrect information. The editor did not take it very well and said I was accusing them of providing false information. (This I don't understand because I literally attached a screenshot of the "false information" and the editor referenced in the email that they gave me an outdated form)

The CEO may already be aware of the situation because in another instance which I alluded to earlier, she contacted me to inform me that a shop I did was unacceptable and she was aware of another pending shop which she was discussing with her team. I do not think this other shop is relevant, but I can expand on it if you want. I do however think it is interesting that they are referencing other pending shops in my shop history while trying to reprimand me for a totally unrelated instance.

OK, let me say first I do not mean to be critical. I mean my comments only to help since you have asked for help. This is a great forum. I have mystery shopped since 2010, and I learned how to mystery shop from the great posters on this forum who are always generous with their knowledge and advice.

First, I have worked for CSA, but not extensively, a few shops here and there. I've had no problems.

My comment is on your admission that "in my first email response back to them I did question the trustworthiness of the information they provide their shoppers if I was not to be compensated for my time and effort for an inaccuracy on their part....." That's a way much. Remember that mystery shoppers are independent contractors and the mystery shopping companies are our customers. It's always helpful to remember the old adage "the customer is always right" and the reality of the situation "the customer is always right, even when he isn't." It pays to keep your communications with your customer positive (especially the first one!), approaching a problem as though there has been a mistake made and you both will want to work together to correct it. Starting off with a statement like you quoted starts the communication on a rather ugly, accusatory footing. A lot of the relationship you build with a company is based on your track record completing their shops. When you contacted them about this mistake, you have a track record of two shops, the first unsuccessful, and now a problem with the second. I agree with the editor that it sounded like you were accusing them of providing false information. Sometimes it pays to say less and attach your documentation and let your documentation speak for itself. You may have had great documentation, but after insulting them in the email, they may have not bothered to look at it.

I would pursue it, but I would be very tactful. Speak sweetly and let the documentation speak for itself. This is a reputable company that will want to do the right thing. If you are truly right, and your documentation shows that you are right, CSA will want to fix the problem. Cut back on the aggression and give them a chance.

Welcome to the forum, and I wish you luck with getting this shop resolved and with your future shops.
If the company gave you the wrong form or outdated information, then it's on them as to why the shop wasn't done the way they wanted it. I've seen forms with conflicting information in different places before (sloppy editing/maintenance by the MSC) so I know it can happen. If the MSC won't budge on refusing to pay you, then the only real recourse you have is to not shop for them (unless you want to file a small claims suit for your shop fee, which is unlikely to be financially viable).
@asvsc wrote:

The CEO may already be aware of the situation because in another instance which I alluded to earlier, she contacted me to inform me that a shop I did was unacceptable and she was aware of another pending shop which she was discussing with her team. I do not think this other shop is relevant, but I can expand on it if you want. I do however think it is interesting that they are referencing other pending shops in my shop history while trying to reprimand me for a totally unrelated instance..

Any completed and pending shops in your shop history are related because they show the company whether you are a good shopper they can count on or not. It's not really too odd or interesting that the boss let you know she knew you had another pending shop when she told you that your first shop was not acceptable. CSA assigned you two shops. Your first was unacceptable and the company will need to get it re-shopped by another shopper. If a shopper fails his first shop, many MSCs deactivate him. Others, like CSA, give him another chance but keep an eye on him. The two shops themselves are not related, but they are both relevant to your track record with the company.
@roflwofl Don't hold back, I'm looking for constructive criticism and advice!

I wrote a fairly lengthy response and only in the last few sentences of my final paragraph addressed what I thought was unfair. I did not intend to come off as aggressive, but it may have been perceived that way. I was only trying to be very clear in making it known where the inaccuracy occurred. I guess I was trying to avoid the weeks long email chain and all the back and forth of beating around the bush, and indirectly implying that they should pay me. I thought that since I was in the right, I could cut through all the bull and just ask for compensation and avoid the hassle. The direct approach did not work. Lesson learned.

This is actually the only issue with an editor that I've had. In the issue with the other shop, I had no problems with the editor and have had no disagreements previously. She was kind, responsive and gave me positive feedback and rated my shop a 10. I had no idea something was wrong until 2 nights ago when the CEO emailed me to tell me that the client rejected it and that she didn't see a working relationship with me continuing much further. I was totally caught off guard and am still confused but I'm not really pushing the issue since I don't want to be the person with two issues with them instead of just one.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2017 01:05AM by asvsc.
OK, let me say first I do not mean to be critical. I mean my comments only to help since you have asked for help. This is a great forum. I have mystery shopped since 2010, and I learned how to mystery shop from the great posters on this forum who are always generous with their knowledge and advice.

First, I have worked for CSA, but not extensively, a few shops here and there. I've had no problems.

My comment is on your admission that "in my first email response back to them I did question the trustworthiness of the information they provide their shoppers if I was not to be compensated for my time and effort for an inaccuracy on their part....." That's a way much. Remember that mystery shoppers are independent contractors and the mystery shopping companies are our customers. It's always helpful to remember the old adage "the customer is always right" and the reality of the situation "the customer is always right, even when he isn't." It pays to keep your communications with your customer positive (especially the first one!), approaching a problem as though there has been a mistake made and you both will want to work together to correct it. Starting off with a statement like you quoted starts the communication on a rather ugly, accusatory footing. A lot of the relationship you build with a company is based on your track record completing their shops. When you contacted them about this mistake, you have a track record of two shops, the first unsuccessful, and now a problem with the second. I agree with the editor that it sounded like you were accusing them of providing false information. Sometimes it pays to say less and attach your documentation and let your documentation speak for itself. You may have had great documentation, but after insulting them in the email, they may have not bothered to look at it.

I would pursue it, but I would be very tactful. Speak sweetly and let the documentation speak for itself. This is a reputable company that will want to do the right thing. If you are truly right, and your documentation shows that you are right, CSA will want to fix the problem. Cut back on the aggression and give them a chance.

Welcome to the forum, and I wish you luck with getting this shop resolved and with your future shops.[/quote]

Wow! I am truly impressed with your gentle, kind and encouraging tone. You conveyed perfectly a pertinent and valid point.
@asvsc wrote:

@roflwofl Don't hold back, I'm looking for constructive criticism and advice!

This is actually the only issue with an editor that I've had. In the issue with the other shop, I had no problems with the editor and have had no disagreements previously. She was kind, responsive and gave me positive feedback and rated my shop a 10. I had no idea something was wrong until 2 nights ago when the CEO emailed me to tell me that the client rejected it and that she didn't see a working relationship with me continuing much further. I was totally caught off guard and am still confused but I'm not really pushing the issue since I don't want to be the person with two issues with them instead of just one.

Thanks for taking my comments in the spirit I intended them.

I actually would follow up on the first shop also, although I would not argue or try to get it accepted. If the client has rejected the shop, that's generally pretty final. My concern would be why the client did not accept the shop. I would approach the CEO with the question, making it clear you aren't arguing the client's rejection, you only want to understand. Emphasize that, as a new shopper, you accept that the client rejected the shop and you only want to understand so you can improve and become a valuable shopper for CSA and other companies. I wouldn't push the issue, I would question so I could understand.

Don't worry about questioning making you the person with two issues with them instead of just one. In the company's eyes, you already are that person. If your documentation for shop 2 is correct, I think that issue can be resolved. Shop 1 sounds like a definite rejection but I would use it as an opportunity to show I am a team player and I want to improve. There's a special kind of embarrassment a mystery shopping company feels when they give a shop a good grade and send it to their client, only to have the client throw it back. Passing through an unacceptable shop makes them look bad to their client. Do damage control on this with an apology and questions. And tactfully push on shop 2 letting your documentation speak for you. Just my advice, maybe not worth much but what I think.
@roflwofl wrote:

OK, let me say first I do not mean to be critical. I mean my comments only to help since you have asked for help. This is a great forum. I have mystery shopped since 2010, and I learned how to mystery shop from the great posters on this forum who are always generous with their knowledge and advice.

First, I have worked for CSA, but not extensively, a few shops here and there. I've had no problems.

My comment is on your admission that "in my first email response back to them I did question the trustworthiness of the information they provide their shoppers if I was not to be compensated for my time and effort for an inaccuracy on their part....." That's a way much. Remember that mystery shoppers are independent contractors and the mystery shopping companies are our customers. It's always helpful to remember the old adage "the customer is always right" and the reality of the situation "the customer is always right, even when he isn't." It pays to keep your communications with your customer positive (especially the first one!), approaching a problem as though there has been a mistake made and you both will want to work together to correct it. Starting off with a statement like you quoted starts the communication on a rather ugly, accusatory footing. A lot of the relationship you build with a company is based on your track record completing their shops. When you contacted them about this mistake, you have a track record of two shops, the first unsuccessful, and now a problem with the second. I agree with the editor that it sounded like you were accusing them of providing false information. Sometimes it pays to say less and attach your documentation and let your documentation speak for itself. You may have had great documentation, but after insulting them in the email, they may have not bothered to look at it.

I would pursue it, but I would be very tactful. Speak sweetly and let the documentation speak for itself. This is a reputable company that will want to do the right thing. If you are truly right, and your documentation shows that you are right, CSA will want to fix the problem. Cut back on the aggression and give them a chance.

Welcome to the forum, and I wish you luck with getting this shop resolved and with your future shops.

@MMMM wrote:

Wow! I am truly impressed with your gentle, kind and encouraging tone. You conveyed perfectly a pertinent and valid point.

I also thought roflwofl's post was very good. I did find it rather amusing that roflwofl commented on the OPs "wordy" post only to write a tome of their own...pot calling the kettle black much?! However, the tome was very well written and constructive...lol!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2017 01:51AM by msimon-2000.
I also think it is funny when I post something to be considered "wordy" but actually the initial post was twice as long and that was the edited version. haha I take no offense to being wordy, it's usually true.
Would it be okay to post my email interaction with the CEO about shop 1 to get some feedback? I can block out identifying information. Or would that not be a good idea? I don't want to get in trouble.
Okay, thanks.

I was given a reason as to why the shop was not accepted in the email.
Whether or not I agree with the decision, I felt that some assumptions were made about me that were uncalled for. She also told me to feel free to respond so that she could be perfectly clear as to why my work was unacceptable. I responded and especially after my last experience, was very careful to not come off as offensive or argumentative and just stated the facts. No response. (at least not yet)
I learned many years ago to never outright accuse anyone of something. It comes across that you are unreasonable and a jerk. I would have wrote something like this: It was my understanding that I performed the shop and reported my results on the report that I was provided. However, I do not have the insight to know that the report form was not the correct report. I think some form of payment should be provided since the incorrect report form was not made internationally by me.
Wait. Knowing that the report form was incorrect, why would they send the report to the client for approval? If the editor notices that the report was not acceptable, they wouldn't even send it to the client at all.....right!?
@spicy1 wrote:

Wait. Knowing that the report form was incorrect, why would they send the report to the client for approval? If the editor notices that the report was not acceptable, they wouldn't even send it to the client at all.....right!?

These are two different reports being talked about.

The first was graded 10 and then the client rejected it, though the reason given isn't stated here.

The second one is the one the initial post was about, and was rejected by the editor. Supposedly the form/guidelines were outdated, and OP is meant to be psychic and have known this.
ASVSC, without going political I believe your choice of words like false and untrustworthy are a sign of the times. These are words (or close to words) that are being bandied about right and left in the last few months. But your response to the mystery shop company needed objective specifics without falling into the current craze of accusations. So, as has been suggested, just telling them you received the wrong report (objective) rather than making generalized subjective statements would have sufficed and probably would have been handled differently.
@asvsc wrote:



I should make it known that in my first email response back to them I did question the trustworthiness of the information they provide their shoppers if I was not to be compensated for my time and effort for an inaccuracy on their part. Maybe that was too much, but I was trying to be direct in addressing why the reason for the misunderstanding was because I received incorrect information. The editor did not take it very well and said I was accusing them of providing false information. (This I don't understand because I literally attached a screenshot of the "false information" and the editor referenced in the email that they gave me an outdated form)

ance.



using trustworthy was bad choice of words. gives impression that msc did it on purpose when could have been honest mistake like another member said.

untrustworthy
adjective
not able to be relied on as honest or truthful.
"Thomas considered her to be devious and untrustworthy"
synonyms: dishonest, deceitful, double-dealing, treacherous, traitorous, two-faced, Janus-faced, duplicitous, mendacious, dishonorable, unprincipled, unscrupulous, corrupt, slippery;
Wow, I really like Janus-faced. That could be fun to use sometime on someone who was being deceitful as they likely would have no idea what I was talking about.
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