Same jobs- LESS pay??

It's been bugging me so I had to put it out there in the hopes that the MSC's will maybe read this. I understand everyone wants to get something for nothing or for a deal. I also understand that these aren't regular 9-5 jobs where we can hope for a raise every year. However, it really seems like an insult when several companies put out their shops for the month in the new year with the same criteria yet the pay has gone down. Two shops I did last month is now $3- $5 LESS now. I don't expect a raise necessarily but at some point, yes actually I do. Every few years the shop pay SHOULD increase. Inflation happens, life has to be paid for. I try to avoid doing these shops when the companies lower the pay from what it was the prior year. Anyone feel the same way?

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A better question would be does anyone NOT feel the same waysmiling smiley

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.
Unfortunately there are people out there who will do jobs for free. It has been that way since I started and I predict it always will.
The most basic rule of sales is: the value of something is what someone is willing to pay for it.

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 make a point of not doing shops that have decreased fees. The MSC’s need to know that shoppers are tracking the fees and that when they go down we won’t do the shops. I know some people will do shops for tiny fees, but I won’t do them on principle. Just this week I saw a credit card shop that started at $140 last year offered at $75. Anyone willing to bet that they slashed the size of the report to match the reduced fee?
And the same for what ciuld be routed shops. For example, and not only them, 'such and such' has gas shops $7 a piece tgat were $9. I offered $14 a piece but I would do all within a 2.5 hr drive in any direction. NOPE Now they are paying $65 and will end up paying almost $650 more total.
I just request to be de-activated due to my not being able to accept a small job with a long report that I used to do for 20.00 (for years), being it was in a mall I go to, now slashed in half. just not being bothered for 10.00, long drive, rude owner of MSC, and a PITA report for 10.00. I felt good I did it, they never have jobs near me, so.....

I realize I don't have to doubt how far I can go. I just have to remember how far I've come.....
I believe you and know ISS is a scheduling Co., Iwork monthly for them and know most of their MSC's ...guilty by association, think about it.

I realize I don't have to doubt how far I can go. I just have to remember how far I've come.....
I agree; but only in the sense I want more money. Considering the MSC, though, I well understand their position of extracting as much work from shoppers as possible for the least amount of pay.

Last month, I was asked to take a $2 pay cut from the fee for a dinner assignment; I did not hesitate to refuse, while explaining I never reduce my monetary requirements. If fees are not acceptable to me, I merely pass while understanding that it is only business.
Gas goes up, cost of living goes up, fees for MSing should also go up.....not down. I notice some companies now require two evaluations at the same store for the price of one...kiss my .....

I realize I don't have to doubt how far I can go. I just have to remember how far I've come.....
Realize that the MSC's fees may remain the same or even increase but they want a greater profit margin and they might try and reduce their costs by reducing the shoppers pay. On the other hand, in order to keep the client, the MSC might have had to reduce it's overall fee and therefore reduce the payouts outs to the shoppers, etc.

Video and Silver Certified Shopper in the Washington, DC area.
Issue No. 1 for me: Increasing the requirements for the same fee.
Issue No. 2 for me: Increasing the requirements considerably for a pittance more.
Issue No. 3 for me: Not being straightforward about the increased work load when changed programs are first released.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
@MDavisnowell wrote:

Issue No. 1 for me: Increasing the requirements for the same fee.
Issue No. 2 for me: Increasing the requirements considerably for a pittance more.
Issue No. 3 for me: Not being straightforward about the increased work load when changed programs are first released.

Ran into all 3 on an audit this week. What used to take 90-120 minutes (their estimate was 60) now takes 6-8 hours (their estimate is now 90 minutes). Pay only went up $15. Uhhh, NO!
@stormraven73 wrote:


Ran into all 3 on an audit this week. What used to take 90-120 minutes (their estimate was 60) now takes 6-8 hours (their estimate is now 90 minutes). Pay only went up $15. Uhhh, NO!

This is why I only take 1 visit for a shop I have never done before. This way I do 1 - and if it stinks - they burned me ONE time. If I take more I either have to do them or turn them back - the latter is not taken well by a MSC. Burn me once - it stinks but I can live with it. More than that - shame on me!
I'd love to hear from a couple MSCs or schedulers on this. I've only been at this for a year and those lower fees are an insult.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2018 07:51PM by Iamme.
Unfortunately it would seem to be the way of the world, not just in our weird little corner of it.

As a former working musician, I played last year for the same pay that I did 40 years ago, while the expenses incurred to play gigs have grown exponentially.

As long as there is somebody willing to do something for less $$$ than you, there will rarely be adequate pay on the table.
I suspect lower fees can be traced up past project managers.... Fees come from whomever is negotiating the contracts with the clients... When an MSC bids low, they cut into their potential profit, which means they try to get us to do the shops for lower fees. If they miss by not asking enough from the client, we find the fees unacceptable and the MSC has the choice of either losing the client by not fulfilling their end of the contract or losing money by paying more than what they had anticipated.

A fee for a shop might be lower one year to the next for a couple of reasons. First, the MSC's contract with the client could have come to an ends and another MSC attempted to outbid the first for the same client, forcing the MSC's revenue from the project down -and thereby forcing them to lower shopper payments. Second, it's possible that enough shops were completed early in the cycle the previous month/quarter/year that the MSC thought they could lower the fee a little and still get the job done - and thereby increase their profits.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Lets take a certain grocery shop:

Initially, you got the names or descriptions of the associates from each department. Then they added the cashier and bagger name and descriptions. Then they added 3 items in each department that you were to look for, plus each department required you to ask (interact w/ assoc.) about a product, to receive a suggestion for that product, in that department.

The money never changed. Every time I see the guidelines, more work is added but the same $5 bucks for the fee. tongue sticking out smiley

Pretty soon they will want store front pictures! smiling smiley
@SunnyDays2 wrote:

Lets take a certain grocery shop:
The money never changed. Every time I see the guidelines, more work is added but the same $5 bucks for the fee. tongue sticking out smiley
If you're referring to TS grocery shops, those actually did go up from $5.00 to $6.00 once they started requiring the checks of the 3 items in each of 4 depts.
They still pay 5.00, but rules have changed a bit.....not so crazy about them at this point...doing one Sunday, we'll see.

I realize I don't have to doubt how far I can go. I just have to remember how far I've come.....
I used to take a shop, once a month, at the fee that was listed. It has since gone down a few dollars, and I have never taken it at that rate. However, about once a month now, I get offered a bonus to do it, that is several dollars higher than the old rate. It ended up being better for me.

Over the last few years, as I have seen some rates go down, I have become much more picky. I find myself doing less shops, but at higher rates.
We don't have the check 3 items in 4 Departments here. If they had that requirement I wouldn't do them at all. If they added that requirement and raised the fee by $1 and kept the same $9 or $12 reimbursement, I absolutely would not do them.
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

They still pay 5.00, but rules have changed a bit.....not so crazy about them at this point...doing one Sunday, we'll see.
Irene, the ones I do are paying $6.00. They upped the fee by a dollar in my area when they started requiring checking on those extra items. TS has different Clients in different parts of the country. For the shops that I do for them in my area (SC), they ARE paying $6.00. I did 3 of them yesterday.
Guysmom...yes I have one Sunday as well and felt the same way, seemed more involved and I don't need anymore Boars head cuts...smiling smiley I'm a bit upset over their BV as well. Took me 2 hours for report (15 pic's) and had to go back and retake picture....for 17.00, a lot of work,,,done with it, long story!! They now have several BV near me, I'm the one that does them here. I asked for 25.00 and haven't heard anything, have done favors for them, not a happy camper.

I realize I don't have to doubt how far I can go. I just have to remember how far I've come.....
Irene, that's interesting about the Boar's Head....the grocery shops that TS has in my area does not require any deli purchase...only $9.00 minimum purchase of whatever. There is another well-known MSC who does grocery stores...with their off-shore phone callers. THAT MSC in my area does have grocery store shops that may or may not require a deli purchase. It's always interesting to me to see how the very same MSC has different requirements for their different grocery stores in various parts of the country. Yeah, I could only buy so much Boar's Head, too, Irene!!
It's not like you are an employee of any MSC and they are telling you to do the same work for less pay. As an independent contractor, you can pick and choose the jobs you enjoy doing. Don't like that the fee went down?....move on. Other companies will pay better, maybe or not.

If you think all ms'ing fees are too low, then find another profession if you don't like it. Hey, we all want a bunch of money - the msc's do as well. But, you are unlikely to be rolling in the dough in this profession. (I know, I know - some do QUITE well)

One of my most fave msc's had a sudden and abrupt ending to a ms program I had been involved with for over ten years. And, just like that, they lost the contract. It went to another msc where the pay was $ 1.00 less. So, the client just took the better of two bidders that time. Who wouldn't want to save money (I know I do).

Anyways, they may get less quality reports, and maybe they won't even be able to fill them all. I won't touch them (out of spite). But, that is how the industry works, generally.

Just my two cents.
@guysmom wrote:

Irene, that's interesting about the Boar's Head....the grocery shops that TS has in my area does not require any deli purchase...only $9.00 minimum purchase of whatever. There is another well-known MSC who does grocery stores...with their off-shore phone callers. THAT MSC in my area does have grocery store shops that may or may not require a deli purchase. It's always interesting to me to see how the very same MSC has different requirements for their different grocery stores in various parts of the country. Yeah, I could only buy so much Boar's Head, too, Irene!![/quote
There is still one that doesn't require Boars Head but the other five all have it in their Deli and really push it....
however, you can get cheese and I do like grilled cheese sandwich's.....so, you spend 12.00 and get back 17.00

I realize I don't have to doubt how far I can go. I just have to remember how far I've come.....
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