Why it takes so long to get paid: a new perspective.

Over the years, I've seen many posts and many complaints on waiting an unreasonable amount of time to get paid. Delayed payments make it especially tough to do shops with large required purchases, such as fine dining, casino, nightclubs, integrity shops, and overnight hotel stays.

When I first began these types of shops, I would never have been able to complete them if I would have had to wait 1 - 3 months to get paid. you allow the companies to use your money interest-free while you wait for your reimbursements. If you used a credit card for the shop you get the double-whammy. It does not need to be this way, and here is proof and a way out!

I see no reason to call out specific companies. Because I sometimes do shops in different states, I noticed that many mystery shopping companies hold shopper pay and shopper reimbursements for more than 2 weeks. No new news, right? What startled me was that these same companies who hold your money for weeks or months are the same companies that offer jobs for the same clients in NV, and you will get paid for doing these jobs for these same companies every two weeks. Why do these companies make it possible for NV shoppers to get paid every 2 weeks? Because they have to if they want part of the NV market. Why do they withhold your pay in other states? Because they can.

If you want your hard-earned money returned to you in a reasonable amount of time, then you need to make your congresspersons aware of the situation. And don't give me that "but I'm an IC crap." If I call an IC plumber to fix my sink, guess what? That's right, I have to pay him as soon as he finishes the job. It is different in the mystery shopping business in 49 states, because we allow it to be so. It is unfortunate that we must have state regulations to get our employers (yes if you do a job for someone, they employ you) to do the right thing. Any shopper who has not written their congressperson about this issue has no grounds for complaining about the amount of time it takes to get paid.

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..... that’s how general contractors work. We are essentially sub-contractors for the end-end-clients. Though in my world (EPC; or Engineering, Procurement and Construction), we typically pay our sub’s Net 30 days as our payment terms, it’s possible that the MSC’s work with a lot higher risk and less overhead to work with for the quantities of sub-contractors the MSC’s have to work with, so some work with 90 day’s payment (or longer) after completion of the work to mitigate the risk. In other words, we don’t have our sub’s complain about being paid sooner than a minimum 30 days because as their own companies, they are responsible with their own overheard and working with the payment terms they agree to, just like us.

So yes, being IC’s has a LOT to do with the payment delays we often work with. On the same regard, we’re free to pass on the work if the payment terms specific in the ICA doesn’t meet our needs.

EDIT: oh yeah, for large projects, the contractors I work with on home projects typically agree to Net 30 Days with me as well. That 30 days helps me vet and check the workmanship of the contractor so I can call for corrections, missing scope items, bad worksmanship, etc. until the contract I signed is properly met.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 29 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.


Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/19/2018 07:19PM by Tarantado.
@Tarantado wrote:

So yes, being IC’s has a LOT to do with the payment delays we often work with. On the same regard, we’re free to pass on the work if the payment terms specific in the ICA doesn’t meet our needs.
^^This^^

A faster, better way than yet more regulation is to simply not take jobs that don't meet your needs. I might be willing to wait 60-75 days for reimbursement for something I was going to pay for anyway; highly doubtful otherwise. Quit taking them and the company will have to revise its payment schedule to more favorable terms.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
I like what I am reading here and do think some companies are unreasonable in their payback terms especially for the large out of pocket expenses. But the msc will not have any idea that the reason you are no longer working for them is the long wait time for reimbursement unless you let them know that. I personally have not done any really large reimbursement shops for a while but in the past I tried to time them so that they were in the beginning of a credit card cycle leaving me almost two months to get reimbursed before I was out of pocket. In 90% of the cases I would get my reimbursements prior to or shortly after my credit card was due to be paid. If you find that most of your large expense jobs are in a certain part of the month you can ask your credit card company to change your pay cycle.
For me, it's not how long it takes to get paid, but whether or not the MSC consistently abides by its own payment policy.

I do very little work for any MSC that takes longer than 30 days to pay whether it is fee only, reimbursement only, or fee and reimbursement. To me, those companies are either using shoppers, have cash flow issues, or are very poor at negotiating their contracts. Whatever the reason, they are not getting my money interest free.

I give high priority to those companies that pay according to their own terms every time without fail. It makes planning future shops much easier if I can count on income on certain days at certain times of the day.

I've noticed that several companies which used to pay like clockwork are delaying payments longer and longer. But they seem to be the first to beg for me to take a job. I can't do your job if you are contributing to my cash flow problem!!!!

Even changes such as the money that used to deposit into my account at 6 a.m. like clockwork but now doesn't get posted until 4 p.m. can cause issues if I'm having a tight month.

Don't get me wrong. I'm good at budgeting. But when I have a month like this month where I've had several thousand dollars in unanticipated emergency expenses, I'm hard pressed to take your last-minute job no matter the bonus if I'm not sure when I'm going to get paid for it.

There are a lot of jobs I don't take that the MSCs have to pay significant bonuses on because of their own failure to be reliable in making payroll.
30 Days is fairly standard practice in the business to business world. We have to understand that in most places (NV being the exception) we are a business providing a service to another business. We are generally not people doing work for a business. My brothers and I own an apartment building. All of our service providers (electrician, plumber, landscaper) send us an invoice for work done and we pay them within 30 days. Ok so we normally pay them as soon as we get the invoice, but it's certainly not expected. We are probably preferred clients though because we do pay them almost immediately.

In the same vein, MOST MSC's pay within or close to 30 days. There are dozens of MSC who pay between the 10th and 20th of the month after work is done. That means some are paid within 10 days. How long it takes a company to pay is not normally a driver of if I do work for them or not, but I do appreciate ones who pay quicker and they usually are my preferred clients. I recently did a shop for a company on a Tuesday. On Friday I received an email from them stating they didn't have my paypal information and asked me verify it as soon as possible so they could make sure I got paid in the next cycle. On Monday. So yeah, there are a few companies that are paying at 60 days, but a majority of them are not.

I am sure that our property's service providers consider us preferred clients, but at the same time I am also certain that they do work for other clients that might pay them at a slower pace than us. It's up to each of us to determine what works for use and what doesn't.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I find it ridiculous that some companies need to be chased for payments even after 60 days. We have provided a service and expect to be paid in a timely manner. 30 days is reasonable, anything more is just not acceptable. If the company has a cash flow problem it's really not ours. I have done a job you, jolly well better pay me in time for it....
If I get paid per the payment terms stated by the msc I choose to work for and thus agree to I am satisfied. If you agree to be paid at the end of the month 2 months after the shop was completed hence may shops paid July 31st as long as you are paid on or before July 31st you have no reason to complain. On the flip side if you agree to a shop that says they will pay on the first Monday after the shop was accepted and it was accepted on Thursday and come Tuesday you have not been paid you have a right to be upset.
Now as someone who like many of us works for 100s of MSCs here is a list of varying time frames for payments I have seen
paid within 3 days policy presto
Paid on the 5th and 20th as long as shop completed and reviewed you are paid on the next payment date of 5th or 20th
Paid on 15th or 1st IPSOS
Paid on 15th or 1st skipping one payment cycle Maritz
Paid First Monday after 30 days when shop was completed Northfork Research
Paid on last day of month following month shop done-- Many many MSCs
Paid 45 days after shop accepted-- ICU Associates, Jancyn, About Face, and others
Paid last day of month 2 months after shop completed Ex may shops paid end of july HS Brands
Not paid till you contact about payment HDE (Hill Dunlop Enterprises)

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
I don't worry about why one company has a longer pay cycle than another. As long as they pay me in accordance with the ICA, I'm fine. Of course, I do view $50 in two weeks more favorably than $50 in three months, so the longer pay cycle might dissuade me from taking a job in the first place - or demand a higher fee than I would from a similar company with a friendlier pay schedule.

What does frustrate me is when a company is not able to consistently pay me within their own stated pay schedule or, if they have internal delays that cause a delay in my payments. For example, one company for which I work has changed their pay policy from "45-60 days after shop completion" to "45-60 days after shop acceptance." As they are taking better than a month to process reports, this has caused a significant delay in compensation and an irritation on my end. I am no longer jumping on their shops like I had been.

It's their prerogative to run their business as they please. It's mine to do the same.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Y'all hit the right spot. What matters to me the most is that companies HONOR what their payment terms are in our ICA's, regardless if it's 2 weeks after shop completion or 90 days after shop acceptance. Of course, I'm pretty lenient on late payments, as long as it's honored. The last thing I want is to be in a Grassroots type of situation. Yuck.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 29 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
Trendsource is a gem!. I shop for them, turn around and find checks in the email before I even have a chance to wonder where they are. They pay fast and they are reliable. It's quite a professionally run outfit - not sure who is managing that company - but big shout out for running an effective operation.
I guess for $2 an hour there has to be some plus for working for them.

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

I guess for $2 an hour there has to be some plus for working for them.
LOL! smiling smiley
@BarefootBliss wrote:

Trendsource is a gem!. I shop for them, turn around and find checks in the email before I even have a chance to wonder where they are. They pay fast and they are reliable. It's quite a professionally run outfit - not sure who is managing that company - but a big shout out for running an effective operation.

They have paid quick but if they miss a payment, you have to prove that they did not send you the money. I want to know how you prove a negative because I am not giving anyone access to my bank statements. Oh and I am not driving 110 miles to look at anything for a $10 PAD.
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