I don't like being treated like a child by MSCs....

Or, rather, by a certain MSC, which I won't name. I recently booked an assignment with a company I haven't done anything for in awhile. I'm now reminded of why I took a break from them. I'm a bit insulted (not personally, but in general) by the wording on the website when you confirm and in the confirmation e-mails. The assumption seems to be that shoppers must be treated like recalcitrant children and aren't to be trusted to perform their shops as promised. Instead of a thank-you for accepting the shop and a simple "let us know if you have questions or if we can assist you in any way," they go on and on hitting you over the head with your responsibility. Guilty until found innocent.

The last time I did a shop for them, I had to reschedule it because of bad weather. I'm not risking bodily injury to my family or to me for a mystery shop. I called the company as soon as I knew I couldn't do the shop and asked to re-schedule. The person I spoke to was peeved, but let me re-schedule. This person must have told me five times in 15 minutes that I was committed to the date I'd re-scheduled for, did I understand that (no, of course I didn't because I'm stupid), did I understand that if I failed to complete the shop that I'd risk deactivation, blah, blah, blah. I had a high rating with this company, so it wasn't like I'd flaked before or had messed up a shop.

I'm sure they must have people who flake, people who fail to read the instructions, etc. But I'm sure that most of their shoppers must do a good job, or they'd be out of business. And lots of other MSCs have the same problems, but I never feel as if I'm being scolded by my mommy before I even do anything wrong!

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2018 02:25AM by BirdyC.

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Yes. I’ve had that same experience/conversation.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2018 06:12AM by SoCalMama.
@SoCalMama wrote:

Yes. I’ve had that same experience/conversation.

Isn't it frustrating to feel as if your professionalism is being questioned? And that they think people aren't capable of living up to their commitments without being nagged to death?

Not everyone at that MSC is like that when you communicate with them personally, but I'd say that the organization could sure use some consultations in public relations!

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2018 03:17PM by BirdyC.
To be honest, I am guilty of this at times, but ONLY when the shopper has a ton of flakes on their record, and it is a shop that is approaching a deadline. If you have a high rating, and no record of flaking, I wouldn't have an issue with rescheduling it, and the most I would say is something like "the deadline is that day so just please be sure you get to it, or let me know ASAP if you can't."
Recently I had a scheduler call me and I accepted one shop; I showed interest in another shop but I did not say that I wanted to do it, and she assigned it to me anyway which is always annoying when schedulers do that. When I read the guidelines, I told her to cancel it. She assured me that guidelines are wrong and will be fixed. That didn't happen and I asked her again to cancel it. I have never done any shops for this company. Finally I texted her that I do not plan on performing the shops. She then freaked out. Like a lunitic. She said that I should not be doing any mystery shoppig for anyone, and how I put her in bed situation at the end of the month (20th!) and flaked and that has happened to her before...and then she send me a review and said I was a total flake on two very important assignments (valet parking that pays $10, no reimbursement)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2018 05:36PM by MikiNV.
@KSSPete wrote:

To be honest, I am guilty of this at times, but ONLY when the shopper has a ton of flakes on their record, and it is a shop that is approaching a deadline. If you have a high rating, and no record of flaking, I wouldn't have an issue with rescheduling it, and the most I would say is something like "the deadline is that day so just please be sure you get to it, or let me know ASAP if you can't."

And those situations are understood. The MSC in question issues communications with this attitude as standard operating procedure. It seems they start out with the presumption that shoppers aren't to be trusted and don't understand that when they accept a shop, it's a commitment. We're not idiots!

In cases where a shopper has proven himself or herself to not be the most reliable of people, it's reasonable to make sure they know they have to complete the shop and when, and that there might be consequences if they flake.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Sounds like companies to avoid. One of the benefits of this job and being an IC is that we get to choose the companies we want to represent. I can appreciate a scheduler being under a deadline to get shops assigned but if she tries to make her problem my problem, bye bye.
You have no idea how common this is... During my time of scheduling, I was "educated" to view any shopper I have not developed a business relationship with as a probable flake and if their report was not completed, I was to remove it and issue a flake citation, a DNU memo or deactivate them.

It got to the point where I had my favorite list of shoppers and I would speak with them when shops were released before I emailed them out and put them on the board. In essence, I would have entire routes scheduled before assignments were blasted as available.

Arguing with fools is like playing chess with a pigeon...
...No matter how good you are, the pigeon will s@^t on the board and strut around like it won anyway.

Not scheduling for ANY company.
Dante, what's a DNU? Sounds like "Do Not Use".

My life went to Hades in a handbasket in June-July-August....car broke down, in the shop, $1500 in repairs, three weeks in the shop. Rescheduled, rescheduled, rescheduled. Finally got the car back, did my rescheduled shops, got home -- and the internet was out! For 36 HOURS!!! I live in a small town, and all my friends and neighbors, their internet was down, too, so I couldn't go to a neighbor's house and do my reports. The shops were all cancelled -- which I understood, as they were deadlining, and they HAD to get other shoppers to do them! I did keep all the companies apprised -- I don't understand it, without internet, I could still send e-mails on my iPhone. I'm not tech oriented, and certainly don't understand how that's possible, but it is, because I did it, LOL!

But my favorite scheduler in the whole wide world, one I've worked with for 8 years, BLOCKED my phone number. So sad. Understandable, of course, but still very, very sad.
@KSSPete: Thanks for your input. Nice to see a scheduler's response!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2018 06:49AM by mom.for.hirehotmail.com.
There have been a few MSCs where the scheduler went all "gotta ride herd on the shopper" with me. I sent the scheduler an email saying that I have done this shop or its cousin a few dozen (or hundred) times and would appreciate no threats prior to each shop. MOST, but not all, stopped with the whipping; I just do not work anymore for the ones that would not stop. I do not mind the email blast reminder a couple of days before a shop is due IF it thanks me for taking the shop and is just a reminder to check my calendar. A couple of times those have saved me from disaster.

In return, when I am on a route or struggling to finish a bunch of shops on deadline, I email schedulers with a "progress report" to tell them that the shop is done, proofs in hand and when they can realistically expect the editors to see the report. What goes around comes around.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
@walesmaven wrote:

I do not mind the email blast reminder a couple of days before a shop is due IF it thanks me for taking the shop and is just a reminder to check my calendar. A couple of times those have saved me from disaster.

In return, when I am on a route or struggling to finish a bunch of shops on deadline, I email schedulers with a "progress report" to tell them that the shop is done, proofs in hand and when they can realistically expect the editors to see the report. What goes around comes around.

Exactly! I look forward to the reminders, as long as they're professional and friendly; no matter how many of my calendars my shops are posted to, there's always a chance I'll forget to look at any of them, and sometimes I forget to set reminders on my phone.

I've been late with a couple of shop reports, and both times I e-mailed the schedulers ahead of time, explained the situation and apologized, and received an extension. Treat me like a professional and I'll behave like one. Treat me like a child or like an unreliable idiot , and I won't work for you anymore. Or, if I'm already committed to the job, I'll do the best job I can within the bare-bones requirement. Don't expect my in-depth, above-and-beyond reporting.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2018 12:25PM by BirdyC.
Yes, I don't mind the "this is Just a friendly reminder" emails. I also hate the automatic shop metrics emails that say I have a shop that is close to being due or overdue that get sent the day before the shop is even due.
Cell phones use cell towers and do not use internet or wifi. The cell towers could be placed anywhere. On top of an apt bldg, look like a tree(fake of course), on top of a business, etc.

If your town's internet was out, you could've driven to the next nearest town to use their wifi, not sure how close/far that is from you.


@ceasesmith wrote:


I don't understand it, without internet, I could still send e-mails on my iPhone. I'm not tech oriented, and certainly don't understand how that's possible, but it is, because I did it, LOL!
Yes, DNU= Do Not Use.

@ceasesmith wrote:

Dante, what's a DNU? Sounds like "Do Not Use".

My life went to Hades in a handbasket in June-July-August....car broke down, in the shop, $1500 in repairs, three weeks in the shop. Rescheduled, rescheduled, rescheduled. Finally got the car back, did my rescheduled shops, got home -- and the internet was out! For 36 HOURS!!! I live in a small town, and all my friends and neighbors, their internet was down, too, so I couldn't go to a neighbor's house and do my reports. The shops were all cancelled -- which I understood, as they were deadlining, and they HAD to get other shoppers to do them! I did keep all the companies apprised -- I don't understand it, without internet, I could still send e-mails on my iPhone. I'm not tech oriented, and certainly don't understand how that's possible, but it is, because I did it, LOL!

But my favorite scheduler in the whole wide world, one I've worked with for 8 years, BLOCKED my phone number. So sad. Understandable, of course, but still very, very sad.

Arguing with fools is like playing chess with a pigeon...
...No matter how good you are, the pigeon will s@^t on the board and strut around like it won anyway.

Not scheduling for ANY company.
Much easier, and probably cheaper than driving would be to use the iPhone as hot spot. It is one of the easiest things in the world whether someone is tech savvy or not.

@7star wrote:

If your town's internet was out, you could've driven to the next nearest town to use their wifi, not sure how close/far that is from you.

@ceasesmith wrote:

I don't understand it, without internet, I could still send e-mails on my iPhone. I'm not tech oriented, and certainly don't understand how that's possible, but it is, because I did it, LOL!

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, my phone is a "hot spot". But I've never been able to get it to work with my PC or my laptop. Someone said it's because I don't have a "contract" (I pre-pay month by month), but somebody else said it's because I have an iPhone and they won't synch with my windows products.

I do not understand it, myself.

I did exactly understand the above post about towers, and now I know why I could e-mail with my phone when the internet was out. Thanks!

The nearest wifi, when the internet is down here, is over an hour's drive away. Boonies, indeed!
At least one of those somebodies was wrong. I use an iPhone, iPad and Windows laptop. They all sync seamlessly. Using a phone as a hotspot doesn't require them syncing anyway. Your PC would just recognize it as a WiFi signal.

I don't know what limits are placed on pay as you go service. You can test it now so you know what to do later. Open Settings and go to Personal Hotspot. Tap the button to turn it on. On that page you will also see the unique WiFi password for your phone. From your PC click on your Network settings, just as you did when initially connecting to your home WiFi. Look for the name of your phone, click it and enter the password.

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 know people who can only use one provider due to the towers closest to where they live. Each shopper is unique, and there are pockets of space in this country that have little or no coverage

I wouldn't have it any other way, because I love the wide open spaces. I even love the occasional lack of connectivity. It is wonderful, imho, to do something besides an electronic task. But that is just me, and I live and shop casually.

Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization. - Winston Churchill


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2018 10:02PM by Shop-et-al.
@LisaSTL wrote:

At least one of those somebodies was wrong. I use an iPhone, iPad and Windows laptop. They all sync seamlessly. Using a phone as a hotspot doesn't require them syncing anyway. Your PC would just recognize it as a WiFi signal.

I don't know what limits are placed on pay as you go service. You can test it now so you know what to do later. Open Settings and go to Personal Hotspot. Tap the button to turn it on. On that page you will also see the unique WiFi password for your phone. From your PC click on your Network settings, just as you did when initially connecting to your home WiFi. Look for the name of your phone, click it and enter the password.

Aha! That Eureka moment!

I have no idea what my password is. I actually don't know my phone's name. It's an iPhone, but quite old.

(Gulp. I'm an idiot.)
After all this time, I don't recall if the phones have a default name. I probably changed mine at some point. It's not anything all that creative or interesting, just Lisa's iPhonesmiling smiley I tend to have several devices so it's easy for me to distinguish between my phone, the old phone being used as an iPod and my two tablets. Because I use features like the hotspot and regularly have house guests using my home WiFi, I like to know who's who and what's what, LOL.

To find out the name and/or change it, go to Settings--General--About. The first thing is the name of the phone. If you want to change the name just tap on it. If you want to leave it the same just do nothing. At least you will now know what to look for on your PC network settings.

I understand you consider yourself tech challenged. Take my word for it, setting up the hotspot is not at all difficult. Your biggest issue will be whether it is available via your plan and carrier.

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.
Since I have a minimum plan, pay-as-you-go, I just assumed that the hot-spot wouldn't work (since it obviously DOESN'T work, LOL!!!).

I think Verizon told me it would work with contract, which is a minimum of $75 a month vs. the $43.50 I now pay.

And cannot pay this month.

Good grief, sometimes life just SUCKS. MAJORLY.
ceasesmith, I know Straight Talk uses Verizon's and AT&T's networks and towers (3 or 4G) and they have plans from like $30 to $55. I think $45 is unlimited. You can purchase it at Walmart. You won't need internet because the phone will have 3 or 4G). Also, since I've been doing a lot of work with MetroPCS, I know they have been having an LG or Samsung new phones they give you and their rates for unlimited is very low as well. They give you a $200 phone for free right now.

Shopping Arkansas, Louisiana, & Mississippi.
@ceasesmith wrote:

But my favorite scheduler in the whole wide world, one I've worked with for 8 years, BLOCKED my phone number. So sad. Understandable, of course, but still very, very sad.
That's just wrong. With an 8 year history, she should have realized that there was a temporary issue and given you the opportunity to explain.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
@BirdyC wrote:

Or, rather, by a certain MSC, which I won't name. I recently booked an assignment with a company I haven't done anything for in awhile. I'm now reminded of why I took a break from them. I'm a bit insulted (not personally, but in general) by the wording on the website when you confirm and in the confirmation e-mails. The assumption seems to be that shoppers must be treated like recalcitrant children and aren't to be trusted to perform their shops as promised. Instead of a thank-you for accepting the shop and a simple "let us know if you have questions or if we can assist you in any way," they go on and on hitting you over the head with your responsibility. Guilty until found innocent.

The last time I did a shop for them, I had to reschedule it because of bad weather. I'm not risking bodily injury to my family or to me for a mystery shop. I called the company as soon as I knew I couldn't do the shop and asked to re-schedule. The person I spoke to was peeved, but let me re-schedule. This person must have told me five times in 15 minutes that I was committed to the date I'd re-scheduled for, did I understand that (no, of course I didn't because I'm stupid), did I understand that if I failed to complete the shop that I'd risk deactivation, blah, blah, blah. I had a high rating with this company, so it wasn't like I'd flaked before or had messed up a shop.

I'm sure they must have people who flake, people who fail to read the instructions, etc. But I'm sure that most of their shoppers must do a good job, or they'd be out of business. And lots of other MSCs have the same problems, but I never feel as if I'm being scolded by my mommy before I even do anything wrong!
I think that treating shoppers like children allows the MSCs to feel it is OK to pay us as if we were children. Unfortunately, there are so many people who do not value themselves, that it is common.

And based on the writing samples that I have read on these forums, these people write like children too. I can not understand why the companies accept it. Oh well.
I haven’t even been shopping very long, but I’m taking a break from a couple of companies that have far too many threats I have to read. Simple reminders or a heads up are great, but paragraph after paragraph of “This is on video and will be checked!!!!!!” gives me an awful feeling.
If it’s on video, why waste time and money hiring me? Just look at the video. Bam.

Trying to learn from all of these rockstars.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/2018 07:28PM by Rhondabryant.
@ceasesmith hotspot is included with all Verizon pre-paid plans. You may need to call to have it activated. If you’re still using that older laptop, it may not have a WiFi antenna built in. It’s a standard feature now, but hasn’t always been.
You can got to Settings/Internet Connections and set up a new connection. If it gives you the option for wireless, use that and connect to your hotspot once you’ve turned it on.
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