Sometimes I just need to scream

Guidelines for a dealership assignment say that if you are unable to reach the contact person for an appointment, fill out the report with all 'no' answers. OK I did that, and commented in each section that scheduling an appointment was not successful. It was kicked back to me, with a note that I need to write 4-5 sentences of narrative telling what happened in each section, greeting, presentation, test drive, etc. Editors like this piss me off.

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I have hit a number of non-shoppable shops over the years. Yes, the editor wants more. "I made 5 calls in an attempt to reach the associate to make an appointment. I left a message once, as instructed. My call was not returned in two days. Subsequent attempts yielded only information that the associate was not available." I find that although it is clear to me that my attempts were futile, the editor needs to know the extent to which I tried and the shop was non-shoppable. It really takes so little time to throw off a few comments that it is not worth the annoyance of steaming about it.
Back in 2005, I accepted a comparison shop for bedding from an MSC no longer in business. I completed both forms, only to discover a third that asked why I did not select the client for my fictitious purchase. I typed "price" and then attempted to submit the report, but received the red warning and learned the box required 800 characters. While I am able to expand from six to 800 with bull, it is very time consuming. When the scheduler later mailed me about another such job, I replied it would be double the fee; I never heard from her again.
One time an editor asked me to fill in the price for the oil change when the dealership could not be reached in 3 attempts. I emailed the editor that I could not reach the dealership. She kept emailing back and forth that the field needs to be filled. I was so frustrated that I called up the dealership and got the price (yeah, this time they pick up).. Then, she emails me that I should have explained it to her that the dealership could not be reached and hence no pricing was obtained. AARRGgggggh!
Pete & Flash, while your paragraphs explaining the details of what happened are perfect, this company in question wants a paragraph in every section of the report, which is unnecessary and time consuming. I copied and pasted a similar blurb over and over and haven't heard back.
I would write no greeting because contact not available. No presentation because contact not available and so on and so forth.
The absurdly low fees that most shops pay and that many people gladly do them for such low fees, is a real shame. They render "mystery shoppers" as having no value.

I worked for a company that routinely used shoppers, and it was a big deal for we, the salesmen. If I had known how little the shoppers were paid, I would have openly questioned the shoppers being taken seriously.

On top of that, we shoppers are supposed to be perfect, as illustrated in the other comments on this thread. It is the classic adding insult to injury.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/2018 10:42PM by jameschicago.
“Sometimes, I just want to scream.”

The same holds true for schedulers. Both sides want to SCREAM.

When I started this business 20 years ago, it was much easier. The pay was better, the reports were not as difficult and it was a fun industry.

No more fun. Clients want more for less pay. Scheduler’s jobs are loaded with stress. Shoppers are expected to do twice the work for 1/2 what the fees were 20 years ago.

I still like to mystery shop. I just have to be more particular which assignments to apply for. Last several assignments I accepted, the guidelines were sketchy, the scheduler hard to reach and the pay was bad.

Best to everyone.
i like the ones that require a yes/no answer for questions like the color of the person's hair, or yes/no questions. I also like when you reach the end of the section about the phone call, start the portion for the actual visit, then find questions about the phone call again.
I hate it when questions are linked together. No they did not try to make the sale but yes they told me what to do when I decided...but they system says if no to 20 then 21 must be...Yada Yada!!!
Only giving us a 2 day window to do a shop. I do not live in an urban area and need to route shops 30 to 40 miles, north one day, south another etc. I need a week to schedule these so that I can justify milage to do a $20 shop. Then there is the issue of cancellations and not being able to expeditiously fill in with supposedly rush shops because the scheduler will not get back with us and unable to self assign even with a top rating. Okay that rant felt good! Thank you smiling smiley
I too am frustrated with Shoppers who take such low payments for shops. It devalueates us all and makes it hard to be taken seriously. If a job pays less than $20 please do not take it. There is no shop that takes less than 1 hour to complete from start to finish. I am worth at least $20 an hour for the work I perform.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2018 12:02AM by rboggs127.
I recently got frustrated when an 'editor' asked me why the car salesman did not give me a trade-in value for my car when I had already patiently and thoroughly explained 'WHY' in the report; The 'Used Car Manager' had to inspect my car before a value could be placed on it as a trade-in.
It's a car delarership, Einstein! They specialize in not committing to any pricing (whatsoever) until your checkbook is out! I mean, does anyone really think I am going to get a used car trade-in value from a salesman? Really?
gmom- I feel your pain. I once was assigned a route of 12 shops (100-300 miles away) with due dates ranging from a week old to two days in the future. I just shook my head and poured a glass of red wine.
I recently completed a phone shop where the person I called identified me as a shopper. I had not said anything that would have revealed me as a shopper. It was just that the person I called was a jerk and as he said he was used to getting shopped. Because the client could not use my shop, the MSC only wanted to pay me half of the fee that was promised.
The editor probably didn't even read the report. The editor probably just kicked it back after noticing that the narratives did not consist of four or five sentences.

"Evolve thyself and lose all hate...." Orphaned Land
The worst are video shops that required a long and drawn out survey...Here's a hint...WATCH THE DAMN VIDEO....

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2018 01:07AM by MBD12s14h.
This only happened one time, and it was recently. I negotiated back and forth for about two weeks requiring several emails for an increased fee on an assignment. Finally the scheduler wrote and told me she got the approval from her supervisor on the fee. She said we were all set and asked which day I planned to do the shop. I gave her the date for two days from then. She wrote back about an hour later saying, "I found someone else to do it tomorrow. You no longer need to complete the visit." I was livid! Someone else got the fee I worked so hard to bargain for. Plus, I should think once the scheduler had committed to me, the shop was mine ~ not still up for grabs! I wrote back and told the scheduler (in no uncertain terms) not to bother me about that assignment again in the future.
@rboggs127 wrote:

I too am frustrated with Shoppers who take such low payments for shops. It devalueates us all and makes it hard to be taken seriously. If a job pays less than $20 please do not take it. There is no shop that takes less than 1 hour to complete from start to finish. I am worth at least $20 an hour for the work I perform.

This is just patently untrue. Like, don't get me wrong, I appreciate the sentiment here but your lack of facts is killing me. There are TONS of shops that take less than 1 hour to complete, report included. TONS. I consistently do tobacco compliance/alcohol compliance visits that often take less than 5 minutes. Same thing with phone shops - I made hundreds in a few days once when I took over 40 phone shops at once. Even with travel and reports I can get 4-5 done in an hour or two on a good day.

I think it's silly for you to tell shoppers not to take anything under a certain dollar amount when the reality is that there are many different types of shoppers, shops, and lifestyles. I can't think of a nicer way to say this - maybe you're just slower than average at reading guidelines and entering reports. That would certainly affect how I viewed a $20 shop. Mileage varies, dude, and my mileage loves $10/10 minute shops all day loooong!
I take as many of a $14 gas shop/audit as I can. They take 20 to 25 minutes including report submission, are self-assign and I can change the date without needing to email back and forth with the scheduler. I can always do at least two an hour including drive time between. Last I looked, $28/hour is more than $20/hour. Then there are the wine store audits at $9 or $10. Five or ten minutes work at a store I'm going to anyway and the report is submitted as I walk to the register. Isn't that the equivalent of $54 plus an hour?

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 I'm slow with reports.

But when the nearest shop to you is 45 miles away, it's just not possible to take $20 shops.
@ceasesmith wrote:

I know I'm slow with reports.

But when the nearest shop to you is 45 miles away, it's just not possible to take $20 shops.

If only there was a beautiful conglomeration of hundreds of $10 shops all in the same area... 45 minutes away! Might be worth it? Lol. Either way I'm back to YMMV and no shoppers should make blanket statements about other people's hustle cause we got unique situations and goals. Whoop.
This negotiation and getting clearance from a supervisor happened to me a couple of times with I'm sure we're probably referring to the same company M.R.
I use to do shops at a casino in North Carolina but can not seem to find the company that shops them anymore. It has switched hands two times prior. Any suggestions for companies to register with?
I agree. Since 2013 my policy has been to not accept any low-ball or annoying shops. My standard response to low dollar offers is "it costs $20 for me to get in my car" That thinned out most of the nuisance e-mails, and my time & routes are much more efficient. Some schedulers will even bump the fee up to meet my minimum. Sure, I make less money (about 25% less), but I look at it as also expending 50% less time, effort and stress, by focusing on the better shops.
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