WINDFALL! Or ethical dilemma?

Scheduler called me Thursday with 10 urgent urgent shops, must be done by Saturday. One is 60 miles away, 2 are 100 miles away; the rest between 100 and 200 miles away -- with two or 3 of the shops 200 miles away, but very close to one another, so 3 could be done on the same day. No problem. "Those are a long way away. How much do you want for each?" "Oh, $75 each would be fine".

Understand, now, that didn't really give me time to actually LOOK at the shops -- printed them out, hit the road. Took and passed the test without even looking at the guidelines, LOL, so felt all ready to go. Knocked those puppies right out.

Then start the reports. And immediately see that I had a miscommunication with the scheduler. When I said "$75 each would be fine", she thought I meant $75 for just the incentive.

I was happy to do them at $75 each total.

I don't want to gouge the MSC. I would be happy to earn $750 doing 10 shops in 3 relatively easy days. I know there are shoppers on here for whom that wouldn't even meet their minimum requirements for about 20 total hours of work, including drive time, reports, etc.

I should be even happier to complete the same 10 shops for $1100

But I am not.

I have this niggling little thing in the back of my head (a conscience?) that says I should call that scheduler back and explain that I meant $75 TOTAL for each shop, not an additional $75 on top of base pay.

What would you do? Call her back, or take the money and run?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/2019 02:36PM by ceasesmith.

Create an Account or Log In

Membership is free. Simply choose your username, type in your email address, and choose a password. You immediately get full access to the forum.

Already a member? Log In.

Clearly it was well worth it to the scheduler and/or the client to put a bonus of $75 on each of those shops.

Go for it.

I do not believe that this is an ethical dilemma, since no subterfuge or trickery was used or intended. It appears to be a win-win situation, or it never would have been offered.

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.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/2019 03:26PM by walesmaven.
I've found Maritz almost always means incentive on top of fee and reimbursement when they ask how much I would need to do a shop but usually understands an offer from me to include both. For example:

I can do that Griffin Widgets shop for $30 means I will get paid the $15 fee and a $15 incentive and a $20 reimbursement for a total of $50.

How much would it take for you to do the Griffin Widgets shop?
I would need $30.
I would expect to get paid the $15 fee, $30 incentive, and $20 reimbursement for a total of $65.

I would guess you probably have been not asking for enough. If they have never negotiated with you then you are asking significantly less than they are willing to pay

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@ceasesmith
Windfall. Enjoy.

Look at it this way: You have just inadvertently learned that you can be paid more for the work you do for that MSC. They know what they can afford to give you and, had they not been able to handle it, they would have said as much. This does totally sound like a Martiz thing and, yes, when they are negotiating, they are generally talking about the incentive on top of the regular shop pay.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Ah, but if the misunderstanding went the other way, I would call and say "Hey, you shorted me on this -- I said $75 per shop, not $35!"

If I would have called if they shorted me, to me, that means I should call and tell them there was a misunderstanding.

Just like if a cashier gives me too much change, I give the excess back to her. No ifs, ands, or buts about it!

Daddy always taught me, "Do the right thing, even if no one is watching".
Wirh round trip driving mileage exceeding 400 miles I would look at the extra as paying for the wear and tear on the car and for your driving time.

Now you know what your time is really worth!
Cease, I think you should take it but to feel better about it look at the costs to you. Include the government amt for miles driven. Your car may not cost .54 or whatever it is in gas but the amount they give includes wear and tear on your car. You just recently had to spend $$ on your car and were out of commission for doing shops during that time. It sounds as though most of the wear and tear on your car is from mystery shopping miles so include that full amount in your cost. Then include whatever you see as a decent hour rate for you for your driving rate and the standard fees for this shop. Consider three days to do the shops. Did you drive back home each night? That adds miles and hours. Did you sleep somewhere? That should include a motel fee. Now, they asked for you to do these. I can understand if you requested the shops yourself knowing you had a long drive and were willing to do it for your business but in this case they asked you so they should be paying for your distance time and expenses. They could not find someone closer. And they were evidently totally prepared to pay for your expenses. For three days that would include your need to eat and sleep at a minimum of a decent place, not the back seat of the car. On top of that you should add in some amount for having to rush out to do these at their requests. I think you will find that this fee is fair and the one you thought of quoting is actually not fair to you. Keep in mind the entire time that they asked you. They needed this done and valued your time to do it at this rate. You did them a big favor and now you are reaping the reward. I am pretty sure they are not sitting there thinking you charged too much. Just be happy and proud they valued you enough to pay you this much knowing they would get their deadline met with great reports.
Cease, you are a much better person than I am. I had that happen with a gas station shop where the bonus amount was equal to the amount I requested with a bonus. I just smiled and felt good. I think you should just smile and feel good. smiling smiley

*****************************************************************************
A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.

Zen Shin Talks
You are not gouging the MSC. Let's assume the 3 shops are close to each other and a 320 round trip is involved. That's travel costs of $160, based on $.50 per mile. Your income is $225 plus the fees. Let me guess it is $20 a shop. Total income $285, less $160 =$125 for an 8 hour day. You deserve more, in my opinion.
I have had the same miscommunication. If they agreed and posted the pay, it's not a problem. I guess you're prepared if they contact you and say, "Heyyyy, about that." Otherwise, it's the pay you earned.

The money doesn't come out of the scheduler's pocket. I imagine that if you did write, they'd be confused and just tell you the pay was already approved. No doubt the company makes money off the client overall and appreciates you getting the work done to finish it out.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/2019 08:21PM by 1cent.
We are all bargaining/negotiating for better pay and bonus. You just did that with the exception that you didn't intend to. You deserve it. Do not feel guilty about it. It's 3 days of hard work and it's obvious that they couldn't find anybody to do it.
cease, undoubtedly you are worth ten times that much! However, in order for you to have the peace from making it "right", why not send a little message? Thank them! Express pleasure and gratitude for an amount that was not what you initially expected. There might not be anything wrong with what happened, but you are the sort (I think?) of person who will want to make the transaction complete. A little message of thanks will up the loose end of the unexpected amount of money. Then, it is completed in your soul.

It does not require you to request anything. It allows them to look at the situation. If they intended this, it would be excellent for them to tell you that they value you this much. They might tell you how great you are! If they did not intend this, they save face and are free to figure out something for the future.

Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer as a fire opal carries the color of moon rise. - Gladys Taber


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2019 10:43AM by Shop-et-al.
not with Maritz but with a different MSP I had the same thing happen asked for an amount to do said needed done shops and was approved. Look at shop log and instead of amount requested being the total pay the amount requested was just the bonus plus initial fee so I gained the fee on 3 shops on top. Ex not actual amounts requested $100 shop pay initial fee was $25. Given shop for $125 ($25 fee plus $100 Bonus). Smiled did shops and said nothing. These companies are not losing money on any shop just would not make as much. So no skin off my back.

OP food for thought if you buy something at a store that you expect to pay $495 for and it rings up as $450 are you going to say hey that rang up wrong it was supposed to be $50 more. Of course not.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
Buffalo, actually, yes, I would say something. Probably, "Oh, was that on sale?"

A teller at a bank once gave me one hundred dollar bill too many. When I got home and counted, and realized what happened -- new bills, and they stuck together -- I called the bank and spoke to her. She said, "Huh. I don't make mistakes." and slammed the phone down.

She got fired that night, because her drawer was short $100.

I took the $100 back into the bank the next morning; that's how I found out she was fired.

Frankly, I thought she should be fired for the way she spoke to me.

smiling smiley
Buffalo, I would have let them know about the price diff too. After an awful hotel night full of noise and backed up toilet they told me they were comping the room. My family of four had already eaten the free extensive buffet breakfast so I talked them into charging me for that since my room was free and i felt bad. When I got home and thought about it I hit myself on the head.Duh.
Cease, you are definitely worth the money, and obviously your scheduler thinks so also. It is not gouging. If they didn't think it was a reasonable amout they would have countered or said no.
Cease, *IF* this is a Maritz shop, remember, they are a dinosaur MSC, that is not in the current age of technology. If you ask them to rearrange all the figures in their system to what you thought it was going to be, they just may blow a fuse!!! It might mess up all their accounting. Just a thought.
I have refrained from answering so far. My take on your original posting is that if you were agreeing to drive over a 1,000 miles (it actually seems like it could be more) for a total of $75, then you are way underpricing yourself. The IRS rate (gas, depreciation, repairs, etc.) is $0.58 per mile, so that would be $580 right there. Plus driving 1,000 miles would probably take about 20 hours including stops. So, how much would you be making per hour? $750 - $580 = $170. $170 for 20 hours is $8 per hour and you still have to get ready for the shops and then complete them. They are getting a bargain at $750 total.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
Take the money. You didn't cheat anyone. The expense was worth it to her, if only for the RELIEF that the jobs would get done by a reliable worker.
Shop-et is pretty much on the money. Confirm it with them and say thanks for the opportunity. I wouldn't say I understood that it was a lesser amount since contracts are based on a mutual understanding. As far as tehy know it IS mutual.
Nothing unethical going on. Her question was how much (bonus) do you want. She heard you ask for a $75 bonus per location. She approved the bonus per how she asked the question.

I hate it when I ask for a bonus, and the scheduler trys to negotiate by stating the same number as the total fee. Your scheduler was keeping it short and simple.

My posts are solely based on my opinions and for my entertainment, contact a professional if you need real advice.

When you get in debt you become a slave. - Andrew Jackson
Right. I would even add that it’s unethical to negotiate down from an agreed price. Our work is so often undervalued as it is.

Not a thought directly related to your comment but it’s been on my mind.

@isaiah58 wrote:

Nothing unethical going on. Her question was how much (bonus) do you want. She heard you ask for a $75 bonus per location. She approved the bonus per how she asked the question.

I hate it when I ask for a bonus, and the scheduler trys to negotiate by stating the same number as the total fee. Your scheduler was keeping it short and simple.
@ceasesmith wrote:

Ah, but if the misunderstanding went the other way, I would call and say "Hey, you shorted me on this -- I said $75 per shop, not $35!"

If I would have called if they shorted me, to me, that means I should call and tell them there was a misunderstanding.

Just like if a cashier gives me too much change, I give the excess back to her. No ifs, ands, or buts about it!

Daddy always taught me, "Do the right thing, even if no one is watching".
So call her. She'll probably decide that it's too much trouble to change it and give you the $75 bonus anyway. I had something similar happen with Ipsos and the scheduler said the amount was fine.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

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

Buffalo, actually, yes, I would say something. Probably, "Oh, was that on sale?"

A teller at a bank once gave me one hundred dollar bill too many. When I got home and counted, and realized what happened -- new bills, and they stuck together -- I called the bank and spoke to her. She said, "Huh. I don't make mistakes." and slammed the phone down.

She got fired that night, because her drawer was short $100.

I took the $100 back into the bank the next morning; that's how I found out she was fired.

Frankly, I thought she should be fired for the way she spoke to me.

smiling smiley

These are different situations though. In those situations there was a specific dollar amount involved. A better analogy would be negotiating to buy a new car. Let's say you go in and tell the dealer you'll give them $15,400 for the car. They say yes, we would gladly sell you the car for $14,500 and start writing up the paperwork. Are you gonna say NO I WANNA PAY $900 MORE! or are you gonna think, hrm, my offer was obviously high to begin with.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
bgriffin...apples and oranges. Or bananas and grapefruit. I would NEVER say "I'll pay $l5,400" -- I would go in and say "What's your best price on that beat up old second hand SUV?"

LOL
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login