Closed shops -- NO payment??

What is the general rule of thumb for closed shops. Should we as shoppers still get paid for making the effort to perform the shop? It's not our fault after all if the business is closed down. And do they not keep records of whose closed down before having the shops on the board?

I performed a shop on 7/2/2019. Nowhere in the guidelines did it say I needed to call prior to going. I got to the shop to find that the business was closed down and from the looks of it recently closed down. They still had all their stuff in there, the signs up and everything. Anyways I took a few pictures and emailed customer service and I was told to still submit my report and that I would be paid because it wasn't my fault. So I did just that.

Yesterday, 2/4/2019 I realized the shop was gone from my pending shops to be approved and was not under payments with no email or anything! so I emailed customer service yet again and got a different person who said that I should have called first and will not get paid for my attempt. What???

The guidelines did NOT say I had to call. I responded back to her today with that and also the response I received from the first person and also CC'ed them on the email. No response yet.

Is this fair?? I don't think that's right. That means we would have to call EVERY single place before we did every shop. I don't do this unless the guidelines specifically say to call or unless I have a genuine question. I really hope I get paid. Even if its half for my time. That place was not close to my house. What are your thoughts??

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That's a risk that we take as shoppers. Some MSCs offer a "go fee" if the location is closed or the shop cannot be performed. Others don't.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Unless the possibility of a closed location is specifically addressed in the guidelines or shop description before I do the shop, then I assume the worst. When the MSC provides at least some type of compensation, then I am more likely to work with that MSC in the future.

On the matter of calling ahead, even that has questionable value. What if no one answers or I cannot find a working number? Do I automatically assume the place is closed down and cancel the shop? I'm pretty sure I would eventually get tagged as a flake, because in many if not most most instances the location would really be in business. I suppose I would have to play email tag with the schedulers in those instances, eating up my time and theirs and probably accomplishing very little. More efficient for me to just go the locations, eat a few closed shop losses, and increase my fees for those MSCs that don't compensate.
Yea that sucks. This is the first time I have ever had this issue. In the past when I had closed shops I was paid even if it wasn't the entire amount. This is the first time I had this issue with this MSC. I agree, what if there is simply no answer? Should I not complete my shop? The idea of just driving there and hoping they are open and eating up a bunch of closed shop losses doesn't sit well with me. Gas isn't free. I don't know. I'm questioning this MSC ethic's at this point.

In addition to this, how is it that the first person I spoke to say I will get paid and the second person say I won't? Are they not on the same page? I'm going to fight this.
IMO, if you were told you would be paid by anyone at the MSC, they should follow through, no matter what the 2nd person told you. As far as closed shops in the future, it depends on the MSC and what they have in their guidelines. If there is nothing in the guidelines about a "go fee" (which is often 1/2 of the original fee), then you stand a good chance of not getting paid. It's happened to me before.
@JASFLALMT I see! I'll definitely keep that in mind from now on, thank you!

And yes that's what I was thinking. Otherwise I wouldn't have gone through the headache of entering the report. I'm definitely going to fight it. I'll be happy with half of the money.
So these are the last 2 emails I received. I don't know what to do at this point. They refuse to pay me even though I was told in writing I would be paid. She also is saying that their closed location policy is listed there but I have never seen it. I think this is just wrong. It was a pretty far drive. Do I just take it as a loss or is there something more I can do?

Hello,

Thank you for your email. We appreciate you attempting the shop, but we don’t pay for shop attempts, only completed shops. This is explained in our shopper agreement and I have pulled the verbiage from the contract, which is below. If you are ever unclear on any shop instruction, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know. Thank you again for your time, understanding and professionalism.

Hello,

Correct; he gave you the wrong information. Please refer to the agreement you signed with our company before accepting shops, which details our closed location policy.
Kristy,

Once their representative stated you would be paid, the verbiage of the contract was, in my opinion, irrelevant. Had, though, you not been told payment was forthcoming, then, again in my opinion, you would have had no expectation of receiving any money. Knowing how I think, were I the owner of a company, I would have honored the rep's statement, BUT, assured you it was a one time situation and that in the future the contract would be literally applied.
@shopperbob This is how I feel. I feel as though because I was told by a different rep and had it in writing, they should just honor it. But she clearly does not care. I mean what more can I say??
Are you comfortable sharing the MSC? I am rethinking working for a company that would not honor what you were told in writing.
So you looked over the ICA? I mean, so many of us skim those before signing them (like me) instead of actually reading them in full. But going back over it now, if it's in writing, you might have a problem getting anywhere with this one. It sucks you had to drive so far for nothing. Maybe if you can find some contact information from someone at the company a little higher up you might get some results, but hopefully the person who told you that you should get paid will not get reprimanded or worse for giving you false information. Just curious, how much money are we talking about here?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2019 03:29PM by JASFLALMT.
@Equine24 I don't mind at all as I am rethinking working with them also. The platform is iSecret Shop and the MSC is 360 intel.
@JASFLALMT Honestly no I didn't. I'm sure when I signed up years ago I just skimmed through it. I've just never had an issue because all of their shops are always open. And anytime I've had this issue the other companies would pay me but it wasn't this company. I'm guessing that's the problem.

I guess I am partly at fault but as @shopperbob stated they could have at least honored it one time because of the false information I was given. Just like their ICA is in writing, so was the false information I received PRIOR to filling out the report. So now I wasted time driving, taking pictures, and filling out a report for no reason.

It was only $17 but hey money is money and it was like a 30 minute drive. I actually called the guy who gave me the wrong information to see if he can help, still waiting for a call back.
When I said "like me" I meant that I too skim over them and don't read them in full. I just looked at my post and realized that wasn't clear.

I agree that money is money, you did spend a lot of time driving, taking photos, etc. I just am not sure that you are going to get anywhere now that I know it was in the ICA.

I don't do shops for 360 Intel because they have such low fees. When they were Goodwin they had some shops that paid better but since they made the change the fee schedule has gone downhill.

I hope it works out for you!
@JASFLALMT Definitely! Thanks for helping. I thought $17 was pretty good lol. I guess I'm still at the low end of the totem pole lol..
I generally do not drive far to a shop I do not know without checking it out first unless I will be in the area anyway. Far to me is in time, not in miles as i live in a big city. That said, if you call and no one answers you can try looking it up on yelp, If it is a place that has been reviewed a bit there is always someone who has the top review that says, "closed" or "out of business."
I do not consider even the half fees or especially the $3 go fee to be enough to get me out the door so I generally check anywhere new online first.
That said, I think every company should pay something if they advertise a shop that does not exist and assign it to you. And if they promised you pay they should. You have done a valuable favor for them by letting them know to take that location off next round of shops. Too many times I have notified a msc (for no pay because it is not worth it to me to go and take a pic for $3) that a place is gone and then I see it still there for months, sometimes lingering forever as all their local shoppers know already it is gone. The companies who do this need to clean up their act and consider a shopper a hero for discovering the issue with their postings and helping to overcome it.
@Equine24 wrote:

Are you comfortable sharing the MSC? I am rethinking working for a company that would not honor what you were told in writing.

I would think long and hard about working for a MSC with such a disclaimer for cover. And since you have not disclosed a client name, please share the MSN. Thanks.
@sandyf Such a great post Sandy, thank you. I agree with you 100%. I think it is wrong what they did but I guess it does not matter. I have been to this place before just not this location. So I didn't even think to call. But I know I need to if I even agree to continue working with this company.
Oh, $17 isn't bad if the shop is easy...but not for a 30-minute drive. I was referring to shops that only pay $10 or so. But when I started out (18+ years ago) I took shops that only paid $10-$15, regularly. I was willing to drive further back then, too. After all, I had to learn the business and "cut my teeth" so to speak. I slowly built my reputation with MSCs and schedulers so that I could eventually ask for more bonuses. It does take time to build a business.

@Kristylynnr wrote:

@JASFLALMT Definitely! Thanks for helping. I thought $17 was pretty good lol. I guess I'm still at the low end of the totem pole lol..
@JASFLALMT yes agreed. I have been MS consistently for about a year. I actually started in 2013 but stopped in 2014 and didn't start back up again until 2018. So I know I'm not there yet. I have some ways to go and I'm sure I will learn more along the way and learn how to work smarter.
A place closed only happened to me once. I just sent a picture of the sign in the front door. I got paid.
@shopper8 Was it for 360 intel? I believe some companies do pay, because I have gotten paid in the past too. Apparently 360 intel is not one of the ones who pay.
If I had been told I would be paid anyways *before* going to the location, I would be mad. If I was told that *after* the fact, I wouldn't care so much because the person telling me wrong didn't cause much harm.
@mystery2me It was after I already went. But it was prior to me filling out the report. So I wasted time filling out the report. Not just that but I still drove there. At that point its just ethics and bad business.
JASFLALMT states-- When they were Goodwin they had some shops that paid better but since they made the change the fee schedule has gone downhill.

Bob shares--In 2009, I accepted two jobs for Goodwin paying $25 each to take a couple of de-branding pics at separate motels near my store. For an unknown reason, I failed to spend a few minutes on researching the MSC, as I had never completed any work for them. Before the due date, I learned they were months behind with shopper's money and quickly canceled. The scheduler contacted me, explaining I would be immediately paid from, her words, a special fund; I did not bite. Folks, my position in love and business is not to even consider second chances.
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