Last night, after hours for most msc especially since I am in the Pacific time zone, I started a report due in the middle of the night. I input the date of the shop at the top of the report and up popped a bright red warning telling me I did the shop on a black out day. My heart sank. This was a long involved report with about 90% no answers. I already felt bad enough doing the report as the server had been a nice guy. clueless in serving etiquette, but nice. I had checked those black out dates before applying and my date was not listed I thought but looking at the guidelines last night I noticed the dates were not stand alone as i remembered but dates with a dash to another date in the future. Had I misread the black out dates? The open window for the shop was 10/2-10/8 when I applied with none of the dates listed as blackout as I recall. But there in the guidelines last night there was my date. I was accepted and approved for the date I chose weeks ago and reminded several times by email.
It had been an unfinished meal as after two hours I had still not gotten a refill I wanted but I left anyway. Now I had a long report about no, no, no ahead of me. Would I be paid? Should I bother with the report? I shot off an email hoping someone on the east coast would read it at 1 AM there. No luck.
So I entered that horrible list of the no answers and sent the report in hoping they would take pity on me and accept the report done on a black out date due to my track record. Well this morning I heard that the list of black out dates was not for me but because of me as I had a shop in that window. Must have been a glitch in the computer program not being aware that my shop date was the one that triggered the black out date list.
All good in the end but it caused me a lot of anguish along the way.
Other stories to make you feel better getting off your chest? Warnings to others, help advice, good endings???
Congratulations! You are Human! We all try to be diligent to do our shops where and when and as contracted. It is extraordinarily painful to think that somehow you missed something, and for that pain I send you condolences. I'm glad it worked out and sorry you had to go through it.
We only can do the best we can and sometimes sh*t happens. When it does, you need to push forward--as you did. The MSC won't know it, recognize it or applaud you for it, even though it was their error that has caused you pain, so let me give you a round of applause, if for nothing else than caring enough to feel badly.
By the way. Be careful with a company named CONSUMER IMPRESSIONS. I filled out an application back in March. I have contacted them repeatedly because my application in still "PENDING". I have emailed and not gotten a response. Can you spell SCAM?
Blackout dates that are described in this shop are spacers--that means the msc wants to avoid overlapping mystery shops at the same location. One MSC I work with will keep a running list of who is shopped at a particular msc to avoid having the same employee shopped more than once is another example.
Yikes! I still don't understand why your shop date "triggered" a black out date list, but I'm glad it worked out.
I think it is because they need to have shops spread out with a certain number of days between them. so once I accepted a shop for 10/7 evidently that made 10/5 thru 10/8 black out dates for other shops still on the boards at that same location. It was a restaurant with lunch, dinner, age verification and pick up shops. If someone applied for one of those other shops they would not be allowed to choose the same or close to dates that I was doing the shop. I assume if things worked correctly my shop date would not be flagged as I evidently was the first one to chose a date from that window so my shop was good.
The real reason for my thread, although I feel for all of you who wrote about other issues, was for issues specifically with shops performed or reported after hours and what to do if you run into an issue and everyone who can help you is already asleep or home from work already and no one will get back to you til morning.
So issues which crop up after hours but need to be clarified or handled right away please for this thread. Thanks.
Unfortunately there is just not a whole lot you can do if you have an issue before, during or after a shop if it occurs at a time when the MSC is closed and/or the scheduler is not online. You just have to use your best judgment.
I would have freaked out too if I had gotten that message. I don't remember any similar experiences, other than something like forgetting to order a desert or losing a receipt. In those cases I just use my best judgement and explain the issue in a comments section. I would rather submit a report that gets rejected than not submit a report at all. Then they know I didn't just flake. A few times I've been surprised and they accepted a report even though I made a dumb mistake.