Are you cancelling?

It blows my mind that we will get penalized for cancelling restaurant shops. I have three scheduled for this month that I do not want to complete. If this lowers my ranking with a MSC, so be it.

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@MFJohnston wrote:

Living in King County, WA..... Things are largely shutting down here out of necessity. However, to what degree I would suggest that a better approach is to only conduct shops where you can maintain proper safety protocols. Clearly, conducting phone and internet shops will not be an issue... Gas stations should be fine - just stay six feet away from folks, such as the cashier/attendant. Car washes should be okay... Refuse to shake hands if offered.... Keep a bit more distance between yourselves... Wash and sanitize hands....

I think that's the overall point; Conduct only shops that can be done without endangering the safety of others.

I'm not saying to stop MSing entirely, but a large component of shopping does involve interpersonal interaction. I would think it's safe to say that all nursing home, dining, grocery and hotel shops should be cancelled, but probably movie theaters, housing, airport, transit, etc. as well.

The issue with phone shops is that many businesses are being barraged by phone calls right now, so what are really measuring with a phone call? The results won't be beneficial to the client unless they are testing how the staff respond under stress...

I understand that many rely on MSing to pay their bills. I have been one of those in the past, but the very mistake I suggest is being made, is not looking at the bigger picture; A few weeks without shopping will probably not break the majority of shoppers, and could make a difference. The absolute lack of leadership from the MSCs is what bothers me most. They could contact us, offer to expedite pay for those who may need it, at a minimum explain their policy and why they are continuing to do business.

Here in L.A. they are announcing plans to keep renters from being evicted for non-payment. Utility companies are assuring that utilities will not be interrupted for non-payment. Banks are offering to wave interest and monthly payments. If everyone does their part, we can avoid panic and work together to make sure everyone is as healthy and as well taken care of as possible!
Any company that penalizes shoppers for canceling during this pandemic may lose a lot of employees.
I wouldn't cancel - yet.
Things are moving quickly. Those restaurants could be forced to shut down by your governor in the next couple of days... Our governor is going to announce tomorrow that he's doing just that.... If the restaurants are closed, you will retain favor with the MSC.... If not, you can drop them at the last minute. If the MSC doesn't like it, perhaps its not an MSC worth sticking with.

@Niner wrote:

It blows my mind that we will get penalized for cancelling restaurant shops. I have three scheduled for this month that I do not want to complete. If this lowers my ranking with a MSC, so be it.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I would also question why many clients want to be shopped during this mess.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.

I emailed Marketforce about restaurants here being closed indefinitely and made reference to an upcoming April shop. They emailed me back to submit it as closed. I was just emailing them to let them know the situation since they have so many restaurant shops on the board in Ohio, and many of them are dine-in. I didn't need instructions on what to do, LOL.

Perhaps, however, uou could assign a handful just for the close pay.
For now I am not cancelling but I am limiting my shops to places that do not have a large gathering of people. I only work part time anyhow but we will need whatever we can get now. My husband is self-employed in the construction industry. We know we are in for a struggle for the next couple of months, but we are trying to soften the impact for our teen and pre-teen.
UPDATE in Los Angeles, CA: Mayor Garcetti has just said gyms and fitness centers must be closed from tonight at midnight (3/15) through 3/31 unless further noted. Bars, wineries, and pubs are closed. Dang! I didn't have to cancel my gyms. Oh well...
I asked that my bank teller shops be moved from Thursday to Tuesday. No response yet. I have 2 upcoming Wawa shops that I will complete and that will be it - too many people visit convenience stores. I may continue bank shops since there are few people in them and all have genuine hand sanitizers everywhere. The supermarket shops have been canceled by MSCs. Not sure what, if anything else I will continue to do.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
From CNN:
Pence to announce new guidelines: US Vice President Pence said new guidelines will be released Monday regarding potential curfews or closures of locations such as restaurants.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
@SteveSoCal wrote:

@shoptastic wrote:

Yeah, I wouldn't go so far as to say irresponsible. I don't know what's in their hearts.

I don't think social responsibility comes from the heart, though. I feel like it's just poor leadership when you allow schedulers to keep pushing for assignments to be filled. That's logic. It's their heads that are in the wrong place.

To me, the lack of communication from MSC leadership demonstrates a specific lack of responsibility.

Restaurant clients that I shop are emailing me about the protocols they are setting in place. I should not have to inform a MSC that their client has voluntarily shut down service....

Yeah, I think part of my thought process was that maybe some of these MSC leaders are clueless.

I say that because I WAS myself until very recently. I don't know if it was hearing it's just like the flu (for which we have a vaccine) or what, but I didn't take it as seriously as I should have.

I do wonder how many people know the facts about COVID19 and what's coming at us pretty soon (if we don't stop it). I can imagine both:

a.) an MSC owner/leader being on the ignorant side of things and not taking the virus seriously
b.) .....being an irresponsible, greedy business person

I can't see into their hearts to know what they're thinking, so I won't judge them on a broad level. However, there might be one MSC who I think is sending out questionable emails. I don't get many, since I blocked them from emailing me recently. I only take emails from a small handful.

I do think it'd be good for MSCs to communicate expectations about the risks of shopping and reminding us to be safe if we do go out to work for them. I agree that the MSCs should know about clients shutting down service or drastically changing it and how that affects shops.

Have you seen any warnings from MSCs so far? Have they brought up COVID19 at all?
^^^And, I say all that still PERSONALLY PREFERRING that we, as a nation, just go into lockdown.

*sigh* I'm not seeing that type of response. But, I wish we did do that. To me, health and safety are more important than profits.

If we still have shopping projects, the next best thing is to just try to talk to as many people as possible about safety. Hopefully, that also reduces case growths.
@shoptastic wrote:

Have you seen any warnings from MSCs so far? Have they brought up COVID19 at all?

I have not seen a single email from an MSC regarding warnings or protocol. There was one email that came because a specific client requested them to cancel all shops, and that came from scheduling. It was only sent to shoppers with shops scheduled for that client.

I would have liked to see an email from the owner. Simply advising people to stay safe. If my gym, the restaurants I am on email lists for, all hotel companies and such can do that...Why can't the MSC owners?

I don't believe they are greedy...just followers. Not leaders.
I've seen some warnings... MarketForce has one as an "announcement" that can be seen when you sign in.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I did end up cancelling a MF shop today. It was a dine in at a fast food restaurant and I chickened (excuse the pun) out. I did apologise but hopefully the MSC's will be more understanding than usual.
@tstewart3 wrote:

You can make your own hand sanitizer: 1 part Aloe gel to 3 parts rubbing alcohol, at least 70%. You can add fragrance with either tea tree oil or essential oils.

...IF you can find the rubbing alcohol....
A department store shop I had scheduled with Market Force for March 29 has been removed from my schedule. I am just east of New York City. I suspect we are going into full lockdown soon.
Countdown to the meltdown

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I decided over the weekend to cancel a BJ's Brewhouse restaurant dine-in job. It was for reimbursement only, no shopper fee given. I can prepare a good meal at home and stay safe at the same time.
My governor just said anyone over 65 needs to stay indoors. I am 66 so I have been canceling my shops this morning.
I have just canceled a lunch shop for Saturday and have a really nice lunch at Capital grille in a few weeks and I probably will cancel that one as well.

This evening I have a take out at an Italian restaurant and will do that one,
I had dinner at a nice restaurant last night and the patio was full but only 3 tables occupied inside,
Thankfully, I have enough food for the next month except for fresh food.
I am supposed to babysit my grandchildren ( 10 and 12) and not sure that I should do so. They are old enough to stay alone but my kids are not comfortable letting them stay alone. I was babysitting others at age 12 but it was a different world then.
All EPMS onsite shops are put on hold... I received the email this morning.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
@shoptastic wrote:

Nonetheless, for those of us who can afford to not shop, do consider helping society by limiting human contact during this time. And for those who must shop, stay safe and do call (before showing up) your local doctor/urgent care center if symptoms develop.

Just a quick correction to my post. One should call (before showing up to) a doctor or urgent care IF the symptoms are mild. Certainly, if you're having trouble breathing and feeling weak, you need to go ASAP or have someone take you - probably to the E.R. in that case.

Health officials are just worried that people who don't have COVID19 get nervous and start showing up (to their doctor, urgent care center, and E.R.s) and overwhelming health centers. That's why they say CALL FIRST (if just mild and not possibly life-threatening), so as to:

a.) avoid swamping them
b.) avoid going when actually healthy and getting the COVID19 yourself from sitting in the waiting rooms (which is why drive-thru is hopefully setting up soon for testing)

IF symptoms are very bad (e.g., can barely breathe), though, I wouldn't worry about calling first. I'd just go to the E.R.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/16/2020 01:50PM by shoptastic.
I've seen several communications from MSCs about coronavirus safety. In addition to the notice on Market Force's home page, I've gotten emails from EyeSpy, ipsos, and Customer Impact. I think there have been a couple of others but I can't remember offhand.
Canceled my 99 Cents and Food4Less shops today. Even with the California home isolation just not worth the hassle with the crowds.
I just canceled all my bar compliance shops. CA shut down all bars. I'm thinking about canceling my Ralph's grocery shops. Ralph's is so crowded right now with people hoarding stuff. It'll be near impossible to find an employee to ask the dumb questions.
Hi all,

Customer Impact is staying in touch with the shoppers. Today & tomorrow will be pivotal as states continue to issue guidance around closing locations.

In addition, we are reaching out personally to every customer to understand their plans moving forward. Anyone who is currently scheduled a mystery shop with Customer Impact that would like to cancel because they would rather not complete it due to the Coronavirus can cancel without penalty or question. Your safety is more important than getting a shop in this week.

The only way we get through this is as a team. We'll continue to update active shoppers in our database or reach out to any individuals who currently have assignments that may be affected.

If you have any questions as it pertains to Customer Impact programs, please don't hesitate to email me at

Daniel Price
Chief Operating Officer
Customer Impact, LLC.
Even if you didn't want or need to necessarily cancel, now comes the fact that clients are canceling and postponing shops themselves. So your normal route that would net y income is now worth p income. Unless the assignment is close to home and is theoretically still doable it may no longer be feasible to even run the route at this time. Filler assignments are dropping like flies. I have shops scheduled 20 minutes away from where known confirmed cases are. How close is too close?
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