Irresponsible MSCs during Coronavirus....

Rather than attempting to squeeze shoppers bone dry, it would be nice to see MSCs send their loyal shoppers a bonus. Not a bonus attached to a shop, but a separate one for dedication and hard work. MSCs, if there is a time to show that you value us, this is it.

@SteveSoCal wrote:

@roxy1 wrote:

Are those companies (who are also making sure millions of people still have income) shameful too???

How are those two things even related?

One is people knowingly agreeing to put themselves in harms way to make sure we can keep some semblance of a normal lifestyle during this crisis. The other is a company paying people sub-standard wages to put themselves in harms way, with no apparent usable results, and possibly not get paid, presumably because they are just not fully aware of the seriousness of the situation.

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Isn't asking for a bonus, at this time, trying to squeeze MSCs bone dry?

Shops have dwindled, or dried up. I've gotten numerous emails from MSCs regarding Covid19 and shopping. They have been forthcoming and realize we're all in this together. I've also gotten personal emails from schedulers I've worked with for a long time. One of them recalled a favorite gone-wrong shop experience we had. They advised me that their positions have been eliminated and thanked me for my work. Their emails mean more to me than money.

The harsh reality is that many MSCs and scheduling companies may be closing their doors. Whether it's temporary or permanent remains to be seen.
Just got an email, from the MS shopping airport shops, $10 for JFK, not even offering a bonus! It is a targeted shop and they will provide a headshot of whom they want shopeed!
No, not at all. There are definitely MSCs that can well afford to fork over a bonus. It's called doing the right thing! They should do this for their schedulers and editors too.

@Mert wrote:

Isn't asking for a bonus, at this time, trying to squeeze MSCs bone dry?
@Mert I've received varying reactions from MSC's, but agreed that there is a harsh reality, and the landscape will most likely change in most industries.

One thing I have noted in general from businesses (not necessarily from MSC's) is a generous spirit in the support outreach. Banks offering to waive fees, delivery services offering to waive commissions, grocery stores setting aside hours for the vulnerable customers, etc.. Many businesses in the L.A. area are continuing to pay employees that are not working as well.

And the public. People are being polite. More caring. Once the panic wears off and the mass realization that we are all in this together sets in, you see a specific attitude shift.

It specifically struck me yesterday because I found myself in the store carrying a heavy box, and at least 10 people (both customers and employees) offered to help me. That's unusual for my neighborhood. Truth be told, I was mainly carting the heavy box around the store in my arms because I have no gym access, but was struck with a sense of deja vu from the uncommon kindness I saw around me, and realized I had been in that very store collecting supplies after the Northridge earthquake, 26 years ago, and experienced the same thing!

That particular disaster was localized, but the reactions from people and businesses are quite similar. Worldwide this time. It's comforting to the pessimist in me....and this is my take on it; I was a young adult at the time of that disaster and not really prepared for the changes it would bring about in my life, but in retrospect, and being slightly wiser now, I realize there was an equal & opposite reaction to almost everything negative that came from that experience. It changed my career path, my peer group, and my relationship with neighbors and family.

Perhaps there's a positive change that will rise from this chaos. There certainly are a few MSC's and programs that could use a bit of change....
What about the just received email about the shops with the coupon checking app. Hello, the store you want shopped announce yesterday that all its retail stores had closed!
Such as *cough* Coyle, for example?

@SteveSoCal wrote:

There certainly are a few MSC's and programs that could use a bit of change....
@MSF wrote:

Such as *cough* Coyle, for example?

@SteveSoCal wrote:

There certainly are a few MSC's and programs that could use a bit of change....

You said it...and please cough into your elbow!
@ceasesmith wrote:

I was in a rural area without cell coverage, so didn't receive the e-mail until I was back home.
There are still areas without cell coverage? That is a pandemic in itself.
There are many areas without cell phone coverage. It is usually due to one or two (or both) reasons 1)topography of the land and 2) low population. There is a region of Hockessin, DE without cell phone coverage. It is a wealthy area, and part of the reason is topography exacerbated by reason #3: not in my backyard - those with the money and political influence do not want the towers spoiling their view.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
@KateH wrote:

What about the just received email about the shops with the coupon checking app. Hello, the store you want shopped announce yesterday that all its retail stores had closed!

I just got that one too - the large Southern department store?

I'm also shocked to see Kroger shops on the board. In times like these, only a moron would be asking the over-worked produce guy how to choose an avocado. That's assuming they even have avocados at the moment.
I looked at the job board about an hour ago and there were A LOT of JIB shops listed. Now they are all gone. I’m relatively new to this MS world but I’m kinda surprised, to be honest. I thought they were going to keep sending out emails acting like it was business as usual.
JIB Shops: There are usually a tremendous number in my area... Right now there are two within 100 miles of me. This tells me that they program has not been completely cut. I wonder if shoppers, needing the work with many other things being canceled, have scooped them up en mass? The MSC also has nine other shops within 100 miles of me listed on the board.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
None of these shops that I read about in this forum can be done in Massachusetts. No airport, restaurants, bars, Costco food samplers, my town is like a ghost town.
Were shoppers employees, I would agree with Steve; as they are not, I agree with Pete. No scheduler or MSC rep has ever attempted to coerce me into accepting work. If any shopper is of the opinion that an MSC is conducting their business in an irresponsible and/or unacceptable manner and that such conduct is reprehensible, they have merely to deactivate their account.

One of the aspects of life to which I adhere, are the adages of olden days. My grandmother frequently uttered the following to me: "If you don't like my peaches, then don't shake my tree."
@shopperbob wrote:

If any shopper is of the opinion that an MSC is conducting their business in an irresponsible and/or unacceptable manner and that such conduct is reprehensible, they have merely to deactivate their account."

That said, I have no issue personally saying "no" to schedulers contacting me...but what are we all here for? Isn't this forum the support group for a group of IC's that would otherwise be operating in a vacuum with no peers to relate to?

If we take the "To each his/her own" approach, then why warn others about companies that don't pay, or notoriously problematic assignments?

In the same manner that I will gladly take the initiative to call out non-paying MSC's, even when I choose not to work for them, I think it's fair to state my opinion that nobody should be out interacting with the public outside of what's absolutely necessary right now...and just like the delayed payment MSC issues, I state it because I may be privy to information that schedulers and MSC are apparently not aware of.

If I can stop one person from being infected, and then infecting others, by obnoxiously and repeatedly posting my opinion here, I will gladly take the heat for that...
All banks in NYS have drive through only. Saw a bunch of NY bank shops yesterday and the scheduler got pissy with me when I pointed out that one couldn't shop a banker in NYS. All restaurants , bars, bowling alleys, schools, colleges , malls are closed in New York State. Have been. But I keep seeing shops for NYS for carpet cleaning, gas stations, prepaid cards, and lots of other things that we, as human beings, shouldn't be doing. Shame on the MS companies that don't care about anything but money.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2020 06:48PM by buteos.
Yeah...the money grab is not coming across well in a time when we are facing a worldwide pandemic.

I'm not seeing that attitude from any other businesses. They are taking the "We're all in this together" tactic for the most part.
@MFJohnston wrote:

JIB Shops: There are usually a tremendous number in my area... Right now there are two within 100 miles of me. This tells me that they program has not been completely cut. I wonder if shoppers, needing the work with many other things being canceled, have scooped them up en mass? The MSC also has nine other shops within 100 miles of me listed on the board.

You could be right about them being scooped up. That didn't even occur to me...
I don't get why Trendsource still is continuing its grocery shop mystery shops. The grocery store employees are all so overworked. The last thing they need is for us to ask them stupid questions.
Things are closing down at different rates in different places. Nobody should be getting "pissy" with you for not taking a shop at all.

I can't speak for every scheduling company or MSC right now, but I am down to 3 restaurant shops that are allowing take out, and then the rest are grocery stores.

The restaurants, as long as they are open and following the local bans and laws at the moment, I see no issue asking shoppers if they want to go. If they do, great. If not, well hopefully we'll see you back when you feel more comfortable.

The grocery stores, same thing. But what strikes me on shoppers complaining about these is that people still need groceries. People will still be going there. We're not trying to force you to go out somewhere you wouldn't already be going (not ever trying to force you to do anything anyway). If you are not heading to that store, no worries. If you are, why not get the pay and reimbursement offered, especially when it is very likely you will be out of work soon?

I'm perfectly fine with everyone's opinions. To be called shameful, or some of the other things I've been called, for trying to do my job and help support the business as a whole that is about to take a huge hit, is just not fair in my opinion. Especially when no laws are being broken, and the shops remaining are complying with the health department.

From here, I'll graciously back out of this discussion.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2020 08:27PM by KSSPete.
I don't feel comfortable evaluating grocery stores and their employees given the situation right now. I talked to a few grocery store employees and they have been working long hours with almost no breaks. I refuse to waste their time by asking dumb questions. That time could be better used to help other guests and restock the store. The stores are all crowded and out of stock everything. It doesn't feel right to penalize them for out of stock issues and cleanliness issues as a result of the crowds.
I am with azncollege on the grocery store shops. There's no way for the store to be in compliance. I'm also not comfortable asking stupid questions that are currently irrelevant.

And just in case it's not the same everywhere; I went to a currently-being-shopped grocery store in L.A. today. I waited in line outside for my turn, in the rain, trying to keep a 6-foot distance from all others. The floor was littered with boxes and customers were taking the products right from the box. Most items were not available on the shelves, since employees didn't even have time to stock the shelves. I couldn't tell you if anyone was smiling, since they all had face masks on.

Now if there was a shop that gathered information about:

-Did the security staff keep the number of customers to less than 50 at all times?
-Were signs present informing customers that the restrooms were temporarily for employee use only.
-Were you offered hand sanitizer?
-Were sanitizing wipes available for carts?
-Were the 2 items per household limits enforced?

I would take that shop and the store would have scored 100%. Just replace the 'underneath the cart' item with trying to buy three of something and I'm down. That's useful information for the client to have...
It's not out of worry for ourselves, most of us (likely) feel that it's not fair to the stores and their employees. None of us like to give negative reports for issues that are out of the store's control.

@KSSPete wrote:

The grocery stores, same thing. But what strikes me on shoppers complaining about these is that people still need groceries. People will still be going there. We're not trying to force you to go out somewhere you wouldn't already be going (not ever trying to force you to do anything anyway). If you are not heading to that store, no worries. If you are, why not get the pay and reimbursement offered, especially when it is very likely you will be out of work soon?
@KSSPete
The Kroger grocery shops are extremely specific as to what kind of questions have to be asked.
They are “air-head” questions that would be completely inappropriate right now. Example, “ What kind of marinade do you think goes well with fresh chicken breasts?” How is anybody going to ask that of an employee, if they even can find an employee, when the meat case is completely empty?

I took my lunch break at Target because a team member told me that they’d be getting a dry truck in yesterday. No doubt the team members that stock there work 12 hour days right now. I said, “Well, at least no FIFO today.” (First in first out / rotation of stock joke, since there is no stock to rotate.)
I wish I could post photos of the empty shelves in the stores I have been in over the past week doing merchandising visits and Unilever Audits. Empty shelves everywhere, rude customers, store associates stocking as fast as they can only to have customers stockpiling their carts full as quickly as the product hits the shelves, long lines at the registers...totally unfair to shop them.
I can understand that. I'm sure these clients know that these aren't normal times, and that some of the info will be useless. The ones I'm doing took away the required interactions for now.
My MSC's are not penalizing people. Those with available shops only request that shoppers who schedule something provide as much notice as possible if they need to cancel their assignments. This way, available shops can be re-assigned and no one is pressured to act in a way that is personally uncomfortable or forbidden by local conditions. This is reasonable.

Here, one store is attempting to enforce fair opportunity or fair distribution. They are cordoning off specific aisles so that employees can hand a designated amount of product to customers. Another store is providing designated times for senior citizens to shop. (This is not so much about a mystery shop as looking out for the peeps. I have another set of kudos for a candidate who has chosen to act in kindness instead of campaigning. They are looking out for their peeps. If I lived in their area, I would vote for this very decent person who risks the vote tally value of name recognition along with photo and propaganda ops in favor of being useful and supportive where they can.)

As I slowly grow wise I grow briskly cautious. - Mark Twain
@DonRoon wrote:

I looked at the job board about an hour ago and there were A LOT of JIB shops listed. Now they are all gone. I’m relatively new to this MS world but I’m kinda surprised, to be honest. I thought they were going to keep sending out emails acting like it was business as usual.

Unless someone took the whole state, I think they pulled them.
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