IMSC President/Owner Needs To Go!

For those of us not in the know what is IMSC and who is this Pam? Part of the story seems to be missing. Thank you.

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IMSC is a company named the International Mystery Shopper's Coalition or something like that. Pam is the President (and owner?).

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
that's really unethical to keep payments from a cancelled conference while telling another company they have to refund payments no matter what the situation is.
I read the title of the thread and gelt obligated to brew a pot of coffee before opening it....I'm avoiding popcorn.

Nothing changes much with that situation. Prepare for 50% of the forum to arrive on the defense and this thread to devolve into chaos, then be deleted before the quarantine comes an end!
Wait. When did it become the IMSC's job to be judge and jury? [I do not own an MSC, cannot join, and do not have access to the bylaws.]

As I slowly grow wise I grow briskly cautious. - Mark Twain
Isn't it time to stick together and avoid that! Stay on course and let's do what needs to be done!
@SteveSoCal wrote:


Nothing changes much with that situation.

Indeed. Pam was thrown off another forum back around 2006 or 2007 for making trouble for other people and off of here shortly after she landed for the same kinds of reasons. Many folks on this forum came from Volition because they had had a belly full of her there. Do leopards change their spots? Is anyone truly surprised?
And yet with so many of us, we cannot do anything to get rid of her and her organization? C'mon people we can do better than that!
@Flash wrote:

Do leopards change their spots? Is anyone truly surprised?

I was thinking of the fable...is it The Scorpion & The Frog?

Who involved with the IMSC has not see that behavior since it's inception?
@SteveSoCal wrote:


Who involved with the IMSC has not see that behavior since it's inception?

Who watching Pam across forums over the years has not seen that behavior? As a shopper, as a tattle tale, and of course the IMSC.
Direct quote from a conversation we had:

ColoKate63: “Why are you always siding with the companies? Aren’t you supposed to be an organization for the shoppers?”

IMSC Pam: “The shoppers don’t have any money. Most of them can barely afford the conferences. I don’t do this for free. The companies have money. You should see some of the checks I’ve seen. I should open up my own company, but I don’t want the problems.”
@ColoKate63 wrote:

Direct quote from a conversation we had:

ColoKate63: “Why are you always siding with the companies? Aren’t you supposed to be an organization for the shoppers?”

IMSC Pam: “The shoppers don’t have any money. Most of them can barely afford the conferences. I don’t do this for free. The companies have money. You should see some of the checks I’ve seen. I should open up my own company, but I don’t want the problems.”

Yea, she'll screw over a shopper at any time she can make money. She created her own editing company. Convinced one of the company's she does edit work to drop the shop fee from $65 to $60 so that she can input the shop results. But with the new system from the MSC, the shopper takes more time with the report then before. So, she took ~$5/shop from shoppers right into her pocket.
@Jack in CO wrote:

that's really unethical to keep payments from a cancelled conference.

This! It is beyond the pale to ever to have even considered the "the IMSC does not issue refunds" - which is exactly the message that was originally posted with the Atlanta conference was first cancelled.

It does look like that decision may have been walked back (maybe? can anyone confirm) because on the website it no longer says anything at all about refunds or lack thereof - and some people are saying they got refunds.

But to even first try to do a no refunds policy in light of this situation is horrifying. This hands down takes the cake.
@Jack in CO wrote:

Convinced one of the company's she does edit work to drop the shop fee from $65 to $60 so that she can input the shop results. But with the new system from the MSC, the shopper takes more time with the report then before. So, she took ~$5/shop from shoppers right into her pocket.

Wow. So much to unpack here. I agree takes longer now, wasn't aware that was the reason they went from $65 to $60. Also I always did the report in the dressing room where I'm bored for 2 1/2 minutes anyway.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@ColoKate63 wrote:

IMSC Pam: “The shoppers don’t have any money. Most of them can barely afford the conferences. I don’t do this for free. The companies have money. You should see some of the checks I’ve seen. I should open up my own company, but I don’t want the problems.”

This is...... Disturbing. Especially considering they market themselves as a shopper advocate "organization"

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@bgriffin wrote:


I agree takes longer now, wasn't aware that was the reason they went from $65 to $60.

That was the specific reason they gave for dropping the fee when they announced it.
@SteveSoCal wrote:

I read the title of the thread and gelt obligated to brew a pot of coffee before opening it....I'm avoiding popcorn.

Nothing changes much with that situation. Prepare for 50% of the forum to arrive on the defense and this thread to devolve into chaos, then be deleted before the quarantine comes an end!

Ouch, Steve. The only thing I think that might hurt worse than being gelt is being gelt with hot coffee!
Don't bother with the BBB. The BBB forwards your complaint. If the company responds to you and the BBB, they will receive an A rating. The BBB does not mediate or evaluate if a fair offer was made or even made at all. A company can merely respond, "No, we don't feel like it," and is considered to be in full compliance. Compare BBB ratings to those of the consumers who filed complaints
The only thing shocking to me about this entire thread is that people didn't already know how she was/is. She has always been in this for herself to make money. It was never about the shoppers. She WAS one of those poor shoppers without money. The book she wrote and sells was copied almost entirely from a now-defunct MSC 's training manual. She isn't exactly living on the high-horse in AZ either.
It's very hard for any of us to decide who is correct or not in general. But if the circumstances are true, you have a case for either libel or slander. A letter from an attorney may have your membership reinstated and prevent her from doing this in the future. But both of you should realize lawsuits are costly. It may not be worth it for you to follow through, and it might be intelligent for her to settle or do what you've asked out of fear of the protracted suit.
@CravingCakes wrote:

Pam refused to refund my money from her conference, only giving me the ability to rebook for a future date for a conference in a state I couldn't possibly make it to, so how she has the nerve to steal my money and demand that you refund money for a product past it's refundable date is ironic. This industry is full of theives.



I just made a post in my facebook group The Shoppers Union about this. When were you first told this? Three days ago I know she was pointed out they were legally obligated to refund, and like many companies and businesses (not just her) people were standing by their cancellation policies not even realizing that there are laws in the books for situations like pandemics and crap to protect both businesses from being sued for not having the event, and attendees or event coordinates being screwed by not being refunded or getting deposits back.

I dont necessarily blame any company for their initial responses as long as they got @#$%& right when people started learning more and realizing the actual situation. The vast majority of companies needed a big kick in the ass first.

Hotels, airlines, Airbnb hosts, venues, and more all did the same thing standing by their cancellation policies until things sunk in. I also want to be clear this is not a defense of any company or person. I'm just pointing out this was uncharted territory for basically everyone.





[www.facebook.com]


First though, Pam told me less than a day ago that they emailed/contacted every attendee and offered them the option of a full refund. She told me in very plain language that every single attendee was emailed or contacted and offered this as an option up front. Is there anyone who did not have this experience? Before you respond, double check your spam and email just in case.



1. Youre entitled to a refund for any mystery shopping convention you signed up for this year as none of them have a contractual clause that stipulates in a situation like this (called a force majeure) or a pandemic that they get to keep your cash. They are flat out obligated to provide refunds and returns of any deposits with rare exception. The MSPA and IMSC conventions do not qualify for keeping any of your money based on their posted terms at the time of booking.

This is a snippet, know in context they are talking about a clause specifically for an "act of god (force majeure), or a pandemic. Not any old cancellation policy. It has to be specific for the above two listed items.

""In the absence of contractual language addressing a cancellation, the common law concept of restitution requires that the parties be returned to their original, pre-contracting positions. In reality, this means that the parties must return any prepaid monies or deposits, while forfeiting any out-of-pocket expenses paid in reliance of the contract. In the alternative, some contracts, including those with force majeure clauses, may prescribe the allocation of paid and unpaid monies in the event of cancellation or suspension. For instance, many concert performance contracts provide that artists will retain any deposits paid notwithstanding the cancellation of the event for force majeure.""

So IMSC, MSPA, shopperfest, video con if they are still around...if the government shuts down the event, they absolutely must refund you. You DO have the option to move to a future date. You have the option of letting them keep it. You also have the option for a full refund. If anyone is having trouble let me know and I'll find the appropriate resource for you to get refunded.

CEO The Mystery Shoppers Depot
US Wide route shopper with 12k+ shops completed over 48 states and 6 countries.
Airbnb host based in Chicago and 10% discount if you mention this forum


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2020 12:10AM by jrossetti.
@wauserfriendly wrote:

It's very hard for any of us to decide who is correct or not in general. But if the circumstances are true, you have a case for either libel or slander. A letter from an attorney may have your membership reinstated and prevent her from doing this in the future. But both of you should realize lawsuits are costly. It may not be worth it for you to follow through, and it might be intelligent for her to settle or do what you've asked out of fear of the protracted suit.

The IMSC is a made up organization by Pam. Membership just requires a $25 yearly membership fee to join.
@Jack in CO wrote:

@ColoKate63 wrote:

Direct quote from a conversation we had:

ColoKate63: “Why are you always siding with the companies? Aren’t you supposed to be an organization for the shoppers?”

IMSC Pam: “The shoppers don’t have any money. Most of them can barely afford the conferences. I don’t do this for free. The companies have money. You should see some of the checks I’ve seen. I should open up my own company, but I don’t want the problems.”

Yea, she'll screw over a shopper at any time she can make money. She created her own editing company. Convinced one of the company's she does edit work to drop the shop fee from $65 to $60 so that she can input the shop results. But with the new system from the MSC, the shopper takes more time with the report then before. So, she took ~$5/shop from shoppers right into her pocket.
|

To be fair, as a shopper, I advocated this to several companies, including Shadow Agency and a few others. For a full time shopper they can make more money in less time with this method. Every minute I dont have to do a report, I get to do more shops. (but I proposed it as the shopper having to do absolutely nothing in terms of report except maybe a date and time and name)

Ive been paying out of pocket for a virtual aid for this same service and have been telling companies they should offer this to shoppers. But again, this relies on not having to spend that time doing reports or clicking through and checking boxes and crap.

CEO The Mystery Shoppers Depot
US Wide route shopper with 12k+ shops completed over 48 states and 6 countries.
Airbnb host based in Chicago and 10% discount if you mention this forum
@tobiz777 wrote:

PART ONE
Here is a very interesting true story. A shopper purchases one of my camera kits 4 months ago and now wants to return it because she has decided that video shopping is not for her. She claims she tried to return it early but that was untrue as she instead had purchased additional accessories for the kit. Since it is way beyond any refund period she goes crying the high & mighty President of the IMSC, Pamela O. I get a call from her and her royal highness demands I refund the money. If I don't she will throw me out of the organization. I had agreed on refunding half the money only if it was returned under certain conditions and she emails me back that NO gives her the money and IMSC will give her the other half. The product arrives back to me and is totally unusable and I take pictures of it and send it to Judge Pamela. She could care less as Judge Jury & Executioner. She then contacts my clients and begins to discredit me. I refuse to give the refund and I am removed from the IMSC! So why am I telling you this because when she just canceled her April Conference she told everyone that the IMSC does not issue refunds! Give me a break! Pamela O you need to be removed and your organization shut down! You cannot dictate to people and not review all the facts! You cannot hold people's money when there is a pandemic and everyone that you gave deposits is giving back money! You can't be an editor for companies and then try to be an advocate when those companies are putting money in your pocket! You can't just decide that there will only allow one company to sell video equipment when that company is also the company that you edit for! You are a walking contradiction! You can't strong-arm shoppers and tell them you will blackball them and report them to your paid sponsors or strong-arm small businesses like mine into doing what you want! Your training videos are useless! Your Facebook groups are redundant at best. If shoppers want to know what shops are available they can log onto any MSP's site and if schedulers need shoppers they know how to bulk email or text previous shoppers! She provides absolutely nothing to anyone and if you have an issue with an MSP then deal with it yourself! We don't need her dictatorship mentality in our industry! So get out of the IMSC and save your money! Who wants a conference that is stacked with paid people from rent a crowd company! Need a conference that bad then we can plan our own party as she provided no benefits other than to line her own pockets with your hard-earned money! Get out of IMSC now!
FYI - I have all the emails to prove what I am claiming about her demanding me to give a refund!

PART TWO
UPDATE- I have done some research into IMSC canceled conference that you may want to pass along. As well I am attaching the contract details. If you happen to have read any of Pam's rebuttals well here at the facts. 1. She claimed the hotel was generous enough not to charge her for all the rooms - BS! The hotel has a 21 day cancellation period and the worse would have been losing her deposit. 2. Under the current situation, I believe that she did not push for a refund and instead floated that refund to a future date as she would still be holding the conference. I have been unable to tell from the policy if a deposit was required and normally on 24 rooms (1 free for the organizer) would be $500 and the event rooms are based on what food and beverage were being offered so I am saying another $500 for a total of maybe $1000 out of pocket. Under the current conditions the, if the event did go on the hotel, would be unable to host the event due to the restrictions in place to due no group meetings hence a full refund would be offered. Pam did not need to cancel the hotel would have! She lost nothing! When planning events, the organizer must have the minimum amount of funds available to them to pay for deposits. Any funds collected by customers should be set aside in a special account and not touched until 14 days prior to the event when final payments are due. The money in the special account is not the organizers until 14 days prior to the event. That is the correct way to be financially responsible. After being in tour & travel for over 25 years, I think I have learned that much! In any event, when you plan an event you the organizer takes the risk that they will have enough people attend to cover the expenses and if not any the event is canceled that is on them and not the attendee. She nows claims that this has caused her undue stress, well that was self-inflicted by decisions she made. After all the messages I got from my initial post, one thing is clear, shoppers are afraid to stand up to her as she will discredit them to MSC's. Just let her try and that is called slander and a sueable offense. Also worth noting is the amount of MSC's that contact me and have not renewed into her organization or have limited contact with her. It is time to get this bad apple out of our industry. Lastly, this may not seem to be the time to be doing this with our world in such turmoil but we are strong people and we will recover. Let's take lemons and make lemonade but correcting this wrong during our downtime.
More to come as she does not frighten me and I will uncover more information as this is just not right!

PART THREE - HOTEL CONTRACT
As part of her conference, she blocked book rooms, that is how you get discounted or free meeting rooms and only pay for the food & beverage that is served by the hotel.

Group Booking (Guest Rooms Only)
Terms and Conditions
Key Points about your Group Event Contract:
• A valid credit card is required to reserve your room block. Your
credit card will NOT be charged at this time.
• Each guest room in your block must be confirmed by the Cut-Off
Date.
• The “Cut-Off Date” is 12:00 a.m. (midnight, hotel time) on the day
that is twenty-one (21) days before the first arrival day of your room
block.
• A guest room is confirmed when you or a guest attending your
event secures the room with a valid credit card.
• Rooms in your block that are NOT confirmed by the Cut-Off
Date will then be released for sale to others.
• To cancel your event, you must contact the hotel directly. If you
cancel your event (or any rooms within your block) after the Cut-Off
Date, your credit card may be charged the room rate plus applicable
taxes for the first night of each canceled room.


1. I did a lot of looking at contracts too and did not see the Peachtree location available online. Ive since put in a request for an event to get the contract details. How did you come about the contract info? This is not a disagreement. Im just curious what you did to get the info youre presenting as I've been working on this too.

2. As of right now, that hotel is not obligated to provide ANY refunds as the governor there has not (as of yesterday) banned travel and events for May. So Pam would not have been lying about that, because the hotel isn't legally obligated to do so and aren't.. I even went online and asked Hilton who referred me to the local location and said rooms were covered by their policy, but events were at the hotel level.

[twitter.com]

I was then told that it was based on the individual contract and sent an event request to that particular hilton which I can post later when I receive it. I then checked out event, wedding, and catering deals for events at various hilton properties around the US. I maybe looked at a dozen or so. NONE of them included terms that would allow them to keep money for a pandemic or act of god. Literally none of them.

3. In terms of your Angel Eyes equipment. I want to point out that I said up front that one of the problems with that stuff is it's not made well. Ive had 3 of the people who bought from you in the last year come to me in the last two months unhappy they bought them from you because the warranty was only for six months and its past that.

I wouldn't be so sure to blame shoppers when youre selling a product that is already known for falling apart and not being too durable. It's the same reason I stopped selling my branded button cameras. It was proven over time that it was simply a bad product. The DVR's were great, but the cameras were just not. It was cheap and lots of people bought them, but it caused issues for enough shoppers that we needed to stop.


4. The reason shadow is selling equipment is because none of the other vendors were paying to do so as it's simply not economically viable for the buy in cost. I lost money on ever convention I attended even after factoring in all sales for a year and assuming they all came because they heard about me at a conference. After a couple of conferences in a row we decided that wasn't best for us.

The vendors before me were overcharging people, encouraging people to buy more than they need, and promoting a culture of "fear of missing out on money" to clueless new shoppers. I did not do that, but also did not make enough money to keep attending as a company, but Shadow is already there and paying anyway so it wasn't any big deal for them to add it on and at least they aren't overcharging or lying to people about equipment.

CEO The Mystery Shoppers Depot
US Wide route shopper with 12k+ shops completed over 48 states and 6 countries.
Airbnb host based in Chicago and 10% discount if you mention this forum
@tobiz777 wrote:

Hilton Atlanta Northeast - as a major hotel I would think they would offer a refund but as I mentioned she may have floated the deposit to another date or maybe she got the refund and used to to help remodel that house she's fixing up to move into?

They wont offer a refund until they have to cancel events for that month. The governor there has only banned events through April.

CEO The Mystery Shoppers Depot
US Wide route shopper with 12k+ shops completed over 48 states and 6 countries.
Airbnb host based in Chicago and 10% discount if you mention this forum
@LisaSTL wrote:

Hilton is definitely one of the chains who announced they were waiving cancellation fees.

Not for events. sad smiley

[twitter.com]

CEO The Mystery Shoppers Depot
US Wide route shopper with 12k+ shops completed over 48 states and 6 countries.
Airbnb host based in Chicago and 10% discount if you mention this forum
@bgriffin wrote:

@tobiz777 wrote:

There is no Moretti it is Rosetti, Joe Rosetti

Sorry, I keep getting him mixed up with the shitty Italian beer.

That is indeed shitty beer.

So someone said I was misspelling your name? Have I been doing that? If yes, you could have just fired a message or tagged me and pointed out the mistake. id have been happy to fix that. I dont do the intentionally misspelling or mispronouncing name thing to people no matter who they are.

CEO The Mystery Shoppers Depot
US Wide route shopper with 12k+ shops completed over 48 states and 6 countries.
Airbnb host based in Chicago and 10% discount if you mention this forum
I am the one that posted that, and I never said you did it on purpose, I just noticed that you did it more than once. It didn't bother me personally. I see people in the forum misspell all kinds of things and I just notice stuff like that...like they use "peaked" instead of "piqued" (she piqued my curiosity) and they use "discrete" instead of "discreet" (the person could have been more discreet about it). If griffy was bothered by it maybe he would just have addressed it? IDK. Not my pig, not my farm...was just an observation, that's all.

Edited: I didn't mean for their to be smiley faces there.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2020 12:13AM by JASFLALMT.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

Edited: I didn't mean for their to be smiley faces there.

You mean there. smiling smiley

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
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