IMSC President/Owner Needs To Go!

It seems that by me expressing my feelings about this organization that my post to quote 'unprofessional comments on mystery shopping forums. It almost sounded like something a stark raving lunatic would write'. Well, I would like to let that person know that I am not a lunatic and as for being unprofessional, I will let the others here decide that as all I was doing was informing people of what it seems they already knew about the organization and its leader. The person who made these comments did so to one of my clients and then hid behind some fake email address. I want you all to know that whatever comments I post or answer to are my beliefs and have nothing to do with my clients. By notifying my clients and trying to discredit me and then threaten my clients is nothing more than pure slander. If anything my job is done as I have brought to the forefront the information and the impact of my post had the effect I wanted and all the attendees are getting their money back. If that was wrong of me well I glad I was right!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2020 11:54PM by tobiz777.

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Calm down, go have a drink (if non-alcoholic, try some herbal tea). The majority agrees with you, apparently, so quit stressing. The world (and you) have bigger fish to fry.
@rossetti

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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.

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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 don't 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)
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What’s my beef with you? You’re actively negotiating for lower, PER shop fees for shoppers.

First, who made you some central voice for all shoppers? I have NO compulsion to have you negotiate shop fees for me.

Second, great, you found a way to decrease your time to fill out reports for you. Great for you. But WHY, WHY give that ‘found money’ back to the MSC? Why are you giving shopper’s margin away? Maybe, just MAYBE keep that money for the shoppers. Why are you so concerned with the margins of the MSC, but not shoppers? There was a thread recently about a shopper that saw an invoice for apartment shops from the MSC to the client. She said the invoice was for $355 for a $60 shop fee for the shopper (16.9% of total MSC fee to shopper). But here you are, trying to knock that percentage down. So, let’s say you’re effective in convincing the MSC to lower shop fees by $5, so, the MSC is still going to charge the client $355. So, now a shopper gets $55 (15.5%). That’s my beef. Why give margin to the MSC? A smart business person doesn’t voluntarily give margin away. And you’re giving shopper margin away. And you’re trying to do that to the industry as a whole when no one appointed you as such..

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/24/2020 12:28AM by Jack in CO.
@MsJudi wrote:

My past experiences with Pam on the V site left a bad taste in my mouth...don't remember why, other than she seemed to be a know-it-all in a bully sort of way..but it just did. I'm not at all surprised.

Why was she banned from this forum?

Oh my god, Pam from V! Oh, so many memories. When I was just starting in the industry I wrote in a thread about one MS and my good relationship with a scheduler. Pam emailed me multiple times that night providing me with inside and negative information about the MS trying to make me her informer pet. Exactly in the " know-it-all in a bully sort of way" I felt that her behavior was unethical and I was also surprised by the depth of knowledge she had about the personal information and inner-workings of multiple MS companies. Since then I had always been careful and paranoidly suspicious about some chummy, friendly posters. Of course Big V's owner and his cabal of secret moderators-informers only helped my paranoia and suspicions increase.
@KateH wrote:

@MsJudi wrote:

My past experiences with Pam on the V site left a bad taste in my mouth...don't remember why, other than she seemed to be a know-it-all in a bully sort of way..but it just did. I'm not at all surprised.

Why was she banned from this forum?

Oh my god, Pam from V! Oh, so many memories. When I was just starting in the industry I wrote in a thread about one MS and my good relationship with a scheduler. Pam emailed me multiple times that night providing me with inside and negative information about the MS trying to make me her informer pet. Exactly in the " know-it-all in a bully sort of way" I felt that her behavior was unethical and I was also surprised by the depth of knowledge she had about the personal information and inner-workings of multiple MS companies. Since then I had always been careful and paranoidly suspicious about some chummy, friendly posters. Of course Big V's owner and his cabal of secret moderators-informers only helped my paranoia and suspicions increase.

Were you up that night when she made profane remarks about Cheryl Durbin of Palm Scheduling Services?

Sadly, Cheryl had a car accident that changed her life.
[losangeles.cbslocal.com]
@ wrote:

There was a thread recently about a shopper that saw an invoice for apartment shops from the MSC to the client. She said the invoice was for $355 for a $60 shop fee for the shopper (16.9% of total MSC fee to shopper). But here you are, trying to knock that percentage down. So, let’s say you’re effective in convincing the MSC to lower shop fees by $5, so, the MSC is still going to charge the client $355. So, now a shopper gets $55 (15.5%). That’s my beef. Why give margin to the MSC? A smart business person doesn’t voluntarily give margin away. And you’re giving shopper margin away. And you’re trying to do that to the industry as a whole when no one appointed you as such..

Hey!

That was my post, and yes, the video MSPs make way way WAY more than they deserve. Especially considering that I’ve also seen the finished product- and VERY little is actually done with the raw video we shoot. We are doing 80% of the work for 20% of the pay, and that’s total bullish*t.

But - I’m in the mood to do some disruption to the old business model of video MSPs getting 70-80%.
With this virus locking us down and messing up the industry, time to get a-crack in’.

We sincerely do NOT need the IMSC, which has spent the last decade in a sad and pathetic decline into irrelevance.
Adios, IMSC.
Don’t let the door hit ya, and all that.

And, honestly- we experienced video shoppers do NOT really need the middlemen who are screwing us out of 70-80% of what the client pays. They exert minimal editing effort on our work (I’ve seen finished product and scoring sheets) and we are the ones hustling out on routes, paying for gas and motels and food on the road.

Why don’t we all go independent and form our own LLCs, get $200/shop instead of $60-70? We all know each other and could divide up national accounts, cut those middlemen right out of our lives.

Edit: Also, yes, that is yet more bullsh*t - giving away shopper margins. Scrabbling over snatching $5 from shoppers is pathetic.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/24/2020 02:55AM by ColoKate63.
@ColoKate63 wrote:

@ wrote:

Why don’t we all go independent and form our own LLCs, get $200/shop instead of $60-70? We all know each other and could divide up national accounts, cut those middlemen right out of our lives.

Edit: Also, yes, that is yet more bullsh*t - giving away shopper margins. Scrabbling over snatching $5 from shoppers is pathetic.


I'm in. Who has contacts with National Accounts and can make the sales pitch and secure the account?
This is like deja vu - Pam started IMSC when we were all complaining about MSPA on a thread like this over at Volition. smiling smiley

Shopping domestic and international locations since 2003.
A couple of thoughts:

1) Pam works for Shadow; Russell Wood owns Shadow. Russell Wood is her video trainer and vendor. It doesn't get more incestuous.
2) Have you not been to MSPA's ShopperFest? Industry leaders, useful topics friendly people (MSPs and shoppers), networking events, lots of included good food...the conferences are night and day apart. I saw some friends at IMSC; I've grown my business at ShopperFest (and still had even MORE fun with my friends there). The last time I went to IMSC, I kept thinking what a poor copy of ShopperFest this was, and then I stopped going. With MSPA having shopper membership now with real benefits and a better conference, I don't know why anyone supports IMSC at all.
3) I've been shopping since 1996, before there was an IMSC or even an MSPA. In the early days, MSPA was all about the MSPs. That changed about 10 years ago. MSPA is the trade association for companies AND shoppers in this industry, and is governed by a board of directors and code of ethics. Pam is an entrepreneur and can do whatever she wants.
4) Her behavior here is highly unethical if true. I am not surprised.
5) Just as I did, you all do have a choice too. I made mine a long time ago and shake my head when I read this thread wonder why anyone still engages with IMSC on any level.
I know that Russell was at the last two Shopperfest conferences as an MSPA vendor selling video equipment as mysteryshopping.com and he's been invited back again. As far as I've seen, the Shadow Agency does not sell video equipment.

Pam has her own editing company and offers independent contractor editing services for many companies. She does not "work for Shadow" and is not an employee.

I've seen people in this industry wear many hats and participate in more than one conference or business venture without being called incestuous or unethical. Really!!

@KCSoccer2014 wrote:

A couple of thoughts:
1) Pam works for Shadow; Russell Wood owns Shadow. Russell Wood is her video trainer and vendor. It doesn't get more incestuous.

2) Have you not been to MSPA's ShopperFest? Industry leaders, useful topics friendly people (MSPs and shoppers), networking events, lots of included good food...the conferences are night and day apart. I saw some friends at IMSC; I've grown my business at ShopperFest (and still had even MORE fun with my friends there). The last time I went to IMSC, I kept thinking what a poor copy of ShopperFest this was, and then I stopped going. With MSPA having shopper membership now with real benefits and a better conference, I don't know why anyone supports IMSC at all.

3) I've been shopping since 1996, before there was an IMSC or even an MSPA. In the early days, MSPA was all about the MSPs. That changed about 10 years ago. MSPA is the trade association for companies AND shoppers in this industry, and is governed by a board of directors and code of ethics. Pam is an entrepreneur and can do whatever she wants.

4) Her behavior here is highly unethical if true. I am not surprised.

5) Just as I did, you all do have a choice too. I made mine a long time ago and shake my head when I read this thread wonder why anyone still engages with IMSC on any level.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/27/2020 11:09PM by KathySueLM.
I have seen that too, but not to this level. I re-iterate incestuous. And Shadow and mysteryshop.com are owned by the same husband and wife. I don't know if you didn't know that, or thought that I didn't. But it's all the same people.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/29/2020 06:51PM by KCSoccer2014.
You can wear as many hats as you like as long as the hats you are wearing do not contradict each other. You can not be a shopper advocate when the MSC's are lining your pockets!
Are you the same Steve Tobis that schedules shops and is the video editor in ace mystery shopping lounge on facebook?
@tobiz777 wrote:

I have no objection to revealing my identity as Steve Tobis of ShoppersVideoCenter.com and Shoppers Video Repair Center. The are others who sell video equipment such as Joe Rossetti and Steve Clark at Quantum Solutions are two that come to mind immediately.
MSPA stopped their conferences during the recession in the late 2000s. They restarted them and added shopper membership in the early 2010s.
I am the owner of ACE Mystery Shopping. I probably should have addressed this a week ago. That same day, the entire mystery shopping industry lost nearly all of their clients due to the Coronavirus when this post was brought to my attention. I was pretty distraught that day, and in survival mode but I still should have responded then.

Steve has never been an employee of ACE Mystery Shopping. He is an independent contractor, in the same sense as all of our shoppers are. He works for multiple mystery shopping providers in addition to being a vendor for ACE Mystery Shopping. It just so happens that some of the things we had asked him to do put him more in the spotlight than he was for some of the other companies he performs various duties for. He does also post on the ACE Mystery Shopping Shopper Lounge for his equipment, as we do allow all video equipment vendors to post there.

The conflict between the IMSC and Steve’s company was between the two of them and did not involve ACE. Since dispute does not involve ACE, I won’t discuss it publicly or privately with anyone. Nor do I feel that it is appropriate or beneficial to discuss disputes like this in a public forum and Steve is acutely aware of my position on that.

A question was raised regarding Steve’s association with ACE Mystery Shopping, so I felt it was necessary to clarify what services he has provided us.

My door is always open to shoppers! I do welcome feedback from shoppers anytime. smiling smiley

Thank you,

Julie Simbro
Thanks for the explanation. I know many people are independent schedulers and editors and I had seen him post jobs and I saw this on posts and ads he put in the group.

Steve Tobis
Video Director
ACE Mystery Shopping
I am sorry you lost your money. I can't agree with the "this industry is full of thieves." There are some AMAZING people in our industry.
Julie, I am looking forward to the day when your schedule is again packed with clients looking for evaluations. Hang in there.
Craving Cakes states--this industry is full of thieves.

Bob disagrees--Today, I begin my 18th year in this business. Have I encountered any dishonest folks associated with shopping? Of course! My experience. though, is the overwhelming number of MSCs, and their workers, are quite upfront and honest.
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