How to Handle Rude Schedulers?


I live in a small town where shops are sometimes a bit of a drive for me. For this, I always search for shops with bonuses. I located 2 shops with this company with a decent bonus for each. I emailed the scheduler to ask if I could have them scheduled for the following day. I SPECIFICALLY asked for the bonused shops. The scheduler said "yes", just apply for the shops and they would go in and approve them. I go in, apply for the shops, email the scheduler back to let them know. I get an email back stating that shops were scheduled.

Since I usually have trouble with schedulers assigning the wrong shops I ask for, I double-check the shops, and the scheduler only assigned me the shops with the standard pay, not the bonus. The bonused shops are still in the applications. When I email this scheduler back, they are rude and said that I never requested the bonus shops. I email back asking them to refer back to my email and added that the bonused shops were still in the applications. They had approved new-round shops. Since they once again are rude and stated about the new-round shops, I ended up canceling the shops as the standard fee is not enough for me for the drive I have to make.

I can handle the rudeness but I am just frustrated because we as mystery shoppers are held to such high standards of paying attention to detail and not making mistakes but this scheduler just seemed to overlook any and all details I was trying to show them. They were unwilling to work with me and seemed very inconvenienced by my emails.

I have been mystery shopping part-time for over 10 years and I have never had a scheduler be so rude and overlook details like this. I am also scared this scheduler can hold a grudge against me and not approve me for shops in the future, even for standard fees.

Has anyone faced repercussions from a scheduler? Rude schedulers?

Thanks for reading.

(sorry the grammatical errors, writing in a hurry)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/11/2020 08:38PM by Sherry55.

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I'm glad the forum allows you a space to blow off the frustration. Everybody has a bad day from time to time--including both you and your scheduler. We are all a little fragile right now due to what is happening all around us. Kindness is key here.

This being said, there are schedulers out there who are exploiters and ones who are rude and ones who are vindictive and ones who are all of the above. There are shoppers with the same characteristics. There are schedulers who, having run into issues one time too many, I don't even bother looking at their emailed pleas. There are jobs that I go around the scheduler to make my request to the company owner, who knows too well about issues with the scheduler.

My goal is to not close doors, but that does not mean I can't go on hiatus from a company for a while. I have done this long enough that I have seen lots of schedulers disappear.
Yes, there's definitely a scheduler I wish WOULD disappear. When she turned down my bonus request, it was with the statement that she has "years of experience, and a vast pool of shoppers to draw from". I told her to go right ahead and draw from that pool.

Knowing, of course, that I am the only shopper within 100 miles.

I did end up taking the shops off the board -- after they were posted offering more than I had originally asked for.

How to deal with this scheduler? I delete her e-mails, ignore her texts, and when she pleads, I add a zero to my bonus request (normally ask $10, I'll insist on $100, LOL! ).

Then I watch the job board, and when the job offer surpasses my normal request, then I self-assign.
When I have a rude scheduler.... I ignore him/her. *If* I choose to pick up one of his/her shops, I only do so with a "you are really obnoxious to work with surcharge," which I simply refer to as a "bonus" or "a little more money" when I communicate - so that the scheduler does recognize it as more than a typical request for a bonus.... How much of a surcharge? It depends on the level of rudeness, but it could be anywhere from $10 to $1000. (No, I don't expect a $1000 bonus, but that's okay: I REALLY don't want to work with the scheduler anyhow.)

The way I see it: If a scheduler is obnoxious, they should have trouble filling shops at a profit and, therefore, either they need to change their ways or find a new vocation - whether by personal choice or MSC discretion.

As for the OP's scenario. I'd handle it by forwarding the previous correspondence to the scheduler and politely letting him/her know that I cannot do the shops at the non-bonused rate. I'd thank him/her for the consideration and express hope that it will work-out in the future (all the while making a mental note of an appropriate future "rudeness surcharge"winking smiley.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
These are all very good suggestions. The Golden Rule really is not a difficult concept to learn, yet, nearly every day, one realizes how someone must have "missed the memo."
Several decades ago, I realized what worked for me was the golden silver rule. I treat others as I would have them treat me, but if they do not, I treat them as they treat me. I am quite content with that manner of treatment.
Well, one thing is you are more or less at their mercy. If you do tit for tat you can be sitting at home instead of shopping. The way I get around that is to just keep reforwarding the emails. You start with the original email and forward that one and then reply by forwarding the answer-back to them and that way they. That way they have a record of everything.
Luckily there is enough msps and jobs that consistently rude schedulers can be mostly avoided. I think all the professional shoppers add a hassle fee for having to deal with PITA Schedulers. Schedulers come and go and most work for several msps so some can be hard to avoid. Shoppers in rural areas with few shops may have less opportunity to avoid such schedulers but do have the advantage of being one of a handful of shoppers in the are at most. Thus they can substantially ask for mega bonuses which are not available in more shopped areas.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
If a shop comes through without promised bonus, I don't let that go. I remind the scheduler of what was promised and tell them how that differs from what came through, and tell them what I need them to do to correct it. If their next reply is anything but an apology for the oversight and an assurance that it will be corrected then it's unlikely we will be working together. If they make and keep a promise to fix the problem then they are on probation for a while. i don't take more shops until the fix happens.

Probation means i will not take more than a single shop at a time for them. Any negotiated terms (bonus,etc) will have to be confirmed at least twice in writing. And that one shop better be paid as agreed. If it's not, then it's unlikely we'll work together again. Probation is usually one shop but might be a couple if i have doubts about whether their actions were intentional.

If they promise to make it right AND the promise is kept promptly with minimal fuss, then we move forward. If they promise something and either don't keep the promise or make me remind them multiple times and try and weasel out of it then it's unlikely we'll work together a second time.

I don't offer an annoyance rate to schedulers that act in an untrustworthy manner for example if a promised bonus is mysteriously missing and they deny agreeing to it or simply won't honor it. If they won't keep a promise then a promise for more $$ is just a bigger promise that they may not keep. I may upcharge schedulers that are obnoxious, unkind or excessively indifferent to social conventions. There's good money to be made from people who have trouble getting along with others. But there's no money to be made from people who don't pay as promised.
I hear you - I have had bonus agreements suddenly disappear. Now, here is what I do: First, I always back up any bonus conversation with an email to the scheduler verifying the agreement. Second, I pay attention to all the other names on the account. I go to the company website to get the names, if necessary. If I have a conflict with a scheduler I escalate the matter to another key team member via email while copying the scheduler. This way the other team members and the scheduler can clearly see the bonus we agreed to. I remain calm, professional, pleasant, and neutral. In short, I largely bypass an exploitative, rude, or nonsensical scheduler. This strategy works well for me. I find reputable mystery shopping companies really do value excellent shoppers and will step up to the plate to keep them happy.
@Flash wrote:

There are schedulers out there who are exploiters and ones who are rude and ones who are vindictive and ones who are all of the above.
Can I like this a thousand times? They're the ones I charge an arm and a leg when they're desperate, and don't bother with when they're not.

"Let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you - and why?” ~Walter Williams
OP - Are you saying you showed the scheduler past email proof of your agreement and he/she still did not honor it and scheduled you for the non-bonused shops (without addressing your proof)?

If that is true (and I'm not missing anything else), then at face value, it seems the person could be trying to take advantage of you.

Since you have proof, you can always go to someone higher up. If you get retaliated against and notice a drop off in assigned shops, you can even bring that up to someone higher up. Maybe ask to work with another scheduler. If that's not possible, you can always just express your concern that you're suddenly not getting any shops after the incident.

I could be wrong, but it might be within the right of the company to just not work with you afterwards (even if the scheduler was in the wrong). It may just be a risk you'll have to take, unfortunately. We are ICs and not employees, so I wonder about any recourse we might have. On the other hand, if the management is ethical, they would see this as a problem with the scheduler and not you. They could intervene to remove the scheduler or mandate that you get a fair shot at shops.
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