What's the big secret?

Yesterday I emailed a scheduler asking for information about a job. I have not done this type of job before and asked if I could see the guidelines. I should note the name of the company was already revealed on the website. They replied I could not see the guidelines until I accepted the shop. I ask "WHY"? There is a decent chance I won't be able or want to do the shop and I think it would be rude to accept a shop and then have to cancel it. I have faced the same problem before with a different shop with another company. Edited to add:I have done hundreds of shops for this company over many years so I am not just some oddball emailing them.

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Well, shop guidelines are considered proprietary information. Very few MSCs make them available to someone before a shop is accepted. Some do, but I haven't seen that happen very often. I would assume it's because accepting a shop is a commitment and then you are bound to honor the part of the contract that states we will not share any proprietary info on shops with anyone not authorized to see them. They don't want any chance of competitors to see what they're doing, I suppose.

However, there's no reason why a scheduler cannot answer specific questions you have about the shop, without sending you the guidelines.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/21/2023 02:03AM by shopnyc.
I understand siamese5555 wanting to see the guidelines. I've asked for them in the recent past if I have questions about the shop before I accept it.

I also believe that if I have done at least one shop for the MSC previously, they should realize I'm not going to spread proprietary information around the world.
If you have done several shops with the msc and you are asking to see guidelines for a new shop, you have not done for this msc, they should let you see before deciding. If they don't it is IMHO a red flag that this shop is not worth the pay for whatever reason, that you would most likely see in the guidelines. Your option is to apply for the shop and read the guidelines, then cancel right away if it is not a shop you're comfortable with, be it an unfair pay rate or just not a shop you think you could do. or simply skip this shop altogether

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
I signed up for a grocery co-op I had never done before. The description said one interaction on the sales floor. When I could finally see the report, it had several sections to evaluate. I rarely ever do this, but I rejected the shop. Instead of confirming it, I wrote that I no longer wished to do it after seeing the report. I wish we could see this information in advance of accepting the shop.
Our IC agreements with the MSC's already are a binding agreement about the shops offered, guidelines, trade secrets, etc. So, it should not be a problem for the MSC to show them to someone who is registered with them. I like when I can open up the guidelines for MSC's that use Shopmetrics and I can decide if the shop is something I want to do or not.
Bureaucracy. No one is allowed to do what makes sense. They just follow the rules that were set up by someone not considering your situation.

If they don't share the guidelines in advance (or if the questions don't end up matching) then the MSC is inviting cancellations. It's one or the other..
I have had schedulers actually send me a blank report so I can see the questions prior to accepting a shop. Not all the time, but I have had it happen before.

Yes, if they don't want to send you the information beforehand and you have a good history with them...then they must be hiding something.

There are plenty of people that will accept a shop and then refuse once they see what is involved. Which is better? Give the information upfront to someone who has an established positive history or wait for them to accept and then cancel the shop because the pay/guidelines were not worth the effort?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/21/2023 07:44AM by hbbigdaddy.
I totally agree, I work for one company where you have to make an appointment to meet with a banker. I hate those shops mainly because the online appointment a lot of times does not confirm your appointment. The locations won't answer their phones. When you get there, they have no knowledge of your appointment.

They have shops in my area where the guidelines say to go into the location and ask to meet with a banker, then change to another subject and make an appointment to meet with a banker at another time. Then later, cancel the appointment.

The problem is that if you just walk in and ask to see a banker, these locations will not allow it without an appointment. I can't get an answer from the company. I am not going to waste my time and money driving to these locations only to be told I can't see a banker.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/21/2023 11:03AM by Texans.
Asking questions about the shop & straight out asking for the guidelines are two very different things. Guidelines are proprietary information and if you accept the shop (even if you then cancel after seeing them) you are bound by the contract (and they ALLLLLL say you can't share proprietary info)
If you are given the guidelines before accepting then legally you could give that information to anyone, including a competitor.
Like I already stated, we have an IC agreement in place with the company that covers the legality of the guidelines. Whether or not someone wrongly gives the information to another company has nothing to do with getting the guidelines in advance or when self-assigning. Anyone could do that anytime if they were inclined to be unethical and breach their IC agreement.
There is one company that I do shops for on a fairly frequent basis, and they ALWAYS, ALWAYS ALWAYS make the guidelines available to shoppers BEFORE accepting it, so that the shopper can see what is entailed in the shop. And that company is Second To None. I give them many kudos for that!!!! You always know what is expected of you before you accept. And then, you don't even have to accept, but at least they give you the courtesy of seeing what is expected, even if you don't accept the shop. Why can't all companies be like that??
I've noticed in the last year or so that if assigned a shop, the guidelines are not available on my job board. I have to accept the shop first, then go into the shop to download the guidelines.

In the past I could download the guidelines, read them and then before hitting the accept this shop button, I could hit the I have questions button and not have actually accepted the shop. Now you can't do that.
When a company uses the Shopmetrics platform, the guidelines seem to be available prior to accepting. Since IPSOS uses that platform along with SASSIE, I wonder why they choose to not make the guidelines on SASSIE available as they do on Shopmetrics.
In my area, there is no time to ask questions before accepting shops. By the time a scheduler replies, even if it's quickly, the shop is gone. It's that competitive here. So, I would have to accept the shop first and figure out the rest later.

sestrahelena


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2023 12:09AM by sestrahelena.
It would require someone rewriting the HTML/PHP for Sassie to allow registered known users with certain shop ratings to see them PRIOR to accepting. Could be done...just not sure if Sassie is something the MSCs are paying for...if it's open sourced...or what right/ability an MSC has to altering the script on their server side.

Would be as easy as altering a Drupal/Joomla/Wordpress install.

Just because these MSCs all use the same script (that's all Sassie is) doesn't mean they've got someone in house that knows anything regarding web deployment at even the novice level.

And no, this isn't meant as an insult...but for years I've been shopping...they can't even keep up with updating LoAs with proper dates or PDF guides that appear displayed as clickable links but that are in fact just graphic images.
JohnInNC,

Ipsos doesn't use the same script as everyone else, Theirs is the only script that won't alphabetize the states.
Weird. I bet it's a horrible shop and nothing to do with legal matters. Did you ever find out more details on it?
@luckygirl0100 wrote:

If you are given the guidelines before accepting then legally you could give that information to anyone, including a competitor.

I'm not sure that would indeed be legal under our IC agreements, but regardless, what's to stop someone from giving the information (illegally) to anyone once the shop is accepted?

I'm not even sure why a shopper would want to give out guidelines for a shop to anybody....

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
@guysmom wrote:

And that company is Second To None. I give them many kudos for that!!!! You always know what is expected of you before you accept. And then, you don't even have to accept, but at least they give you the courtesy of seeing what is expected, even if you don't accept the shop. Why can't all companies be like that??

Totally agree! I never do a shop for them and have surprises come up or accept a shop, then find out I don't think it's a good fit for me or that it's too much work for the fee, etc. I assume the reason most MSCs don't have the full guidelines and questionnaire available prior to shop acceptances is because they know many shoppers would pass. They figure if you accept a shop, then see it's not worth the fee or it's too complex or whatever, you'll still do it out of a sense of obligation. Truth is, probably many of us do/have done this. But, as others have said, isn't it better to have shoppers take shops knowing upfront what's involved than having shoppers take them blindly then cancel?

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Thats the main benefit of this forum. Just make a post regarding the company shopped or the shopping company with some general descriptions of the shop. Never both.

Past two weeks i posted about mcdonalds and triple a. I was told the mcds was way to hard but triple a was easy. I did not attempt the McDonald's. I completed a triple a shop and it was worthwhile/relatively easy.

The guidelines often include proprietary information on the companies goals and other things. It also gives one the ability to share with the franchisee information that can help them recieve bonus money or certifications. Its the nature of the beast. Like it or Iump it.

shopping north west PA and south west ny
IMHO, companies should do a better job of describing the job if they don’t want to make the guidelines available. Some companies are so lazy that they reuse descriptions and then when you do get the guidelines there is contradictory info or WAY more in the guidelines than what you signed up for.

I’d like to mystery shop the mystery shop companies.
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