Strategic Reflections - Shady shady shady

Assignment for a shoe store, $8 pay and $10 reimbursement. Instructions said do not shop Sunday or Monday; I wanted it for Tuesday. Calendar showed available dates to shop being from Tuesday to Friday, so assigned myself Tuesday, no error, all good. Did the shop, submitted a complete report with receipt photo. Then I got this lovely little email:

"The instructions for Off Broadway read:

'Please use the following steps in order to properly conduct your shop: This shop cannot be conducted on Monday or Tuesday. It must be completed Wednesday thru Sunday, and not exceed your assigned due date.'

I am very sorry, but you did not visit the following location Wednesday thru Sunday thereby making this report invalid. The original due date was the 7 th and you changed it to the 5th. The computer automatically changed the due date you entered, but it is your responsibility to follow the instructions. I am sorry, but we will now have to post this location for a re-shop and will be unable to pay you as we will have to pay the new shopper."

I replied, stating what the instructions had said when I first took the shop, versus what this scheduler said it was. I have an excellent track record witv SR, and pointed this out. The reply I got:

"I checked with the Tech department. When you apply, there is no list of the days the store should be shopped. It lists the date the report is due. The days the store must be shopped are in the instructions. There has been no change on the instructions as the client requested the stores not be shopped on Monday or Tuesday due to the possibility of shipments coming to the stores on those days.

We do greatly appreciate all of the help you have provided in the past. It is reassuring to know you are such a reliable shopper. I am very sorry, but we cannot pay for a shop we cannot send to the client. In the future, if you are unsure of the dates, please call the office and someone will be more than willing to help you.

Thank you for understanding the situation."

Oh, no problem - I understand "the situation"; someone goofed up at SR and, rather than own up to it or give me thebenefit of the doubt, instead I get called a liar, and just bought myself a pair of $30 boots that I thought I was getting for about $12.

Been a shopper for 3 years now, this is only 2nd problem I've ever had with instructions changing on me. Lessons learned:
1. Don't pay more for something than you're willing to - shop as if it won't be reimbursed/paid for.

And a p.s. This all happened after they harrassed my voicemail for a week, asking me to complete a fast food shop that pays $7 that's "only" 20 miles away. Stay classy, SR.

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Strategic Reflections is a very reputable company that I work for. I have never had a problem with them and if I did I can call them and getr it resolved. I don't think you did a good job of reading you instructions. I have had some problems scheduling some shops, however whenm I call they will get the matter resoved in my favor. If you want to call them here is their toll free number 866-518-6508 a local njumber is 513-685-1969 . Maybe if you call and try to get an reasonable settlement to your problem.
Thanks for the number ... the critique of whether I followed instructions wasn't necessary, though.
So you have a good track record with them, which probably means they have a good track record with you. If you in fact did make a mistake - but didn't believe you did and held to that - would YOU expect THEM to call YOU shady? My guess is you'd be right back here complaining about the awful things they called you.

Conclusion: Lighten up, Francis.
plbell627 - Thanks for trying to help out here. I didn't have those numbers and have posted them in my book. Good to know.

juststardust - Ouch! It hurts to shop and get rejected. I hope you can come to an agreeable settlement. Keep us posted and good luck.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
I have no history at all with the company and no history with the shopper. What is obvious is that a mistake was made somewhere, but I have no idea which. The unfortunate thing with MSing is that if the company makes an error, they find someone else to do the shop or have us do it again. If we make the shop we are money from our pockets.

At this point in time, there is no way that who made the error can be determined as both parties believe that they are right.

I have personally gotten in the habit of making a pdf of shop instructions as it provides one more ground to stand on in the event that something like this happens.

Juststar-- I am truly sorry this happened to you.
I truly think of MSing as businesses (MSCs) dealing with businesses (mystery shoppers). If you keep that at the top of your mind you'll keep yourself organized and continually protect yourself. Along the lines of what Shelly said, keep your copies, electronic and otherwise, and screenshot whatever you can't copy - it's free :-)
Yeah obviously a mistake was made......give me a break. Stardust has been a shopper with them for three years so I am pretty sure she knows how to read their instructions. So I would place the mistake with SR. As for plbell627 just because this wasn't your problem doesn't mean it didn't happen just as stardust said. And just because it's a reputable company doesn't mean they don't make mistakes. And for raisitup why don't you lighten up, you just sound like an idiot.
So did you join just to come on and insult posters???? Interesting that you use your first to come on and complain posters. Most people run across this place because they are upset about something that happened to with an MSC. I totally don't get this at all.

I have been a shopper for years and hold a master's degree, but admit that I am still capable of making a mistake.

Since I have no history with either the poster or the company, I stand behind my statement that a mistake was made on one end, but I have no idea who.

My first post was made in an effort to support stardust.
Ummmm, ok wow..."Shelly" There is no comment anywhere from me regarding you or your comment. Whether you have been a shopper for years or the fact that you have a master's degree is irrelevant. I hold 2 master degree's one in psychology, and one in sociology. And that to is also irrelevant. You don't have to be a genius to be a mystery shopper. I thought your comment was very kind, notice how I never commented on your comment. Good God woman, I am starting to regret my first impression of you. I was only commenting on the people who were so negative. So my reason for joining is actually none of your business. And the fact that you "don't get this at all" is very obvious.
Um... your first sentence is just a rewording of my second sentence followed by "give me a break." When you used my words, it certainly looked like a comment on me. At least from my perspective.

You were saying that just because the original poster had been shopping for 3 years, it is not their mistake. I was just trying to point out that we all are capable of making one. And just to be clear, I am still not saying the original poster made a mistake. I have no idea what happened there.
Ahh, ok I reread my 1st comment and you're right I can see that it would come across that way. Sorry if I offended you, just having a bad day. I don't need to take it out on others. Sometimes I should just learn to keep my comments to myself. smiling smiley I'll shut up...
I take a shop that the shopping days are Sunday-Thursday. The dates to shop cover those days. The only way to know not to shop on Monday is read all the shops instructions. When they came in with cannot shop on Monday requirement the information was a sentence added to the "Additional Shop Instructions" page sorta like a forgotten item. I missed it and shopped on Monday. Had to go back the next day and do it again. Last round they dropped the no shop on Monday now I have to find out if they have put it back on again.
Shop ---Unfortunately, communicating via quick type written comments lends itself to misunderstandings as we miss so much of what we use for construing meaning such as vocal tone and body language. I usually try to stay fairly calm, but admit to an obvious anger flare when I read that comment. Sorry I took it so personally. Good thing it is a new day and we all had a chance to step away and take a breath. :-)

And Deech's comment points to why it helps to read and reread the directions and take what screenshots or PDFs you can. I have found that sometimes the relevant info is there, but tucked away at the end of an unrelated paragraph or added on as an afterthought. I don't like when all information about a certain aspect isn't grouped together, but it happens. If I had a shop rejected because of the quality of the directions provided, it would be something that would make me hesitant to shop for that company again.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/09/2011 05:35PM by Shelly.
If only guidelines were supplied in a concise and easy to read mannersmiling smiley More often than not they consist of multiple pages and at least half of it includes repetitions of all the reasons you will not be paid and instructions on how to upload photos or documents. What's fun is how they are scattered throughout the document. No doubt many things are added at the end and as an after though because nobody wants to take the time to rewrite the instructions. I have had some that are so convoluted it took copying the document into Word and deleting all of the repetitive threats and other BS before I could actually make heads or tails of what they were saying! It's amazing how many of these started of as 6 to 10 pages and ended up as oneyawning smiley

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
I completed my first assignment for SR shortly after the owner resigned as a principal of a now defunct MSC and can state that all instructions I've seen were a max of 2 pages. In addition, with respect to the 106 shops I've completed since being activated, I haven't had a speck of a problem.
I just got my check one month after completing it without any problem. The shop was an easy $15.00, would do more anytime.

Live consciously....
I love SR! Their reports are easy, the pay is decent and the schedulers are awesome! I've never had an issue with them.
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