Words to the Wise on Corporate Research International...

For the second time, and over the exact same reason, my rating with CRI (who I typically like to work with) has been lowered. Not only is actually selecting dates to conduct a shop typically difficult, getting any response from them is nearly impossible. For the first experience, I was given a shop date when the location was closed. I e-mailed the scheduler 3 times prior to the date of the shop with no reply. I attempted to use the online chat but was kicked out of the system after waiting for 15 minutes. I finally got a response from the scheduler after the deadline for the shop to be conducted that basically said "tough luck". A similar situation happened again today. I began e-mailing the scheduler on Monday, then again yesterday. I attempted the online chat feature and still was kicked out after 15 minutes. I did not receive any response from the scheduler, until once again, it was after the shop time frame. Just be aware that if you have an issue that you know of well in advance of the shop date, it may be nearly impossible to have it resolved and your rating will be lowered. The rating is probably no big deal, but I am just really Type A, organized, and do my absolute best to complete every shop I accept accurately and on time so it really ticks me off when I don't receive the courtesy of a reply to multiple e-mails. sad smiley

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Trust me, I'm not questioning the problem . . . did you e-mail the scheduler or try to use their Contact Us about the problem? I really don't do CORI any more, but any time I'm not getting a response from a scheduler after a few hours when the offices should be open, I kick it up a notch. If I'm still not getting a response after a few hours when their offices should be open, it is time to pick up the phone. I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time sending emails to a black hole. I would not be emailing in the first place if there was not a problem that needed their input for proper resolution.
I did e-mail the scheduler on the Contact Us form. I also e-mailed via the job information page, and used the online chat function. I agree - the e-mail system is a black hole. Just odd how I get a response once it is too late to do anything about the shop.
I stopped shopping for cori several years ago and don't miss them. They do pay quick, but talking to them is next to impossible, and when you do, even on the phone, they are not very understanding of situations that are out of your control at the shop locations. Years ago I used to do a route of 200 shops a month for them, until I got tired of poor communication as when you do that many stores there is bound to be issues at one or two locations.

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There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots
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When you try to please everybody, you end up pleasing nobody
You are right! They are not understanding at all to situations out of control. I have two little kids, and while I wish it weren't so, they happen to get sick every now and again. If I can't take them with me and no one on earth will watch them if they have pink eye, I guess I am just S.O.L. smiling smiley
amie068...even though the shop location was closed, couldn't you have done the shop as a closed location? Turn in the info for a closed location. I don't know the shop you are talking about or anything, or sticking up for them for not communicating (I think that is the most ridiculous thing about MSing) but most of the jobs I have picked up for them as well as other MSC's there is guidlines for a closed location.

I am with you about the sick kids too...I have told my fiancee, hell or high water I will complete a shop on time, but if my kids get sick CANCEL.They are first.
Funny you should ask...the shop was scheduled on a Monday morning to be completed on Friday between 10am - 5pm of that same week. I was trying to plan out my week and wanted to make sure I had exact directions to the location as it was in downtown Charlotte, NC which is nightmare of one-way streets and can take forever to get turned around if you miss a turn. The rep at the location, which was a large bookstore, told me directions and also said they were closed on Fridays. i was a little surprised they were closed on Fridays, but whatever. I e-mailed the scheduler on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday asking if I could shop an earlier date (this was not an option from the original scheduling) or how to proceed. I looked at the form which did not have any option to select if the business was closed. I thought about going down there anyway, taking a picture of the closed sign, and indicating it on the report, but given that it is a 40+ round trip from my house, I would likely have to pay for parking, etc., I was not going to go through the hassle just to have the shop rejected. It was one of the highest paying shops I have ever seen on CRI so I was anxious to do it which is why I e-mailed FIVE days in a row. The scheduler responded about 6pm on the due date (the day the store was closed) saying I should have gone to the location the day before, even though it was not an option on the scheduling page or the form. Needless to say, I was aggravated at the rather untimely response and could have done the shop if they would have moved the due date.
Crappy. I am familiar with Charlotte, my parents live in Fort Mill...will be visiting there first week of June. LOL.

Any other time if you would have done it a day early you would get the opposite response...wrong date of shop. Can't ever win!
Exactly! I always see tons of shops with various companies in Fort Mill, Rock Hill, Pineville, and York if u wanted to do some. I guess those areas do not have a lot of shoppers because many of the shops have those wonderful desperation bonuses! smiling smiley
sorry to hear and agree that CORI is horrible with communication. and whenever i do talk with a scheduler on the phone, they always seem like they are miserable. just wondering...how did you schedule a shop for friday on a monday? their system has the 3 day period during which you can self-assign. was the shop assigned to you by a scheduler? i do a lot of work with CORI...mainly because they tend to pay the most in the area where i'm located. And, generally their shop forms are rather quick and easy. And, they pay fast and easy. Their downfall is very poor communication.
One of many downfalls to their system, even if it is in the job instructions that a location isn't open on a particular day (and I'm not saying it was in yours) the system sometimes allows you to schedule for that day. I missed it in the details once and learned the hard way when a gas station/convenience store was closed on Sundays. If it is not listed as being closed that day you should have been able to shop it as a closed location which they will pay in full for, but not having the option of reporting that way is weird.

When in doubt or under the gun with them do not, let me repeat, do not rely on e-mail and/or chat. Pick up the phone and call. I don't know their specific hours, but I always try between 9 am and 4 pm Monday through Friday.

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.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/05/2012 12:41AM by LisaSTL.
I agree about their communication... it's AWFUL! VERY hard to get a hold of a scheduler if you have a problem.
The scheduling was very odd - I think it was because it was the last full week of 2011 and maybe they had to get the shop done before year end? Not sure. Either way, I had signed up for the shop as a back-up a couple weeks earlier, and got a notice on a Monday morning that the shop was available. I jumped all over it as it was a $50 shop which is EXTREMELY unusual pay for CRI where I am. Usually shops are no more than $12-$15 at best. When I tried to schedule it, their crazy scheduling page would not let me accept any dates. I closed out the page but the shop was still in my "cart". I received an e-mail that afternoon saying it was noticed that I had the shop still in my cart and asked if I could do the shop the next day, which I couldn't, then I was offered Friday. I took Friday and within minutes ldiscovered that the store was not open on Fridays, but could not reach the scheduler or anyone online or by e-mail for assistance. You are right, I should have called, but I have spent so much time on hold or leaving unanswered voicemails with various companies, that I have almost banished that approach. At least with e-mail, I don't have to walk around with only one hand available while chasing a 2-year old! LOL!! smiling smiley
yea, sometimes you run into closed locations even when you try to avoid it. last fall i scheduled a nice route based around a $50 college bookstore shop. even though their stupid system allowed me to schedule it on a weekend, i avoided that knowing full well it would be closed. so i scheduled it for a monday. after i scheduled all of the shops, i just decided to go to the bookstore website and check their hours. CLOSED on Mondays. i was so mad that i hadn't checked before and learned a good lesson. the route wasn't worth it without that shop so i had to cancel all of the shops. my rating took a BIG hit because of that ridiculousness.
There's never a guarantee that you won't get voicemail and it may take a long time for someone to get back to you. The receptionist doesn't have the ability to let you hold either. I will say this about her, she is so sweet and so pleasant. Once when I was onsite with an issue and all of the schedulers were in a meeting she was able to help me. A couple of other times when it was urgent and the specific scheduler wasn't available she was able to get me through to someone who could help. In my book that woman deserves a raisesmiling 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.
Oh goodness - I did not mean to give the impression that CRI had placed me on endless hold, but I have been through that song and dance with other companies, so I am probably a little tainted. Given that the instant online chat function with CRI rarely works as it kicks you out after 15 minutes, I suppose I had very little faith that the phone system would work any better. With every other company I can think of at this moment, they actually prefer and sometimes beg you to e-mail and NOT call them. I never really have an issue with e-mail responses other than CRI.
Snuffycuts99 - you must have been chasing that same $50 I was!! My store was closed on Friday, yours on Monday. Wonder if this was an early April Fools joke? smiling smiley
I had issues submitting a report because they were switching to the Stericycle site and went through the same b.s. I had to " kick it up a notch " as someone mentioned earlier.
I have run into this issue before with this particular shop and discovered the store was closed on the day I scheduled it. However, I simply went the day before, as the scheduler suggested, and it has never been an issue.

Obviously, you had a different set of circumstances though, if there were no dates to select and you were asked to complete it Friday. However, I do know from experience that these shops in the past can be done on any open hours. I have never seen it so restricted that said you must shop on a certain day at a certain time frame. If that's the case, I can understand why the scheduler took the position they did.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/05/2012 06:45AM by mystikwizard.
A few yrs. ago, PAMINCA suggested that if CORI's fees weren't acceptable, to make them an offer; At that point, I'd never completed a job for this MSC. When a sub $10 hardware store in my neighborhood became available, I wrote stating my fee requirement; instead of replying though, I was assigned the job. All of my attempts to communicate met with failure, so I wrote requesting deactivation and the matter was closed. Folks, this company pays far too poorly to permit aggravation to spoil my day.
Hey, I've got to stick up for these guys. They give me plenty of shop opportunities....although I wait for them to raise the payment to where I think it's worth it...they pay on time, every time, and I've used their online chat and had good luck with it. Maybe I'm the "odd man out" here, but CORI has been a good company for me here in WA state.
CoRi has also been a good company for me too. I can't complain and have received email responses and chatted online many times. They have so many shops in my neck of the woods. I don't do all of them, just the ones I like and the ones that are profitable. I just love grabbing their shops when the fees go up. I would have to assume that those of you who dislike the company so much do not have shops where the fees rise dramatically during the month. I agree that their starting fees are low, but it's all in the game..wait and grab them when the fee is acceptable. If shoppers continually take them at the low fees, that won't go up much. I've noticed the gas station shops are getting taken at much lower fees...no surprise, but that is a problem, because although gas is going up, up up, the shops are now paying less. However, I still love Cori and their weekly direct deposits.

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A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.

Zen Shin Talks
Out of fairness, I should say that they do have plenty of shop opportunities in my area and, while they do not pay as well as I wish, they do pay faster than most companies. No matter my gripes with them, I don't have to accept any shop, so I will chalk my 2 bad experiences up as just that...a bad experience with a good company. I was just on their site today considering additional shops, so I suppose I am not nearly as upset as I was earlier in the week. I do wish that companies would have some empathy towards shoppers that have unforeseen scheduling hiccups such as personal or children sicknesses or other unexpected emergencies. It would be nice if companies would be somewhat accommodating to proven, devoted shoppers that are timely in reporting, thorough in comments, and move heaven and earth to accomodate tight scheduling issues. Out of respect of my good relationship with this and a couple of other companies, on a couple of occasions, I have paid more for a babysitter than I would make for a shop simply because I had established a great relationship and did not want to tarnish it. It too often seems that companies don't issue the same courtesy in return.
I can't seem to schedule anything through their system. The calendar won't let me pick a date. I read and reread the instructions, sent messages about it all to no avail. They say the shop is open and I am within the dates to choose it, but nothing-it won't schedule. I just gave up.
I had and still have the same issues. I will never understand why their scheduling system is so complicated. I never have scheduling issues with any of the other 47 companies I have worked with like I do with CoRI. Maybe I should call them like another member suggested and get a dumb-me-down explanation of their scheduling procedures.
LisaSTL Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> One of many downfalls to their system, even if it
> is in the job instructions that a location isn't
> open on a particular day (and I'm not saying it
> was in yours) the system sometimes allows you to
> schedule for that day. I missed it in the details
> once and learned the hard way when a gas
> station/convenience store was closed on Sundays.
> If it is not listed as being closed that day you
> should have been able to shop it as a closed
> location which they will pay in full for, but not
> having the option of reporting that way is weird.
>
> When in doubt or under the gun with them do not,
> let me repeat, do not rely on e-mail and/or chat.
> Pick up the phone and call. I don't know their
> specific hours, but I always try between 9 am and
> 4 pm Monday through Friday.

I haven't found a phone number for them, only email and chat. Where can I find a number?
I can't say who the BEST is, but pretty close to it (in my opinion) would be: BestMark, Trendsource, AboutFace, Second-To-None, Confero, oddly enough...Corporate Research International, International Service Check, Bare International, Monterrey, Dot 2 Dot Retail, Marketforce, and Certified Field Associates....I could add several more, but after a long week, that's all my mind will let me bring up at this hour. smiling smiley I am sure there are many horror stories with these companies, but I have had mostly great experiences with only a few exceptions. Some of the problems were my fault, some were their's. In the scheme of things, I think it is better to go with the general experience instead of focusing on one really great or really horrible experience.
amie068 Wrote:
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> I can't say who the BEST is, but pretty close to
> it (in my opinion) would be: BestMark,
> Trendsource, AboutFace, Second-To-None, Confero,
> oddly enough...Corporate Research International,
> International Service Check, Bare International,
> Monterrey, Dot 2 Dot Retail, Marketforce, and
> Certified Field Associates....I could add several
> more, but after a long week, that's all my mind
> will let me bring up at this hour. smiling smiley I am sure
> there are many horror stories with these
> companies, but I have had mostly great experiences
> with only a few exceptions. Some of the problems
> were my fault, some were their's. In the scheme
> of things, I think it is better to go with the
> general experience instead of focusing on one
> really great or really horrible experience.

I tried looking at Dot to Dot's job opening list and the only option seemed to be signing up for something. I submitted valid information and was taken to a page that said Error - Thank you for your applying; someone will be contacting you shortly.

Besides the grammar error in that sentence, is that how you signed up for this company? I am interested in retail merchandising but am having a hard time finding any available in my area - always looking for more companies!
Here's the number for CORI 419-422-3196. It seems like whenever they call me it always comes up as the same number, making it easy to make that quick decision whether to answer or notsmiling 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.
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