I did not see this addressed anywhere and I wanted to post this to keep ya'll from making the same mistake I made. I've done 14 shops for EPMS over the past year and I felt I was pretty comfortable with the instructions. . .I did not get paid for the last one because they claim I didn't follow the "special instructions" as far as stating how I learned about the community. I realize in their instructions, it reads "you can say you heard about the community from a friend or an apartment book" unless the "special instructions" state otherwise. They said I was supposed to have said I learned about it in a particular apartment guide. I have a shop this week, I did not see any "special instructions" so I called to make sure I wasn't missing anything. She told me next to the phone number it reads "bing.com". That is where I'm supposed to say I learned of the community. I have no idea what "bing.com" is and neither did the EPMS rep. I just spoke with. Nowhere else in the information/instructions for this shop is "bing.com" mentioned. I find it VERY FRUSTRATING that when we fill out the forms, we have to address the same issues over and over (i.e how did you learn of the agent's name?), yet they are so ambiguous with their "special instructions". Anyway, as I wrote, I hope noone else makes this mistake and loses time & money.
A few yrs. ago, I too missed a "special instruction;" there were 2, but my eyes only saw 1. Like Sun, I also wasn't paid; that's business. It was my error, and I accepted I hadn't completed the assignment as directed. Indeed it was work for nothing, but I had no one to blame but myself.
My point was, I don't consider putting "bing.com" next to the phone number a "special instruction". This is NOT ADDRESSED anywhere else. My attempt was to be helpful to others, not to claim that the error wasn't my fault.
I agree with both of you; the Special Instructions are often hidden DEEEP in the block of text. Not fair. And not good business, if they have to start all over again with another shopper at the property.
I, too, have had the pain of losing $$ to a small difference in the Special Instructions.
But the $$ I lost was nothing compared to the snarky smarmy email I received from an EPMS editor. After having written 1,992 words on an apartment complex the editor's email was unnecessarily smug.
Ah, well, I'm off traveling the blue highways and the EPMS editor is... in a cubicle somewhere. C'est la vie.
Stuff happens! My big miss was my only rejected shop for EPMS. The instructions read, "target: anyone but Mr. Smith." Guess who I made an appointment with and shopped? My scheduler, Robert A., had the grace to call me and commiserate, telling me that any shopper that does a lot of shops will, sooner or later, pull that goof.
Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel
sun&fun -- Thanks for the heads up. Now I have to go back and look at the instructions for the shop I just did. If that kind of notation was under the phone number, it would have meant nothing to me. That kind of instruction should be put in the section that discusses how you heard about the community. After all, they make a big deal of saying if you're going to use the internet make sure they advertise on one of the rental websites and that you can't say you were driving by if you need directions.
We're cool, shopperbob. I have deduced that EPMS is just trying to send me to the looney bin!! I have called my community 8 times in the past 2 days and kept getting a recording or "Lisa" or "Carrie". I finally asked for my leasing agent by name "KHADIJAH" . . with last name. Lisa says "Oh she goes by Carrie, but she's not here right now, she'll be in in the morning". Now why didn't I realize that I should have been asking for "Carrie"??????????????? Just venting at this point, but could have done the shop today and had the payment this month! OH Well, glad I got that puzzle solved!;D
I recently did a shop for this company it was my first and will be my last, I read all the instructions very carefully and printed everything out so when I did the shop I'd have a printed reference. It took me two days to get my target on the phone and she promptly passed me over to someone else. I called the company and asked what I should do, I was told to go down and walk in like I just walked in off the street and see if I could get my target, now under the facts and tips heading it says "Ways to jepordize you identity" do not ask for you're target by name.
I went to the complex and did what I was suppose to, I was greeted by the manager and she was the one that went over the availibily of apartments. I filled out the survey and now I'm being told that because I did not ask for my target by name I will not be paid. The proofer said we have rules and regulations.....well what about DO NOT ASK FOR THE TARGET BY NAME. She informed me her decision stands, now as I read about them not paying others I'm wondering if this is their standard way of getting around not paying, this was a $50 job and definately not the time and energy I put into it.
Definitely do what avitoots suggested. You did have a special circumstance and the editor may not be aware of the situation. I've had that happen before with other companies and once the editor was made aware, all was good.
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 am supposed to do two for them today (final), but since their phone system is down yesteday and today, unable to call. Called for target 4 days prior, updated (like a good shopper would), no word, but an email saying, "keep trying"....for how long was my reply. I've put in over an hour and not started yet, this is so not o.k. They will try and re-schedule for next week, but I'm overwhelmed with Dr's. appts due to an upcoming eye surgery. We do have a life, I'm over and out!! Some one else can have it with my blessing.
Sometimes it's taken me a couple of weeks to hit a target and I don't mind since the calls are all relatively short, a minute or two. They do eventually give you permission to ask for the target but that's only happened to me once. I have also found them to be extremely accommodating when I have had to explain that I couldn't call/visit on a day because of other things that were previously scheduled. I have found that all I've had to do was ask.
I like this company. I had something weird happen to me though last year. Their recorded phone system never showed a record of my call. It never happened before that or since that time. Has that ever happened to anyone else? I was lucky because it was not a target shop.
Well if this is not the final thread I read of the night....I just signed up with them for a shop tomorrow!!!!! I have done more than a dozen shops, but now I am going to sleep with one eye open wondering about the bing.com, etc., etc. I already have to worry about the fabric coverings of the side chair in the corner of the clubhouse, now someone's going to be binging me on the head with an announcement of no payment after I spent 2 hours answering a shopping report???? Good thing I do know what bing.com is....only because I accidentally loaded it as my default browser when I bought something online a few weeks ago. Now, I can't get the stupid thing off! Besides the point, but now I have a bee in my bonnet about this shop tomorrow.
Can anyone identify the purpose of the "please update me on the status of the shop" emails? All it does is clogs my inbox. If I can't reach the target, you will be notified. What is the point of a due date if we are going to be harrased anyways before the date arrives? I would much rather them have a states "updates on this shop must be turned in 72 hours after accepting it" than me having to get these annoying emails from the scheduler. Nevermind that their 24 hour rule doesn't apply anyways. If they give you 24 hours, they'll take action before then.
I keep updating and still get emails asking to please update. They removed one of my two shops without telling me, and
when calling, couldn't get through (code# invalid). When I wrote I was told one job had been cancelled. I did finally
reach target for other job and made appt.....whew. Thanks for the Bing.com update, I couldn't find it. Not an easy feat, going on since last Wed. There phones lines were down over weekend.
You've inquired as to the purpose of the "status update" letters. While I would think it's self-explanatory, it's to update Ellis on the status of the shop. If, in your opinion, the clogging of your in box is an unacceptable aggravation, there're several solutions:
1-De-activate your account
2-Remain active, but don't select work
3-Designate an E-mail account only for EPMS
Predicated upon the remainder of your letter, you're frustrated with some of their business decisions. In that I've been in your position with other MSCs, why not move-on to greener pastures? Personally, except for the repetition of the reports, I'm quite pleased with Ellis.
EPMS has been hit or miss for me. First shop I did I missed the color of the agent's eyes and could not remember what the office looked like. Next time I didn't let the agent "lead" me through the apartment. Third time I couldn't reach anyone (it was an untargeted shop) even though I attempted to reach them for over 3 hours. Because that one was 75 miles from home base it was late in the afternoon when I would be unable to reach anyone, I went ahead and shopped it.
I got dinged on Shop 1, 2 and 3. Shop 4 - no problems. It's been a real learning curve for me. I just hate that they dinged me and in the case of Shop 3, I reported that no one answered the phone all afternoon as I thought that would certainly be something the client would want to know. Not so says EPMS editor, I was told someone from the EPMS office would have to call and do the telephone portion.
So on shop 4 I made sure I reached the agent, made sure I got her eye color, made sure I knew how the office was laid out and decorated, and left the agent lead me and guess what - no kick backs and no dings on my compensation.
So now I've just accepted 2 more targeted shops for next week. Guess I am a glutton or just plain greedy but they are paying $45 each so I couldn't pass them up. Now if only I don't do something wrong in the eyes of the editor . . ..
I always say I learned about them online and that I can't remember which website. I also always check to see if the apartment is listed online. I figure if it's a generic enough response they can't ding me. However, if you say online and they're not listed on any online site that could be a problem. There is no way that I would have known that the website designation next to the phone number would have been the website I was supposed to reference. So, thanks for the heads up on that.
I don't understand why you would get dinged for the agent not leading the apartment tour. Some agents don't do that, they don't say anything about the apartment. I've explained what has happened in detail that I had to ask the questions because the agent did basically nothing and have never been dinged by that.
I just reached my target (Manager), and he told me he'd be happy to make an appt. with one of the agents....
I tap danced my way out of that one, and made appt. with him for /Sat., not without stress, he kept saying,
I am busy Thursday, Friday, trying hard to get out of appt. Hope he shows up. Tour is defintely easiest part
of job, and for me remembering is o.k., I remember details, go figure.