About Face?


Sorry, Mert. I should be in bed. smiling smiley

Happily shopping Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut

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vlade--it's Mert, not Mort.
Mert--is Mert short for anything?

AF does really cheap shops here, topping at $12, but it's about demographics. They can get enough people working for low fees in an area that's saturated with shoppers.

Where are you, SusanB? And rural, city, or suburban
I've done several shops for them and received the $3 bonus or sometimes a $2 bonus. If they have to contact you at all the bonus goes down to $2. If they still don't like your answer it could be no bonus. But mostly I have received the bonus.
I have never been contacted. Just never got a bonus or an explanation. I just don't bother with their FAST! EASY! SUPER-QUICK! SIMPLE! shops any more.
I have done many of the shops with the three dollar bonus, and only one time I received two dollars instead. I love this company.
I received a payment nine weeks after the shop. This is slow for them.

Happily shopping Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut
vlade5394, did you have to chase it down? What was AF's explanation of the payment later than stated?
Yes Mert,

I sent an inquiry regarding payment for a shop that was about 20 days after their system indicated payment. I received a prompt response saying they normally pay about 35 days after submission but are behind in processing and that it should be paid within a week. It was paid two days later.

Happily shopping Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut
I would agree that this is slow for them. With one exception, I've been paid the end of the month following the shops. The exception was about a year and a half ago, when I had to inquire about an unpaid shop that was overdue by a month. Like you, I was paid within a few days after contact. Other than that, my payments have been like clockwork.
Hey shoppers,

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have about your payment. I will look into it and get back to you quickly. I can be reached at heather.stokes@aboutfacecorp.com. Thanks!

Heather Stokes
Shopper Ambassador
Finance Support

Heather Stokes
AboutFace Consulting Corp.
Director of Finance
Yes, I agree About Face has been good about their payment schedule in the past for me. In current times, we hear about businesses including MSPs going under going under even one late payment does tend to get my attention. However, at this point, I'm not hearing about significant problems with this company. I am pleased with their prompt response to my inquiry and payment well within the promised date. As such, I'm hopeful this is just a bump in the road for this company and will continue to shop for them.

Happily shopping Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut
Re bonuses on About Face shops, I got some - have shopped them since October - I just received payment for last month's shop NO $3 bonus. I went back to my editor's e-mail & she definitely gave me a 5 out of 5, then I went to the "Visits you've completed" to review the shop instructions. Only a $10 fee with no incentive pay! But I was positive this was $10, with required nonreimbursable purchase, & $3 incentive pay for outanding report. I wouldn't have taken it for $10 - the nonreimbursable purchase - the parking meter cost (it was downtown). I checked the instructions I had downloaded and it DID show $10 + $3 incentive bonus. I don't see the incentive pay on any of the current shops. Has About Face discontinued their incentive bonus pay? I e-mailed the editor and scheduler to ask, noting that I could forward them a scanned copy of the instructions I downloaded. It would disappoint me if they decided to discontinue, they would also discontinue on shops where it had been promised when the shoppers accepted and completed the assignment. Surely this is a mistake? About Face has been upfront and nice to work for.
Email them a question about the pay and a copy of your download showing the incentive. It may or may not do any good. I did that with JC & Assoc because my last shop I did with them was posted at $34 though subsequently shops dropped to $30. The inquiry was polite with an attachment of the download showing the $34. I was not even acknowledged with a response, much less the $4 due but not paid. Not likely to work for them in the future. I know Bugs loves that company but the stars here never aligned right and I seem to have to fight and chase payments every single job I do for them.
Ditto what Flash said about informing them of the details of the contract that they entered into with you. However, I would be more forceful. You are owed the fee, including the bonus, that they promised. Please let us know how this matter is resolved.

As for the bonuses, they have disappeared in my area as well. sad smiley

Happily shopping Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut
$3 bonuses are still offered here. I've been paid this bonus, when offered, for each shop I've done for them.
OK, Mert .... no more $3 bonuses. I got an almost-immediate response to my e-mail. The scheduler forwarded my e-mail to Heather Stokes who quickly responded to me:

"Hi Sharon, As of March 1, we no longer offer the ranking bonus on the shops. Any shops completed on or after that date will not include the bonus. The shop directions were changed for your shop on February 28 to reflect the change. In this economy, everyone is tightening their belt to ensure they survive the downturn and emerge unscathed. At AboutFace, we are committed to maintaining the shopper fees. The incentive system we have utilized in the past is going to be discontinued to help us in our efforts to do so, and even some fees will increase in a few accounts.

We are excited to say our company remains solid despite the weak economy, and we thank you for being a part of what makes us strong.

Obsessed with being the best,

Heather Stokes
Finance Support
Main: 678-989-2290 Ext 726
Fax: 678-365-2470
Email: heather.stokes@aboutfacecorp.com
www.aboutfacecorp.com "

I e-mailed back thanks for the quick response and stated that I believe, if AF was making a change in payment terms, all shoppers who had accepted but not yet performed shops affected by the change should have been notified to allow them to decide whether or not they wished to still perform the shop under the new terms. To not have done so seems duplicitous and blatantly unfair to shoppers. I am disappointed far beyond the $3.

It's a trust issue.
At least you got a response. I really hate when a company changes a shop after you have accepted it. I have had on-location shops changed to phone shops and requirements changed. Most of the time I have gotten a notice but from time to time I just accidentally discovered the change--usually when it was too late to decently cancel.

It seems like this company has reneged on its payment promise. If so, I'm very disappointed in them. You are absolutely correct, it is a trust issue. For three dollars most people aren't going to make a big deal over it, but it still is wrong.

Thanks for posting.

Happily shopping Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut
I must be such a terrible shopper and poor writer, because I never received any of their $3 bonuses for their FABULOUS! FUN! SUPER-EASY! SIMPLE! shops.

Welcome to my world. LOL
Yes, vlade5394, the $3 isn't really the issue as far as I am concerned. If they made a corporate decision to tighten their belt and change fee terms after shops were accepted, what happens if I accept a shop tomorrow .... and by the time I perform it in a week, they've made a decision to cut the fee in half? Up until now I've felt they were upfront and I'm extremely disappointed.

SusanMB, I've gotten the $3 on all (since October) shops except the 1st, I only got $1 extra on the 1st. I don't think it is the writing they grade on. Given the samples, they seem not to really care that much about writing skills, except spelling. In fact, writing skills may make it harder to get the bonus. What they seem to want is a methodical repetition of every single thing that happens, sometimes even things you'd take for granted. Also I think it depends on who edits it. Maybe you are too good a writer. Your posts are always reasonable and nicely written. AND while I think some of their shops are fun, I don't think they are SUPER-EASY OR SIMPLE. I find their report forms harder and more demanding than most of the MSP's reports. They seem much longer, too, or is it just me?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/13/2009 03:07AM by AustinMom.
I've only done 2 or 3 for them, but never bonused, not even by $1.00! I think I am a decent writer, but certianly not too good. I spell-check everything in Word first, so there were no spelling errors. They never told me why, just a "better luck next time" sort of attitude.

I decided that I just couldn't deal with it. It made me feel lousy each time so I just stopped. I agree the reports were never super-easy or simple, even though they advertise them as such. They seemed exactly the same, if not worse, than others. I wonder if they were bonusing some that were in areas hard to fill? Who knows.
Less than two weeks ago, their available shops, to me, were still $$ plus $3. I've not received the we're sorry email, but don't doubt it. I have not accepted their shops recently.
Nor have I, though I did note that the emails were not promoting the bonuses any more. Since I find their fees low and the bonuses arbitrary I just don't bother.
I don't think they've sent out a mass we're sorry e-mail. I received the above e-mail as a response to my direct inquiry to the scheduler asking if it was a mistake that I had not received the $3 bonus, as the instructions to my shop offered, although the editor had given me a 5 out of 5. The scheduler forwarded my e-mail to Heather in Finance who immediately sent me the e-mail telling me any shops performed 3/1 would not include the bonus. And that does include shops which were accepted before 3/1 with the bonus in effect. I think it was nice that they did respond - many others might just not both to respond - but I was disappointed that the payment terms were changed after I accepted the shop.
I would say that isn't legal, but since it was a bonus anything goes really. Since I've never received a bonus (still bothers me, obviously) I never looked at their shops as if the bonus was part of the pay, which really made them low paying shops. It was like that $3.00 put them over the edge to acceptable, you know?
AboutFace's May 1st email for a motorcycle shop offers a $3 bonus; I can't accept it due to scheduling conflicts, but it's a decent fee. One would certainly expect it to be paid upon submitting a quality report.
I sent an email today about payment starting back in march. Heather responded and paid me immediately...winking smiley

Shopping Bama and parts of Georgia.
I'm still learning 24/7.
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