Second to None coffee shops

YEAH>>>>>>>>>>....the coffee shops are back.......about 700 or so posted around here for Feb and March.....i was going through caffeine withdrawal.

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They are still in business. They never had a bank here.

“Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling."
~Gilbert K. Chesterton
Second To None sucked for me. After applying to MS for them, they deactivated me for no reason whatsoever. I never even did any shops for them. It seemed that they simply didn't need any more shoppers in my area. I guess I'll give them another shot and try applying again, now that they seem to have their coffee client back.
If I was a fan of the coffee at their coffee shop I might consider doing the job. But I make MUCH better coffee at home (and at the office back before I retired). So why take a cheap shop for coffee I don't like with a company that has tried to game me in the past???
How is the delivery of the required java shop "equipment" handled? Do they fedex you the items? I gathered they would deduct the fee for said items in your shopper pay.
I have never done the kind of shops they do for coffee now, nor have I ever wanted to, and don't want to in the future. However, my scheduler at STN is wonderful. She bonuses for a reshop (on the 2 times I had to), bonuses sometimes for others, and has been wonderful at email responses. The one time we had a mix up she went to bat for me-I had input the wrong date as I was just messed up and a day off in my brain! So that shop got paid though it was first rejected by QA. I like them. The shops they do in my area pay fairly and often better than fairly.

“Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling."
~Gilbert K. Chesterton
data1025 - If I remembered right, my equipment came through regular post office mail. They did deduct me 35 bucks after I registered on this forum and found out that someone could bargain with them for free.
The shop is quick and easy though. Report is not so bad. I like their bonus shops.
Yes, I have heard several folks mention over the years that if you were willing to do especially hard-to-fill jobs in your area they could/would waive the fee.
data1025 Wrote:
> How is the delivery of the required java shop
> "equipment" handled? Do they fedex you the items?
> I gathered they would deduct the fee for said
> items in your shopper pay.

simply ask if they will waive the fee...........they did for me and many others.
If they need help in your area, they will gladly waive it. I explained that it would take 4 shops for me to recoup the deposit/fee. Yes, the deposit/fee is refundable once you send back the equipment if you no longer wish to shop for them BUT I just couldn't see paying is worth a shot to ask them.
A new ms buddy of mine that only lives 10 miles away signed up and they wanted to charge him the fee. I told him to ask them to waive the fee.........even mention that they waived it for me (although that was over 3 years ago) As soon as he asked, they said "SURE".

I'm with you on this Flash. They just tried to "Game" me on a shop. Rejected it without notification. Even when I emailed a copy of the receipt as proof they stated it was now a week old and no good. I hope they lose this contract after I have posted on my board about it...:p

Shopping Bama and parts of Georgia.
I'm still learning 24/7.
When the most recent round of coffee shops came through I was rather dissapointed because they didn't assign me a SINGLE SHOP!!! Last year, I made sure to do lots of hard-to-fill areas for them at the very last minute. You'd think they would have noted this on my account or something. Well, I wrote a note when I applied for some local jobs and reminded them that I had done many hard-to-fill jobs for them, and they didn't give me anything. Now I keep seeing e-mails come through for the crappy locations and little notes saying "I see you have done this one in the past, will you please do it again?" I politely decline these days because I'm sick of putting miles on my car trying to build up my reputation.

I do sometimes e-mail schedulers and volunteer to do the hard to fill jobs, providing they give me all the good ones too. Usually this works with other companies and for some reason it doesn't with Second-to-none. Don't know what the deal is with that.
Do you ask, or are you offered, mileage or bonus incentive for the hard-to-fill shops?

Competition is often fierce. If you can track when the jobs you want are normally posted, be online at the MSP's site at that time each month, waiting to strike. Sometimes jobs are gone before the emailed postings even hit your inbox.
Mert Wrote:
> Do you ask, or are you offered, mileage or bonus
> incentive for the hard-to-fill shops?
> Competition is often fierce. If you can track
> when the jobs you want are normally posted, be
> online at the MSP's site at that time each month,
> waiting to strike. Sometimes jobs are gone before
> the emailed postings even hit your inbox.

Yes I actually have gotten some bonuses from this company for the long trips. However, I have also done many shops for them that are in those "kinda far and inconvenient" places, but I do not ask for bonuses on them, thinking that picking them up without begging for more would make me more favorable to this company. For example, one shop I did required driving 4 hours one-way to get on a ferry and do a shop before 10 AM on an island. They were desperately begging and I figured I could make a little day trip of it. I had the gas reimbursed, but this was only because it was like the last acceptable day and they were D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E. So, that day I spent 8 hours in the car, 1 hour on a ferry, all to do a shop where I basically made nothing.
I cannot say that I had any negative experiences with that shop, or others when it comes to dealing with Second to None, but it seems as though I am not "favored" in my area. I have never even had the opportunity to shop the locations in my city. I work for Ritter and some others that all are good about giving me nearby locations when I pay them special favors. This is why this particular situation is really starting to get under my skin. Having been with this company for a year, I would have thought they would throw me a bone sad smiley.

So anyway, I can be positive about the whole experience and say that I was lucky to be able to go somewhere cool and have the gas and ferry paid. However, there are other shops that weren't so great. I did another one for them that was on a college campus, 1 1/2 hours away, that had no parking anywhere near the entrance. It was another one of those where they were desperate and begging. I told them I would need X amount of dollars for gas and X amount of dollars for mileage and time spent (because it literally would have taken 4 hours of my day for that one shop, which I explained to them). The scheduler was not happy about this amount and said she wouldn't pay it. I kept getting emails for this one for a few more days. I wrote again. I said that I would do it for way less because I had found a couple of other shops in the area. I got the shop. It was very difficult to find amongst a bunch of buildings and I had to walk all the way across campus to get to it. I did the shop, got paid, everything ok there. Then a few months later, I get another one of those desperate e-mails for the same location. I tell them I need X amount of dollars for gas and time. Scheduler complains that I had done it for less before and gets irritated with me. I tell her that the last time I did it, I had other shops in the area so I didn't need as much. She doesn't accept my offer. Another person accepts shop. That person flakes. I get e-mailed again. I tell her the same price. She doesn't like it and finds someone else who does it a bit cheaper.

So I sit here and wonder if I'm being punished because I haven't been bending over as far backwards for them as I was in the beginning? I used to get shops with them in a city about 30 miles from my house, pretty much every round. However, this past round, I didn't even get any of those. So I went from getting 3 or 4 shops per round down to none.

I guess someone in my area must really be a favorite of theirs. I wonder if they are driving all over timbucktoo to pay them favors?

Thanks for letting me vent. I always was pretty happy with STN and never had any major issues, I'm just jaded that I got NOTHING this round.
It's frustrating for sure. Some MSPs are fickle - one month you're gold, the next you're not. I would think there are several things going on, none of them punishment. Say that you were first choice - you're dependable and submit good work, but need $$ to justify the shop. The MSP found a shopper at the last minute willing to work for pocket change. Loyalty and performance fly out the window. Editors clean up the report that surely falls into the category of you get what you pay for.

Or, maybe budget cuts don't allow any wiggle room for mileage, or bonus. Also, more shoppers are most likely horning in on your turf.

Business, when it stays afloat, can be cold.
I was once one of those "work-for-nothing-to-get-my-foot-in-the-door" shoppers. Now the door hit me where the good lord split me. tongue sticking out smiley

Honestly, I don't see what the huge draw is to these coffee shops, other than the yummy coffee. I guess I can just go grab a gas station shop from another company and use the payment to get a cup of coffee since the report is much shorter and requires very few details. I basically have just been picking up the out-of-the-way ones to fill in the gaps in the past. Now I just want the ones in my city, but the competition here is fierce for all shops.
I don't do the kind STN has left-I am not up for temp taking and weighing. I preferred the SOS ones that are no longer done. I don't like that brand of coffee, so did it for money as the pay was fair for easy report and low time investment, at $10 (plus bonus sometimes...), especially if I had to be in the neighborhood anyway. I only do SOS shops for coffee, but am lucky as we have 3-4 companies besides the green one that shop their stores, and coffee stores are plentiful here, yet shoppers not so much (thankfully!) And the ones I like best don't tell me what to order, or what size, but allow me to order anything I want as long as it is a blended beverage that needs to be made by the barista, not a regular coffee or tea the cashier can do.

I will do a few less than optimal shops to get my foot in the door with a company and prove myself, but once I have, I wouldn't do a shop unless the $$$ are there and/or I really like the shop. I rarely do anything more than 2 miles from home, but have been known to do a route for a glorious day on the north shore every few months, especially when I am offered last minute bonuses, or to tack a shop that is near family onto a family visit. I am lucky that there are so many things that are tourist things that get shopped here so close to home.

To me, it sounds like you live in an area with tons of shoppers and they maybe try and give everyone something, use their tried and trues for the area you want, etc. Next time they want you you do one of those bend over backwards ones, why not say, "If you can give me two X's in X city (X) month, I will."

“Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling."
~Gilbert K. Chesterton
Shopping is definitely a two way street. When you have bent over backwards to help and the favor is not returned it is time to try another street. There are many many many other companies out there. I have not done anything for STN for more than two years, have not missed them and it has saved me a whole bunch of grief judging from the jobs I did do for them.
Yep... my area is very saturated. It doesn't help matters that now my friends are gung ho and stealing my jobs because they found a few of the better companies to sign up for. I rely on the money I make to pay for my car and clothes for my kids, so it bums me out when my own friends take my jobs now... another story for another thread and day.

I also have not done anything for STN in probably at least 4-5 months, probably longer. I did a lot for them before that, but realized that their questionaires were set up weird and I prefer going with a company that uses Sassie or Prophet. I did some bank shops with STN too and they almost didn't accept one of my shops because I couldn't remember the exact color of the banker's hair. She had that kind of dark blonde/brown hair that you never really know if you should check off brown or blonde and it was kind of pulled back. So, they wanted clarification and I gave them the best description I could and then I even started describing a conversation that I had about a picture on the wall, just for some added proof that I was there!

Oh, and STN also does a grocery shop in my area that requires an insane amount of details and only pays $10. For some reason everyone snags these things up. It's impossible to be discreet when you have to remember 2 names and descriptions, and every single item in a 9 try hot deli. Not to mention you have to buy at least 1/4 lb. of deli meat at no less than $4.99 a lb. on sale. I sometimes get the begging e-mails about these every once in a great while, and when I respond saying I'll do it, they already have the thing filled and then tell me "sorry we gave it to another shopper." Sorry? No, thank you!
Well, I love the coffee shops.....they are super easy even w/the weighing and temp and they bonus them nicely around here........we have tons of them too.
I try not to do more than 2 a day as the report can get redundant but the locations are on way to and from work and also near my home. They pay quickly and I have never had an issue w/STN......but then, all I ever do is the coffee shops.

I am not eligible for the coffee shops because I used to be an employee. sad smiley Sadness! I have never even seen a posting for the shops either, and I live in Seattle! I assume they just don't show up on my search because I answered truthfully when the said NO PAST EMPLOYEES. Oh well. Silly question....but do you think I should've lied? I want the quantity of work it provides (20+ stores in 9 mile radius), not an opportunity to be bias.

Everyone else- enjoy the shops....people bonuses hang in the balance. If they earn it- let em know....if they don't-hopefully they will do better next time! smiling smiley

What I find funny is that another coffee shop, owned by THIS coffee company, is handled by a different MS company...or maybe thats just their bookstore locations...
They own SBC?

“Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling."
~Gilbert K. Chesterton
Yep.........they bought SBC.......funny, McDonalds serves that coffee and they are competing on the mocha/latte w/the other company but the more SBC coffee McDonald's sells will end up benefitting the big name coffee company..

jjage.........2nd to none only shops the grocery store coffee shops now...not the freestanding/mall locations. I imagine you can't see the shops because you were an employee and since they are self assign........prolly don't want you accidentally signing up.
How long ago did you work for them??? Some MS companies just in the last 5 years.......perhaps, it has been long enough........but again they may not allow it no matter how long ago.....

Well, just received notice from my scheduler:

"We currently do not have [coffee client] shops at this time and do not foresee any in the near future. Thanks, Ryan"

so, don't know if the coffee place has just temporarily suspended shops or if they are going to other MS or permanently stopped being shopped.

Anyone that might have paid the deposit for equipment....might want to contact 2nd to None about shipping the equipment back and getting your $$$ back unless you want to hang on to it hoping shops will resume w/this company. I didn't pay for the equipment as they waived the deposit. They haven't mentioned anything about returning equipment so I will simply hang on to it.........course, if they want it back.........I would expect them to pay the return postage.....they prolly will just let it go though as it doesn't seem much benefit to get everyone that had the fee waived ship back equipment at THEIR expense.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2009 01:00AM by bugspost.
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