TNS delayed payments?

Just logged in to check their available assignments for my area, and saw a little yellow triangle at the top of my homepage on TNS, clicked it, and got this message:

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6/11/2013: Delayed Shopper Payments

Please be advised that many checks from all payrolls in May (and first of June) are delayed. Hopefully all of the delayed payments will be resolved this week. We appreciate your patience.
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I have not completed any shops for this company, yet...but from everything I've read on this forum, delayed payments do not sound very good - If an independent contractor accepts an assignment, and performs the work, and there is an agreement on when the independent contractor is to be paid, and the company delays payment, is that not a violation of the agreement between shopper/MSC?

Is this considered par for the course, for a company to delay payments to shoppers, or a highly unusual thing to happen? And when a company delays payments, what are some of the reasons why this would happen? Finally, am I naive to think that the company should add some sort of bonus when they have to delay payments, such as interest for late payments?

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I think you may be naive to believe companies will add a bonus when they pay late. Most do not. In fact, the only late-payer who added a bonus who comes to my mind was Freeman.....before they completely stooped paying, that is.....and left many shoppers unpaid.

There are several companies who do not pay until the shopper tracks them down and asks for the money after payment has become past due. JM Ridgway does this. I never had them offer a bonus....in fact they expect to have shoppers call and "remind" them. Since they never had to call and remind me to do the shop or submit the report, it seemed pretty unfair. I have refused to work for them since I do not work for companies who consistently don't live up to their own terms. Goodwin used to do the same as Ridgway but Goodwin has cleaned up and now pays according to their stated terms. I recently began to take Goodwin shops because they now pay on time without shopper reminders.

That has not been the case with TNS in the past. I have been able to count on them to pay a fair wage for a shop and they have always paid me rather quickly, according to their stated payment terms. If this late payment is a one time thing AND is being announced to shoppers, I can forgive. Once, maybe not twice.
I am interested in this subject as I have beed waiting for a payment from Secret Shopping Services for five months. It was an added bonus shop which required a purchase and a return the next day. I did it on time and received a "10" grade. When I hadn't been paid after two months I contacted them and simply got a reply that the company had not yet paid them and they would let me know when they got paid.

I have been shopping for ten years and have not had this experience before. Any suggestions on how to proceed?
Anyone involved with Secret Shopping Services may want to check out this article in Issue 3 of the Mystery Shopper Magazine: [www.mysteryshoppermagazine.com].

~Ceridwyn
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Subscribe to Mystery Shopping Magazine for free at [www.mysteryshoppermagazine.com]
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NCT, unfortunately, you may not have any luck in getting paid from SSS. The business is no longer in operation. You can still try contacting the owner, but it is doubtful you will get any resolution. So sorry. You are not alone in this situation.

_____________________________________________________________________________
"Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
~Viktor Frankl
This is going to sound strange but I much prefer a company tell me that payments are going to be delayed like TNS apparently did in this situation than a company owner ignore repeated emails about a payment. I know a delay is not ideal but I understand sometimes problems happen sometimes.
Life happens. I get that. All I want is a heads up so I know what to expect. For me, being in limbo is akin to being in hell.

I would much prefer that someone stepped up to say, "Hey, I know you're probably getting concerned about this. We apologize for this situation, and we're working on a solution." That I can respect.

_____________________________________________________________________________
"Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
~Viktor Frankl
In agreeance with the other posts by "seasoned shoppers", TNS is a great company and although I am not thrilled with their delayed payments this time, I am thankful they did notify us that they are behind in sending payments. I also noticed that their gas station shops were not grabbed up quickly like they ususally are in my area. With that said. . . . .now where's my check ;D!
tns always paid timely and I'm glad they gave a heads up about delayed payment. They are a good company. No worries from me.

Not my circus - Not my monkeys @(*.*)@

~Polish Proverb~
Perhaps their payments are delayed because the postal service
caught what they are doing. They send their payments out as
some type of survey thing which is a cheaper bulk mail rate then
regular mail and technically not allowed for what their mailing....

= + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = +
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
BusyBeeBuzzBuzzBuzz Wrote:
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> That has not been my experience. Their payments
> to me have always been sent regular mail.


Yours comes in a regular envelope with first class mail and not
some sort of survey return thing(I forget the exact wording) printed
on the envelope? It still comes with your regular mail....but different
speed of service. If I have time I'll look for an old enevelope if I kept
one to see exactly what it says.

Also any payments over 150 always come in multiple envelopes...
so if you are getting paid 476, they send 4 envelopes each with 150,150,150 and 26.
instead of just one check.....another sign of them trying to circumvent standard
practice...

= + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = +
There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots
==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==
When you try to please everybody, you end up pleasing nobody
Yeah, all my checks come in regular first class mail, with no mention of anything related to surveys anywhere. I don't remember amounts over $150 coming in multiple envelopes. Most of my payments are for under that amount. I think (but can't be sure) I have received checks for single shops for more than $150 though. If payment for a single shop was not on a single check, it was at least mailed in the same envelope. For example, a resort/time share shop that had a fee, mileage allowance, and reimbursement(s) totaling over $150 either was paid with one check or more than one check mailed together in a single envelope. (If I had received only partial payment for one of those shops, I would have remembered.)

I know some businesses (not in our industry) have an upper limit on the amount of each check. That's an accounting practice to prevent fraud/embezzlement.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2013 11:07PM by BusyBeeBuzzBuzzBuzz.
I have gotten $210 in one check from them. Mine also came in regular first class mail.

Not my circus - Not my monkeys @(*.*)@

~Polish Proverb~
Has anyone received their checks for May shops? I have not "bugged" my regular scheduler to ask and many times the schedulers who work from home have no idea what's going on with the company's payroll. . . . just wondering. . . . Thanks!
sun&fun Wrote:
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> Has anyone received their checks for May shops? I
> have not "bugged" my regular scheduler to ask and
> many times the schedulers who work from home have
> no idea what's going on with the company's
> payroll. . . . just wondering. . . . Thanks!


They said all payments from May and June are delayed....they hoped to have it resolved last week
which it doesnt look like they did...

= + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = +
There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots
==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==
When you try to please everybody, you end up pleasing nobody
I've been shopping for TNS for over a year and this is the first time there has been any issue with payments. I got my payment only 2 days late for May. I wouldn't let it scare you away.
I did a shop for TNS (my first for them) on April 26 and have yet to receive payment. The late payment notification is nice but I'm still out of pocket over $150. I've emailed them and they say "it's coming".
An email to those awaiting payment would have been much nicer. I've had to initiate contact with them to find out where my money is. That does not endear me to a company.

At this point, I'm not a thrilled shopper.
I received payment today for two shops performed on 5/11. Having read techman's post above about payments being sent as survey mail, I took a look at the envelope.

Payments are mailed in a pre-printed window envelope. The mail is first-class mail that states:

PRESORTED
FIRST-CLASS MAIL
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
SURVEY
Doesn't that just mean TNS is paying the presorted first-class postage rate for businesses? I tried to look up special postal rates for surveys and can't find anything. I thought "SURVEY" above was for USPS data collection purposes and did not mean the sender was claiming it was sending out a survey.

@techman What kinds of postal discounts do surveys get?
Has anyone received payments for May shops yet? I had a scheduler email me offering almost double pay for a shop far, far away from me. When I replied back about that particular shop, I politely enquired about the May 11th "delayed payments" message we received. She replied that the checks had been mailed the beginning of the week (that was 6/20) and my check still is not here. Late payments from MS companies are no big deal for me, but last week, 3 of the companies I work for on a regular basis were behind on payments. . . .

edited date of email correspondence with TNS (6/20, not 5/20)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2013 03:11PM by sun&fun.
sun&fun Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Has anyone received payments for May shops yet? I
> had a scheduler email me offering almost double
> pay for a shop far, far away from me. When I
> replied back about that particular shop, I
> politely enquired about the May 11th "delayed
> payments" message we received. She replied that
> the checks had been mailed the beginning of the
> week (that was 5/20) and my check still is not
> here. Late payments from MS companies are no big
> deal for me, but last week, 3 of the companies I
> work for on a regular basis were behind on
> payments. . . .

I performed two shops on May 11. I received my check in payment for those two shops on 6/22.
I just received these 2 emails from TNS.

The payment was processed on 6/3. You should receive it by the middle of July. Please let me know if you don't get it then.

Thanks!

Staci

It was mailed out the week of 6.18 according to the accounting department. You should receive it within the next few weeks.
Thanks,
TNS Support

Mailed on 6/18 and should arrive by July 15th. My mailman is not usually that slow!
I'd sure be wondering why a payment processed on June 3 takes fifteen days (till June 18) to hit the mail box and they think it won't arrive until four weeks later. Even Media mail moves faster than that!

"Mailed" should mean in a US Postal Service mail box, not, sitting on a counter waiting until there's money in the bank to cover it.

I did four shops for them in September and October last year, all of which were paid within six weeks of shop date but I'm thinking not to even look on their board until this issue is resolved. This just sounds fishy.

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I pray it does not occur that the last thing I did before I died was vacuum the house or eat broccoli.
I've been with TNS about 3 years and have NEVER had anything but delightful dealings with them. I understand all companies and shoppers have issues occassionally. But now, I am just plain being ignored AND lied to about my payments owed. I did my shops on time and correctly according to their terms and their payments terms outlined. . . . just a warning to fellow shopper - be on the lookout.
Again!

"7/17/2013: Delayed Shopper Payments

Please be advised that many checks from all payrolls recently are delayed past the normal "one month" timeframe. With changes recently in the payroll department, we will not check on "missing" or late payments until 60 days have passed. Thank you for your patience."

This is ridiculous. 60 days.
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