EPMS Video Shops/Equipment Rental Help Please!


I recently agreed to do a video shop where the company would "rent" me the equipment, everything was described as "so simple." So I receive the package late in the day after the staff have all left and open the package. I proceed to their site on the web and am very excited to see they have detailed instructions including a video that fully describes how to assemble the equipment and how to use it. Oh gee, the video depicts a totally different set of equipment!! Unable to reach anyone, I wasted an hour and a half trying to make sense out of it since I was supposed to upload a test recording same day of receipt. Their material has a threat every other sentence............."if you don't do this, we won't pay you..." "if you do this, we won't pay you...." So now I decide this is just more than I bargained for, the equipment isn't complete (no belt for the DVR), the instructions are not for this equipment and it appears that they want some out to avoid paying for your time doing the shop. So I email and say I'm returning the equipment, please reassign the shop. The response is that now I owe $75 in IRS taxes just for having the equipment. Has anyone had experience with this company or any other and can you shed any light on this situation? I certainly cannot afford to pay $75 for nothing, don't they have responsibility to send complete equipment in order for you to be obligated in any way?

Thanks in advance!!

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Take a deep breath. Call tomorrow and ask to speak to the video shopping manager. Robert is great and will help you. I have done many video shops for them and have been paid for all but one, where I shopped the wrong person. My mistake, so I did not deserve/expect to be paid.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
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Totally agree with the threat in every sentence - they are rude and unresponsive to emails, I wont do any more with them - bad time with them. Their reports are just dumb asks the same thing 18 times and these are not complicated questions - did they smile? to be asked 18 times if the person smiled seems kind dumb to me.

Their reports are long long long - if you narrowed out them asking the stuff over and over it might be a reasonable report.

If they wanted me to prove my theory of the world being created I could get that they may ask several times!

I have done several shops for them and I like working for them. I do not use their equipment and I will not do any video or audio shops because they did not pay me for one of the audio shops and they said it was inaudible. It seems reasonable to pay something since they got the report they usually get without the audio. I would avoid any video shops with them.
My concern is when do you get paid. They show I was paid on 1- 7 yet today on the 17th I have no money from them. I sent an email and they never replied.
You have to call EPMS. Too much email there. Their audio assignments specifically state: no audio, no pay. Why would you even write the report if your audio was inaudible? Pay is not happening. That's no reason not to shop for them.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I have done two video shops for them, no issues.

The key is good communication with Robert. ( I lucked out with the emailing.)

Robert WILL work with you. :-)

Good Luck :-)
I regularly do video routes for EPMS and I think that Robert Asher is a top-notch video pro to interact with.

They pay like clockwork, and as long as you are a good communicator via emails they will be as well.

HOWEVER: there is a verrrrry large cultural gap (let us say) between the EPMS written and EPMS video shop staffs. They are run independently and don't handle each other's work very often.

When I was doing EPMS written shops, misspelled and ungrammatical emails from schedulers were commonplace.

After switching over to the video side, it's a whole different experience. Like the difference between flying Economy and First Class overseas.
Kate is right. Robert Asher, who handles video for EPMS is great to work with.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I completed my first assignment for Ellis in the spring of 2006 and am not far from #200, including written, audio, video and property inspections; my relations with EVERYONE have been first rate.

Several yrs. ago, I received a letter from a female in EPMS management, explaining she wasn't pleased with my reports and I would need to revisit the locations; my response was OK. Before I could begin the re-shops, she wrote that she and the owner had discussed the issue and she learned the client was quite happy with my work and to scratch the original request; my response was OK. My point being that as an independent contractor, I had an obligation to submit work that was acceptable; my personal opinion of the repetition or length of the reports wasn't relevant to the jobs.

I edited this post to add that I well understand shoppers could have a diametrically opposed experience with an MSC and I realize that although mine have been positive with Ellis, others may not have been so fortunate. In addition, I deleted a paragraph and a sentence I felt weren't germane to the issue.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/19/2014 04:07AM by shopperbob.
I used to shop for this company and about 5 years ago they were wonderful.
Not so much today. Their scenarios are outdated. What used to take a day or
two to reach a specific target can take upwards of a week. This makes it
difficult and costly to rearrange your schedule to accomodate Ellis.

The instructions are lacking and your right it takes too long to get a hold of someone.
Their online system has all these little links- contact us- click for help yadda yadda.
When I kept clicking them with no response I got a condescending reply about sending
too many emails.

Aside from that it bothered me that the client is not getting an accurate sense of what is going on
with the shops. I had one target refuse to show and put me off. Back in the good old days this
information would be reported to the management company and you were paid a partial for the call.
Seems to me the management company who is paying should know they have an agent that doesn't want to show. Or an agent that doesn't keep their appointments. Isn't that their job that they are being paid to do? Isn't this what the management company wants to know? How can they get an accurate measurement of whats going on when Ellis is giving them only a piece of the picture? They deep six
the negative report , it disappears from your list and they mark it incomplete shop. I guess its easier for them to blame the shopper for incomplete assignment and keep trying to reassign it.

So long story short return your equipment. Ignore their threats. Send the $ 95.00 bill back to them.
Shopping is a 2 way street. We are held accountable and they should be to.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/19/2014 05:10PM by busybme.
Thanks for sharing all of your experiences. Like most everything in life, our experiences and perceptions (along with expectations) vary so I'm not surprised to see a wide range of experiences. I've learned that in cases like this, it's just better to part ways and move on! :-)
I don't agree that they deep six the negative reports. I have turned in a number of negative reports and have always been paid for them. But I do agree that the company is missing an important opportunity if they don't want you to report that someone is trying to avoid you or putting you off. I would think a leasing company would want to know that info.
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