Kern and Their Incompetent Employees (Rant)

It has been a while since I have ranted, so here goes...

You send an urgent email about a project at a drug store. Purchase the product, try the product, do a questionnaire and get paid $10 plus reimbursement within a week. The shops must be completed December 12th. So, I apply, fitting you into my already crowded schedule. It is 6pm and I haven't heard from you about this shop, so I am forced to cancel.

This happens a lot with Kern... I seriously wonder how this scheduling company stays in business, considering they don't usually have self-assigns and are some of the slowest responding schedulers I have ever encountered.

When were you planning on sending an acceptance email? December 13th?

The incompetence of these schedulers when compared to most companies regular schedulers, or other independent scheduling companies, is amazing.

Arguing with fools is like playing chess with a pigeon...
...No matter how good you are, the pigeon will s@^t on the board and strut around like it won anyway.

Not scheduling for ANY company.

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What date did they send the email? Maybe they found someone else to do it. I don't make a practice of dealing with Kern.
They're still on the board and they sent the email about 6 hours ago.

Arguing with fools is like playing chess with a pigeon...
...No matter how good you are, the pigeon will s@^t on the board and strut around like it won anyway.

Not scheduling for ANY company.
I only work for companies that I can either self assign or I know will schedule quickly. I don't work for second to none for this very reason.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I was just wondering the exact same thing as Dante. I wasn't already busy tomorrow, so I applied for the two locations in town. That was a few hours ago. The shops must be completed and submitted tomorrow.

So... wth? When are we going to hear? I want to know if I'll be going tomorrow, or working from home.

Where are they located? Just wondering, so far as my time zone vs. theirs. Because I didn't actually apply for mine until about 4pm Pacific time. But they still indicated they were available.

Usually when I get such urgent emails, I'm approved (or get that auto email about being assigned to another shopper) the same day, usually in a couple/few hours.

Happiness is merely life's way of keeping you off-balance.
bgriffin Wrote:
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> I only work for companies that I can either self
> assign or I know will schedule quickly. I don't
> work for second to none for this very reason.



I'm usually scheduled *fairly* quickly with Second to None. And, I used to get decent bonuses from them for some jobs. Some of the bonuses were offered, some I asked for when I noticed a job had been sitting for a long time and was close to due/overdue. Some of those already *had* a bonus, just not enough of one for *me* to be the one to drive and do it. But still, they'd been sitting a long time usually when I asked for additional bonus.

But... I was told several months ago, just as an FYI from one of the schedulers, that the company's new policy is, if a shopper asks for too big a bonus (based on previous pay/bonuses for a particular job) too often, they will be deactivated.

That didn't set well with me. I've done a few jobs with them since, and I still like the scheduler I work with most often; but I don't like the threat of being deactivated simply for making an offer on a job that's obviously getting over-ripe, so to speak.

I also don't like how a couple of rejected shops were handled ~ mostly the reason they were rejected. Those copy center ones... but that's another story for another time. But those couple of rejected shops are about 1/3 of my total rejected shops in three years, so it stands out.

Happiness is merely life's way of keeping you off-balance.
Most of their shops I'm either too old for or too young for. I've only done their donut shops a few times and I've never had it assigned within 24 hours of requesting it.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I received the urgent email too. So, since I was at home and could get them done today, I applied for a couple shops, I haven't heard a word and the shops are still on the board. Now, I have to cancel the shops because I have a full day tomorrow.

**********************************
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. -Henry David Thoreau
**********************************
Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out. -Frank Clark
**********************************
As far as second-to-none: I've done a few shops for them but only with a bonus. I will not take their shops at the base pay. It appears to me that over the past 6 months they have reduced the bonuses that they offer so I have not found anything worth applying for.
In my experience with STN, scheduler-offered bonuses are more generous than what I would request.

Regarding Kern, I have found them to be non-responsive on more than one clutch occasion.
I applied for the same job with Kern and I was within two blocks of the store. If we had been able to self schedule, the shop would be completed and submitted. Now, if I get the shop for Thursday, I'll have to go back to where I was a few hours ago. Like most of you...Kern is slow on the uptake.

Not a fan of the "apply for" jobs either. By the time the scheduler gets around to giving you the shop, schedules are already made for that day by the shopper. I know that STN does the "apply" for shops, but they are one of my top 3 favorites. Pay is good and is quick. Never had a shop rejected by them and I have done plenty. I've only had one shop rejected ever and that was by Shopper's Critique.
Sometimes, I just don't "get" some of these companies. Summit Scheduling, I can reach someone any time of day. Sinclair is easy to reach on the phone and I find their employees extremely accommodating and helpful (especially Gina Hernandez and Bobby Withrow). I have no issues getting a hold of most MSCs or schedulers.

Oh well, they can keep their little $10 + reimbursement shops. I'll just keep this in mind the next time they are in dire need to have a certain shop done, like they have emailed me for on two separate occasions now and I came through for them. There's enough MSC's out there that I can pick and choose who I work for.

Arguing with fools is like playing chess with a pigeon...
...No matter how good you are, the pigeon will s@^t on the board and strut around like it won anyway.

Not scheduling for ANY company.
Dante, I've had no problems with Kern schedulers. In fact, I think they're better than many in the business. Sorry you've had such rotten luck with them. Hope others live up to your lofty expectations and they know the "force" they're dealing with!
Re: STN deactivation for asking for too big of a bonus too often -- that's outrageous. When I ask for a specific bonus amount, I'm just being real as far as "this is what you need to pay me to take the shop, it's fine if you can get someone else to do it for less." I am not greedy when I ask for bonuses, I try to be fair. If it's a 100 mile drive, 1 1/2 hours, each way, I'm going to ask for a good, say, $60 or so on top of what I think a fair shop fee would be (which may be a couple of bucks higher than the original non-bonused shop fee) to cover me for my time and expenses, if I want to do the shop. And I may well bump it another $5, $10, $20 if I don't particularly want to do it but the scheduler's saying "make me an offer." That's not greed, that's the harsh reality of life as an independent contractor.

It's just outrageous that that would be considered grounds for deactivation. I don't know what STN is thinking with this policy. It smacks of intimidation and if anything, has made me rethink whether or not I should shop for them at all.
DrSquash Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Re: STN deactivation for asking for too big of a
> bonus too often -- that's outrageous. When I askal
> for a specific bonus amount, I'm just being real
> as far as "this is what you need to pay me to take
> the shop, it's fine if you can get someone else to
> do it for less." I am not greedy when I ask for
> bonuses, I try to be fair. If it's a 100 mile
> drive, 1 1/2 hours, each way, I'm going to ask for
> a good, say, $60 or so on top of what I think a
> fair shop fee would be (which may be a couple of
> bucks higher than the original non-bonused shop
> fee) to cover me for my time and expenses

STN deactivated me when I dared to ask questions and expect logical, cohesive answers. Old, non-responsive software and inflexible schedulers. Who the heck needs that?
DanteInPA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sometimes, I just don't "get" some of these
> companies. Summit Scheduling, I can reach someone
> any time of day. Sinclair is easy to reach on the
> phone and I find their employees extremely
> accommodating and helpful (especially Gina
> Hernandez and Bobby Withrow). I have no issues
> getting a hold of most MSCs or schedulers.


I've only dealt with Summit once. Sent an email regarding a group of banks they seem to have trouble getting done. They were bonused and I was willing to do half a dozen or so of them. Got a reply asking for a number someone could call me at. I replied within minutes with my cell phone number. That was almost 2 weeks ago.......

Couldn't agree more about Sinclair.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I don't dislike Sinclair, but I find their testing policies to be tedious and pretty much bullpucky. A novella just to do a soft pretzel shop? No thanks. Other scheduling companies are shopping the same chain(s) too without the drama.
It's noon here on the 12th and I see that all the locations on their notice are still untouched. I'd applied to one within the hour it was posted and...nothing. I'm led to believe their site is not working correctly. Since this drug store is open late, I'll check back after my shopping this afternoon. They did say they will have more next week...maybe they'll have it together by then.

Silver Certified in the Maritime Northwest
bestofbothworlds Wrote:
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> I don't dislike Sinclair, but I find their testing
> policies to be tedious and pretty much bullpucky.
> A novella just to do a soft pretzel shop? No
> thanks. Other scheduling companies are shopping
> the same chain(s) too without the drama.

Their pizza photo shops aren't nearly as bad if they have them in your area.
Sinclair was the first company I did shops for. Despite their tests, the pretzel shops are fun and the report is easy. Also, they treat me good.

I'm anxious to hear from anyone who got scheduled for those Kern shops.

bestofbothworlds Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don't dislike Sinclair, but I find their testing
> policies to be tedious and pretty much bullpucky.
> A novella just to do a soft pretzel shop? No
> thanks. Other scheduling companies are shopping
> the same chain(s) too without the drama.

Arguing with fools is like playing chess with a pigeon...
...No matter how good you are, the pigeon will s@^t on the board and strut around like it won anyway.

Not scheduling for ANY company.
"Lofty expectations"? I guess it is lofty to expect to hear back from a MSC when they send an "Urgent" request out to fill shops, considering nobody else had heard from them.

There should be a "standard" that companies should be held accountable to by everyone. I have my standards and won't do any work for MSC's who treat me like I'm stupid, are unresponsive, or take forever to pay. Those are my standards. I am registered for over 60 MSC's, however, I only do work for under a dozen.

How exactly, are my expectations "lofty"?

bestofbothworlds Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Dante, I've had no problems with Kern schedulers.
> In fact, I think they're better than many in the
> business. Sorry you've had such rotten luck with
> them. Hope others live up to your lofty
> expectations and they know the "force" they're
> dealing with!

Arguing with fools is like playing chess with a pigeon...
...No matter how good you are, the pigeon will s@^t on the board and strut around like it won anyway.

Not scheduling for ANY company.
Tell me your thoughts on this, I very recently had an experience with a KSS (Kerns) scheduler which left me questioning their integrity and professionalism. I had a shop at a major grocery store chain which I had a problem and was unable to complete. The shop itself took me about 1 hour to complete after I left my day job at 5:30 p.m. I started the shop at 5:45 p.m. and finished it about 6:42 p.m. The store closed at 7:30. It was a rather large shop involving speaking to employees in 7 different departments and evaluating my interaction with them and the state of their departments. The problem was I could not could not evaluate the bakery. The bakery was the last stop the way the evaluation and the store was laid out. I reached there at 6:28 and there was no employee. After waiting several minutes for someone to show themselves I left the area and asked a nearby cashier where the employee was and was told they usually left between 6 and 7:00.

After arriving home I immediately contacted the scheduler with the problem and I received a one line email back saying "you must repeat the shop." THE ENTIRE SHOP. I have a major problem with that. The next day turned out to be a nightmare of drama with me trying to keep my professionalism and the scheduler all but calling me a liar and telling me not to argue with her. I hadn't even started to argue. I was explaining the situation and told her that I would be happy to go back that (next) day and do the bakery to finish the shop. But that wasn't good enough. She told me that I could do that but I wouldn't get paid for the shop. I had to do the entire thing all over again and that "these shops are set up so that all employees will be there," "you could have done the bakery first." How was I supposed to know that the employee wasn't going to be there at 6:30? Needless to say after it be insinuated that I was lying and her horrible attitude and total lack of cooperation, I was seriously angry. So, I sent her back a message telling her I would be happy to repeat the shop for an additional $20 for a total of $40. I did not respond to the next 3 emails she sent to me informing me she cancelled that shop, another shop that I had requested and then her 3rd and final one received a couple hours later saying "I'm cancelling this shop, I'm done!" After that I went to my account and deactivated my account then discontinued any email notifications from them.

I've been shopping for two years and have NEVER had this kind of problem before. Normally the schedulers and even editors are more than willing to help you when these types of weird situations come up. My question is...do you think I overreacted? Is this kind of thing normal for you guys? Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2014 09:10PM by DWMeowMix.
Well, if I looked at it from the scheduler's point of view, I'd think that someone was demanding twice as much money for a shop that he or she messed up.

If I looked at it from my point of view, I'd tell myself that it was a mistake to sign up for a large shop with such a narrow window of opportunity.

If I looked at it from your viewpoint, you've deactivated yourself, so there won't be any more problems with that place. Live and learn.
Have you tried calling one of the schedulers who works for Kern? I know KSSPete schedules for them and might be able to get you the number of whoever schedules those shops your referring to.

Floating around like a feather hoping the wind will set me down somewhere awesome.
Ishmal: I beg your pardon but you need to read my post again.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2014 10:40PM by DWMeowMix.
Yes, you overreacted, but I have no problem with the way you handled this. We all have to make our choices when these things happen. I tell myself it's always good to save the relationship if I can no matter how bad it gets. Personally, I would have done the shop over without complaint. They want what they want, not what I want.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
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