I am very dissatisfied with intelli-shop right now.
I was assigned to do two mystery shops at a popular tourist landmark here in New York, and doing them together would give me a bonus. One was to buy a ticket voucher from street hawkers near the landmark, the other was to go inside and actually purchase a ticket, go to the top, and report on what happened. I did both to the letter in mid August and was told I got a 10/10 on both of them.
Then I had my report for the landmark's evaluation itself bounced back to me, telling me I didn't follow the instructions, AFTER getting a 10/10. I had to call Intelli-shop and suss things out with them, and it turns out my editor didn't actually read my report and thought that I was using the ticket voucher I bought from a street hawker even though I uploaded my ticket and receipt for the ticket I purchased inside. I was very displeased with them, how they didn't even bother to ask me for more information, but bounced it back to me as canceled. I explained to them what actually happened and they allowed me to edit my shop and resubmit it, with the stipulation that I was not allowed to mention the voucher at all in my evaluation for some arcane reason: something that was never told to me. They even let me know that their instructions were poor and they would fix them. I fix things up, in part by removing all references to the voucher, get it reviewed again, and am told it was a 10/10. As weeks went by, I deleted my notes.
So to my surprise, at 7:30 PM on a Sunday night, I am told my report is incomplete and they now want a verbatim quote from a guard who told me I had to redeem my voucher at another location within the landmark. This is impossible for me to do because of two reasons, one, as I said, I was told I had finished this shop TWICE now and it has been a whole month since I completed it, and I did not have my notes, and two, I cannot give you the details of the conversation without mentioning the voucher. They've put me in a catch-22 situation, and, of course, they want me to edit my report and give it back to them within 12 hours.
And on top of all that, the editor who sent me this request isn't in the office and I have no way to get in touch with them other than emails, which they probably won't read until business hours tomorrow (which is after those 12 hours). Why did they take so long to let me know about this problem? Why couldn't they have emailed me during business hours so I could call them back?
Intelli-shop, I've worked with you before. I tried to ignore all the warnings other shoppers gave me about your company, and at first had no issues. But this shop, and another I did at a sports stadium, has soured me on working with your company. Between the lack of communication, attempts to cancel my payments, requirements that were not in the guidelines and long payment times, I am done working with you. This is extremely unprofessional.
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Ouch.....I have done one shop for them and without problems but after having experienced a slide in the quality of dealing with another MSC, I will take your experience to heart and avoid this MSC for awhile. I'm sorry this happened to you - it sounds very stressful and insane to deal with. I guess the good news is that we have these types of forums to warn each other about the lower quality MSC's and to praise the better MSC's. I hope you are able to achieve resolution with Intelli-shop.
While I fully respect your annoyance at what they are putting you through and agree they are not handling this honorably -- why would you delete your notes? How much room were they taking up that you felt the need to destroy them after only a month?
I know I'm a bit of a pack rat, since I keep everything forever, but I do not understand why you would delete something only a month later, especially after it had been questioned once. Don't most of the MSC policies say to keep your information for six months, a year, or some other length of time?
Here's your verbatim quote: "I'm sorry, you'll need to redeem this voucher (wherever he said to go)." If you can't mention the voucher, maybe your verbatim quote is, "Good morning, I hope you enjoy your visit."
Stupid questions deserve stupid answers, and what they're asking constitutes a stupid question. Tell them what they want to hear.
> While I fully respect your annoyance at what they
> are putting you through and agree they are not
> handling this honorably -- why would you delete
> your notes? How much room were they taking up
> that you felt the need to destroy them after only
> a month?
My notes are on my phone which doesn't have a particularly large amount of storage.
> I know I'm a bit of a pack rat, since I keep
> everything forever, but I do not understand why
> you would delete something only a month later,
> especially after it had been questioned once.
> Don't most of the MSC policies say to keep your
> information for six months, a year, or some other
> length of time?
I hold on to my receipts for quite a while, but I delete my notes when a report is finalized. I think that's a reasonable expectation. I was told this was finalized twice now.
> Here's your verbatim quote: "I'm sorry, you'll
> need to redeem this voucher (wherever he said to
> go)." If you can't mention the voucher, maybe
> your verbatim quote is, "Good morning, I hope you
> enjoy your visit."
> Stupid questions deserve stupid answers, and what
> they're asking constitutes a stupid question.
> Tell them what they want to hear.
I was told I needed to go somewhere else to get my voucher redeemed and had to leave a line. It's hard to explain that without using the word voucher, and if I lie and he says "have a good day" then it doesn't explain why I left one line and got into another and went to another part of the building for a hour and a half.
Doesn't your phone have the capability of emailing your notes to whatever email address you choose?
I mean, I know that won't help in *this* situation; but it might be something to consider for later.
Usually, everything in my notes goes into my report. I save all of my completed reports by printing-to-PDF.
If there are notes that *can't* go into the report for some reason, I either email them to myself (if they were on the phone) or, if they were hand-written, I take a photo of 'em just like I do receipts, and save that. You know, that stuff they say to keep track of, like descriptors of employees that are considered 'offensive' but that you might need to help remember if there's questions. Also, other stuff that would verify your side of stuff if an employee disputes a report, that doesn't actually belong in the original report itself.
But, again, I know that won't help this time.
I agree that the MSC is handling this *very* poorly and unprofessionally. They sound like the ones who screwed stuff up, and are trying to blame you for that. :/
Happiness is merely life's way of keeping you off-balance.
I also never delete notes until I'm paid. Aside from that though they really gave you the runaround and just shows how disorganized they are. I can imagine your frustration. Personally, I wouldn't touch intellishop with a 10 foot pole.
While keeping notes is solid advice, it's not only moot because they've been deleted, but it would not help to have the notes since the real problem is that the MSC permitted two different shops to be done at once and which now have come into conflict with each other. Effectively, the notes would prove that in completing the voucher shop (get out of line and go there), it has scuttled the integrity of the ticket shop (how long were you in line.) Are you sure that it was bonused to do them concurrently during a single visit, because it sounds like it should have been prohibited. Might the offer have been to do them consecutively during the same visit, completing one then starting and completing the next?
MSCs have an expectation we will keep our notes for at least 3, 6 or 12 months. In the beginning I didn't like to keep them that long, but would not delete them after a report was only finalized. In my mind the assignment is not truly finalized until I have been paid.
Despite the bad things said about Intellishop, when an editor made an error causing a shop of mine to be kicked out I was able to speak with someone on the phone to get it cleared up.
"....but I delete my notes when a report is finalized. I
> think that's a reasonable expectation.
Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
> While keeping notes is solid advice, it's not only
> moot because they've been deleted, but it would
> not help to have the notes since the real problem
> is that the MSC permitted two different shops to
> be done at once and which now have come into
> conflict with each other. Effectively, the notes
> would prove that in completing the voucher shop
> (get out of line and go there), it has scuttled
> the integrity of the ticket shop (how long were
> you in line.) Are you sure that it was bonused to
> do them concurrently during a single visit,
> because it sounds like it should have been
> prohibited. Might the offer have been to do them
> consecutively during the same visit, completing
> one then starting and completing the next?
They original email actually wanted me to do THREE shops at once, but when I inquired someone had taken one of the shops individually so I just took the two for a smaller bonus. Nothing in any of the emails or guidelines communicated to me that using or mentioning the voucher during the other shop would invalidate it. I wondered for a long time if my voucher ticket was "enough" for the second shop but realized they probably wanted me to evaluate the ticket cashier so I went and bought a second ticket, anyway, which is the one I used, so it's not like I did anything to invalidate it. The client just seems to have a weird stick up their ass regarding the voucher.
I know it seems like a moot point in this instance (and largely is) but I was mostly addressing Misanthrope's statement regarding deleting notes once a report is finalized. I share the same issues as he does, low storage space on my phone and tablet, and not wanting to clutter my laptop with a lot of files. So I got an external hard-drive, and store everything long after it's needed.
In regards to when a report is finalized... some review and finalize reports in as little as two days, like ICCDS, Aboutface and Pinnacle. I have been contacted by Aboutface three days before payment was due, asking for more information about a shop 40+ days before. I've been contacted by Bestmark a month and a half after payment was received, asking for more information about a specific part. It might meet all of the MSC's requirements for an acceptable, payable report, but when the client gets it, some time later, they may have a question or two. The MSCs do their best to anticipate questions the client may have, but I think sometimes some things slip by them and catch them off guard.
So, in the interests of maintaining a good reliable relationship with them, I like to have the info they need, if they ask for it. Even long after I've been paid, in some cases.
Plan the work. Work the plan.
I wait until I get paid and then I destroy everything as per their instructions. I shred the papers instead of throwing them in the garbage.
> Just as Market Force always says, "Hang on to your
> report, receipt and notes, in case we need to get
> back to you and keep these, until you are paid "
Despite their instructions to destroy things I won't for this very reason, they've caused me much aggravation over the years and I won't shop for them again after they really stepped in one last cowpie last spring.
Her Serene Majesty, Cettie - Goat Queen of Zoltar, Sublime Empress of Her Caprine Domain
Regardless of what the MSC might say, you need to keep information which you need to complete your income tax return (which would include receipts, proof of how far you drove = paperwork with the address on it, payment records, copies of checks) until you file your income tax return and for at least three years after that (in case you are audited).
When I take notes on my smartphone, I send them to myself as a text message. Thanks to my 19-year old son (who of course says that he knows everything), I have an Android app called SMS Backup+ which automatically sends all text messages to a unique folder in my Gmail account. Even when I delete text messages on my S4, they stay in my Gmail account until I go and delete them there. I am nowhere close to running out of free storage on Gmail.
Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
He said his notes are gone because he deleted them from his phone. If he had had copies anywhere, he would have them and would not now be in this pickle. I made no assumptions about receipts, etc., I was just trying to inform others who said that they shred everything after they get paid. I don't think that is a good idea. And I do recommend SMS Backup+ [19-year old boys sometimes do know something useful ]
Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
Misanthrope – It's a learning lesson keep documentation of work, even after it's been "approved." While I don't believe you're at fault, you can argue that you should've kept your notes much longer than a month; however, with digital storage becoming more and more affordable, I don't see why people delete old notes and documentation of their work in the first place. You can have hundreds and hundreds of files stored in a size of a thumb drive, archived for your convenience.
Don't want to go too off-topic, but I work as a consultant for my full-time job. I've had cases where the client gets audited by PHMSA and then BAM, me and my team would have to dig up documentation a far back as a year or two. We have to be fortunate and take advantage of living in the digital age.
Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 31 year old male and willing to travel!
What happened to me was I had put the materials aside and although I was already paid, I had to answer some questions which I thought were already in the report. I had to dig up my papers. I asked the editor if he was going to dock me or lower my grade. He said he was not going to dock me. I got 8 for the first time among the 10s since I started shopping for this MSC.
Sorry, I was talking about another MSC.
Many times, as long as I can still locate the business card, I would remember what happened. But I still keep the materials on hand.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/2014 09:51PM by risinghorizon.