Grocery Store Shop Never Again! Well maybe. Rant

I know that I have said in the past that I was done with these grocery store shops and cafe shops, but, once again, I was lured back in by an incentive.

Now, I sit here, reviewing my shops performed with very good ratings from nigh unto 60 days since without reimbursement. Yes, it is my own fault, the MSC Reality Check/Sassie Shop payment details do say that shopper payments could be as late as 60 days.

But, my question is why? Why so long?

The scheduler sends E-mails, texts, and telephone calls pleading for me to perform the shop by a deadline (for them). I consent, perform the shop as required that typically takes at least 30 minutes or more, file the very detailed report that can take an hour to do, within their required time setting and then have to await payment that may take up to 60 days.

All of this is on an immediate need basis, yet their payment is lackadaisical, dis-interested to say the least.

So, this bird has flown. If the scheduler asks and pleads for me to do the shop, I shall say only, but only, if my reimbursement is within 30 days. Meaning, if I perform the shop January 2, my payment is sent February 2 at the latest.

Otherwise, endeavour to go scratch.

~~~Tom Waits — 'The higher that the monkey can climb, the more he shows his tail.
Call no man happy till he dies, there's no milk at the bottom of the pail...

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Well you can ask but honestly the scheduler probably can't make that happen. When I scheduled I had absolutely no input/control over shop payments. I do those shops too but with enough frequency that I am getting a pretty nice check (deposit, paypal whatever it is) every month.


The payments vary from company to company. Read their shop information about being paid. The only control that you have is not to do the shop. The schedulers urgency about doing the shops has nothing to do with when you get paid. I would just be sure that I am getting a good bonus on an urgent shop. As we all know the end of the month especially this month and next month there will be a lot of last minute bonuses. Shop for as many different companies as you can in the month. Sometimes I shop for three different companies in one day. I do not shop full time, but the pay adds up monthly. I shop mostly for $15 and up near my home. I only shop restaurants when I just want to go out to eat and they are again near my home. I never shop fast food, gas stations or cell phone shops. I might shop at a bank, shop at the mall, and eat at the mall restaurant, not fast food. I am fortunate to have lots of shops within 1 to 20 miles from my house. I always get a bonus if I shop outside my area, I always ask. I am reliable, turn in my reports way ahead of time and email the scheduler when I submit. I have great schedulers that know my needs.
Well, I note that the scheduler consistently sends out E-mails pleading for someone to do their shops. The shops are located in various states (Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota). It could be that there is not anyone interested in doing them in the various towns/states for other reasons such as low pay ($20 or $25). However, might it also be that the reimbursement time for one's effort is so long that it becomes a factor?

For me, it is.

We know that the MSCs regularly read this discussion group - some even comment. Hence, they need to know that it is unacceptable for such a payment delay. Making the demand to the scheduler, even if they cannot do anything about it, should be done just to let them be aware and perhaps they shall, at some point, advise their higher-ups that they are having difficulty because of the practice.

My opinion anyway.
you can ask for faster payments for shops, some msc's will
grant such requests. In this business everything is negoitiable.

= + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = +
There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots
When you try to please everybody, you end up pleasing nobody
It depends a lot on the MSC.

One company that has a rep for slow pay paid me within a week of doing my first shop. Normally they pay 60+ days. He said it was because it was my first shop and he wanted to get off to a good start with me because my location is helpful to him.

That taught me that he had control over when payment was made. But they are a small MSC.

Larger MSC's usually have a set schedule.

If you have to make a significant initial outlay for a shop, you might get some of the pay they owe you early so you can spend it on their next project. At least I've heard of that happening, but I haven't experienced it.
Well, here they are again: the E-mails were sent out yesterday, asking for shoppers to sign up for their $20 - $25 shops.

Let me see, I can do a Lowe's shop for $13 minimum, the shop is easy enough and the report is straight-forward without criticism of "supposed" grammatical errors that the editor/scheduler says they had to "repair" and, best of all, the reimbursement is typically 2 weeks.
Reality Check / Sassie Shop grocery stores pay $20 -$25, the requirement is to interact with employees from each designated department (plus any employees encountered), record times, detailed employee description (sex, hair, facial features, height), record what they said, and then return home to file the lengthy report and then finally, await reimbursement that takes nearly 2 months.

I realise I'm ranting. But, here it is the 28th of November and I have not seen any payment into my PayPal account for shops performed almost 2 months prior.

They must do better!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/28/2014 06:32PM by Tatjana.
You really do not have any grounds for ranting at this point. You posted that they have a 60-day pay period and you are still under that 60 days. And we have had two national holidays in the month of November (Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving Day) with no mail delivery so that could possibly push back payments by a few more days. You accepted the terms of payment when you accepted the shop offer. If you can't wait for the payment/reimbursement, don't accept any more shops. And definitely don't sign up for high-end restaurants and hotels with many of them paying within 90 days.
@Sybil2: Please read my last comment. Clearly, I state that payment is made via PayPal, not US Mail. Therefore, your point about holidays is moot. if they are advanced enough to make electronic payments, they are thus advanced enough to reimburse in a more timely manner. Even Maritz, with their "supposed" out dated business model pays on a very timely basis.

I appreciate your advice, however, on this particular rant, I shall follow my own path.
I understand that you don't like the payment terms but it's not reasonable to rant about the terms when you knew what they were. You are mistaken, they don't have to do better as long as they pay within their terms. You stated yourself that the shops were completed almost two months prior, which means they are not due yet. As long as they are meeting their obligations, there will be shoppers who will take their jobs. You don't have to take their jobs. The jobs you take are your choice. You know the terms up front. I don't understand exactly what the problem is unless you don't like the way this business is set up in general. There are many different companies and they offer an array of payment terms. Why don't you shop for companies that pay quickly and leave the rest of them in peace?

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
@MDavisnowell: "Why don't you shop for companies that pay quickly and leave the rest of them in peace?"

Because change needs to happen. Perhaps I am the bellwether, maybe not.

Just as there were those who ranted about those who took the minute reimbursement shops instead of waiting for the incentive, so am I ranting about the MSCs who take advantage of ICs with their slow payments.

Simply do the math: If there are 1000 shops nation-wide paying $25 each and that money is held onto for at least 60 days, the MSCs are making money on $25,000 over 60 days.

I am simply saying I shall not accept those terms any longer unless I am reimbursed for my time and efforts in a more timely manner.

I would hope others do the same.
They will not change their payment policies unless they can no longer get shoppers. Change needs to happen for you. Change does not need to happen for them at this time because they have plenty of shoppers and more applications every day.
Since you cannot change them, that leaves you as the only one you can change. The more of your time you give up trying to change them, the more of your time you give up.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
"The more of your time you give up trying to change them, the more of your time you give up."

Huh? What time would that be?

About the same amount of time you took to write your comment?

Please, how jejune.

Nonetheless, thank you for your comment and "advice".

I'll follow my own plan, thank you very much.

Tatjana Wrote:

> Huh? What time would that be?

That would be the time you spent writing posts expressing why you don't like the pay schedule, even though you accept that schedule yourself.

That would be the time you spent writing posts encouraging others not to shop for them, even though you shop for them yourself.

But then, on the other hand, you have all that extra time you didn't spend thinking this through.

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

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/29/2014 01:01AM by MDavisnowell.
@MDavisnowell: inre Time management:

As you correctly point out I (as well as many others) write posts upon this forum (yours are a running total currently at 4,396), when the time consumed could be better spent.

As for shopping them myself, whilst encouraging others to not is clearly not true. If you had spent your "time" reading my comments, you would know this.

However, my issue with this MSC is their reimbursement time period, not my time management, nor others. My rant was to effect change rather than accept the status quo, whilst your "advice" is to sit back and take it, accept it for what it is. How sad for you that you have this mentality.

I hardly ever speak of my past and what I have witnessed. But, I must say this: I have seen what this attitude begets. The pent emotions that result in very sad outcomes.

Of course, this is a simple chat forum to help others and and have an air of camaraderie and fellowship, not an indulgence in "mock heroics".

If you wish to continue in that vein, please PM me.
Thank you but I don't care to PM. Everyone can choose to read or not, and although our discussion has been unsuccessful there may be something here for someone.

You are correct this is a forum to help others and very often we're able to do that. Other times, we do not understand each other or we are not receptive to a different idea. I say the actions of a limited number of shoppers will not change a payment schedule and I say either accept it or move on to other companies. You are not receptive to my idea that encouraging a few people to take a stand won't make a difference.

You chose to work with Reality Check and you've been complaining for days about the payment schedule. Any time you post on this forum, you will get comments. Chances are you'll get some you don't like. No matter what we say to one another, in the end you'll do one of two things. You'll keep shopping for Reality Check under the terms of the payment schedule they provide, or you'll move on from the company.

Thank you for pointing out the number of my posts. I'm having trouble lately keeping up and I didn't realize my count was so low. I'll get right on that.

You know what would be a chuckle now? That would be if they really do read this forum (which I doubt) and they delay your payment.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Great! Otherwise I'd be so disappointed. One woman's snark is another woman's logic. I'm overcome with curiosity, so what are you going to do about the situation? Are you going to continue shopping for Reality under the pay schedule they provide, or are you going to move on? And how is the organization of the boycott coming along? And when are you having the parade? I'm assuming you'll be at the forefront carrying the flag and I don't want to miss it.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
I signed up with a company recently and saw what their payment schedule was. I won't do their shops because it doesn't work for ME.

You know how long it takes, so why are you complaining? Just don't do any more of them. Period. You don't have to bash the company because they haven't paid you yet. It is not due.

It is not our business how a company operates. If we don't like what we're seeing, then we don't do shops for them.

That's how I see it.

My, my, perhaps I have struck a nerve?

You seem to be more passionate about this than I!

To be honest, you seem to be the one who enjoys arguing.

This is a forum for professionals. Act like one. You are acting like a child.

MDavisnowell is a highly respected member here. Treat her as such.

Just stop this. Drama is NOT welcome here, ok?
Thank you, Canuck, for your support and interest.

Yes, yes, Tatjana, I am engaged with your predicament. I'm totally engrossed in learning how you plan to manage this to its conclusion. I find the idea of a shopper led boycott of a respected MSC fascinating and I want to know more about how you plan to manage this successfully. Are you actually going to do something, as in take some specific action that will result in a change at Reality?

I've always wondered how one shopper alone can hope to make a difference in how an MSC runs its business and I'm counting on you to clue me in. Do you have a carefully thought out plan and logical steps, 1, 2, and 3 etc. that will get you the result you desire, which is for Reality and most other MSCs to change the way they set up their payment schedules? I'm so hoping you will share this. It would be truly sad if your only purpose here is to complain about a situation you entered into freely with the hope that you can create ill will for the MSC.

Please type slowly as I have a lot of trouble catching on.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Really? I were a new member that is not the impression I would have formed from this thread.

>>>MDavisnowell is a highly respected member here. Treat her as such. <<<

Anytime someone starts telling me what I am thinking, intending, believing I begin to tune out. All they want is an argument not a measured discussion so it is pretty much like knocking your head into a wall.

This looks like one of those occasions right here.

My plan is simple: I have outlined a portion of it.

You have taken the first steps. Thank you!

I have engaged shoppers in the discussion.

The discussion has become lively and entertaining.

We know that MSCs do read this forum. The most commented on or "liked" columns are undoubtedly read as a matter of business interest.

Will they respond or endeavour to change? Perhaps.

As I stated earlier, when the scheduler sends E-mails or calls or texts (me), I shall ask for a quicker payment. I hope and encourage others to do as well. At some point, perhaps the scheduler sends these (this) comment to the higher-ups.

Well, I sure understand that comment about knocking your head against a wall. I've been trying to get Tatjana to not waste her time and energy trying to change the system and I failed to do that. I don't have what it takes to change a system that works for the major players and is controlled by the major players. I also don't have what it takes to explain that the brick wall is a circle and we're inside. Go ahead. Charge!

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
I totally understand the excessive detail requirements...hard to remember everything accurately. Their employee interactions require time of employee interaction, name (if badge is visable), sex, hair, facial features, glasses/noglasses & age, height & weight (totally subjective) I'm surprised they left out shoe size, eye color, hat size, etc. How about age:40's, height: tall, weight: a load. These shops only take 30-35 min so they know the time you were there, so why all the detail? I still do ocassional shops for them if I can fit the location in my shop schedule.

I did 2 or 3 earlier this year but the reviewer knocked down my last report to an 8 for not listing the height & weight for 2 employees despite my having all names, ages, sex, hair color/style, etc.

I do 4-6 shops a week for 2 large (and I mean large) grocery chains in the L.A area and both of them require the employees name (if badge is visable), or sex & color hair if not. Their major focus is on employee service, knowledge, helpfullness (did they offer to escort you to the item?), are deli & meat/seafood items fresh & appealing, perishable item expiration dates, out fo stocks, etc., etc. Maybe thats why they are so big! Reports are due in by 10a the following day and they pay WEEKLY, by direct deposit. Note: no MSC's, these are direct assignments & payment by the companies themselves.

If I accept a shop from Reality, I do it during the last week of the month and I get paid by the end of the following month, which is fine. I've always been paid by Reality, never denied or stiffed. You might want to avoid early in a month shops, but they do seem to schedule at least 4 rounds during the first two weeks of each month.

To have to wait almost 2 months to get paid means you are carrying the company with interest free financing.

Good Luck!
This is how I feel about companies and their payment dates.

If a company says they'll pay in 60 days, then I'll wait the 60 days.

It is their business how they set their payment dates. Definitely not our business and it's their business what they do with the money, not ours.
The 60 days has never bothered me, since I have been MSing for many years. When just starting out, it was a little discouraging to wait a couple months for some jobs. In time, though, there were payments coming in every month, some from jobs completed months ago. Our January 2015 household budget anticipates payments for shops done last month, and I am fine with that.

The grocery shops in question I know all too well. There once was one scheduler for the while midwest, that I know of. She got some help and the shop regions were arbitrarily divided. The first will send out a blanket broadcast of all her shops when she posts them, then wait a while before sending out targeted emails to people within a reasonable distance from the ones that don't get filled right away. The second scheduler sends out multiple broadcast emails throughout the month to everyone in the states where the shops are. Apparently the first one is more successful in her approach.

These shops are a lot of work for the pay, but if you are going to buy groceries anyway, why not duplicate? We don't tend to stop at the deli, meat, or bakery sections of a grocery store too often but i have my stock questions. I like the ones where I *must* visit a wine and spirits store for an extra fee, or the convenience store for a coffee. Tack on one of these and the shop gets more valuable. Would I shop a huge all-in-one store like Council Bluffs IA or St Joseph MO? Oh, heck no!
@Canuck: You wrote:

"To be honest, you seem to be the one who enjoys arguing.

This is a forum for professionals. Act like one. You are acting like a child.

MDavisnowell is a highly respected member here. Treat her as such.

Just stop this. Drama is NOT welcome here, ok?"

With regard to enjoy arguing: Only when someone makes the comments that are sure to bring a return comment. If you believe the comment constitutes arguing, that is what you believe.

Professionals? Acting like a child? Highly respected member here?

Then please explain how these comments below could be refer to as professional, mature, and respectful? Respect is something earned. Certainly those comments tarnish respect.

"You know what would be a chuckle now? That would be if they really do read this forum (which I doubt) and they delay your payment.

Please type slowly as I have a lot of trouble catching on."

@MDavisnowell: I am disturbed that you felt the need to write those comments above towards me. Could you please elaborate/explain them.

Thank you.
I could not keep up with all the words flying around! If I don't like the MS rules/regs/terms, I just don't do the shop. If I don't like their rules/regs/terms and I do the shops, I just shut up. A company will change when it is to their benefit so why waste my energy worrying about something I cannot change?
Forget the "bellweather" garbage because a rant on this forum is not going to change a thing. I repeat, " A company will change when it is to their benefit".
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