Sentry Marketing Group

Does anyone else find Sentry the most difficult company to work with? I tried numerous times in the past and it was all negative. They make navigating their website and completing their certifications so difficult. And, their scheduler is just RUDE. I pulled back and stopped shopping for them a while back - then recently picked up gig off a general board, because it was a place I liked. Low and behold, it was for Sentry and, AGAIN, a pain in the tush to work with. Is it them, or me?!?!

Create an Account or Log In

Membership is free. Simply choose your username, type in your email address, and choose a password. You immediately get full access to the forum.

Already a member? Log In.

I like Sentry Marketing. The schedulers are great to work with and are reasonable, but I do have a run-in from time to time with the editors. The editors see things black and white, so I have to straighten things out myself whenever I find out a fee is deducted for whatever reason. Otherwise, I take on the shops I like and have little to complain about them.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 29 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
I find it annoying that they have 2 websites/platforms....and a couple shops they have are an absolute joke....too much work and very little pay. I just don't do those and only pick the ones that are reasonable.
Sentry is probably the least intuitive MSC I work for. Their burger shops are some of the least lucrative shops in the whole MS industry if you do not really, really love the food there. Their mexican food shops are a bit more reasonable. (It helps that I really like the food at that client). They have a hotel restaurant/bar shop in my area that pays well, and I really enjoy doing it.

There are some good people there at Sentry. They are always reasonable when there are issues with payment, editing, etc. But it seems as if there are more "issues" that have to be dealt with there than at other MSC's. The other thing I dislike is their "Urgent" scheduler emails where they "Urgently" need shops filled, and phrase it as a personal favor for the schedulers. They are always asking to "help them out" personally. Usually, there is no bonus added to any of the shops despite the "Urgent" nature of the email.
That is one thing that does stand out about Sentry, in my area. The smaller, more local restaurants have much more reasonable fees. This lets me change it up a bit when it comes to my meals throughout the week.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 29 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
One of their schedulers has to be the rudest person I've ever interacted with in mystery shopping. They literally removed a shop from me because I asked too many questions about it. I'm never working for them again and I don't recommend the experience.
Which scheduler was that?

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Sentry pays a fee plus reimbursement, the report is not difficult at all. There are many reimbursement only shops in my area, from other MSCs, so Sentry is better in that aspect. Of course this subject has been beaten to death here.

My posts are solely based on my opinions and for my entertainment, contact a professional if you need real advice.

When you get in debt you become a slave. - Andrew Jackson
@Misanthrope wrote:

@MDavisnowell wrote:

Which scheduler was that?
Melanie Zak

Interesting. I've actually had good experience with Melanie. From time to time, I work with her on the handful of restaurants she's responsible for in my area, while Jennifer's also been a wonderful experience.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 29 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
I haven't worked with Melanie so no personal experience there, but I've worked with several schedulers at Sentry with all good results. I'm really surprised you encountered a scheduler problem at Sentry as I've found the culture there to be patient and courteous. I've found them to be a great bunch of people. I don't mean to make light of your own experience and hope you'll be able to work out your differences.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Sierra, I do not find the company difficult. I admit I get a little lost on the website(s) but I'm able to find my way around eventually, get where I'm headed, and take care of business. That website situation could be a little better and I have hopes it will be in the future. They've been willing to work with my imperfections so I'm willing to put up with the website(s).

It sounds like you're not on a good track with them and it might be better to pull back but I would recommend not severing ties. They will eventually get that website issue straightened out or we will learn to use it (them), whichever comes sooner. As to running into a rude scheduler, yes, I guess that can happen but a soft answer and a careful approach can smooth over much rough water. I recommend making every effort to get along as we remember everyone can have a very rough day now and then. There's nothing quite as effective as a little snip and snark to set any scheduler off, or anyone else as far as that goes. All of us have a short fuse at some time or other. I say forgive and forget and make the best of it. Grudges are way too heavy. On the other hand, if it's just absolutely too much, I say let it all go and work with other people.




@sierraspal wrote:

Does anyone else find Sentry the most difficult company to work with? I tried numerous times in the past and it was all negative. They make navigating their website and completing their certifications so difficult. And, their scheduler is just RUDE. I pulled back and stopped shopping for them a while back - then recently picked up gig off a general board, because it was a place I liked. Low and behold, it was for Sentry and, AGAIN, a pain in the tush to work with. Is it them, or me?!?!

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
No jobs in my area but they have a glaring TYPO on my job board about people "coping and pasting"......LOL
I have only ever had one scheduler there and find her difficult and rude. They have laboriously long reports for peanuts. They come back with really ignorant questions. They don't do any Mexican shops around me, just a burger shop and coffee shop. They are not worth the effort at all. If I want bad pay and long reports, I will at least do it with a scheduler that I respect.
She had me deactivated, and did not write to explain. That being said, when I wrote to one of their outside schedulers to find out why I could not shop with them any more, I was reactivated since I am a very good and reliable shopper who had a couple of bad days. Now, that I am writing this, I am sure that I will be deactivated again, sigh....sad smiley, but wanted you to know that you are not alone. If anyone has any hints about where the CF jobs can now be found it would be lovely to hear as I miss them very much.
Just had a report returned to me for more information..... after sitting "pending" for 7 days....... and the editor wants it revised by 9pm tonight. I think THAT is rude. You want me to be available 24/7 for over a week? And part of the clarification is asking me "WHY" an employee did not do their job correctly. Ummmmmmmmm because they are lazy??? I don't know, I just reported the facts of what did and did NOT occur during my visit.

Servimer Regional Manager- Nevada, Illinois, Wisconsin & Minnesota
Luckygirl, it's normal to want to scratch the itch when a report comes back for more information especially if it's been a while and you've already pretty much put it out of mind. Nevertheless, it's not rude of the MSC to request what they need for the client. You can't know that the report didn't already go to the client and this request is coming from a client inquiry. Not sure, just saying that may be the reason for the "delay" you're complaining about. And if they request it today and want it tonight, that gives you time to get it together for them.

As to the answer to the question, you can think about what was going on and speculate about how the employee might have been affected. That will give you an idea of the problem that existed. For example, was the location especially busy and the employee extremely pressed? Or was there a fire in the kitchen? Or was there a major spill when a child dropped or knocked over a full drink? Or was the employee hanging one butt cheek on a stool and talking to a friend on the phone? All kinds of possibilities here to objectively report different scenarios that might have affected the employee and resulted in a less than sterling performance. I can understand why you didn't elaborate on your opinion of what "might have caused the problem" originally. You did the right thing reporting objectively exactly how the employee performed, but now they want more. If you don't want to amend the report, you can advise them of your decision and that will be the end of it.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
The great thing about MS'ing is that you get to choose which companies you want to work for. I believe MS companies have two clients -- the ones getting the reports and the ones writing them. Successful MS companies manage both sides. They realize that attracting good reliable shoppers benefits their business, have more jobs filled, better reports, and allows them to add more clients.

Sentry takes a confrontational, I'm right you're wrong approach with their shoppers. Many of us shop for a dozen other companies and simply have decided it is not worth of our efforts.

I was really disappointed when Sentry acquired Feedback Plus. Many Feedback Plus shoppers who stayed on will tell you about the immediate change in unreasonable editors and delays in payment.

I find it funny how many independent schedulers send me requests for Sentry...I got to think they've burned too many reliable MS'ers and have a hard time filling their shops.
I really enjoyed shopping for Feedback Plus, but haven't done one for Sentry due to what I've read here and the annoyance factor. Miss Feedback +.

*****************************************************************************
A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.

Zen Shin Talks
Did one shop for them, never again. The cost of the meal exceeded the final reimbursement by almost $6..... silly for average fast food. Their reporting time exceeded what I would deem reasonable. I ask to be de-listed. I still get emails.
Warning: This User Has Been Banned or Is No Longer Active
I don't have a problem with the people at Sentry....I really don't. And I'm impressed that Dave of Sentry took time out of his schedule to get in touch with me about an issue. My issue is with their shopper form and how I was not able to submit a completed shop due to the software apparently not liking my answer. This to me personally is just too far out there. But as to the Sentry Staff, I really don't have any issues with any of them.
Warning: This User Has Been Banned or Is No Longer Active
@bptexan wrote:

The great thing about MS'ing is that you get to choose which companies you want to work for. I believe MS companies have two clients -- the ones getting the reports and the ones writing them. Successful MS companies manage both sides. They realize that attracting good reliable shoppers benefits their business, have more jobs filled, better reports, and allows them to add more clients.

Sentry takes a confrontational, I'm right you're wrong approach with their shoppers. Many of us shop for a dozen other companies and simply have decided it is not worth of our efforts.

I was really disappointed when Sentry acquired Feedback Plus. Many Feedback Plus shoppers who stayed on will tell you about the immediate change in unreasonable editors and delays in payment.

I find it funny how many independent schedulers send me requests for Sentry...I got to think they've burned too many reliable MS'ers and have a hard time filling their shops.
I find their software of all things what turns me off this MSC....I never did make it to a payment with them due to this issue lol so who knows, maybe I'm lucky? Also I don't have enough experience to say much about their staff. Pretty much the software they use blocking me from inputting my shop was the deal breaker for me.
@bptexan wrote:

I believe MS companies have two clients -- the ones getting the reports and the ones writing them. Successful MS companies manage both sides.

The MSC has 1 client and 1 vendor. The MSC is our client.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
squireparty,

The project in question was on our Prophet platform. Many companies use the same software. If the software turns you off, I think you will end up eliminating many companies in the industry.

The issue in question was caused by validation on a speciifc question. Our staff would have been happy to research the issue and assist you in submitting your shop they had been given the chance. When we offered to help, you insisted that we take you out of the assignment. While this is certainly your prerogative, it does put us in a bind to fill the assignment which was from the May round of shops.
Warning: This User Has Been Banned or Is No Longer Active
@Sentry Marketing wrote:

squireparty,

The project in question was on our Prophet platform. Many companies use the same software. If the software turns you off, I think you will end up eliminating many companies in the industry.

The issue in question was caused by validation on a speciifc question. Our staff would have been happy to research the issue and assist you in submitting your shop they had been given the chance. When we offered to help, you insisted that we take you out of the assignment. While this is certainly your prerogative, it does put us in a bind to fill the assignment which was from the May round of shops.
You may have a point here. This was my first shop I have ever attempted using the Prophet software and I must say I'm not a big fan of it at this point. I've never had similar problems with Sassie and I don't know what to make of being blocked from inputting a shop via software. That to me is just way way way out there - but maybe you are right, that feeling this way, I am best off avoiding Prophet in the future.

I didn't so much as insist to be taken out of the assignment as I offered it as a solution. Your representative who politely called me earlier in the day did not address this software issue - and I did bring it up - and since that happened I really felt it was best to bail instead of dealing with blood pressure spikes and instead of fighting for the $22. I hold nothing against anyone at Sentry and am quite impressed that Dave took time out of his schedule to address me and my issues via PM - my only issue with Sentry is the software you use as I did indeed have issues with it, and as I said, they were not addressed by your rep who called me. Perhaps it is for the best that I avoid Prophet period, and just chalk this up to experience. Certainly I have lost very little here and have no wish for any kind of vendetta. For $22????? Life is far too short.
Warning: This User Has Been Banned or Is No Longer Active
@kimmiemae wrote:

squireparty,

That was a really great response!
Thank You, I appreciate that.
Warning: This User Has Been Banned or Is No Longer Active
@luckygirl0100 wrote:

Just had a report returned to me for more information..... after sitting "pending" for 7 days....... and the editor wants it revised by 9pm tonight. I think THAT is rude. You want me to be available 24/7 for over a week? And part of the clarification is asking me "WHY" an employee did not do their job correctly. Ummmmmmmmm because they are lazy??? I don't know, I just reported the facts of what did and did NOT occur during my visit.
I had this happen to me recently with another MSC - not Sentry - for the first time since I started mystery shopping. The narrative area in this retail shop asked for 6 to 7 sentences and I gave 12 as I tend to be long winded and detail oriented. But the MSC wanted more detail but did not get specific as to what they wanted to know. I sent off an email asking to which I received no reply. So I ended going back into the shop and adding more adjectives and clicked submit and the shop was accepted. So if this happens again this might be a way around this - go back into the report and drown it with adjectives?
Warning: This User Has Been Banned or Is No Longer Active
@nanabelle wrote:

No jobs in my area but they have a glaring TYPO on my job board about people "coping and pasting"......LOL
LOL I'm going to burrow this phrase if I may and drop it into conversation once and awhile. Sorry, it's going to be awhile,
I'm coping and pasting lol lol lol.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login