SHOPS CANCELLED WITHOUT ANY WARNING OR NOTICE

I wonder if this is a common occurrence or just a fluke? I had been scheduled for two shops with Shoppers Confidential and received confirmation. A few hours later I get an email stating that the shops are on hold until the client sorts out some changes. It also stated that the shops will remain on our home pages and the due dates will be changed to reflect this situation. When I checked my home page with Shoppers Confidential, my two shops were sitting there with a new due date of Nov. 28 to the 30th. I get an email today from a scheduler stating "Hi!, I just wanted to send a quick note, that we've removed this shop from the board. We thank you for your interest and will definitely keep you posted when these shops are available again. Thank you! Julie". I sent her an email asking for further info since I had two shops scheduled and had just applied for two more of the same shops. I needed to know what shop had been removed since her email was not clear about that. She got back to me to say that I didn't have any shops scheduled. Now that was news to me!!! The bottom line is that through a number of emails to find out what happened, she explained that all the shops have been cancelled. When I asked why I wasn't notified, she just kept stating that the shops have been cancelled but couldn't understand that all I wanted to know is why was I not notified. As far as I am concerned, all shoppers are due the consideration to be notified asap when shops are cancelled. I know they wouldn't take kindly to shoppers not notifying them if they can't complete a shop. Courtesy goes two ways.

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Generally most schedulers worth their salt will let you know and be more gracious about things. Sorry you got caught in a bad situation. Unfortunately the nature of ICA work means it happens from time to time.
I agree with the weatherman2111, schedulers that are good at what they do will ALWAYS stay on top of this kind of thing. I have had this happen a couple times with different companies where the client actually ended up cancelling the project for whatever reason (we are not in that 'need to know' group of people) but I was informed immediately.
Maybe the scheduler gave you the information as she got it. The schedulers are ICAs also, right? They may not get or hear the nuts and bolts of what's going on in The Big Office.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I've had shops canceled a few times before the shop date, not with Shoppers Confidential but with other companies. Usually it is due to changes the client wants to make or because they have information about a closed location or they have simply decided they do not want a location shopped. Sometimes the client changes its mind about a whole batch of shops due to timing or some other internal issue. Rarely is it the scheduler's idea to just cancel a whole batch of shops. Sometimes the schedulers know the whole story and sometimes they don't.

I would say that it would not make me too distressed if I had shops scheduled for November 28-30 and they were canceled far in advance. Since this is November 10, it looks like they were canceled at least 18 days before the beginning of the shop window.

I wouldn't say it is common to have shops canceled after being scheduled, but it does happen. Sometimes you will get an e-mail telling you not to shop with an explanation and sometimes an e-mail with no explanation. I generally don't much care about the explanation. It actually sounds like she notified you, that you were notified ASAP, and that she did it in an upbeat, friendly way, but she just did not list the shops that were removed (apparently all of them were) so it was confusing to you because you did not understand which shops were removed. When you questioned, she replied that you no longer have any shops scheduled. But I'm not sure what further notification you want beyond being told they are canceled.

And shoppers do frequently notify MSCs that they can't complete a shop. The MSCs prefer to get plenty of notice. Most MSCs probably would not be too upset if a shopper canceled 18 days before the beginning of the shop window. The MSCs do tend to get upset when a shopper cancels at the last minute.
I had a shop cancelled about 10 minutes before I went in the business. Just happened to check my email for another reason and caught the email from the scheduler. It just said, it was a request from the client. It was pretty annoying as I agreed to do it at a later date and ended up having to go into town (100 km round trip) just for that one shop. It happens and I don't think schedulers can do anything about it.
Actually, you got plenty of advance notice. It's not like they cancelled a shop you'd already done, or were on the way to do, and you didn't have any notice. Take a deep breath (or 10) and chill. You've got plenty of time to plan more shops for those time slots!
No, it wasn't really a notification since I had 2 scheduled jobs and I had just applied for 2 more. As I stated in my original post, her email just said that they had REMOVED THIS SHOP from the board. I was left to wonder which job had been removed, 1 of my scheduled shops or 1 of the jobs I had just applied for. There is no way I could just assume that both my scheduled jobs had been removed because if I did that and she was referring to the jobs I had just applied for, then I would have been in trouble for not completing the scheduled shops. The bottom line is that her email was lacking enough information for me to proceed correctly. I don't think I am being picky in this matter because they expect proper information from us. With all the emails I receive each day, it is a struggle to get through them in a timely manner when I have to respond back just to find out what they mean. It's bad enough that so many of the daily emails don't put enough information in the headers so I can easily ascertain if it is an email I can immediately delete or want to respond to.
If the shops were scheduled for the day you received the confusing communication, I would understand your frustration. With as much notice as you were given, 18+ days, there should not have been a lot of frantic concern about what to do. Do I do the shop today or not? Which of my shops scheduled for today was canceled so which shop should I not do today or tomorrow. You were notified over two weeks before the start date of the shop. You likely were notified immediately when the scheduler found out. I do think you are being overly picky.
niclinblue, yep, you had a bad day. Me2. Let me tell you about mine and it will put yours in a more cheerful perspective. First I scheduled two techie type shops which were presented as being rather simple and paying $14. For $14 I don't expect to memorize the contents of Popular Science and then spit it out verbatim but that's what the guidelines looked like to me when I brought them up. I cancelled - I'm sure a black mark for me. Scheduled two USPO shops and discovered -- surprise -- that they were optional between dim weight and box. Couldn't figure out what one of them was so cancelled both of them - I'm sure a black mark for me. Got it straightened out this morning but can't be good. Scheduled three food shops same MSC working with a new scheduler and then got blow back one of them that could not be bonused on that particular date and had to be done on another date for the bonus. Worked on that for a long time - cancelled one of them - sure I got a black mark on that - to make room for the more pressing one on the same date. Did one of the three yesterday, tried to report it, got a blackout date notice on that one, saved it, emailed the scheduler and then went to bed. Got a message from scheduler this morning - bless her heart - that the report was missing two sections and I would be able to report it. Went back to the report and sho nuff part of it was gone - oh happy day. Filled it out again and it went - hoping for the best but not optimistic. So - I spent my day scheduling and cancelling and I have used up my black marksalot. Off now to buy another one and start over. Hang in there -- it can only get worse. The British have a phrase for this, they call it a bad patch. I just call it another hellhole of a day.

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 11/12/2015 12:09AM by MDavisnowell.
Oh, boy, war stories! I scheduled a shop for yesterday afternoon just yesterday morning. Told the scheduler I needed the paperwork immediately, as it was a long drive. She sent as an attachment right away, bless her! Car overheated on the way to the first shop. I figured it would cool off while I ate lunch. No such luck -- and there was a big puddle of fluid under it. Went to second shop, wrong address on paperwork. Ick. Did it anyway. No puddle. 100 miles from home. Freeway all the way, 65 mph. Car overheated. Turned on the heat, to drain off the heat. Got cold air only. Ooops. Drove straight to mechanic. He said I was lucky to make it the 100 miles with a busted water pump! E-mailed the scheduler who was kind enough to send the paperwork; she had to cancel my shop so she could maybe get another shopper before deadline. Icing on the cake? It was my first assignment for this MSC! Nothing like cancelling your very first assignment to make a good impression. When I asked the mechanic when I could get my car back, he said "when you pay for the work". Ugh. I made $125 for my two shops; water pump, $120. Yep. Just another hellhole of a day!
You need to calm down. You received notice of the cancellation in a timely manner. You're making too much of this.
Last Thursday I got notice of a shop being cancelled, the email time was two hours after I left the house to go do it. Good thing the required purchase was something I really needed. This is not the first time Northfork has done this and my "fed-up o'meter" is full now.

Her Serene Majesty, Cettie - Goat Queen of Zoltar, Sublime Empress of Her Caprine Domain
@Cettie wrote:

Last Thursday I got notice of a shop being cancelled, the email time was two hours after I left the house to go do it. Good thing the required purchase was something I really needed. This is not the first time Northfork has done this and my "fed-up o'meter" is full now.

Now I can sympathize with that! Hearing about a cancellation TWO HOURS after you left the house to go do the shop is truly cancellation without any warning or notice. Being notified of cancellation three weeks before the due date is pretty small potatoes.
I agree with all the members who are saying that you are over-thinking this and making too much out of it. You received plenty of notice.
@niclinblue wrote:

No, it wasn't really a notification since I had 2 scheduled jobs and I had just applied for 2 more. As I stated in my original post, her email just said that they had REMOVED THIS SHOP from the board. I was left to wonder which job had been removed, 1 of my scheduled shops or 1 of the jobs I had just applied for. There is no way I could just assume that both my scheduled jobs had been removed because if I did that and she was referring to the jobs I had just applied for, then I would have been in trouble for not completing the scheduled shops. The bottom line is that her email was lacking enough information for me to proceed correctly.
Easy solution. Log into your account, look at your shop log and you would see exactly which one(s) were removed. Schedulers really do not owe you an explanation but your scheduler actually DID give you a reason. Just like if a shopper has to cancel a shop. Many of us do give a reason but it really is none of their business (and many do not care) what the reason is.
The OP should think about it in terms of it as a family emergency. Would she be able to inform her Schedulers, two weeks in advance if a family emergency or the day it happens? Be glad the MSC let you know about it before you "travel" and suffer the consequences.
I thought it was pretty clear from the original email you posted that any further information would apply to every shop for that client. "The shops are on hold until the client sorts out some changes" is not referring to one or two locations, the entire contract was at stake. A slight inconvenience to you. Potentially a major loss for the MSC.

We are all here on earth to help others....What on earth the others are here for I don't know.

--W. H. Auden
@Alter_Ego wrote:

I thought it was pretty clear from the original email you posted that any further information would apply to every shop for that client. "The shops are on hold until the client sorts out some changes" is not referring to one or two locations, the entire contract was at stake. A slight inconvenience to you. Potentially a major loss for the MSC.

I now wish I hadn't even posted re this matter. Anyway, when I got the email stating the shops were on hold, obviously, I knew what that meant and acted accordingly. I knew the shops were on hold so I was confused when I got the last email saying IT had been removed from the board. I had no idea what IT meant, like which job was removed or were both removed or was she referring to the 2 jobs I had JUST applied for. I also believe that we shoppers deserve better emails from some of the schedulers and/or editors.
For everyone who believes that I am making to much out of the cancellations, please note that nowhere have I mentioned that I am angry or pissed off regarding this matter. If you note that my first sentence of my original post states "I wonder if this is a common occurrence or just a fluke?" I thought I had posted a simple question and was looking forward to some feedback as to what other shoppers have experienced. I did not expect to be jumped on and told I am over reacting and I didn't deserve a better worded and more informative email from my scheduler. I thought this was a forum for exchanging ideas and the different problems encountered with different MSC's. I also believe that schedulers do owe us shoppers emails that give us proper information, even though some of the posters disagree. Why shouldn't we expect and deserve the type and quality of emails that they expect from us? Like my mom used to say, "if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all." For all who gave me constructive and informative information, thank you very much. It was greatly appreciated.
I've never had a shop canceled on me, knock on wood. I thought it was an interesting situation and am glad that you mentioned it here. I wasn't intending to make you seem petty in my comment but I can see how it came across that way in print. I'm sorry about that.

I think it was a simple misunderstanding based on how the email was worded and can understand your frustration. I've had frustrating communications with schedulers too, where I asked a specific question and they responded with an answer that did not address my question.
(Q: Since there is no bakery at this store, should I shop another department instead, or just skip that section?
A: Most stores do have bakeries, although some do not. The client would like the bakeries evaluated when they are present.
....)

The thing is, if the client totally backs out of a contract, then the scheduler is not necessarily at liberty to say that even if they know it to be true (and they may not actually know). There is a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that we as shoppers aren't privy to. I recently did the last shop for a client who suspended mystery shops for the time being. The scheduler said she didn't know why. I believed her.

We are all here on earth to help others....What on earth the others are here for I don't know.

--W. H. Auden
I assumed you were angry or pissed off because the title of your post is in all caps. I imagine you were disappointed when you had work lined up, then found out that at the very least, you'll have to reapply once the project is reinstated. But I don't see why you think you weren't given any notice? You say you got an email from the scheduler and since your post is dated Nov 10, you got the notification at least 2 weeks in advance. I am traveling this week doing some video shops, and got notice tonight that 2 of my targets for tomorrow have time restrictions and that if I can't meet those restrictions, they will just cancel the shops (this, after I requested - and received - email confirmation before I left home that my schedule is good to go). I am already on the road, committed to 2 nights in a hotel, and many miles from home. Now THAT, my friend, is no warning or notice. smiling smiley
@niclinblue wrote:

I knew the shops were on hold so I was confused when I got the last email saying IT had been removed from the board. I had no idea what IT meant, like which job was removed or were both removed or was she referring to the 2 jobs I had JUST applied for.
Easy solution. Log into your account, look at your shop log and you would see exactly which one(s) were removed.
@chigirl777 wrote:

I assumed you were angry or pissed off because the title of your post is in all caps.

I did, too. A "normal" conversation is not written in ALL CAPS.
@niclinblue wrote:

Like my mom used to say, "if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all."
That does not apply to mystery shopping. We are paid to write about the good, the bad and the ugly.
@niclinblue wrote:

Like my mom used to say, "if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all."
@ wrote:


Smart mom! I totally agree. My mom used to say that, too. She also used to say "Don't make mountains out of molehills." and "Don't ask for opinions if you don't want to hear them."

We can really learn from some of the tired old comments our moms made.
@Sybil2 wrote:

@chigirl777 wrote:

I assumed you were angry or pissed off because the title of your post is in all caps.

I did, too. A "normal" conversation is not written in ALL CAPS.

I was taught in high school English class and also in college business writing classes that all subject lines were to be written in all caps. As far as I know, that is still the rule. I do agree that writing in all caps in the body of any narrative is usually construed as yelling. My grade 10 English teacher's favorite saying was "Never assume anything because you know it can make an ass out of u and me". I have always thought that was wise words to remember.
@niclinblue wrote:

My grade 10 English teacher's favorite saying was "Never assume anything because you know it can make an ass out of u and me". I have always thought that was wise words to remember.
Wow, a tenth grade teacher used swear words while teaching students? That is totally inappropriate and that teacher should have been reprimanded.
An ass, in this usage, was never considered a swear word. It was always explained to me to be a reference to a jackass. A little crude, perhaps, but concise and on point.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2015 01:53AM by ceasesmith.
In the predigital age, subjects often were in all caps. Online, not so much:
[business-writing.proof-reading.com]
"How not to do it:
One thing you don’t want to do is to shout at the reader. Yet, many professionals still use ALL CAPS whenever they compose an email. This may be thought to indicate a greater importance for their message, but to most readers, it comes across like shouting."
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