IPSOS - Steer Clear!! DO NOT SHOP FOR!! Unprofessional and Terrible Communication!!

I completed two shops for them last week and last Saturday night, I accepted four more expecting to complete them on Sunday. I was unable to complete them due to the locations not being open on Sunday and working 16 hours M/Tu at my primary job so I planned to ask for an extension to Wednesday.

** I emailed the scheduler (Kim@Summit Scheduling) on Sunday afternoon explaining the locations weren't open and asking for an extension. No response.
** I emailed the Ipsos Mystery Shopping general mailbox on Monday morning explaining and asking for an extension. No response.
** I emailed the scheduler Kim again on Monday afternoon. No response.
** I got a generic email from Kim on Tuesday saying she had gotten a ton of emails and couldn't respond to any of the shopper emails "in a timely manner" and that if the location was closed or non-existent, just to leave it and she'd pull it the day after it was due. Hmmm.
** I got an automated email on Wednesday telling me about shops close to due or overdue.
** I got a generic email from Kim saying I had shops close to due or overdue and if I didn't enter them by 8am she would remove them.
** I immediately responded that I'd sent THREE emails asking for an extension and had gotten NO response. No response to that email either.
** Shops disappeared without a response the next day.

I accepted two more shops with them yesterday (11/20) for a route today, hoping the previous episode was a fluke as these guys are supposedly MSPA members and I've NEVER had a problem with an MSPA company in 3k shops over the last 5 years.

** I got the emails confirming that today was the completion deadline and that shops were due by 11pm tonight.
** I got another generic email from the scheduler Kim saying that her email was blowing up about these shops and she couldn't answer all of them, provided basic facts about the shops and stated no extensions allowed.
** I completed the shops today on schedule.
** I log in at 7pm today to do data entry and the shops are not in my log.

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This might really sound stupid, but try a different browser. That happened to me with a different MSC; when I used Chrome at the website, there were my shops. But they weren't there on IE or Firefox.
KRR - I don't doubt what you're telling us at all and that's enough to drive anyone right into the wall. On the other hand, I've done shops for them recently without a hitch. Five of them required no communication. I cancelled two more because I thought one of them was a (oops - had to edit that out) and they got in touch - it wasn't and we worked it out. I got communication from them and you didn't so maybe they're not set up for as much shopper support as they should be. Or maybe we just don't have the same scheduler and I've got a dandy and you don't. If they're overwhelming their schedulers the company should answer for that and not the schedulers.

On the first wave out on the "new" jobs they took over I initially applied for ten or so jobs with them, five of which were in the city and didn't require much driving and five of which were west of the metropolitan area, widely scattered as to location and requiring hours of driving. I was able to do these because I already had routes in those directions but they didn't know that. They assigned me all the western boonie locations and didn't give me even one of the metro locations. Of course I did all the boonies as scheduled but something seemed a bit lopsided to me with those assignments and it made me wonder if they're not paying attention as to the best way to get those outliers done going forward. But then again, maybe they have scads of shoppers running those pig trails, what do I know?

Anyhoo, sounds like your scheduler is covered up with too much to handle. I would be inclined to give that some passage of time and hope the situation improves before trying again. The way that's being handled now won't get the shops done and they'll have to make some changes for the better. Sorry you have those issues. I'd hang back until they made contact with really, really interesting offers and had time to talk to me. Lots of other work out there, more than can be done by any of us. Good luck to you.

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


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/2015 01:21AM by MDavisnowell.
@KRR wrote:

I completed two shops for them last week and last Saturday night, I accepted four more expecting to complete them on Sunday. I was unable to complete them due to the locations not being open on Sunday and working 16 hours M/Tu at my primary job so I planned to ask for an extension to Wednesday.

** I emailed the scheduler (Kim@Summit Scheduling) on Sunday afternoon explaining the locations weren't open and asking for an extension. No response.

16 hours on Mon & Tues is only a 8-hour day. I work a FT job & I;m still able to meet my deadlines. You do the MS jobs before work, during lunch or after work but you get them done on time to meet your obligations.

Your beef is with outside scheduling company not MSC. You should alter the title of your thread. The MSC needs to know about the problems that the outside scheduling company is causng but its not the MSC fault.
@MSNinja: I guess we math differently. When I work 8am-12am (16 hours) on two consecutive days it makes a 32 hour week. I get a half hour lunch which unfortunately was not enough for me to get to the shop, do it and get back to work. The MSC was also emailed on day two about my scheduling problem and declined to respond so my original title stands as far as I'm concerned. I have a beef with both Summit and IPSOS. Regrettably I did not get a response from the "too busy to respond" scheduler (and get the shops returned to me as it was unfortunately not a browser issue) until I stated I would be complaining to MSPA. Then I had a response inside of 5 minutes. As soon as I confirm I've been paid for those shops I'll be done with them.
@KRR your OP did not say "When I work 8am-12am (16 hours) on two consecutive days it makes a 32 hour week." You said "working 16 hours M/Tu at my primary job" gives the impression that you worked a total of 16 hours on Mon. & Tues. Either way the rest of us will be glad to pick up your extra shops. Thanx.

Created a new forum name just so you could bash this company huh? I have had no scheduling or payment issues w/them.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/2015 03:30AM by MSNinja.
OP - this response is not meant to bash you or your experience. But, hopefully to remind you of what is typically the shoppers responsibility:

1. Most of the shops I complete say to call and get their hours of operation. If you had known they were closed on Sunday, you could have rescheduled at that point, if the due date was that specific day or reschedule the time frame.
2. It becomes even more important to plan accordingly when you have other commitments that are not flexible. (Your full time job.)

I also have a full time job and know what it is like to shop before work, during my lunch break and after work. It takes a lot of planning and organization to have so many things on your plate.

I can't speak to the lack of communication with the MSP because I haven't experienced that with this company. I hope that the situation is resolved to your satisfaction.
Let me first say, I have never shopped for Ipsos. Next, KSS were you not able to determine that the locations were not open on Sunday when you assigned them? Third, I have seen so many first time posters ripping a MSC and warning us not to ship them that it has become redundant and ineffective. I can appreciate learning of a bad experience with a MSC but I am capable of making up my own mind whether or not to shop for them.
I am pretty new with this company and have the same scheduler, Kim, that was mentioned in a previous text. I have had nothing but favorable experiences with Kim. She has responded quickly when I texted her. In the instructions ,it says to call first as many of the shops are no longer in business and client is not aware. If you go and they are shut down you will not be paid. This info is in the instructions. I called one that was still there but no longer carried what I needed to ask about. I find that 9 times out of ten if there is a mistake it is with the shopper and not the scheduler. I am speaking, of course, in my situations.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/23/2015 12:21AM by ctalbert.
Don't try to complete any shops that have a "call first" requirement if there is not a phone number to call. The problem is that you do not know if there is not a phone number listed for the assignment until you have been scheduled for it. If one of the requirements located in the instructions/guidelines is to "call first for hours, etc" and there is no phone number I strongly suggest you immediately contact the scheduler to refuse the assignment because the business may or may not still be in business and it's a crapshoot whether or not the business is still at that location and if you go and they are not there, etc. you will not be paid for your time/trouble/effort.
I will post this yet again. Please email me at info@summitscheduling.com if you have questions or issues and your scheduler is not responsive. And yes, if the guidelines tell you to call first and you have a phone number, call first. If you don't have a phone number and don't want to look it up, cancel the shop.

Owner
Summit Scheduling and Editing
@parkcitybrian wrote:

Don't try to complete any shops that have a "call first" requirement if there is not a phone number to call. The problem is that you do not know if there is not a phone number listed for the assignment until you have been scheduled for it. If one of the requirements located in the instructions/guidelines is to "call first for hours, etc" and there is no phone number I strongly suggest you immediately contact the scheduler to refuse the assignment because the business may or may not still be in business and it's a crapshoot whether or not the business is still at that location and if you go and they are not there, etc. you will not be paid for your time/trouble/effort.

Why don't you just google it on your own? I can always figure out what company it is or what the phone number is from the address given.
@arkndove wrote:

@parkcitybrian wrote:

Don't try to complete any shops that have a "call first" requirement if there is not a phone number to call. The problem is that you do not know if there is not a phone number listed for the assignment until you have been scheduled for it. If one of the requirements located in the instructions/guidelines is to "call first for hours, etc" and there is no phone number I strongly suggest you immediately contact the scheduler to refuse the assignment because the business may or may not still be in business and it's a crapshoot whether or not the business is still at that location and if you go and they are not there, etc. you will not be paid for your time/trouble/effort.

Why don't you just google it on your own? I can always figure out what company it is or what the phone number is from the address given.

thanks for the tip but a lot of these "businesses" are in the corner of a convenience store/bodega type places that do not have phone numbers or they are just very tiny individually-owned enterprises.
kathygry - Many, many shoppers don't join this board (for whatever reason) and then have a situation that frustrates them so much, that relating the situation to a group such as ours really lets them blow off steam and vent. that's healthy. Sometimes the warning is even more than that, and allows any one of us to confirm what we might already suspect about an MSC.
I have been doing mystery shopping for over 20 years, and just joined this board last year, for example.
I agree that IPSOS is in way over their head with the "Postage and Shipping" agency shops, and that is gumming up their works. I have completed nine of these shops for them which were rejected, and absolutely NOTHING was done wrong with the shops. My emails have not been responded to. Further, four other shops went "poof" and disappeared from my shop log on the evening when I was about to enter the shops (already completed). Neither the scheduler nor the company has returned my emails, except for one email from the scheduler (mentioned above) which said, effectively, "Huh?., please re-send your emails" ...that basically informed me that she was deleting her inbox without much of a review.
IPSOS also owes me for shops done over 2 months ago....no response to those emails either.....
So, as I said in a previous post...it's ten foot pole time for IPSOS.
@winemaker wrote:

kathygry - Many, many shoppers don't join this board (for whatever reason) and then have a situation that frustrates them so much, that relating the situation to a group such as ours really lets them blow off steam and vent. that's healthy. Sometimes the warning is even more than that, and allows any one of us to confirm what we might already suspect about an MSC.
I have been doing mystery shopping for over 20 years, and just joined this board last year, for example.
I agree that IPSOS is in way over their head with the "Postage and Shipping" agency shops, and that is gumming up their works. I have completed nine of these shops for them which were rejected, and absolutely NOTHING was done wrong with the shops. My emails have not been responded to. Further, four other shops went "poof" and disappeared from my shop log on the evening when I was about to enter the shops (already completed). Neither the scheduler nor the company has returned my emails, except for one email from the scheduler (mentioned above) which said, effectively, "Huh?., please re-send your emails" ...that basically informed me that she was deleting her inbox without much of a review.
IPSOS also owes me for shops done over 2 months ago....no response to those emails either.....
So, as I said in a previous post...it's ten foot pole time for IPSOS.

no offense meant but....i feel you're (totally, completely & utterly ) full of bull sh!t.
no offense. ... just sayin'
@winemaker wrote:

kathygry - Many, many shoppers don't join this board (for whatever reason) and then have a situation that frustrates them so much, that relating the situation to a group such as ours really lets them blow off steam and vent. that's healthy. Sometimes the warning is even more than that, and allows any one of us to confirm what we might already suspect about an MSC.
I have been doing mystery shopping for over 20 years, and just joined this board last year, for example.
I agree that IPSOS is in way over their head with the "Postage and Shipping" agency shops, and that is gumming up their works. I have completed nine of these shops for them which were rejected, and absolutely NOTHING was done wrong with the shops. My emails have not been responded to. Further, four other shops went "poof" and disappeared from my shop log on the evening when I was about to enter the shops (already completed). Neither the scheduler nor the company has returned my emails, except for one email from the scheduler (mentioned above) which said, effectively, "Huh?., please re-send your emails" ...that basically informed me that she was deleting her inbox without much of a review.
IPSOS also owes me for shops done over 2 months ago....no response to those emails either.....
So, as I said in a previous post...it's ten foot pole time for IPSOS.

I have met shoppers with 20 years experience and have not been impressed.

To say that nothing was wrong with your shops, is not true. By your own admission, there was a problem with the weights.
Please, please, if you are having issues with a particular scheduler, let Judith at Summit know:

@Summit Scheduling wrote:

I will post this yet again. Please email me at info@summitscheduling.com if you have questions or issues and your scheduler is not responsive.

I had a similar issue to some of those mentioned above, and she responded to me immediately. Within a few hours my problem was solved, after two weeks of banging my head against my keyboard.

I realize that when we run into these situations it's tempting to run to the forum and just vent, but spewing venom doesn't solve the problem or pay the bills, it just creates ill will. On the other hand, taking the time to reach out to the owner at least means the complaint is being directed to the correct department--your scheduler's boss. If done with the proper tact and grace, it might even get you paid and develop a long-term working relationship with the MSC that brings in more work. Who would you rather hire, someone who blows up publicly at the first sign of trouble, or someone who takes the time to try to create a long-term solution? I know how I would answer.
IPSOS staff was making me crazy and they owed me more than $1000 last month. Judith stepped in and the issue was resolved and funds to me within 24 hours. Don't get mad; get Judith!

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
@walesmaven wrote:

IPSOS staff was making me crazy and they owed me more than $1000 last month. Judith stepped in and the issue was resolved and funds to me within 24 hours. Don't get mad; get Judith!

Hah, this made my day!

Owner
Summit Scheduling and Editing
Well, Judith, you sure made my day when you got the MSC to act!

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Unprofessional and No Communication!! I have completed a bunch of Revealed Shops for this MSC.
I reported the Businesses that were no longer in Business and watched them get reposted to the Job Board as many as four times! Some of the Shops I completed I was told by the Shop Owners hat they had just done the same Survey three days before I arrived.
I cannot believe they would send three or four of us out to a location that has had to have been reported numerous times not to exist.
The scheduler "Kim" when she does get back to you, She will tell you its not her fault as she does not load the Job Board. And, Yes I received the Generic response that she is overwhelmed with email requests for support and, unable to respond to all of them.
I would imagine if these Jobs would be removed when we report them instead of sending another Shopper out to a Job that's already been done or doesn't exist the emails to Support just might slow down! The next wave allot of Store Owners will mediately just refuse the Revealed Audit/Survey and, we will all collect the $5 bucks for trying. As for Kim, She needs a little sensitivity training In my opinion because tactless responses or no responses are not productive at all. Neither are just mean rude people!
If you need to spend a couple hours to ascertain if the Business exists. Then run out on the route for 6 stops do you think you will make minimum wage?
Why are the Shops repeated after the scheduler is notified they do not exist ? Why is the world would you send a second and, third Shopper out to a location only to pay 5 bucks? That seems ludicrous? I watched this happen up to four times on at least the five I reported to the Wonderful Kim! I'm surprised she gets overwhelmed with emails for Support I don't want to have to deal with that tactless treatment ever again! I find it shocking you could have this many complaints about her by name and, continueto keep an asset like that! Someone really needs to take a look at the type of responses and, her interactions with the Contractors. Perhaps then something may change!
Yes, there was something wrong with the weights, but that is NOT a question on the shop form! It is "assumed" by the - "Postage and Shipping" government owned company - that the scales are correct, and that the counter employee doesn't add or subtract to the weight based on a bit of thumb pressure! (You know, the old "butcher's trick"winking smiley.

Despite all of this, submitting the reports in a timely manner (within hours) and then waiting up to ten days to find out that the report is "rejected" for not having a package within a weight range, as judged by the receipt,
well...that's just wrong. and a receipt which shows 3.5 ounces, when the empty box weighs 7 ounces (before packaging)...that's kind of odd, right?

Still I'm out over $50 for shipping costs and am owed $108 for the shops. IPSOS does not respond, and neither does the scheduling company, which has promised me prompt action.
@winemaker wrote:

Yes, there was something wrong with the weights, but that is NOT a question on the shop form! It is "assumed" by the - "Postage and Shipping" government owned company - that the scales are correct, and that the counter employee doesn't add or subtract to the weight based on a bit of thumb pressure! (You know, the old "butcher's trick"winking smiley.

Despite all of this, submitting the reports in a timely manner (within hours) and then waiting up to ten days to find out that the report is "rejected" for not having a package within a weight range, as judged by the receipt,
well...that's just wrong. and a receipt which shows 3.5 ounces, when the empty box weighs 7 ounces (before packaging)...that's kind of odd, right?

Still I'm out over $50 for shipping costs and am owed $108 for the shops. IPSOS does not respond, and neither does the scheduling company, which has promised me prompt action.

So, what you are saying is that you had nine clerks at nine locations lift the scale to undercharge you (or inaccurately weigh the item) nine different times? None of your nine packages weighed 1.0 pounds because nine different clerks weighed them incorrectly? The odds of that happening are astronomical.
You are putting words in my mouth...that is NOT what I am saying.....what I am saying is that a lot of shops were rejected...all because of weight issues, and ALL of the packages were EXACTLY the same. EXACTLY...and NONE of the receipts showed the correct weight.
I'm laughing out loud right now at the thought of nine different postage and shipping clerks thumbing the scales.

I just don't get it, because I weigh my packages at home on a digital scale and have done dozens of these shops at multiple locations (for previous company) and the receipts have consistently shown the weight +/- .1 of what they weighed for me. Why would the client's scales have suddenly been calibrated differently at different locations?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2015 06:21PM by TechSavvy.
Winemaker - I have never had their scales be off very much compared to mine. I suggest that you calibrate your scale by weighing a commercial product. I suggest 4 sticks of butter since the net weight (1 lb) will be very close to the gross weight since the weight of the paper is so small. I just did this on my digital scale, and 4 sticks of butter weighed 16.0 ounces. The weight of the paper did not register. I then left the 4 sticks in the box, and the weight increased to 16.4 ounces.The empty box indeed weighed 0.4 ounces when I weighed it separately.

You can also buy calibration weights (usually in grams) from Amazon for a few dollars. The 500 gram weight (17.637 ounces) costs 8.99 but I suggest that 4 sticks of butter is less expensive and much tastier.

There are differences between scales. That is why the former MSC specified 18 ounces or more, rather than 16 ounces or more. That provided a safe margin for differences among scales. If all your packages were exactly the same, could you tell us how much the heaviest one weighed according to the client?

There is always going to be some variation in weight from one box to another and some difference due to the amount of tape used. The heavier the tare weight of the box, the more weight variation I find.

Did you actually weigh each box after it was packed and sealed and addressed, or just assume that they would all weigh the same because you put the same thing in each of them, used boxes which weighed exactly the same, and used exactly the same amount of tape?

When I did Ready Post shops and mailed boxes of commercial cake mix in the same size mailer (no tape) from different locations, the weights would vary by a few tenths of an ounce.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2015 06:38PM by myst4au.
I just started doing shops for them, however, I haven't had any problems with
payments. I hope everything works out f
for you.
The way I see it, the only way that the shops would be rejected is for them to be UNDER weight. That is why, Wine, your post is rather unbelievable. You should have taken note AT THE TIME of your encounter with the clerk what the package weighed on their scale before going ahead with the purchase. It always shows up on the screen next to me.

If you go over the weight limit, your shops are not rejected - you just pay the difference.

Maybe, though, with the exception of the hazardous or large sized box shops where you do have to stay under five pounds. Not sure which kind of shop you are referring to.
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