Market Force Cell Phone Shops BEWARE! Contradiction

I Accepted my first cell phone shop this year of a national carrier. I had performed numerous shops in previous years and liked them. I went to a very busy store.

The qualifying questions asked if I was willing to wait at least 30 minutes for service. I was and in previous years one could stop the shop after 30 minutes and report it. I did so this time. However I read through the Guidelines a second time and found that the requirement now is to wait until you are served. Failure to do so would result in an invalidated shop.

I returned for an additional 20 minutes. In the last half hour I was still #3 on the hit parade. I discontinued the shop.

I am miffed in two veins. First in not catching this change the first time I read through the guidelines and second in the contradictory statements.

I sent an email and will report what is decided. Just be forwarded of this discrepency.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230

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There are NEW shops and it says, "Wait until you are served. Even if you have to wait 2 hours, you wait 2 hours. Do plan to go there (at least) 3 hours before the store closes, so you can comply with the 2 hour wait. The exact words are:. "Plan your visit carefully because for this shop you will need to be assisted no matter how long you have to wait AND you will need to allow one hour to complete this shop once you are assisted." This shop is much different than the other shop, it has different questions and some are omitted vs. the 30 minute wait shop. smiling smiley
It's another circumstance of timing. Try for off-peak hours when you do shops like these. Stay away from lunchtime and late afternoons during the weekdays, and avoid weekends, though the dinner hour seems to be a good time to visit any day since most customers are doing just that--eating dinner.
I do understand that, which is how normally I shop these particulaTrly in one locale where two of the major carriers stores are the second busiest in the country. Which is why it was most likely available bonused.

The issue is that Market Force gave false or at least misleading information in its qualifying questions particularly to returning shoppers by stating the "at least 30 minutes" instead of "until you receive assistance".

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
The 2 hour wait time is ridiculous. If I drive up to a location and see many customers waiting I don't even start the shop. I did not mind the 30 minute wait but 2 hours! Having anxiety about today since I have 3 scheduled and it is a Sunday. Just hoping everyone stayed home today and I get assistance right away but I have a sinking feeling : (,,,,
Conflicting shop guidelines in shop materials? Imagine that....

I'd like to know who the heck is going to wait "until served," even if it's two hours, to do a mystery shop? "Not I," said the Little Red Hen....

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
You've caught my theme that many of the MSCs who don't respect all your hard work will push their pay-outs toward's $0.00 or make you pay to work for them! Their excuse is this job is meant only for seniors or someone looking for spare pocket change. I speak only of the companies who are actively trying to push their best shoppers out by reducing payouts because their employees were too efficient and fast while others stumbled so they could dink their pay.

The ads about "easy and quick" are blanket lies someone is spreading to make us think its a viable alternative to begging for food on the street. When those sign holders first started out some people who held "We Will Work For Food" were making $150-$300 a day until word got out and more people decided it was a lifestyle change they could accept.



They want you to live and work like employees of Fox-Conn, remember them? They were jumping out of windows of their buildings because their job at Apple's primary chip-set maker was unbearably horrible. The Chinese Government ended up putting nets around those building to catch jumpers.
@whosear wrote:

I do understand that, which is how normally I shop these particulaTrly in one locale where two of the major carriers stores are the second busiest in the country. Which is why it was most likely available bonused.

The issue is that Market Force gave false or at least misleading information in its qualifying questions particularly to returning shoppers by stating the "at least 30 minutes" instead of "until you receive assistance".
The qualifying questions can be different from the guidelines. I always follow the guidelines. To give an example, the ***** grocery store says be prepared to spend 45 minutes up to one hour in the store. The main page of the report says you must spend 20 minutes in the store. smiling smiley
In my area I rarely have to wait at all for assistance. I've done three of these shops with the new guidelines. Two of them went smoothly. The third (an authorized dealer, not a company store) had one associate trying to assist four customers at once. I was in there for a VERY long time.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
Yeah it is all about being assisted right away. My 3 shops went alright yesterday but I did have to wait almost 30 minutes at one of them. I was sweating bullets thinking I might be there for 2 hours. Well honestly I would not have been there 2 hours - I would have left and tried to reschedule. Waiting 2 hours makes the shop worth about 50 cents with drive and reporting time. I can do telephone shops at home for more $$$. To be fair the report is very easy with little narrative - it is just the wait time that is outrageous.
I've been lucky in that I have been able to be assisted in under 5 minutes. I hope it continues that way but I remember waiting one time almost 30 minutes one time, horrible! tongue sticking out smiley
My advice to those who do these shops is to check to see if the guidelines are congruent with the qualifying questions. The qualifying questions have not changed but at least my guidelines have. The store I shopped was a flagship store and probably one of the top five in the country. Same with another carrier's store just a few thousand feet away. They are the carrier's second busiest store. The, "at least 30 minutes" is still there. I would be curious to see if there might be special instructions for this particular shop.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
Just because we're independent contractors, I don't see why we should be expected to work for less than minimum wage.

I had a prob with the same MSC, different shop. Before I left I ran through the guidelines one last time; I just so happened to see a weird FAQ for a drive-up rollerskating FF shop asking, "What if my order is never delivered?" It said to wait 20 minutes, then check the restrooms, then leave, and enter everything as 'no' on the report.

The weirdness of the question made it stick in my head, and by chance that very thing happened to me that day! It was a breakfast shop and they were obviously understaffed. I planned on paying cash. If I had paid CC, obviously it would not make sense to leave. I had also spent 10-15 minutes before ordering figuring out what I was able to order (the shop names items somewhat differently) because I hadn't done breakfast for a while.

I waited a little more than 20 minutes because I also had to reposition my car to get out. Then checking the restroom brought it to at least 45 minutes spent, and all I got was the $5 fee since there was no reimbursement. Minimum wage in my city is like $12 or something.

Then I spend FOREVER entering the report because they say 'enter no for everything' but you can't enter no for everything, they want answers for all the nos, you can't even write N/A because it's not enough characters, and many of the nos conflict with each other. Like, you can't say you didn't get an item and the item wasn't correct.

You simply cannot follow their directions.

I was absolutely livid by the time I got it to accept my report, which took 3 hours! And then they questioned me as if they didn't believe I was there. If I had known the trouble it would be, I would have just canceled the damn thing when i didn't get my order. All for five measly bucks, and you can bet I will NEVER do that shop again, no matter what the pay is.
Shop whisperer I am sorry you had such a awful shop. Just a though but if N/A is not enough characters spell it out Not Appllicable or even use a full sentence. This is not applicable. IMHO once you do this for a month or two for some even less MF is mostly not worth it.

As far as the OP
I would never spend more than 30 minutes in a store. Go at off times or perhaps call ahead and make an appointment if allowed. Two of the big 4 phone companies aka the little 2 are almost never busy and I am in and out in less than 15 minutes. In the other 2 of the big 4 the ones that 95 % of the country has IMHO can be extremely long waits one always unless it is not a company store when sometimes you can preform quick.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
@ShopWhisperer wrote:

Just because we're independent contractors, I don't see why we should be expected to work for less than minimum wage.

I had a prob with the same MSC, different shop. Before I left I ran through the guidelines one last time; I just so happened to see a weird FAQ for a drive-up rollerskating FF shop asking, "What if my order is never delivered?" It said to wait 20 minutes, then check the restrooms, then leave, and enter everything as 'no' on the report.

The weirdness of the question made it stick in my head, and by chance that very thing happened to me that day! It was a breakfast shop and they were obviously understaffed. I planned on paying cash. If I had paid CC, obviously it would not make sense to leave. I had also spent 10-15 minutes before ordering figuring out what I was able to order (the shop names items somewhat differently) because I hadn't done breakfast for a while.

I waited a little more than 20 minutes because I also had to reposition my car to get out. Then checking the restroom brought it to at least 45 minutes spent, and all I got was the $5 fee since there was no reimbursement. Minimum wage in my city is like $12 or something.

Then I spend FOREVER entering the report because they say 'enter no for everything' but you can't enter no for everything, they want answers for all the nos, you can't even write N/A because it's not enough characters, and many of the nos conflict with each other. Like, you can't say you didn't get an item and the item wasn't correct.

You simply cannot follow their directions.

I was absolutely livid by the time I got it to accept my report, which took 3 hours! And then they questioned me as if they didn't believe I was there. If I had known the trouble it would be, I would have just canceled the damn thing when i didn't get my order. All for five measly bucks, and you can bet I will NEVER do that shop again, no matter what the pay is.

ShopWhisperer: .

Why did you spend 15 minutes trying to figure out what to order? It is a good idea to read your meal selections on your guidelines before you get there and have a good idea of what you are going to order. You want to act like a normal customer would..... and most customers order pretty quickly.

What do you mean it took you 20 minutes to reposition your car?

What does it mean it took 3 hours to accept the report? Do you mean for it to be approved? It is NORMAL for QC to contact you in a case like this.

You should have spent no more than 20 minutes total there, (if no food delivered) plus restroom check and POP observations.
I am practically knocked down by the sales rep as I am entering the store to be assisted. Waiting 20 minutes was never a problem. My "job" after being assisted is to keep the rep engaged for 20 minutes.
This was the 30 minute wait shop, or some semblance of it. It was not one of the New or Existing Customer shops. Has anyone else looked at the qualifying questions and then the Guidelines? Are they like that for all of these shops?

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
@whosear wrote:

This was the 30 minute wait shop, or some semblance of it. It was not one of the New or Existing Customer shops. Has anyone else looked at the qualifying questions and then the Guidelines? Are they like that for all of these shops?
So its been a week since your original post. So did you get paid for waiting or not get paid for not waiting?confused smiley
As for the contradictory statement, you go with the flow. You can't abandon the shop regardless of the wait. You must be assisted. If there are too many people being waited on, then go at a different time.

Like I posted, the Reps were practically knocking me over to assist me.
I abandoned the shop and cancelled it. In retrospect, I should have grabbed a business card and filled out the report as I would have before. Then when I had to haggle with the Help Desk, I would have sent them the qualifying questions. I have a feeling I would have been paid

Mostly that has happened. But one two occasions I had waited 30 minutes then left, filed my report and was paid. Watching the reports for this month. More are on both metro boards as of today.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/03/2016 02:26AM by whosear.
oh thanks for that, I was wondering. 8 bucks is slave labor for those terms. Pshhhh

One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards. Oscar Wilde
$8 is $8. Too me, its a shop fee with no reimbursement or reimburse fee. The shop alone is a no hassel shop. The Rep is supposed to lead the conservation. We, the Shopper, look for key words or enthusiasm from the Rep. We report on the Rep, get a business card, object to a idea, and leave the Retail. The report is multiple choice with one section for a 200 character narrative. Once you get assisted, you are in and out.

I did 4 Client shops in January for $8 each. I did 4 more shops in February for $15 each. The only difference in the guidelines were.............to look for the "orange" name tag. These were the "wait until you get assisted" shopssmiling smiley

So if PPPPPPPPSSSSSShhhhhhhhhh is your answer for "no way ho-say, $8 is not for me", I'll take the shop.smiling smileysmiling smiley

@whosear---->take more shops in the area or go first thing in the AM, right after the store opens..

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/03/2016 04:46AM by sojo917.
You guys are still going to smartphone stores that have the business cards out for people to grab? None of the ones in my area keep business cards or brochures out anymore. The national carrier that starts with a V keeps all business cards in the back and the sales rep has to go back to grab one when I ask for it. I did ask once why they don't keep it in a pocket and I was told that the regional rep doesn't allow that anymore because having to go to the back makes the customer wait and that may give them enough time to change their mind and go for the purchase.
Interesting. The stores in my area which are company-owned (not authorized retailers) no longer have business cards at all. Depending upon what type of cell phone you have or don't have, they will text, email, or near-field transfer their business card information to you. It is no longer possible to get a paper business card from them even if you ask for one. Picking one up is impossible. I have found the authorized retailers for the V brand and others keep the business cards out of site. No picking one up either without a conversation,
@AnonymousGirl wrote:

You guys are still going to smartphone stores that have the business cards out for people to grab? None of the ones in my area keep business cards or brochures out anymore. The national carrier that starts with a V keeps all business cards in the back and the sales rep has to go back to grab one when I ask for it. I did ask once why they don't keep it in a pocket and I was told that the regional rep doesn't allow that anymore because having to go to the back makes the customer wait and that may give them enough time to change their mind and go for the purchase.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
Again, not reading that the shop that I did was the 2nd busiest store, a flagship store. Not waiting for service is not the norm. Again the issue is not that I should have been more selective on the time, but that MFI qualifying question about waiting at least 30 minutes was misleading since they changed the requirement, at least for this shop.

Also, most of their March shops are still on the board for $12.00 today. I received auto emails offered $18.50 for 3 of the locations. You work too cheap. People don't respect you when you do that.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
In my area, there is often a long wait, too. It has gotten better over the last few years. It takes me longer than two minutes to do the report. I'm not sure how to do it that fast.
Slight exaggeration but most MFI reports are not hard. No long commentary. It is the repetitive questions before one gets to the meat of the report that takes time.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
I have done the report and it takes at least ten minutes, although I have not timed it. That and fifteen to twenty on site. Plus the drive to and from the shop. Sounds like more than 8 dollars worth to me.
My bonus offer for another one of these shops was accepted. They made changes to the report. Now the, "Wait for service until hell freezes over" is at the beginning of the instructions, above and separate and in a statement above the heading. It is clear....wait for service, do not leave and come back.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
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