I am disappointed Strategic Reflections!

I was able to self assign a shop for Monday 5/9. I admit the shop stated weekend only, however, the available dates were 5/7-5/9. I accepted the shop and emailed the scheduler, questioning the Monday availability. I heard nothing back, and went ahead with the shop on Monday. It of course was immediately rejected. I emailed the scheduler and asked them how I could schedule the shop, perform it as advertised and have it rejected. After their initial reply I asked them to give it to a manager. His reply was the same, they did not make a mistake. "The due date listed encompassed the weekend timeframe to complete the shop." What$%$#@#$%% I emailed him back, have yet to hear. I reiterated again, none of this would have happened if available dates would have been 5/7-5/8, period. He is under the assumption, apparently, that we know his schedulers don't work weekends, only work for Strategic Reflections and have no ability to change dates. My biggest complaint is they admit nothing, no error at all. I should have added he said if I had a question, I should not have performed the shop. I contend that puts us, the shopper, in a no-win situation. I can see the flake citation now. I have performed over 100 shops for them, no missed shops, no rejections prior and no late reports. Done with my complaint!

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Hi RobG,

If the shop was to be performed on the weekend, they had the right not to accept the shop.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I agree with HonnyBrown. I've done a lot of shops for SR, and they've worked with me when I was given a faint receipt that was illegible. If the guidelines state weekend-only, you cannot do it on a weekday. Just chalk it up to a learning experience. FWIW, I don't think SR does flake citations.
Wait, their system said 05/07 - 05/09 and let him schedule it? If it was Saturday and Sunday ONLY, why weren't the dates 05/07-05/08? I see at least part of the blame on the MSC.
I agree the Strategic Reflections post should not have allowed him to schedule a shop for Monday 5/9 if the shop was a weekend shop that could only be done Saturday/Sunday 5/7 or 5/8. An inexperienced shopper might be easily led astray,. A more experienced shopper should know better, and I think the OP knew better. He realized that, even though he had been able to schedule a Monday shop, the shop instructions said weekend only. He realized something was wrong so he e-mailed the scheduler. However, when he didn't hear back, because the SR schedulers do not work weekends, he went ahead and did the shop. No way would I have done the shop.

By not doing the shop and waiting for the scheduler to respond, the shop could have been rescheduled for the following weekend. Or, if it turned out that a weekday was okay, the shop could have been rescheduled for Tuesday-Friday of that week. It's almost never a good idea to decide to ignore a major part of the guidelines.
@spaztck wrote:

Wait, their system said 05/07 - 05/09 and let him schedule it? If it was Saturday and Sunday ONLY, why weren't the dates 05/07-05/08? I see at least part of the blame on the MSC.

I'm wondering if perhaps the report wasn't due until Monday, and maybe that's why they included Monday? I had a sandwich shop for them that was clearly marked "weekend only" and I mistakenly scheduled it for Monday. When I realized my mistake (luckily within a few hours of self-assigning it), I emailed them and they removed it from my assignments. I personally wouldn't do the shop on Monday if it said "weekend only," unless I didn't care if it was rejected.
Actually I wondered the same thing. I have had some Saturday only shops where the due date was still Sunday because of a 24 hour turnaround on the report.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Two comments.
(1)They shouldn't have included Monday in the dates.
(2)You shouldn't have done it on Monday because they stated it was a weekend shop.

Rob, sorry for you and for the company, too, that this happened. Now they know not to include the next day in their dates and you know to shop the weekend only.

@RobG wrote:

It of course was immediately rejected.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
I shop for S.R. quite a bit. If there were "weekend only" shops and I saw a shop range that went into the 9th. (Monday), I would assume they made a typo error and would not have performed the shop. I would have also called my scheduler just to be 100% sure. Do you have your schedulers direct number? In your email, when they either confirm your assignment or write you to ask you about performing one, there is a schedulers email and phone number at the bottom of the letter. smiling smiley
I've shopped for them before. If the guidelines state weekends only, that's what it means. The extra day is usually because you can submit the shop next day by noon or 24 hours or whatever. If I see Weekend Shop Only, that's what it means. No miscommunication here.
I did email the scheduler, trying to verify. My shop showed scheduled 5/9. I really would just like them to admit an error on their part. Why was that date available? You can submit reports to them 7 days a week. As such there was no reason for a 5/9 date. Thank you all for your input.
@RobG wrote:

I did email the scheduler, trying to verify. My shop showed scheduled 5/9. I really would just like them to admit an error on their part. Why was that date available? You can submit reports to them 7 days a week. As such there was no reason for a 5/9 date. Thank you all for your input.

Rob: I have had shops say, "Do NOT perform on a Holiday" but yet the date choices fall on a Holiday.

It is up to YOU, not "them" to figure that out. Not to sound mean ....but it does say that in so many words, that the shopper needs to make sure the shop is not performed on a Holiday. (as example)

EVEN if the shop has the Holiday as a date, we have to follow the "guidelines first" and dates second. smiling smiley
OP 1st you saw weekends only and dates including Monday. You emailed the scheduler which assumes you realized you probably should not do on Monday. 2nd When you did not hear back from the scheduler by the time you were ready to do the shop on Monday you went ahead and did it without approval. This is therefore your fault. I hope your wee just out time and a little gas.
BubbaBubba Where did you get the $6 shop fee info? The OP never stated the shop fee.
Also it does not matter if the fee was $1 or $100. The OP did not follow guidelines and questioned if it was okay to do the shop on Monday so had an inclination she was not following guidelines. As the OP did not follow guidelines the shop was excluded and not paid. It is no different if you hired me walk your dog and I walked your neighboors dog. Should I get paid from you for walking the wrong dog.
I do understand your basis that SR does pay low and I have never seen them offer bonuses or give bonuses as I have tried many times asking. That SR was partly at fault for listing an invaild date. SR can certainly afford a measly $6. But this does not mean they should pay a shop that was completed incorrectly.

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

SO the MSC could not SPARE the $6.00 shop fee in GOOD FAITH!?
And say
Dear professional shopper,
We are sorry for the confusion...
We are a TEAM and will try to communicate more effectively/accurately in the future.
Please continue to pay close attention to the details as we know you do. You did a good job on this assignment but unfortunately it did not fit the parameters of our contract with our client. We are crediting you with a completed shop with full payment as a professional courtesy.
We hope that you will continue to serve us well and as the client needs in the future.
Again thank you for your dedicated service..]

Bubbabubba, how long have you been mystery shopping? You sound like you are a new shopper and that you don't understand the difference between having a job and being an independent contractor.

Employees of companies get paid even when they do a job wrong. Employees get counseling to tell them they are part of the team and they need to pay more attention and do jobs right. When a direct employee goofs and it needs to be done over, the company eats whatever double cost is incurred. Also - what about any reimbursement? Bubbabubba mentions a $6 fee but the OP does not mention the fee and does not say whether a purchase was involved. If a reimbursement were involved, we are talking about more money involved in having to send another shopper for a do-over.

We are NOT employees. We are independent contractors. We get paid when we do a job right. We are not part of a team. A mystery shopper runs his own small business and contracts with other businesses to perform a service for which we get paid. If we do it wrong, why would the company pay our company? If we do it wrong, our company eats the loss.

Many companies have blackout dates that say "No shopping on these holidays" or similar. The software will often allow shops to be scheduled within that period but the list of blackout dates is pretty clear. Do not perform the shop on these holidays. When a shop says Weekend Only, it is pretty clear. It means shop only on a weekend.

Since he e-mailed the scheduler, the OP understood it was a Weekend Only shop. Doing the shop was a mistake and the company will have to take a loss, the OP's company, not the mystery shopping company.

OP, sorry it happened. I don't mean to sound harsh because I've made mistakes of other types that had similar consequences, but doing the shop on Monday was a mistake.
to ME the MSC is/was totally wrong.....I dislike when they make mistakes yet YOU pay for it....
I see contradictions in shop guidelines all the time (unfortunately). When I have the time, I email the scheduler for a clarification, when I don't have the time (like over a weekend when a scheduler isn't likely to reply) I use my best judgement.

I think it sucks for the OP that s/he had to even make a judgement call and then get no leeway from the MSC! When we make mistakes, we don't get paid, but when they make mistakes, WE don't get paid again!!?? Not a very symbiotic relationship...

"We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl -- year after year..."
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