EMPS (The BAD Apartment Company )

I had so many bad problems with this company. They expect us to be miracle workers. I tried for over a year to work for them accepting apartments, but seems like each one had it's own set of problems. The last apartment I had been assigned to they cut my membership in the middle of finishing it. I had cussed while on the phone. They expect you to get a certain person to evaluate which can be trying almost every time unless you get lucky and the answer the phone the first time. There were several times when the person was to be there when I arrived and they were not. The first shop where this happened, I didn't know what to do.. the guy I had talked with said he would be at lunch and the contact person was the only other employee so I drove a bit of a way to get there in time. He was there, and I couldn't just ask for the other person as that would give me away so I had him show me the apt. and did not get paid. lesson learned.. I had two signed up for December, 2016, the first one only made appointments, but they did not state that if they only make appointments then w are to call EMPS right away (they do not want us to set up appointments). I had spoken to another person when I called the apt and they assured me the contact person would be there. I drove 45 minutes each way and had assigned another store to do in the same time for another company. I got there and the woman was on the phone as she was not there, she told her she could not show me the apt for several hours I called EMPS and was furious when they told me I should have called them before driving all that way, and that is when I lost my temper. I told them that they should state that in their rules. I went ahead and did the apartment and waited that day since I had driven so far. This is when I got the email telling me that I was deleted off their company and that I would get paid for both shops. So we will see. I always hesitated to so shops for them as I knew sit would be stressful. They have no compassion for this stress and that is what is so infuriating to me. Their evaluations are so very long and repetetive which would turn away shoppers also. A friend of mine who I referred has constant problems also. They won't pay her for a shop which they gave her the wrong address for, and this was not her fault. That is not the shoppers job to spend time finding out what the addresses are. They were un- sympathetic to her also. There are far too many other shopping companies than to deal with this company. I shop for many of them and never have any problems.

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You cursed while you were on a recorded call with your target, and you wonder why they deleted you? Seriously?

"Life is a fight...FIGHT!"
OP, the company is "EPMS." All apartment shops require attention to detail and the ability to write narrative. EPMS falls into the middle ground in this regard, meaning there are MSCs that require less narrative and others that require much, much more narrative than EPMS. Targeted shops are problematic with all MSCs, not just EPMS. Many shoppers won't accept targeted shops for that reason.

It is the shopper's job to verify the address, hours and phone number of the apartment community. You should do that either on the web or while you are on the phone with the target. If you can't find the apartment complex, that's on you.

It's never okay to be unprofessional in front of a client. Losing your temper or allowing your frustration to build to the point of cursing an employee is a sure way to be deactivated. Not only is that behavior unprofessional, it's also memorable--a violation of the basic rule of MSing to blend into the crowd.

If you decide to continue MSing, you would do well to consider other types of shops--ones that don't require narrative or targets. Learn how to keep your composure. Build up your detail and writing skills. FF and wireless/cell phone shops (done in person, in a store, not over the phone) are a great way to earn while learning.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/2017 11:37PM by ChrisCooper.
@SHeath wrote:

I had cussed while on the phone.

I don't do targeted shops. It's my choice. You have a choice, too. Don't take shops that you believe are too difficult.

Just for this reason alone "I had cussed while on the phone." I would have deactivated you.
Yes, I don't know how you expected to garner any sympathy in the forum by admitting you cussed on the phone and conducted yourself in an unprofessional manner. It's not clear to me who you cussed, I am thinking it was someone at EPMS, but at this point it really doesn't matter.
I should have re-phrased that....I was actually frustrated and talking to myself and said "pick up the damn phone" while I was on hold with EMPS..... The EMPS person on the other end must have been able to hear me as she got back on and said "are you talking to me"? I apologized for my fit of anger. I am only human. I did not cuss at anyone in an apartment complex or their employees... I would never do that. Again, I will point out the frustrating thing about working for this company is they expect miracles. A very large percentage of shops are targeted which can be almost impossible at times. A shopper may be in need of money and except these targeted shops with the stress that goes with it not knowing how much time they will have to spend or if the contact person will even be there. AGAIN...they ask us not to set up an appointment and some apartment places only do appointments..AGAIN..they need to let the shoppers know to call EMPS when this happens. You can be assigned a shop and spend most of the day trying to get a hold of the contact person. I travel for my shops so I try to plan other shops in the areas so that it will be profitable. If you have a contact person who is taking your time from these other shops that is very stressful also.The shoppers do not have control over this situation and how in the world are you supposed to target someone who is not there or says they will be there and then are not. Yes EMPS evaluations are one of the most lengthy and repetetive forms I have seen with apartments. One other thing.... no it is NOT the responsibility of the shopper to make sure the address is correct or whether a business is open. We are to sign up for the shop and do the job, this is what I am saying they ask so much of the shoppers. The companies get paid by the owners of the companies for the shoppers, they should know and keep track of whether a company is in business or not. I have done a shop for another company who sent me there and they were closed down. They paid me any way, as this was not my fault. This is their responsibility and I will always work for a company who understands what the shoppers go through. I will let anyone know who this company is They rate very high with me.
@SHeath wrote:

One other thing.... no it is NOT the responsibility of the shopper to make sure the address is correct or whether a business is open.

Do you mean EPMS? When I saw your subject line, I assumed it was a typo and you meant EPMS. But both your posts repeatedly use "EMPS."
I will also add that when you arrive at the specified address and it is not correct and you are sitting in your car calling EMPS, which is very rare that they will pick up the phone, Then you have to go back home unless by rarity you can Google which takes up data on your phone and taking YOUR time finding out where the apartments are., and can finish the shop... IF the appropriate contact person decides to leave or is with another potential tenant then your sunk.... Also quite possibly the apartment isn't even in your area, and what a wasted amount of time for the shopper, and possibly you WONT get paid....This has happened to others i know also. I guess I got lucky that day and they decided maybe it was important to pick up the phone.
@roflwofl wrote:

@SHeath wrote:

One other thing.... no it is NOT the responsibility of the shopper to make sure the address is correct or whether a business is open.

Do you mean EPMS? When I saw your subject line, I assumed it was a typo and you meant EPMS. But both your posts repeatedly use "EMPS."
@roflwofl, the OP continues to write "EMPS" even after another forum member (ChrisCooper) corrected him.

@SHeath, I have no sympathy for your whatsoever. You don't seem to understand the basics of mystery shopping or how to write using paragraphs. I would have deactivated you just for consistently calling the MSC by the wrong name. It shows that you do not pay attention to details and you ignore constructive criticism.

I would like to thank the OP though. With sloppy shoppers like this, it leaves more work for the reliable and professional shoppers. smiling smiley
Essentially, EPMS paid you to stop shopping for them. That's not a good start. Everything you are complaining about is typical for targeted apartment shops. It's frustrating, but that's what you agreed to when you accepted the shop. Blaming the MSC didn't work with EPMS, and it won't work with any other company.

If your goal is earn money MSing, then you really need to look at other types of shops that don't have so many components and don't require narrative, such as retail and fast food.
It most certainly is the shopper's responsibility to confirm the location and the hours f the apartment complex and the leasing office.

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.
EPMS does not readily answer the phone anymore. That's unfortunate for shoppers in the field, with an urgent matter. However, their shop contracts and specifications guide the shopper what to do in the event of not reaching the target, no one answering the phone, showing up onsite and the target hands you off to another agent, how long to wait for assistance after a specified amount of time, what to do if the agent states they have no units to show and no availability . . .

Using EPMS' contact link with a question may not result in a timely response. No matter. When they do reply, they will work with shoppers to extend the due date to a mutually acceptable date.
I have performed many shops for EPMS, and except for a few issues, have never had a problem. I read the instructions carefully, make cliff notes, and prepare for the unexpected. I follow the scenario and conduct myself as a professional at all times. Targeted shops are not easy but there are instructions for hard to reach targets. Let the scheduler know if there are issues. Perhaps other types of shops are more suitable for you. Un-professional conduct is Un-acceptable with all MSC's and that includes inappropriate language.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this company. I started doing apartment shops January 2015 and I couldn't believe I hadn't been doing them before over the 9 years as a MSer. This company has accepted when I couldn't reach a target because I communicated to them right away. They have accepted me canceling a shop because I couldn't reach the target in the week I was in that apartment area because I communicated it. They have accepted shops when I spoke to the target on the phone but had to meet with someone else. I did the long repetitive report (ugh... I didn't enjoy those) with that information in it.

As for setting appointments, all my narratives said to set it if asked but arrive at another time which worked totally for me.

I never had a problem with my reports being rejected/ denied or questioned. I didn't think about that until reading your post...wow!

I surely didn't have issues with getting paid.

Unfortunately for them, they have ended our great two year relationship due to me being too sick to complete the reports for my last two shops in early January. I had uploaded everything even the audio but needed to do the written, I asked for an extension but by the time I was supposed to, I just wasn't able to which I communicated.

I tried to log in last week but couldn't and I was still getting their email notices. I requested a new password, got it and still couldn't get in. I inquired Support about it and asked if I had been terminated... No response to that but I no longer get the email notices... I guess we are broken up for sure.... Dang, I will miss them.
Oh well!

Based in MA...
Love To MS Nationally!
I always look up where I'm going before hand because my time is valuable. Either way I do believe its the shoppers responsibility to do so. That's in all the training I've had.

Based in MA...
Love To MS Nationally!
They are the first MSC I signed up for way back in 2012 but I just started working with them last October. I've done targeted and anyone shops. So far I have completed a total of 32 shops with them and recently two were rejected. One was my fault (I shopped on a Saturday instead of M-F) the other wasn't.

Similarly like you, the target was supposed to be on site. I tried for a week straight to reach the target. It got to the point that the other agents recognized my voice. We made an appointment for one day, I called to change the time because I was running late from another shop and the concierge told me the target called off. I was pissed because I was already in route but glad that I hadn't gone all the way to the property yet. It took me another four days to reach the target. Finally reached the target again, the target ask if I want to set an appointment, I say yes. Then target ask which day/time, I ask when they have available, the target tells me tues, thurs and friday. I say I could possibly swing by friday. The target then says they won't be in Friday but someone else can help me. I told the target I felt comfortable with them and when are they working. Target says wed & thurs. I say thurs works better for me. Target sets appt and confirms.

I called before I got there early in the morning (before the leasing office opened) asked if the target would be in today. The concierge confirms the target will be in. I arrive on time for the tour (even though the shops instructions stated to arrive a few mins early/late; I didn't want to run the risk of target helping someone else) and I'm informed by the concierge the target called off. The concierge that assisted me isn't the one who answered the phone earlier, and this is after they had me wait while completing other task. The manager just so happens to overhear and offers to tour me.

I knew it was a targeted shop but we're supposed to "blend in" with regular prospects. A regular apartment hunter would not have turned down the tour, so I accepted. I completed the tour and EPMS rejected the shop because it wasn't the right target. I'm really pissed about it. They told me I should have called to make sure the target was there. I did call. I even asked if they could give me a partial pay because this wasn't my fault. They refused. I hope that target got fired.
^^What a nightmare! Sorry that happened to you. Targeted shops don't seem worth the trouble. They are on my 10 foot pole list.
@ChrisCooper oh it was! I really tried had to get a partial payment. Target shops can be frustrating but I usually don't have a problem with them. EPMS is usually good with allowing you to ask for the target directly if you're having trouble reaching them them directly. I've done targeted shops for remington and Cirrus Marketing and prefer EPMS over those companies. I actually hate the editors for remington and will never work with them again. EPMS pays quickest and have more availability in my area. They are also very forgiving with deadlines. I had four shops with them scheduled due all on the same day. I completed two shops on time along with the full report and the other two I had the dates extended. One shop that I completed on the 27th, I just finished the report today because I've been busy with other shops and my full time job.

I've done audio recorded shops with them too. I may look into video shops because it pays more, we'll see.
I'm surprised they didn't accept your shop. I had the same thing happen, called ahead then the target who was also the manager was out. I toured with the available agent and was paid in full.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
I was paid for a separate shop where I shopped the wrong target. I had a tour with one agent confirmed when I arrived the target was on lunch. I toured with someone else and they accepted the shop. If they were going to reject shops, they really shouldn't have accepted that one since you are supposed to wait for 45 mins and only shop someone else if you are passed off.
Mine didn't require waiting 45 minutes. Just confirm the target was there the day of the appointment.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
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