Disqualified for not completed within scheduled times ... Never has been interpreted this way before.

Shop instructions say:
>Required Day/Time/Meal
>Saturday lunch - dining shop, eat in general dining area (1 pm - 2:30 pm)

I've worked with this MSC many times, but this was the first time shopping this new restaurant.

Many times I've had issues parking and barely squeak by to ARRIVE by the end of the time interval. I have NEVER heard that I must LEAVE by the end of the period. That seems rather out of my control. I could have a 45-minute wait for a table, or very slow service.

I left my house (2-3 miles away) at 1:45-ish. Ran into a lot of traffic. This place is new, and I spotted it at about 2:10. There was no dedicated parking, so I had to make a U-turn and park on the other side of the busy street at a meter. I luckily found someone pulling out. I paid $1.75 for another hour, scooted across the street and noted the time was 2:29.

I couldn't believe my luck! I just made it. Sat down, spent way, WAY more than I typically do on lunch, spent 2 hours filling out the new report, and now I'm told disqualified because 'not completed within scheduled times.'

I have even discussed with a different scheduler from the same company that I was nervous about making a shop (different one) because of the parking being so unpredictable, and whether it was okay if I arrived a few minutes late. She was fine with it.

Anywhere I've shopped, the times were always ARRIVAL TIMES. If they want you out by a certain time, they should specify that.

Of all shops for them to make this decision, they pick one that is 3-4 times what I typically spend.

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Wow. I've always interpreted the times to be arrive and depart, total shop, between those hours. Not necessarily with that company.
I've gone back over some of our emails (me and this company, not always same scheduler) and several times they say, lunch arrive by 2, etc., when the guidelines say 12-2.

Never, ever had anyone tell me what time to leave by, except to say the shop shouldn't last more than one hour.

Somebody recently questioned having dinner longer than 30 minutes, which I thought was weird. I eat slow I guess. And they still paid me.
Almost every food shop I've done has been as spicy stated. The very few that were not it was specifically stated in the instructions. For some it was "Must enter between xx and xx" and then I believe Customer Impact (?) says that "most" of the shop needs to be done between those hours.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
I've always interpreted as I better have a receipt timestamped prior to 2:30 PM, if I want to ensure there are no questions and I'm paid.

Shopping up and down the Colorado Rocky Mountain front range.
My receipt was timestamped 2:35, which was when she entered by order. I finished and paid well after that.

Heck, I've never even had a problem when the timestamps differed from my report, because sometimes you'll see registers with times off by several minutes.They just ask about it and all is good.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/20/2017 03:01AM by ShopWhisperer.
I don't see how I can possibly predict when I will leave. The directions were very unclear and I sat and ordered at a table, but doing the survey they asked about the cashier, so I could have ordered from the window and had it delivered to my table. There were 20 people on that line (I counted) and only one open window. It could easily have taken an hour just to order, then wait for it to be delivered .... who knows? If they want me to leave by 2:30, to be sure they should make the last arrival time 1:30.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/20/2017 03:12AM by ShopWhisperer.
I know I have entered during the window for A Closer Look restaurant shop before and left after the window for example the shop was 9-11am and I arrived 10:30 had terrible service and didn't leave until 11:45 and was paid with no issues. I have ended a few shops like that due to poor service and never had an issue. I did always start them about a half hour atleast before the ending time listed so not sure what the result would have been if I entered at 10:59 etc...
Or they could make it 2:30 and put the responsibility on their contractor. Obviously I have no idea the client, but an hour to serve 20 people seems a bit far-fetched. The parking issues certainly are not on the MSC. If you know parking is an issue, why didn't you allow enough time? Was this a rush job with the scheduler just calling you at 1:30? If not, the time frame allowed for 90 minutes. Why couldn't you have left at 12:45 instead of 1:45?

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 have seen the register receipts times way off. I am thru with their restaurant shops. Almost gives me a bad taste about the restaurant when editor or whoever reviews shop does not let you know by email she has questions re: completed received shop! I said no more restaurant shops. Other concerns not worth my headache.
I've been looking at their past emails. Here's other times they told me the times are for arrival:

>You must arrive at your assignment between 5 PM and 8:00 PM

>You must arrive at your assignment between 12 pm and 2 pm

>Lunch arrival is between 12 pm and 2pm and dinner arrival is between 5 pm and 8 pm.

There was one time with a different cafe in a touristy area, when I could not find parking at a place with no lot, and I arrived at 8:18 instead of 8 p.m. The receipt was timestamped 8:52! (not sure what happened there) I don't know what to do in those situations except to go ahead with the shop. It's hard to turn around and leave after circling the block for over a half-hour. They were very understanding and the shop was paid. Now they won't pay despite arriving within the time slot?
@LisaSTL wrote:

Or they could make it 2:30 and put the responsibility on their contractor. Obviously I have no idea the client, but an hour to serve 20 people seems a bit far-fetched. The parking issues certainly are not on the MSC. If you know parking is an issue, why didn't you allow enough time? Was this a rush job with the scheduler just calling you at 1:30? If not, the time frame allowed for 90 minutes. Why couldn't you have left at 12:45 instead of 1:45?

There's a place near me with a constant line around the building that has signs up where the wait will be 20 minutes, 45 minutes, etc. I was maybe fourth on the pickup line there the other day and I waited more than a half-hour!

I guess an hour would be a lot to serve 20 people, but I surely didn't want to wait on that line. Then you have to wait for your food to be delivered. And they *want* you to stay at least 15-20 minutes, usually.
,
I didn't know what the parking would be like, except that on Yelp there was a photo showing the street and I could see cars parked in the background, no meters, lots of gaps. The resto is new and it's in a touristy area where they constantly change things. They apparently installed all new, expensive meters that are in effect 7 days a week, the bastards (usually no Sundays or holidays).

As it turns out, parking wasn't that hard, the traffic was thick between the long light and the pedestrian traffic, but a space opened up right away, although I don't like having to pay $1.75 and not get reimbursed.

45 minutes is usually more than enough time to get 2-3 miles, and in fact even with the traffic and parking, it was just enough time. I wasn't late! 2:29 is fine; in fact 2:30 is fine. If they don't want me to arrive that late, they need to push back their arrival time.

Why didn't I leave at 12:45, an hour and 45 minutes before the last given time? Because I didn't have to. Every communication in the past has told me that I have until the later time to arrive.
@COMystery wrote:

I've always interpreted as I better have a receipt timestamped prior to 2:30 PM, if I want to ensure there are no questions and I'm paid.

I used to think that, too, and I freaked when I ended up on a long line, watching the clock tick later and later till it was after the end time. The MSC at the time told me it was fine. Obviously the timings are in the report.

That's the whole point: I can control what time I arrive, but after that, all bets are off.

Would you believe I once went for a student manicure at a beauty school, arriving after work (like, 5:30) and leaving after 10 pm, AFTER they closed? It was a complete travesty, and who can predict those?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/20/2017 06:00AM by ShopWhisperer.
I just completed a shop for an upscale restaurant and the guidelines clearly stated that the shop must be completed during a two-hour time range. The guidelines were precise and left no room for ambiguity which I appreciated as this isn't always the case.

My reservation was set for the front-end of the time window, but circumstances outside my control caused me to go over by 9 minutes. I just knew that I was going to end up eating (figuratively) the cost of the shop. I explained the facts of the matter to the MSC in the additional comments box that only the MSC sees and to my surprise, the shop went through without a hitch. Had they rejected my shop, I would have understood. I wouldn't have liked it, but I would have understood the decision.

Thankfully, there is some common-sense left in this world that not everything always goes as planned. Leaving 9 minutes late didn't detract from the shop. In fact, the cause of the delay was likely useful information to the client.
If all of their other instructions state must arrive between and this one stated must be done between then I would assume the shop needed to be completed by that time.

I understand leeway too, but it's not like you just went over by a few minutes. You arrived with 1 minute left in the shop time.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
I think 2:29 is too close to the "cut off" 2:30 time restraint. I always interpret time frames to mean my receipt states my start and/or paid to be reflective of those hours. How does the MSC know you didn't arrive at 2:31 or 2:32?
I'm with the others who interpret the time frame to mean do not enter the location before 1PM and complete the shop and leave by 2:30PM. There are a couple of MSCs I shop for that state "most of your shop must be done in this time period;" in that case, my interpretation would be that if I were in the restaurant one hour, I could run over by not more than 15 minutes. Otherwise, I would assume I must start and finish within the time frame. If I had seen the restaurant at 2:10 with an end time of 2:30, and I had not yet parked, I would have driven home and called the scheduler and tried to reschedule. If arrived at a restaurant at 2:29 for a 1PM-2:30PM shop, I would not have bothered.

What about early arrival? Under the OP's interpretation of performing a part of the shop within the guidelines, would it be appropriate to arrive and order at 12:20PM as long as I left at 1:05PM, which is barely within the time requirement? Not to me.
I think the fact that it was a,lunch shop would have told me they want you there during lunch hours 2:30 is not lunch time
I would have likely emailed the scheduler for clarification on this one - or simply kept the entire visit within the time frame.... Assuming the most strict interpretation, there is only a narrow window for lunch. However, the wording of the directions does suggest that the strict interpretation is correct. Being that it is a different client than other shops with the MSC, there is no guarantee that the times should have the same rules as other shops. Often, there is a reason for the specific time frame to which we are not aware - such as wanting a specific employee to be working.

An MSC with which I frequently work has a "shop before 4:00 PM" rule on a number of shops. I get off work at 3:30 and can get to the shop by 3:55, likely finishing by 4:30. I deal with it by emailing the scheduler and asking for clarification. I find that I'm good to arrive at 3:55 about 50% of the time.
For reference, I've gotten the following message from an editor at Bestmark before:

"I do have to coach and warn you about the time that you performed this shop). All of our clients have different parameters on what they will or will not accept, but for this one, after one warning they would NO PAY you for a future shop if you do not perform the shop within the assigned time frame. Though there can always be extenuating circumstances and though you can always stay a little longer, the basic is that the assigned time of 5 pm-8 pm is not a start time. The shop is supposed to be started and completed within these times. This doesn’t mean that you had to jump up and leave at 8 pm but it does mean that you had to start early enough that it would have been possible to finish by 8 pm."

The timeframe was 5-8pm and I arrived at 7:44pm and finished past the ending time. So, seems it does vary from client to client/MSC to MSC. For most other MSCs, it's normal and understandable to start a shop and finish past the ending time.

Starting 1 minute before the ending time is pushing it though, if you ask me. But at the same time, they are being a little unreasonable if this is your first offense and they just disqualify without any warning.

My advice is email them back and try to get the decision changed/appealed. Tell them about how you spoke to another scheduler before and that was what they told you, and that you feel it should be explicitly stated in the guidelines, and how the expenses were considerable.
This post has all the marking on why a shop is in the category for rejection, disqualification, no pay no way. And the OP wants to know ------->why she can't control time. The shop is from 1:00pm to 2:30pm. What part of that don't you understand? The fact that 1:00pm to 2:30pm is a standard of time. And it happen everyday.

The OP feels it is okay and justifiable to show for a 1:00pm to 2:30pm appointment at 2:29 or 2:35pm. It serves you right for spending more money that you usually would. It sounds like you were trying to right a wrong that you committed.

Perhaps you can learn from your mistake. The MSC does not need to explain to us the Shopper, the beginning time and end time. Lunch time is probably one of the busiest time for any FF retail. We as Shoppers, should take all the hindrances out of the equation when trying to preform a lunch time shop ----->parking, driving, customers, and time. You would have been better if you waited across the street before the shop.

Hopefully you have learned. Move on. smiling smiley
I would say to fight this decision by the editors, as the guidelines were NOT clearly stated and the OP was only given a start time. If the MS Co. wants it done BETWEEN 1:00-2:30, they can state that (and some do.) We are required to follow directions to the letter. Therefore, the directions must be precise. If they are not, I think you deserve to be paid the first time. Now that you know their guidelines, you should observe them. And the MS co. should UPDATE THEIR GUIDELEINES!!!

Kona Kathie
Whoa. I always thought that if a range was given without any other explanation that I was required to only ARRIVE during that time. In fact, ACL's guidelines specifically state that their range is for an arrival time. (That's just an example of one MSC's explicit directions, of course.)
The fact that the rcpt is stamped 2:35 is where lies the problem point.

Had the rcpt been 2:29 you might have been lucky.
While logic dictates the rules before should continue to apply, it is always prudent to get clarification in writing. I agree with newbieshop, had the receipt been for 2:29 it probably would have flown. Another option you have when cutting it that close is to reschedule for another day. One minute is just too close.

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.
@ShopWhisperer wrote:

I don't see how I can possibly predict when I will leave. The directions were very unclear and I sat and ordered at a table, but doing the survey they asked about the cashier, so I could have ordered from the window and had it delivered to my table. There were 20 people on that line (I counted) and only one open window. It could easily have taken an hour just to order, then wait for it to be delivered .... who knows? If they want me to leave by 2:30, to be sure they should make the last arrival time 1:30.
if directrions were unclear u should have asked scheduler before doing shop.
I am not sure why the receipt time is being focused on. The simple matter is to determine what the time parameters are. Personally, I see no way we can control how long things take after we arrive on time. I would never apply for a dining shop (or any shop) with parameters out of my control. I have performed a wing shop which does state you must complete the shop between specific hours. Figuring the worst case scenarios, I figured on arriving no later than 45 minutes before the end time and no earlier than 15 minutes before the earliest departure time.

Back to the receipt. It only reflects the time based on the locations parameters. Some restaurants generate a receipt at the end of the visit. I waited ten minutes at a burger joint yesterday just to place an order. I've received receipts with incorrect times in both directions, one location had the wrong address on the receipt.

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Sorry, but I agree with the MSC. If it says lunch is 11 to 3, it means I can start as early as 11 but I must leave the restaurant by 3 for most of the lunch shops I do. With the dinner shops that I do, it's 5 to 10. I have had times when I did have slow service and I would be telling the server that I needed to make a movie or my parking meter was running out to get them to step on it. I can't believe that you really think that it's logical to think that starting a lunch shop at 2:29 and finishing it whenever is correct! Good luck appealing!
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