Sentry Marketing reputation

Hey all, I'm new to this group, but in searching Sentry marketing reviews found the group. Has anyone had a shop rejected completely by Sentry before? I just had a shop rejected and am so upset as I spent a long time and a lot of money working on it

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Did they tell you why it was rejected? Have you spoken to someone on the phone about it? or via e-mail? More information would help us understand the situation.
I did once. The guidelines said to ask a question and the report had another question so I asked both. I got an e-mail asking what I had asked at the shop. It was rejected and I explained that the guidelines said one thing and the report another so I asked both. Never heard back. I have since done the same shop at a different location being more careful.
As independent contractors how much time and money is spent is irrelevant to getting paid. You are not an employee you are a business owner. As long as you performed the job correctly you should be paid. If you did not perform the job correctly you should not get paid. Did they give you a reason for rejecting the shop?

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
I have had shops rejected by several MSCs. It was always my fault. If you do not understand why, or otherwise want to dispute it, use the provided links on the portal.

FREE Job listing sites; [www.msjobboard.com]; [www.mystshopsol.com]; [www.jobslinger.com] - Sassie; [www.volition.com] - Various links; [www.mspa-na.org] -MSPA Members; link at bottom of forum page to their extensive list of companies
I have been a MS for 20 years. Sentry is the ONLY company I walked away from. Their reports are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long and pay crap. Why anyone chooses to shop for them is beyond me. Just avoid them at all costs and you will be far better off for it.
I agree. There narratives are repetitive and long. They also take forever to pay. I have stopped shopping for them.
Not to mention their owner is piece of work...really disappointed a few years ago when they bought out feedback plus (one of the best). They have good clients, but long narratives, stingy editors, slow pay, etc -- save yourself the hassle.

I love to see when one of their former clients goes to another MSC -- I go out of my way to take those assignments.
If you do a forum "search" on this MSC for "all dates" you will find some very interesting reading.

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.
Thanks everyone very much for your replies. I did a shop for a restaurant, my guest brought his drink from the bar to the table, and he wasn't supposed to. I didn't notice until we got to our table. I was truthful, and thorough in my report, mentioning the drink. I thought they may dock me a few dollars, or not pay for a portion, not completely reject the report, but that is what happened. I had used money we didn't really have to pay for the meal thinking we would be reimbursed. I did a previous shop for them with no issues, but still haven't gotten paid. So, lesson learned, not working for them again. I'm glad I found this forum. Hopefully I can find some other more reputable companies to work for.
@Jhart77 wrote:

I did a shop for a restaurant, my guest brought his drink from the bar to the table, and he wasn't supposed to. I didn't notice until we got to our table. I was truthful, and thorough in my report, mentioning the drink. I thought they may dock me a few dollars, or not pay for a portion, not completely reject the report, but that is what happened. .

I can sympathize with you. I frequently take guests with me when I do dinner shops and you have to watch guests like a hawk. I can't tell you how many times I have kicked a guest under the table or pushed their hand away from the food - whispering "I need pictures first" or "No! You have to order a drink." If you make a mistake, it typically means no pay and no reimbursement. And your guest may not understand or be as on top of things as you are, so you have to watch them or risk a mistake that makes your shop unacceptable.

I realize you are disappointed not to be paid, but as you get more experienced you will realize that it is not unusual to not be paid when you do it wrong. Getting partial payment for a shop is VERY unusual. Almost always you either get the full payment if they accept and use your report or you get nothing. The reason you get nothing is that if you made a mistake in carrying out the client's requirements, the MSC cannot submit the report to the client. The MSC does not get paid and you don't get paid. The MSC must find someone else to do the shop over, according to the client's guidelines, and that shopper will get paid. If they paid you a partial fee for doing it wrong and then paid another shopper a whole fee, they would not make any money, because the client has already agreed to pay one fee for one report.
@Jhart77 wrote:

I did a shop for a restaurant, my guest brought his drink from the bar to the table, and he wasn't supposed to. I didn't notice until we got to our table. I was truthful, and thorough in my report, mentioning the drink. I thought they may dock me a few dollars, or not pay for a portion, not completely reject the report, but that is what happened. I had used money we didn't really have to pay for the meal thinking we would be reimbursed.

Jhart, welcome to the forum. Don't feel too bad. You are not the only one who won't be paid for your rejected shop. When a shop does not meet the client's specifications, it gets rejected. Nobody gets paid. Your scheduler will not be paid, even though she did her job and scheduled the shop to you. The editor will not be paid, even though he spent time editing your rejected report. The client doesn't want the report so the MSC throws it away and nobody gets paid. The scheduler will have to find a new shopper. The editor will edit the new shopper's report. The correct report will go to the client and then the MSC gets paid. When the MSC gets paid, the shopper who did the shop correctly gets paid, along with the scheduler and the editor.

Lack of partial payment does not make Sentry a bad company, although I agree with walesmaven that you should read threads about the companies you accept jobs with. No matter what company you work for, if you do it wrong, you will not get paid. Sometimes companies can overlook a little mistake and still accept the shop and send it to the client. What seems like a little mistake to a shopper may be a deal-breaker to the client. No MSC wants to submit a deal-breaker report to their client. Be glad you told the truth and the client didn't view you on video and report your mistake. Then, not only would you not get paid or reimbursed, you would be deactivated from the company and the company might tell employees of other MSCs about the dishonesty.

Good for you being honest and telling the truth even though you outed your mistake. I've made mistakes that cost me money, too. It's a learning experience. How long have you been mystery shopping? It gets easier.
"I had used money we didn't really have to pay for the meal thinking we would be reimbursed."

There is the real lesson you learned. Do not spend money you cannot otherwise afford to spend on a mystery shop.

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.
Jhart77, sorry that happened to you. Not getting reimbursed for money spent hurts. Hopefully, you enjoyed the meal at least.

I like working with Sentry. They only have a couple of clients in my area, but I find I can do their reports in a reasonable amount of time, and the reports aren't too intensive. One shop/report for a national client has been streamlined fairly recently, so some of the earlier comments you read might be outdated. They don't pay for 60 days, but they pay when they're supposed to. I've never had problems with editors.

Bummer about what happened, but your guest is the one who blew it, not Sentry. Ditch the guest, keep the MSC cool smiley
@Jay C wrote:

The editor will not be paid, even though he spent time editing your rejected report.

I'm pretty sure that Dave @Sentry Marketing doesn't stiff his editors when the shopper botches a shop...
This is not an issue at our company as we use all in-house editors.

@SteveSoCal wrote:

@Jay C wrote:

The editor will not be paid, even though he spent time editing your rejected report.

I'm pretty sure that Dave @Sentry Marketing doesn't stiff his editors when the shopper botches a shop...
So the reality is that both the shopper and MSC loose money in a case like this when the shop gets botched.

The shopper may have a larger expense, but does get the meal. Experience will tell you to check with the MSC first when something like this happens, so that you don't have to spend time writing a report that cannot be accepted.
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