Sentry denied two reports because I used the words "patio heater" instead of "outdoor heater."

This issue could be made "black and white" (as it's apparently not) by the shop instructions stating that an outdoor heater is not the same as a patio heater and that no wording other than "outdoor heater" will be accepted. Period. Putting it in all caps, or bold, or whatever, doesn't have the same meaning.

Clearly, many shoppers who haven't done this shop were under the misconception that the terms are synonymous, and in the real world, to lay people, they are. Although apparently the OP was the only shopper of nearly 800 who asked for a "patio heater," other shoppers did indeed, per Dave's own statement, ask for the wrong thing.

Why not have the shop materials as clear as possible? To some, they might already be, but to others, they're not. An explicit, rather than implied, statement would solve the problem. You didn't ask for an outdoor heater, even though the guidelines stated unambiguously that was the ONLY acceptable phrasing? Shop rejected; no basis for dispute. End of story.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.

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Hopefully no one else makes this mistake. I received an email about this shop last week and it now has the words "OUTDOORS" in capital letters. Looks like Sentry has updated the guidelines to prevent this from happening again.
If I was shopping a pet store and the guidelines said I had to ask about buying a specific new pet:

ex: “DOGS— DO YOU CARRY DOGS?”

Say I went into this store and asked if they had any puppies for sale. I would feel like I had followed the guidelines. A puppy is a dog. I didn’t ask about a cat or a fish, I asked about a dog. The terms are somewhat ambiguous, even though a puppy does fall into the overhanging category of “DOGS.”

Now if the guidelines were updated to read:

“You must ask if the store has any DOGS for sale. You must use the exact word “DOGS” in your request. If any other term is used, your report will be rejected and you will not be paid.”

If I was given those guidelines, went to my shop, and asked if they had any puppies for sale... then I would feel the rejection justified.

The issue for me isn’t so much about whether a patio heater is different from an outdoor heater. My issue is when the guidelines don’t explicitly say “you must use this exact term.”
Here is what the updated guidelines says:
"Ask any associate if they carry OUTDOOR Heaters. (Ex: "Do you carry OUTDOOR Heaters?”) Then evaluate if the associate offered to show it to you on a computer. (This is the TBS item for this round)"

I don't know what it said before but it is now apparent that OUTDOOR is what you need to say.
@Vicky86

It's unfortunate that you feel my statements in this area are insincere. I believe, however, that actions speak louder than words. You can ask @isaiah58 or @MikiNV how communicating pleasantly works out.

Also, when you write that I stated "if you contacted my privately before posting about your issue on the forum, I would have issued some kind of payment..." you are misquoting or misunderstanding my statement.

In this case, if the OP would have contacted me directly, the first thing I would have done is look at their history with our company. In this case, the OP had a solid history with eight complete, a strong average score and positive feedback. I would have engaged the OP in a conversation about what happened during the assignments in questions and then made a decision on making a goodwill payment to maintain the relationship.

When a shopper decides to publicly discuss the issue, it changes the situation. In this case, after reviewing the content of the posts on the forum, I determined a goodwill payment would not be appropriate. Each situation is different.
@BirdyC

Thank you for your feedback. We will definitely take this into account as we create future assignment guidelines.
@Sentry Marketing wrote:

@Vicky86

It's unfortunate that you feel my statements in this area are insincere. I believe, however, that actions speak louder than words. You can ask @isaiah58 or @MikiNV how communicating pleasantly works out.

Also, when you write that I stated "if you contacted my privately before posting about your issue on the forum, I would have issued some kind of payment..." you are misquoting or misunderstanding my statement.

In this case, if the OP would have contacted me directly, the first thing I would have done is look at their history with our company. In this case, the OP had a solid history with eight complete, a strong average score and positive feedback. I would have engaged the OP in a conversation about what happened during the assignments in questions and then made a decision on making a goodwill payment to maintain the relationship.

When a shopper decides to publicly discuss the issue, it changes the situation. In this case, after reviewing the content of the posts on the forum, I determined a goodwill payment would not be appropriate. Each situation is different.

The exact quote is
“I said that if you HAD contacted me about the issue I would have very likely worked out something based on your history. As I stated three days ago on this site, we consider the matter closed.
Regardless of what you believe, if you had contacted me in a professional and pleasant way, it is very likely that I would have offered some payment based on your history with us. Once you posted about the issue in the manner you did, any chance of a goodwill offer ended. “

They did try to contact company and didn’t get a reply. Their next step was to come to the forum to consult peers. Maybe they didn’t know that when they receive rejection they should contact you privately, that is something people seem to learn in the hindsight.
I feel like some good has come out of this post because shoppers thinking of applying for this shop with Sentry will now know the importance of their wording when asking for the TBS item. But, at this point, it seems like posting any more to this thread is like beating a dead horse and there is little more to be gleaned.
There have got to be better things to do than to keep this thread alive and to watch Olympic curling. Both are tedious at best.
Saying patio heaters & outdoor heaters are synonymous with each other is kind of like saying George Foreman grill & a George Foreman grillpiece (slang for smile). Not exactly the same.
Just did a search for Outdoor Heater.
First five results are:
"OutdoorHeaters.com - top quality patio heaters."
"Amazon.com - Patio heaters, patio, lawn, & garden."
"HomeDepot.com - Patio heaters, outdoor heating, the Home Depot"
"Walmart.com - Outdoor Heater, Walmart" with the first three photos labeled Patio Heater
"Kmart.com - Patio heaters, outdoor heaters, Kmart"

You have to scroll down pretty far to get an entry that doesn't show "patio heater." Just sayin'.

"If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles." ~Sun Tzu
"Patio" v. "Outdoor" : All that really matters is that the client sees them as different - whatever our individual opinions are. It is the MSC's responsibility to make sure that we understand that we must use a particular term. It is our responsibility to use that term.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Further, when you go to the store and ask for an outdoor heater, they will just ask you to specify what you mean by outdoor heater. When I went to the clients website and typed in outdoor heater all sorts of heaters came up including patio heaters. What are you supposed to say when they ask you what kind of outdoor heater? Are you supposed to then say something more specific as outdoor heater is not specific? Or maybe you are supposed to say you don't know, specifically, what kind of outdoor heater and they will tell you about the 8 or more different kinds of outdoor heaters on their website?
Come on Eric. Quite a few of us Googled Outdoor heaters before commenting. If there was a difference we could not find it. I have actually asked what the heck the difference might be since it escapes me.

@Eric in Tampa wrote:

Saying patio heaters & outdoor heaters are synonymous with each other is kind of like saying George Foreman grill & a George Foreman grillpiece (slang for smile). Not exactly the same.

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.
There is NO difference. I searched the clients website and the same exact items are being called both OUTDOOR heater and PATIO heater. It's almost like the maker of the heaters calls them different things so that's what it's listed as but outdoor and patio heaters are the same.

And BTW, grill piece is not slang for smile.
I never knew that George Foreman had a grill piece. I was pretty sure he had normal looking teeth.
I hope he doesn't have any, I wouldn't want my grandpa walking around with grills in his mouth.
@jgoodwin wrote:

Nooo! Keep this going! I have no interest in the Olympics...I need some entertainment!


Try the General Chat section. Endless Fiction - MS Edition. What fun we're having there! Join us!

sestrahelena
Trust me, the fun is right here in this post. We went from heaters to soda back to heaters and now we are talking about grandpas who wear grills.
Thank you for providing me a short novel to read, as I ate my dinner. I just googled one of the large outdoor heater companies here in AZ. They use the terms interchangeably. And dictionary.com defines patio as "an area, usually paved, adjoining a house and used as an area for outdoor lounging, dining, etc. " So, I see no difference. The OP: with the words in caps, yes, you should have honed in on the fact that the term was important. To Sentry: if it was critical, you should have stated that. By the way, I have no idea what "EX" means. If it's supposed to mean "example," the correct abbreviation I believe is "eg." And that means EXAMPLE, does not mean REQUIRED. if the question needed to be asked specifically using the term, "outdoor", then it should have been prefaced by, "ie," a Latin abbreviation for "That is." I knew high school grammar would come in handy eventually.....
A grill piece is what you put in your mouth over your teeth. Some are gold or have diamonds in them. You can either have a bottom piece or a whole set. Eric I really do think you are less than smart.
And think about this, it is the closest we have ever stayed to the original topic on a seven page thread.

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.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2018 02:17AM by LisaSTL.
Here is what I found when I searched for "outdoor heater":

[admin.sentrymarketing.com]

@LisaSTL wrote:

Come on Eric. Quite a few of us Googled Outdoor heaters before commenting. If there was a difference we could not find it. I have actually asked what the heck the difference might be since it escapes me.
@Sentry Marketing:

Now do a search on the client's website and look through the results. Those exact heaters you posted are also called patio heaters on the client's website.
Seriously Dave, stop! I know you read my responses to your PMs, I can see when you read my posts. Can you quit being so stubborn? Just let the thread die, or pay the OP with a public announcement and make this whole situation look a little better.
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