Intellishop - Canceled shop

Last week, I was scheduled to do a $4 + $10 reimbursement shop for Intellishop. At 9:01 a.m., I received an e-mail saying they were canceling all of the shops for this customer. However, I did not see this e-mail until after I completed the shop around 10:30 a.m. I was actually in the mall starting my shop at 10:00 a.m. (so 59 minutes after I received the e-mail). I went on to complete my report only to find out it wasn't there. That is when I checked my e-mail and saw the cancellation e-mail.

An e-mail today from Intellishop states, "Looking at your receipt, you have completed this shop after I have sent out the email stating that it was cancelled . . . . this means we can not accept your report and will not be able to pay you."

Going forward, am I supposed to check my e-mail exactly one minute before I complete any of their shops? We are talking literally 59 minutes. This is rather annoying. Is this common with Intellishop? I shop a lot for them and have never experienced this before. I would think a 24 hour cancellation notice would be appropriate. At that, I know we are talking about $4 + $10 reimbursement, but I'm more concerned about if they plan to do this more often. I don't want to have a day of shopping planned out and find out 10 minutes before I'm ready to complete a shop that it's canceled.

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A couple of thoughts.... First, in this case, we are talking about $14. (Yes, there is a bigger picture, but, however this issue is resolved - or not - we are only talking about $14...)

It is completely unreasonable to expect us to check our email every hour. You had no reasonable way to know that the shop was cancelled when the email was sent. Had you been on a drive to a far-off location, you would really have been burned, with the email coming after you had departed for the trip. This is the sort of thing that would cause shoppers to stop working for an MSC.

Try writing a respectful email to the project manager explaining the situation and asking that the decision not to pay you be reconsidered. Recognize that the email was sent an hour before you started the shop, but point out that you had checked your email before the notice had been sent and had already begun your day of shopping and could not stay connected to email while performing shops.

There is no guarantee that this will work - it may depend on who the project manager is. However, just as you are only talking about $14, so are they. Would they really risk losing a good shopper over $14? I know that if they were to start doing this with any sort of frequency, I would hesitate to shop for them - even if I were not directly affected.

If the email to the project manager does not work out, you could go up the ladder and find somebody higher up in the company. However, even if the higher-up were to agree with you, you might upset the project manager and schedulers in the process, which could make getting future assignments more difficult. So, you will have to weigh your options. While I agree that you should be paid and this sort of thing should not be tolerated from MSC's, I am not so sure you'd want to put your neck on the line over this by going up the ladder. Remember that project managers and schedulers change companies with some frequency, so you could find yourself sticking up for yourself here, inadvertently hurting yourself elsewhere.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Thanks for your feedback, thoughts, and advice. All very helpful!

I would love to know their policy around this if they have one. This shop was actually an hour away from me, but I was doing several shops that day and this was a filler shop for me, but I would be highly upset if this was a shop that paid more and I scheduled my day around it.

I do feel I've been a great shopper for them. I've done about 65 shops for them and have recruited another shopper who has done even more shops for them. I just hope this isn't a consistent thing now - I just wasn't sure if others had been in this same boat. It does make me hesitant to shop with them (I'm one of those that love Intellishop). Blah!
I have had IS abruptly cancel a shop on me before. I sent an e-mail about it and got paid anyway. I don't know if they will in this case, but it's definitely worth a shot.

What's done is done. An egg cracked cannot be cured.
There are 3 kinds of lies. Lies, Damn lies, and statistics.
Intellishop is not a company that values shoppers. They are a low cost provider and by extension normally market their shops to low cost providers (meaning shoppers who work for very little). Most people move away from Intellishop fairly quickly in their MS career as they find companies that pay better and do value shoppers. They don't value their shoppers because they understand few shoppers shop for them over a long period of time anyway, so there's no reason to value them. I'm not saying that's good or bad. It's just their business model. For that reason, yes, they will most likely not pay you the fee for this shop. And they don't care.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Yes and they are tight with a dollar when it comes to the pizza shops............GONE are the good bonuses and now fees creep up by 2 dollars at a time.......They may have to up there bonuses on the delivery shops because they are much more limited on the pool of customers who must live with in a delivery area. They are at $9 now but I am not motivated to do them at that price, I think schedulers hands have been tied because they bonuses are not what they were.
Respectful emails don't work with some MSC's...like Intellishop and GFK.....One is called a liar and worse...
The best advice is to just eat the cost, and stay away from that MSC.
I've had shops cancelled after I completed them in the past. I wrote an email to the scheduler and was reimbursed for the expense. Of course, that doesn't mean that will be the outcome every time or for everyone. That is an awful thing to have happen to you. Getting burned is a terrible feeling. Reality is... that email has to be checked by the minute in todays business world. Notifications are on our phones for a reason and shoppers need to be looking at their emails by the minute in my opinion. Looking at an email could be the difference between losing or making money. One last piece of advise: Don't do $4 mystery shops. Even if you stacked up 100 of these, the energy and time expense just doesn't make it worth while. I started of doing these type of shops and eventually learned how to play the game. Wait it out and make them call you with a bonus.
Please don’t take this too critically, but in the hour between the email going out and you starting the shop, you did not check your email from your mobile device (which is a completely reasonable expectation especially if the shop is in a mall as opposed to the middle of nowhere). Then, you submitted the receipt, saw the email but didn’t contact the scheduler to explain why you did the shop after it had been canceled. This would have fallen under the general “problem with the shop” that you needed to communicate.
Yes, you should be checking your email and texts before every shop because sometimes this happens. Most schedulers will help you, especially in cases where the shopper drove a long distance just for that shop. But that help requires you communicating the problem.
What about shoppers that in general don't have a smartphone but only a flip phone ? What if they left two hours before to start a route of shops and are unable to check their email ? Should the msc call every shopper to tell them the shop was cancelled ?
It’s 2018. There is no reason to think a shopper would not have a smartphone or know how to use it. No, they are not going to spend ten hours calling every shopper assigned to a canceled shop then another ten hours fielding call backs when a single email should suffice. Those few shoppers who don’t own smartphones should still be able to check and respond to email when they get on the internet to submit a report and receipt. Again, communicating the problem is important.
If you are a shopper and have a flip phone you seriously need to stop mystery shopping this minute.
Well on the flip side I did this shop right when the store opened and my email came an hour later. This was the first time I did the shop. Said the shop was rescheduled for maybe a week later. That day I got the email just moments before I was headed to the location. Yes it’s a cheap shop but if you have kids in your life the reimbursement helps. It was annoying and I will probably not pick it up again.
I don't think the msc or anyone should assume everyone has a smart phone. I certainly don't. Haven't you heard the adage what happens when one 'assume's ? Unless it's a requirement by the msc that they couldn't do the shop without one or they state that the shopper must check their email xxx hours prior to doing shop.
No No No No No No No - Let the flip go. It's ok to assume a shopper has a flip phone - its 2018, not 2008. Lemme guess, you think its ok to fax in reports?
While I agree that in 2018 it is reasonable to expect a shopper to have frequent access to email and that most of us do have a smart phone, it is not a requirement for many (most?) MSC's. To ask us to check email between every shop we do - especially when we are long drives in rural areas, where we may not have cell service at all, is not reasonable.

An hour's notice is not appropriate notice for cancelling a shop - especially if email is the only form of communication. If we are doing our job, an hour before the shop, we have already made all needed preparations and may very well have started our travel to the location. If I were to have a shop cancelled on my under those conditions, I would still expect to be paid.

I do recognize that sometimes a client cancels a shop last minute. This is between the MSC and the client. They can figure out how to compensate the shopper who made the visit to Timbuktu in good faith. Of course, if we are talking about a thousand shops, it does put the MSC in a hard spot. A mass email can attempt to cancel shops and might be in plenty of time for most shoppers and shoppers should frequently check email as a part of the trade. That does not mean that a shopper should be hung out to dry. Consider: If an email an hour before a shop is plenty of notice, then what is too little notice?Thirty minutes? Five minutes? Any time before the report is completed? Before the report is edited?

From my perspective, any time I learn about a shop being canceled after I have made the drive to the location, I expect to be paid for the shop. Period. Overall, an MSC should let me know the day before my planned date as I will check my email before leaving the house. If I am on an overnight trip, I expect more notice. (Imagine driving six hours and checking into a hotel for a shop and waking up the next morning to find the shop cancelled.)

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/17/2018 06:38PM by MFJohnston.
No - Let the flip go. It's ok to assume a shopper has a flip phone - its 2018, not 2008. Lemme guess, you think its ok to fax in reports?
@MFJohnston For a canceled shop, would you go ahead and submit the receipt then wait to see if it got approved, or would you contact the scheduler as soon as you saw the email? You’re right, you should be paid if you went out of your way for the shop. But you still need to communicate.
I would immediately contact the scheduler with a proof of visit.... Communication is absolutely key.


@TroyHawkins wrote:

@MFJohnston For a canceled shop, would you go ahead and submit the receipt then wait to see if it got approved, or would you contact the scheduler as soon as you saw the email? You’re right, you should be paid if you went out of your way for the shop. But you still need to communicate.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
@MFJohnston wrote:

I would immediately contact the scheduler with a proof of visit.... Communication is absolutely key.

Which the OP didn’t do. And likely still hasn’t.
OP has not stated what s/he has or has not sent to the scheduler - though I do agree that his/her posts suggest that s/he has not.

Even with the assumption that such a contact has not happened, I would still hold that the MSC should pay for the shop. The OP was given very little notice and had performed the shop before learning of its cancellation. It's not like OP didn't check email that morning.

@TroyHawkins wrote:

@MFJohnston wrote:

I would immediately contact the scheduler with a proof of visit.... Communication is absolutely key.

Which the OP didn’t do. And likely still hasn’t.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I'm not sure where it says I submitted a receipt and waited to see if approved . . . .

To clarify - with fifteen minutes of leaving the store, I logged on to submit my shop. When I logged on, I noticed the shop had disappeared from my shop log. At that point, I checked my e-mail and saw the cancellation e-mail from Intellishop. I immediately e-mailed the woman who e-mailed me to let her know I had finished the shop and just now saw her e-mail. I received a canned auto-generated e-mail response saying to give them a few days if this was in regards to the canceled shops. A few days went by and I heard nothing. I e-mailed to check the status. The woman asked for the receipt. That is when I sent it to her. I then received the e-mail stating, "Looking at your receipt, you have completed this shop after I have sent out the email stating that it was cancelled . . . . this means we can not accept your report and will not be able to pay you."

Communication is definitely key. I e-mailed the scheduled exactly 15 minutes after I completed the shop. I did not receive any phone calls or texts from Intellishop - just that e-mail.

Yes, we are literally only talking $4 + $10 reimbursement, but there is a bigger picture here. Per her e-mail to me, if she sent the e-mail at 9:00 and I started the shop at 9:10 - should I have checked my e-mail between 9:00 - 9:10? I was wondering if this was common with Intellishop as it was not something I have ran into while working with them previously. Also, I live in the midwest. I have done routes that take me into areas with no cell reception. I think 24 hour cancellation notice might be more appropriate.

I received another e-mail communication today from the employee. She stated she had sent this to her supervisor and would respond by the end of the day. I didn't hear anything by end of day today but maybe tomorrow . . . .
For what it's worth, this shop is actually just over an hour from where I live. I often go to this city and do a day of shops that pay nicely. This one didn't, but it was a filler shop for me and I was getting a free shirt for my son which is why I picked up the shop. I had left home before the e-mail even arrived to my inbox.
For what its worth, I believe you should definitely get paid. If a MSC wants to cancel a shop, they should send out all forms of communication to the shopper and send notice as soon as they hear from the client that it's cancelled. Especially since the MSC has all the shopper's profile info with #'s. Otherwise why ask for telephone#, cell#, etc ?
I have been shopping for many years, plus 10. I have a smart phone, yes, never use it for shops. No I don't Fax.- Jlovsync-"Let the flip go. It's ok to assume a shopper has a flip phone - its 2018, not 2008. Lemme guess, you think its ok to fax in reports? X anymore.
Please be more considerate of your shopping friends. I have been using a computer before there was the WEB, probably before you were born.
Let's not blame the victim, this MSC is known for its treatment of shoppers, and when they can save a dollar, they will. They are a fill in company, and when they make mistakes or do the wrong thing, the shopper always pays.....don't blame the victim. I'm now in a decent place with them, after years of not working for them, when they denied me payment for a 17.00 dealership many years ago that was their fault. I watch what I do for them (carefully). Sorry that happened, totally not your fault.

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
I would expect to get paid. One hour's notice just wouldn't be enough. Sorry. If you were already en route, there is a huge chance you wouldn't have time to check your phone between shops. When you are on shops, a lot of companies don't want you on your phone or doing anything that might give the impression that you are mystery shopping. If absolutely nothing else, I would expect to get reimbursed for my purchase. If you haven't done the report, it's difficult to expect to get paid for it. There should be a compromised amount, like when you arrive at a shop and the store is permanently closed.

From the MSC's perspective, if they don't already have a policy on this kind of thing happening, they should create one. I would think it would be fair to state in your contract, "from time to time, clients cancel projects at the last minute. If this happens, we will communicate that message to anyone who is scheduled for their shop via email. If you are scheduled for one of these shops within 24 hours of the cancel email going out, we will also attempt to contact you via your second preferred method of communication." (and then ask the shopper what is their second-most preferred method of contact for this type of event.)
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