Payment cycles depend on a whole lot of things. Certainly there has been contempt for the slowness of the pay cycles with Service Sleuth, but there has also been an overall recognition that they paid within the agreed time period.
If you read through all of the information that has been provided, they sent out a notice letting everyone know that a new "System "was in place for contractor payments. Also if you are signed up with them, more detail is in a personal letter on your assignment home page from Tom Mills. They have a new contact person for contractor payments.
They realized that they needed to be paying sooner if they wanted their projects completed. In my area, very few contractors were working for them because of the pay cycle. Many of the assignments were not completed. So if they wanted to keep their contracts with retail companies, they had to do something to get more assignments completed.
The comment about the ability to pay sooner by other MSCs shows a lack of understanding about small business cash flow. Most MSCs have limited cash flow because of their size. If they offer a higher rate per assignment, then they keep less margin to operate on. Less margin equals less money in the bank. So these MSCs have to use flow down payments. When the money is received and clears the bank, the MSC then pays the contractors.
So if you do an assignment on Jan 15, it is billed on 30 days beginning Feb 1. If the client pays in less than 30 days, that is a bonus to the cash flow. But most clients will pay in 30-45 days because of their internal accounting systems. The client will verify that the report was accurate by using the receipts and in store video; then they will approve the invoices for payment.
This would make the MSC receive the payment around March 15th. so now they have verify which assignments were paid by the client and which assignments were rejected without payment. Then they approve and make the individual payments. Just because you submit an assignment and the editor accepts it, does not insure that the client will not reject it.
Think about it, the bigger the MSC, the smaller the offered assignment rates. I would much prefer to work with an honorable small business that pays a decent rate, than to work for a larger MSC that calls and begs you to take $4.00 work. They realized that they needed to be paying sooner if they wanted their projects completed. In my area, very few contractors were working for them because of the pay cycle. Many of the assignments were not completed. So if they wanted to keep their contracts with retail companies, they had to do something to get more assignments completed.
So this is just one example of why you might get paid as a contractor with a 60-90 day window. Borrowing money for contractor payments is not available from any loan source that I have heard of. MSCs with deeper pockets can afford to pay sooner, but in most of these cases, ether they have very good clients that pay on a tighter billing schedule or the MSC has such much lower contractor pay rates.
So in this case be happy that Service Sleuth is trying to clean up their office personnel and streamline their payment system. They did not lower their rates as a result.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/18/2010 05:49PM by vanster2000.
I generally do 1 shop every three months to get my oil changed. The pay cycle is somewhat irrelevant as normally I use receipt of payment as a reminder that I am eligible for the next round of shops (3 month rotation).
Hey everyone - My name is Alex Kelly. I'm the marketing manager for HS Brands (Service Sleuth and The Mershimer Group).
I just wanted to respond to everyone on here first by saying thank you for shopping for us. Honestly, we just want to make a conscious effort to pay our shoppers quicker. We realize this will take some time and appreciate the patience on everyone's part.
If you are signed up with us, please read Tom's letter as it states all of the information about making our pay cycle better for you.
I welcome this conversation to continue on our Facebook page as well. We welcome all comments and suggestions and are glad shoppers have this forum to discuss.
I am one of the shoppers that stoped taking assignments because of the low fees and long wait for payment. Having to wait for reimbursment ment I was subsidizing the company for 90 days. I welcome the news of a shorter cycle and would consider taking assignments again.
> I am one of the shoppers that stoped taking
> assignments because of the low fees and long wait
> for payment. Having to wait for reimbursment ment
> I was subsidizing the company for 90 days. I
> welcome the news of a shorter cycle and would
> consider taking assignments again.
Same here, though they don't seem to have much in my area, anyway (or maybe shops just haven't been offered to me).
If this hadn't been posted here, a few of us wouldn't even have known about the change. I find it a little strange that the email wasn't sent to all shoppers.