I see we have to complete 3 sections to shop, and pay $7.83 to get a background check. Has anyone done this, I'm very hesitate, after working so long, to now require this tells me they have had problems with shoppers, and we now pay the price. I am resenting this fee and the background check, although I have nothing to hide. Throws me for a loop.
My TS home page states: "Due to Client demand, we are now Certifying our Field Agents for OnSite Inspections. Active Field Agents conducting any type of OnSite Inspection will have until February 4th to become Certified before it is mandatory."
Not sure what the advantage would be to becoming certified before it is mandatory.
I have just sent them notice that I will not do it on principle. Even if there was no cost involved I would not do it on principle. So I indicated that I would be sorry to no longer work for them once the requirement goes into place. From my perspective, if this is a client requirement they are not adequately representing shopper interests in the negotiations. My guess is that this is an 'it would be nice if. . .' and it is unreasonable to put that trip on shoppers. They would do better screening their shopper applications better or screening out those shoppers who fail to perform or for whom there have been complaints. Every time we do a BV the contact has the opportunity and encouragement to contact them regarding our professionalism.
With the price of gas expected to go up quickly this year while historically payments for jobs have stayed the same or gone down, the additional nonsense of get a background check for this one, certification for that one, sign up for IC Pro for those, get an EIN for another (yes, I know it has been modified to proof of insurance and your drivers' license), it seems to me that MSPs are making it increasingly unprofitable and annoying for any but the most desperate of shoppers.
I work regularly with a group of companies who are not playing these games with shoppers because they DO bother screening folks who work with them. They are in frequent enough contact that they recognize my name or voice on the phone as I recognize theirs when they call. These are likely to be the companies I work with in 2011 and the rest are welcome to whomever, whatever is willing to kowtow for their sense of feeling 'safe'. Knee jerk reactions by companies to one bad situation are unfortunately common. Bad situations arise when companies don't bother to get to know their shoppers. The fallout on other shoppers are the classics like needing to take a photo of the front of a store that included a copy of the current day's newspaper so they knew your photo wasn't just an old recycled one because some shopper lied about going to a location. And since when does a clean background check prove you are safe from future misdoing? Or a mistake in the past mean you now are a crook for life? These are nothing but excuses for failing to do your job of knowing who your shoppers are and dealing with those who have worked well with you. Too much shopper turnover? Perhaps you need to pay more fair wages to keep around those who have worked well with you!
I am going to send notice I will not do this, and am insulted to be asked. Background checks for what, are we thiefs with criminal records. Such crap, I believe they will lose many of us. I was in fact, tiring of their grocery stores, think the pay is absurd, and reimbursement low to say the least. I can see if they implement this for new shoppers, but those that have worked for them and maintained a consistent and timely schedule, why do they need this now. I don't want to even give them my credit card #. Since we now need to become "certified", perhapsthe pay should rise!!
Last year, after doing mystery shops for 6 years, I decided that this business was exploitive and demeaning to me. Being unassigned from a large company without any true explanation, and, after doing over 500 assignments for them was just the straw to break this camels back and start looking for something more. The "receipt was not clear enough,write over it", not getting guidelines until after applying, CHASING DOWN MONEY OWED,Late/no payments.phone calls late at night or early morning.
Now with these back round checks,proof of insurance,business tax numbers, and on and on.. I'll just stick with the little companies that don't bother me with anything but what I expect.
My new business just required my fingerprints sent to the FBI data base, but at least I am no longer bothered by incompetence.
> My understanding is that it was optional and would
> be for certain types of shops. I just clicked away
> from it, as I only do groceries for them.
That is correct. This is for Business Evaluations only.
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I like BV's. That said, I am not sure if I will do this or not. To date, they have called me to do these more than I have signed up on my own. I understand the client's POV, but I am not sure the crap needs to roll down my hill, either.
I wrote and told them I have my PI License from Las Vegas, where I had a background check at my sponser company's expense. I therefore do not feel I need to get another. I do want to continue working for them, but will not pay for the check. Will see what happens.
Edited to say...just received email saying the client says it is a requirement to get a background check, and I will not be allowed to do Inspections, but can still do Mystery shopping. I don't do inspections, so no biggie for me, however, they say this is the new wave of the industry, expect more MSC's to require this.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/05/2011 05:01PM by Irene_L.A..
I did it and it took little time. I was curious to see if my report was in tact and the cost was very little. Sometimes it's good to see your report just to make sure that there are no errors. (Sometimes people who enter data are not as complete, haha, as the editors of our shop paperwork. Hey! They should be the ones working at those jobs!) Mine was ok.
Would you want someone with a criminal background having "Auditor Status" with your complete credit files? I would believe that a $7.83 records check would be reasonable for piece of mind. I have conducted the onsite visits where the client had no idea what I was to look at. They basically offered me free access to the files.
I am very glad that this has finally happened, it was about time. The purpose of some of the BV assignments was to insure that very sensitive personal files are properly safe guarded. I am glad that a screening process is now in place. Now the gate keeper is not a wolf n sheeps clothing.
I echo what was said by others, less approved Field Agents means more work for me.
Any reasonable background check will also require a credit check. You get 5 credit checks per year before your credit score starts to drop. If all those companies you work with decide that a background check would be nice because some client wanted it and you allowed it, your credit score could sure look like trash fast--whether you paid for the check or not.
Great point Flash, I didn't know that, and that increases the shopper's risk. Do you really think (Vanster) that criminals want to do Inspections for a few $$, I doubt it. Let them be more severe in their signing up process, and perhaps check us out on there own when starting, not years after the fact. I do understand their not wanting to send out a flake, but, they let it go so far, the clients now insist on the check. Whose fault is that, the shoppers that maintain a 9/10 or the MSC that was lax in the first place.
I had a background check and drug check a couple years ago for another company. They paid for both. Maybe we should require credit checks on the MSC's we are working for! Let's turn this around:-) How about background checks on the clients that we are doing the BV's on????? Sorry, I was a paralegal for 30 years
Think if we don't fight it, every MSC will be charging you to get a credit check, your credit will go down the tubes, and the cost is on your head. I'm not complaining about A credit check (I've already had one), it's the quantity.
Consider also that giving in to the background/credit check request is supporting the concept that MSCs don't need to work with each other and each get to reinvent their own wheel, at our expense.
If all companies could learn to agree on fair business practices, and work together, there would be room for an MSPA or equivalent certification that had meaning and would eliminate the need for a background check.
Those shoppers are the "Emperor's Clothes" that MSCs have been selling all along, despite the fact that when the clients change companies, they end up with the same shoppers wrapped in a different package.
The fruit this market bears at prevailing pay rates contains some bad apples. Now the MSCs want the apples to come with a pedigree at the same rate???
I certainly got enough meaningless 'certifications' back in my 'real world' working career where they made a substantial difference in my salary. Jumping through hoops to be 'entitled' to do same old same old at the same old price (or less), that is now worth less due to inflation, hardly has any appeal. It is times like this that I am awfully glad that shopping SUBSIDIZES other income rather than IS income!
I agree, it's really rough making a living out of this...jumping through hoops takes the "fun" out of working for next to nothing. I'm now getting tons (daily) of these inspections to do, don't they know I'm not doing it, use me till you can't....