HS BRANDS Payment delay

Yesterday I was paid for work 90-days ago. If I had to guess, I don't think they have the finances to pay before getting paid by the client. This is only a guess, but it makes sense that they have to wait until the client pays. This probably the reason they are the only MSC that does not let you keep winnings above $200 on their hotel/gambling shops.

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That $40 fee will not make up for the interest you will pay on your credit card waiting 4 months for reimbursement!
This is from the CURRENT HS Brands contract as of 9/8/19:

"How Is Your Fee Processed
….Payments are submitted to PayPal approximately 60 days after the last day of the month in which the project was completed. Please note that it then takes PayPal up to 5 business days to process these transactions and clear the money for disbursement. If you do not receive payment by this time, please notify us after confirming that both your email address and PayPal accounts were correct and active"

Therefore, according to their stated contract:
Shops completed 5/1-5/31/19 Payment received by: 8/6/19
Shops completed 6/1-6/30/19 Payment received by: 9/6/19
Shops completed 7/1-7/31/19 Payment received by: 10/4/19

I'll be emailing them about all my June shops in the next few days.

For people who are still waiting on May payment, I would start contacting them ASAP as these shops are 30 days in arrears according to their IC contract (and cc your scheduler, even if with KSS.) If this is continuing to happen and HS is non-communicative about payment delays, those of us in the MSPA may want to consider reporting the issue to them as it could constitute a violation of ethics.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/09/2019 09:33PM by Arist.
Actually they have updated their payment policy. If you go to their login page, but before logging in, scroll all the way down. This also applies to Measure Consumer Perspectives (MCP), as HS Brands bought them out. Here is the exact wording:

" Payments are submitted to PayPal or direct deposit approximately 75 days after the last day of the month in which the project was completed. Please note that it then takes PayPal up to 5 business days to process these transactions and clear the money for disbursement." (This was copied and pasted to this post from their website on 9/9/19 at 5:50 PM EST, USA)

NOTE: it says approximately 75 days after - approximately being a big key word. That basically leaves our pay schedule and receipt of pay wide open.

I don't see how they can keep extending payment time frames without putting it in writing and having every shopper sign a new ICA. I know that my ICA with MCP states that I will receive payment on the 16th of the month in the month following the shop. But their login page is the same as above.

I believe they put it way down at the bottom of the login page so that we, the shoppers, would go ahead and login and sign up for shops thinking the payment schedule was as it always had been. Pretty sneaky of them. And they did not send out an email or any notification. I am extremely disappointed in their lack of integrity and ethics.
@FrostyBubbles wrote:


I don't see how they can keep extending payment time frames without putting it in writing and having every shopper sign a new ICA. I know that my ICA with MCP states that I will receive payment on the 16th of the month in the month following the shop. But their login page is the same as above.
And they did not send out an email or any notification. .

So, what's interesting is that we are both right. Their current NEW SHOPPER contract as of the time of this post says 60 days and the text on the log in site says 75. Either way, as you pointed out, they have not sent out notification of this to their shoppers, so the shops we have completed would be under the terms of our originally signed respective contracts as they stood at the time the shops were completed. (**if anyone received written notification about this payment deadline change, please post here!)

I think the ultimate question is: what is the industry standard/policy for MSP's changing the terms of contact with their IC? In any other industry, the existing contract stands until a new one is signed. (And of course, the company could choose to no longer to business with a contractor who signs a new one.) One of the parties cannot just arbitrarily change the terms of a contract without written notification to the other party.

Should this be a new thread? I feel like we need to get some legal minds on this.

*edited wording

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/09/2019 11:16PM by Arist.
You make a good point about getting someone who has very indepth legal knowledge with regards to contracts. However, that would require each shopper to hire an attorney - very expensive and cost prohibitive in that it is doubtful that we are owed even a fraction of what an attorney would charge. I will just ride out this horrible storm until my payment comes in. I will not be signing up or applying for any shops with any of the companies that are associated with HS brands (there are several). I can only hope I get paid by the end of this month for very early June shops.

I really think that if they want to play unethical games like this - we, as shoppers, should hit back hard...right where it hurts them. Do not do any shops for them, no matter the bonuses they offer. Waiting over 100 days to be paid for work that we had to do on a specific date and our report had to be submitted that same day...but they use their power to hold off on paying until they feel like it. Not for me. I guess this would be equivalent to going on strike with all of their companies - no shops. I realize there are people on here who don't mind waiting a long time to be paid, and in essence giving HS Brands, etc. interest free loans on the money they had to spend on those types of shops for them to turn around and with-hold paying us until it is convenient for them. And we all know they are making interest everyday those payments stay in their bank rather than paying us. We can all find shops with so many other MSC's to make up for what they pay. And for some, it might mean signing up with a few other MSC's that will treat you better and pay sooner. My point is that it they want to make life difficult for us, let us do the same to them!
@FrostyBubbles, I think you misunderstand my aim. We don't all need to hire attorneys to call them out on a practice that is either unethical at best (and possibly a violation of the MSPA code) or even illegal. I wouldn't hire anyone to chase down this pay (even though it is a chunk) but I think its important for the community to know what's going on.

In looking at the MSPA Code section: [mspa-americas.org]
This is the link to the code for MS Companies: [mspa-americas.org]

I'm going to reach out the MSPA to ask them more about what the process of filing a code of ethics complaint looks like and whether it is anonymous. Like you, I won't be working for HS anymore, but I don't want to be black balled within the industry either.
You mentioned the legal path, and that is what I responded to. I personally do not think that contacting MSPA will do any good. Have you read the history of MSPA and the history of HS Brands? A guy named Tom Mills found HS Brands GLOBAL. He was also a founding member of MSPA. In 2005 he was placed in the Hall of Fame for MSPA and in 2007 he served as President of MSPA. HS Brands and MSPA have been in bed together from the beginning.

You can obviously try - but I don't think I would mention HS Brands when speaking with them. But in all honesty, I just don't see them kicking out or taking action against a founding member, Hall of Fame member and former President. Here is a link that offers some insight:

[hsbrands.com]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2019 12:58AM by FrostyBubbles.
Ugh. I didn't know about that HS/MSPA connection at all. Thanks for sharing. We need to find other avenues to make people aware of their shady dealings. If its acceptable for a company to change the terms of a contract without notifying people, someone doing a job today might find they are waiting on a 90-120 payout tomorrow.

Yes, I did mention illegality but didn't really intend it as a method of pursuit in this case. But its worth noting that signed contracts are a legally binding document that can be upheld in court. (Source:run a personal business that contracts with large organizations.Had a company that failed to pay and I had to take legal recourse.) However, the payout needs to be worth time/funds to pursue. In that case, the company I mentioned did something quite similar and claimed that the terms of our contract had changed (as in THEY decided to pay ME less/on a different pay scale.) However, since they did not have a signed contract from me agreeing to those changes AND our original contract stipulated changes being agreed upon in writing by both parties, the original contract terms stood. They were banking on me not fighting it and I did, but only because it was worth my time/money for that situation.

HS is in a sweet spot. They have hundreds (thousands?) of shoppers waiting for payment based on a previous timeline, but since the amounts are likely avg of less than $100 per shopper, there's very little risk of them ending up in small claims court, and definitely not for the whole lot of what they owe.
Side rant: Sorry, but the whole "also Paypal needs 5 business days to give you the money" line is total bs. If they are using Paypal Business to send mass payouts using a spreadsheet or API (literally the only option other than manually typing in every email address and amount which would be insane) the payment is instant. So 0 business days.

[www.paypal.com]
"Online payments are completed in minutes."

I think the whole "paypal needs 5 business days" is a boiler-plate "the check is in the mail" excuse to buy them a little more time. There's no more money in the banana stand, folks.
Agree with you @Artist 100%. Most people do not know the relationship between MSPA and HS Brands. It's like the fox watching the hen house. When I first started mystery shopping years ago, I did the research, because of that question about being MSPA certified was on almost every companies application to be a shopper. That is where I learned about the connection. Just appears to be very shady and to me I put no credence in MSPA because of the affiliation with namely HS Brands.

Sorry I misunderstood the legal thing. I am hopeful that we will get paid at some point. But until I am caught up in pay from them, I will shop for other companies. My Spidey senses are telling me that HS Brands, after purchasing MCP, has gone into a big black hole and a money pit. MCP was a MSC out of Louisville and the woman that was the founder and President did not have a clue how to run a business. She used so many excuses not to pay people on time - always someone elses fault. But HS Brands still bought it, but kept her as President - duh! So actually, shops done for HS brands get paid closer to the actual date they should be, where as MCP shops (which should be paid the 16th of the month after the shop) is running months late. Even still, HS Brands is responsible. I truly hope everyone gets paid and may we all learn from this. For those that do not care to keep their books open for a few shops for many months and have to monitor and check on payment - let them waste their time. I am much more efficient and I have better things to do than wait on them. When they come to terms with the fact that they could lose many shoppers, which means they will also lose clients because shops won't get done - maybe then, they will do something. I find it ironic that their business platform and what they sale is that their shopper monitor the quality of the employees and business model of their clients and if customers are happy and getting what they expect - but yet they can't even monitor their own and keep their customers (us, the shoppers) happy and give us what we expect - our paycheck!!!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2019 05:32AM by FrostyBubbles.
I just got paid today for July! 9/11/19. Got paid for June two weeks ago 8/27/19. I think they’re catching up. Hopefully payments will be consistent going forward!
They have a 2-week postal shipping job with a Client in my area (Southern US) that may also be available elsewhere. I've done this shop with previous MSC Clients, and was paid within 30 days OR LESS of the project ending. Now...HS has it paying $5.00 MORE than the previous MSCs. HOWEVER.....even with the increase in the very fair pay, I'm NOT doing this job simply because of their pay schedule and recent late payments. Not worth it. The project ENDS November 1st, which means payment wouldn't come about until mid-Feb 2020!! Not for me.
The agreement I read still says 60 days from the last day of the month the shop was done in. I'm not seeing the 75 days mentioned earlier in this thread. I started this thread in the early summer, I am know awaiting payment for june shops (here we go again). Time to email the higher ups again.
As I stated in a previous comment: shops that are done for HS Brands (in and of itself, alone) are typically paid as per their 60-75 day from the last day of the month the shop is done. However, HS Brands has bought out other MSC's. The worst that I have come across is MCP (Measure Consumer Perspectives). I personally still have shops that were done 98 days ago. It is not showing as being processed or paid and I have not been paid for them. I know that when HS Brands bought out MCP, they kept the woman that owned the company on as President. And prior be being bought, MCP was very much in arrears in paying their shoppers and it still continues, even though HS Brands is now the parent company.

I am repeating this so that we are all on the same page and understand that when we talk about HS Brands, it is not just the shops the you get emails for shops for HS Brands. We get emails and shops from several other companies, but HS Brands owns them. Therefore, making HS Brands responsible for lack of payment for all these other companies. The worst for delinquency in paying us are the companies they bought out. I guess HS Brands bought the book of business of these companies, the schedulers, sales team, officers but has no interest in actually managing or leading these companies to do the right thing.
I will not do any purchase shops for HS but will still pick up the shops that do not require any out of pocket expenses. Learned early on that their pay is very slow but they do pay eventually. Too bad since some of their shops look interesting but I am not tying up my money for over 90 days. Paypal deposits do not take 5 days to process - it is usually within a few minutes so I call BS on that line.
@teriraia wrote:

I will not do any purchase shops for HS but will still pick up the shops that do not require any out of pocket expenses. Learned early on that their pay is very slow but they do pay eventually. Too bad since some of their shops look interesting but I am not tying up my money for over 90 days. Paypal deposits do not take 5 days to process - it is usually within a few minutes so I call BS on that line.

I'm not in any way saying that it should take so long to pay, but PayPal deposits of tens of thousands, to hundreds of thousands of dollars absolutely do take 5 days to clear. I have scheduled for 6 different companies, and one that is NEVER late with payments just went through a change in the accounting department, and the new person was unaware that it takes the 5 days to clear PayPal. So the payments went through 5 days later than normal.
My HSB complaint isn't about pay because they haven't assigned me a job all year, although I work for them in Vegas...go figure. My complaint is why can't I get the oil change which I've done for years, could it be age, if so, please tell me as I've written you with no response, would make it easier on me not having to look if I continue to not get work.

Live consciously....
Irene,
Some shops change to different companies- I have a strong feeling that's more the issue.
FlawnMawn, I do believe that Irene's complaint is that she applies for the shops but isn't accepted for them. They haven't moved to a different MSC at all. Correct me if I am mistaken, Irene.
The stipulation about not keeping the winnings above $200 comes from the client, not the MSC.

@kessdarln wrote:

Yesterday I was paid for work 90-days ago. If I had to guess, I don't think they have the finances to pay before getting paid by the client. This is only a guess, but it makes sense that they have to wait until the client pays. This probably the reason they are the only MSC that does not let you keep winnings above $200 on their hotel/gambling shops.
@FlawnMawn wrote:

Irene,
Some shops change to different companies- I have a strong feeling that's more the issue.
No, the oil job Im talking about has been their client for years and is on their board and on the KSS board,
they did not lose the contract.

Live consciously....
What is the email?

I thought I would be paid for a June shop today, but have yet to receive anything via Pay Pal.

Others on this thread received payments on 8/27, 8/31, and 9/11.

They don't even have a consistent pay cycle/date?!? Yikes!!!

Maybe they should hire us shoppers to process payments at $20 a pop.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/2019 01:09AM by sleepie.
The email is payments@Hsbrands.com

I have not received payment for June either. I sent my usual middle of the 3rd month inquiry on Friday but didn’t hear back. Maybe tomorrow... There is definitely no consistency anymore. Thankfully this is the last payment for them I have to wait on.
Kim at KSS schedules those oil shops, not HS Brands schedulers.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/2019 09:00PM by Joshtheshopper.
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