Am I Missing Something The Source?

I was basically begged by the scheduler to do a shop this month which eventually got up to $20+.

Today I look to see if I can find it since I can build a mini route around it for that price. It's gone for this month, but is available for September at the original price of $6.

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Rosie,

I completed my first shop for Trendsource in July of 2006. I quickly learned their business model was and is to pay quickly, but as little as possible, and then to bonus throughout the month. I, too, completed a job in August for $20, that shows as $6 for Sept. As I NEVER go south with fees, I merely added a PAD of $14; if it is not assigned, so be it!
The $20 shops are high becase they are trying to finish them in August.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
@shopperbob, I did think about asking for the PAD at the beginning of the month but it makes sense if they are going to sit there or vanish the last week of the month.
@honey, I realize they are at $20 plus because it's the end of the month but if it sat there all month long and they begged me to do them with a bonus, why not start them at a reasonable amount?
To make it worst, I told the scheduler that if he could get me another nearby shop with a bonus I would do them both. He said that shop was with another scheduler and he had no control over it.

Must be a millenial who can't think outside the box to contact that scheduler and work with him.
I ask for enough PAD to make me want to do the shop. At first, it just sits unassigned. Sometimes, it gets assigned to someone else, sometimes to me. I gather that their system increases the acceptable amount of PAD each day (maybe every 2 or 3 days), and when it matches or exceeds what you have requested, the shop gets assigned to you. I don't chase these by bidding low. I have sometimes been begged to bid on a really remote job. A few days ago, I asked for $300 PAD, and it went to someone else (color me very happy not to have had to actually complete that shop). I have occasionally thought that the scheduler wants a bid from me so that they can tell their supervisor that $70 (or whatever) PAD is not so high after all.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
They seem to have other issues. Their pay is very low. Some of their handlers are rude. Their QA has always been a challenge and it seems to have gotten worse. They get real picky around payday. They have begun to extend around payday as well.
PAD is really the bonus that you decide to ask for. The MSC calls it PAD = Pre Authorized Distance, but it is really a way to incentivize you. How much PAD should you ask for? that is always a difficult question. I won't spend 30 minutes driving each way, 30 minutes on-site, and 20 miles for $17. So I ask for what I consider reasonable in terms of time and distance. For the reason, I tell them how many ROAD miles (the miles they quote assume you are a bird) and the driving time. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't. Sometimes they almost plead with me to ask for PAD, so I do, and then I don't get it. Generally, I am pleased because I really didn't want to drive 2-1/2 hours each way anyway.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
@EleniB wrote:

Hi, sorry I'm new. Can you explain what a PAD is? Thanks!

As noted above, it is what most serious mystery shoppers will request to get reasonable pay for doing the shops. The Source asks you to justify why you need PAD, such as time to drive, wear and tear on the vehicle, cost of public transportation and additional time to use such and so forth.

Newer shoppers will normally jump on newly released shops at low original amounts without realizing how much time and effort it will take to read the instructions, do the shop and then write up the report. Therefore, the MSC can keep their offers low.

As many of the threads here have noted, don't do a shop for less than minimum wage or what you feel your time and effort are worth.

If a shop is offered at $6 from the Source but it takes you 10 minutes to download and read the instructions, 15 minutes to drive to the shop and another 15 minutes to drive home. Then another 15-30 minutes to do the shop and the same to fill out the report, are you really interested in doing the shop for $6 when you might invest over 1.5 hours of your time?
Some of the shops I wanted were just bumped up from $6 to $7. I know that most shops requested with PAD are not accepted and I understand that.

I also took @myst4au advice and submitted shop requests with PAD. I got two of them accepted and the other two are still pending.
Rosie explains--The Source asks you to justify why you need PAD, such as time to drive, wear and tear on the vehicle, cost of public transportation and additional time to use such and so forth.

Bob's agreement--Yes they do ask for that information. I ALWAYS enter an "I" and my robofiller adds the remainder of my entry, which is "rrelevant." I am a self-employed contractor, not one of their workers, and, as such, my reason(s) are irrelevant. It is nothing personal; it is strictly business.

On a final note: Their report time and distance estimates have always been grossly inaccurate in their favor.
I have to also say that I have a medicare shop for $30 "under review" because it was rejected as incomplete. I didn't submit it after the shop because the guidelines said to wait to see if you are contacted by the presenter before submitting it. It also said I would be paid quickly after submitting it since I had to wait to submit it.

I don't feel I should have to fight for my payment after following their guidelines if the reviewers don't know the guidelines. It was pushed up to a supervisor about 10 days ago with no resolution yet.
On the subject of medicare shops, 10 1/2 years ago I was paid $55 + mileage to attend a group presentation. Last week, the same MSC sent me an offer of $45 for a group AND then an individual agent meeting, most probably at another time and place, + no mileage. Out of curiosity, I checked the next day and the shop was filled. Is it any wonder fees continue to drop?

As long as there are desperate shoppers willing to labor for next to nothing, there will be a bountiful supply of MSC's eager to accommodate that willingness. The money, folks, is with the small boutique companies that take pride in the quality of their work.
I have said before, when they lower the pay, they are asking for lower quality reports. You give them the bare minimum report.
Even if you follow the guidelines fully and submit 100% honest reports, they may choose to withhold pay. This sounds bizarre, but sadly, it's true. I wouldn't touch their $5 pay + $9 grocery store shops. I had a terrible experience, spent all day doing shops they practically begged me to do and now they are attempting to withhold my pay because they say the answers I got from store employees were too similar across different locations. As if I can control that?!? I was honest in my reports (when I simply could have lied to ensure payment!) and now they are trying to withhold my payments. HORRIBLE BUSINESS PRACTICES. BEWARE!!!
I got an e-mail stating the medicare shops were bonused up to $55. When I went online to get them, the bonus was not reflected. I submitted them with the appropriate PAD to bring the pay up to $55 per shop.
Moderator Note:

Our apologies for incorrectly removing this post as Medi-Care is not the client for this project.

Medicare is not Trendsource's client, it's the healthcare PROVIDER that is the client. Medicare is offered through various providers, such as Paramount (which is not shopped by Trendsource so I am not violating any ICAs or guidelines here). I could say that Intellishop has car shops, and Trendsource has Medicare shops, and neither are violations of any ICAs or forum rules. Wrosie's post should not have been deleted.
That's what I thought also. Thanks for confirming. I reported the Mod's post...lol...to let them know.

@JASFLALMT wrote:

Medicare is not Trendsource's client, it's the healthcare PROVIDER that is the client. Medicare is offered through various providers, such as Paramount (which is not shopped by Trendsource so I am not violating any ICAs or guidelines here). I could say that Intellishop has car shops, and Trendsource has Medicare shops, and neither are violations of any ICAs or forum rules. Wrosie's post should not have been deleted.

Kim
Interesting! I am experiencing the same thing! I filed a Better Business Bureau complaint this morning regarding this company and nonpayment. I am livid.
You will get nowhere with the BBB, sorry to say. They don't handle IC claims. If The Source rejected your report, you aren't getting paid.

Years ago there was a MSC who went out of business, owing many shoppers $100s (I was owed $218 and some change). It was Franchise Compliance. They used Sassie, and my shop was accepted and I received a 10 score. The MSC accepted my report and scored it, then told me that they would pay me and didn't. Several people, including myself, filed BBB claims to no avail.
I find TrendSource a waste of time in my area. For some reason, they have the shops I want fill up quickly here, grocery store ones mostly but occasionally an office store. When I think of whomever is doing them for such low pay, I think Bless Your Hearts. I do not have the time to go to each and every job and request a PAD to make it worthwhile to shop. I would do the grocery ones but only because I am those stores anyways. Second to None has almost identical grocery shops near me and the pay is higher and items needing to be bought cost are lower, so I come out ahead. I really just prefer to work with companies that value and price things correctly to begin with or will help you to make a route of less than desirable jobs to make a full day.
@MavenMom wrote:

I find TrendSource a waste of time in my area. For some reason, they have the shops I want fill up quickly here, grocery store ones mostly but occasionally an office store. When I think of whomever is doing them for such low pay, I think Bless Your Hearts. I do not have the time to go to each and every job and request a PAD to make it worthwhile to shop. I would do the grocery ones but only because I am those stores anyways. Second to None has almost identical grocery shops near me and the pay is higher and items needing to be bought cost are lower, so I come out ahead. I really just prefer to work with companies that value and price things correctly to begin with or will help you to make a route of less than desirable jobs to make a full day.

Yes! Totally agree! Trend Source's pay is actually insulting.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

You will get nowhere with the BBB, sorry to say. They don't handle IC claims. If The Source rejected your report, you aren't getting paid.

Years ago there was a MSC who went out of business, owing many shoppers $100s (I was owed $218 and some change). It was Franchise Compliance. They used Sassie, and my shop was accepted and I received a 10 score. The MSC accepted my report and scored it, then told me that they would pay me and didn't. Several people, including myself, filed BBB claims to no avail.

I am happy to say that the BBB is stepping in! smiling smiley I see that they have stepped in with previous complaints with Trend Source and the shoppers ultimately received the payments they were due.
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