RUSH! HURRY! Can you HELP?? - Ironic Email Subject Lines

Hello,

I am a new poster, but I have been mystery shopping for a little while now (about a year). I have my complaints about the types of emails we get from MSCs, but I just want to vent about something: subject lines in emails from MSCs.

1) Imploring me to RUSH and HURRY! to take a shop is very unlikely to induce me to take a shop; in fact, it is likely to do the opposite. A lack of planning (or too low a pay rate to get someone to complete your shop on time) on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part, as the saying goes.

~ I am especially talking to those MSCs who ALWAYS have an urgent deadline for, oh, say, a bank shop, but they don't want to HURRY or RUSH! to pay out your money when you turn in the required report. Is it okay if I send you a HURRY - RUSH! - GIVE ME MY MONEY email after I submit my narrative and documentation? Turnabout is fair play, right?

2) "Can you HELP MEEEEE PLEEEZZ" in a subject line is so obnoxious to me. I likely don't know you, and I don't do this to "help" (well, at least not primarily): I do this to make money (see #1 above). Now, don't get me wrong, there are schedulers that I would help out in a pinch, sometimes even if it's a bit out of the way or they can't give a bonus, just because they have been great to work with or we have a professional rapport. However, they are not the ones sending a generic email blast to every shopper in a 100 mile radius. Why would I HELP YOU PLEEEZ? Would you help me if I needed an extension, clarification on the guidelines, or more money? My experiences say that, too often, the answer is "not a chance." If you really need HELP, add a substantial BONUS (or pay what the job is worth in the first place).

A) Bonus content: Not a subject line, but it just rubs me the wrong way when an email is imploring us to please help an MSC out of the charitable kindness of our hearts in the subject line and first paragraph, and then they get all snarky in the body of the email. "You MUST do this." "You WILL NOT GET PAID!" "...or your SHOP WILL BE REJECTED." "Make sure you READ and UNDERSTAND the INSTRUCTIONS!!" I get that we need to follow the guidelines and no one wants to get a shop rejected, but my goodness, can you tone it down? Why are you asking me for "help" and then LECTURING me on all the ways I probably won't do it right and lose out on my money? Have a little tact and graciousness...too much to ask?

What do you fine people think? Am I way off base? Just a little too sensitive today?

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I’m turned off by emails that say “dinner on us” or similar. The MSC is in no way paying for our meal. It’s a job. We provide a service. The reimbursement comes from the Client (via the MSC) in exchange for our report. It’s untruthful to present it differently. I like to call such subject lines as disingenuous, a word I don’t get to use often.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/2019 10:44PM by kenasch.
We all get a little too sensitive some days and need to rant! But, MamaBear, your rant is valid IMO! There has been some discussion about it in other threads which pretty much mirrors what you've pointed out. Many of us agree with you!

sestrahelena
Another fine point - I don't like those either! You're not treating me to dinner: I am making a series of discreet observations at a restaurant (sometimes a very long series, at that) and reporting back to you according to the project guidelines. I have chosen to accept reimbursement of some or all of my dining expenses in exchange. This is generally not something I would have done for leisure, and I'm more focused on making sure I've captured all of the required detail- and staying at or close to the reimbursement limit- than enjoying myself.

Just say "Dining Reimbursement Shop" and leave it at that: disingenuous, indeed!
Well, thank you for validating my feelings, ha ha. I have been poking around the forum for a month or so now, and I know these aren't original thoughts, but I was just in a mood today. I had kind of saved my weekend to pick up end-of-month bonused shops and I kept checking my emails throughout the day: I had SO MANY of these types of messages and I just had to let it out.

I promise to be a more positive contributor in the future smiling smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/28/2019 02:01AM by MamaBearBlue.
I have spent my life working in food service and hate reimbursement shops. I know the cost is 20-25% of the meal. So that $60 reimbursement is really only paying out $12 for my time and effort. I really hate the "fine dining" shops that don't even cover the full expense. We go eat a $150 meal, get reimbursed $100, spend my time watching everything, and the restaurant gets $50 to cover all the costs and they get my feedback? No thanks. Just pay me.
My especial favorite is the "URGENT!" and then they offer the munificent sum of $8 for a shop that's 200 miles round trip.

2nd favorite is "No Reasonable Offer Refused!" for a shop 300 miles from home. Well, it fits into a route, so I bid....um....$75. Very reasonable offer. "I'm sorry, but I can't offer more than what's in the e-mail ($35)".

Then tell me, please, why did you ask me to "Make Me An Offer!" if you are only going to pay the base rate?

Wastes my time formulating my bid, structuring the e-mail, and the scheduler's time answering my e-mail (if they actually even bother to reply).
I can relate. 'Reasonable' is subjective. Reasonable for walking sixty feet to a dine-in shop is a buck or two (or no bonus if this is the only thing that will get you off of your keester and moving around.) grinning smiley Reasonable for driving eight hours round trip in the hinterlands where you will usually be out of range and far from other shops (and sometimes creeping along in a storm) is about five dollars per mile, per minute, or both.

I love the company, and i cannot fit many of the shops into my world.

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. - Stanley Horowitz
Does anyone ever feel sorry for schedulers and what they may have to work with?

"MAJOR BONUS FOR HOT SHOPS IF DONE THIS WEEKEND ONLY!! "

You open the email and it's a $2.50 bonus. Like if the shop was awesome, why is no one taking it? And why are you only offering a puny bonus and calling it "major" in the title?

I probably roll my eyes and laugh just like everyone else. But, then, I think what can the scheduler do? Be honest?:

"THIS SHOP IS TEDIOUS AND LIKELY ONLY A GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT WILL ENJOY IT. NAH. EVEN THAT PERSON WOULD HATE IT. IT WILL TAKE YOU THREE HOURS TOTAL AND THE $7.00 FEE, WHICH IS LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE, ISN'T WORTH IT. HELL, I WOULDN'T DO IT MYSELF. HOWEVER, MY BOSS SAYS WE HAVE TO PUSH THESE SHOPS AT LOW-BALL RATES AND MY SALARY DEPENDS ON ME GETTING YOU GUYS TO TAKE ONE. I CAN'T THINK OF ANYTHING ELSE TO DO OR SAY AND MY BOSS MONITORS MY EMAILS, SO I HAVE TO AT LEAST TRY TO ENTHUSIASTICALLY SELL THESE SHOPS TO YOU. SORRY FOR THE DISINGENUOUS TITLES. AT LEAST YOU'LL GET A GOOD LAUGH. PLEASE HELP?....ACTUALLY...PLEEEEEEEEASE, PLEEEEEEEEASE HELP!"

*meant for humor above, but also an educated guess as to what may be going on in a scheduler's mind in real life*

It's tough if they really cannot offer better fees and/or make the requirements easier. Doesn't mean we're wrong to complain and critique these emails, as I personally think they are offensive at times (devaluing our work and time) and waste our time having to read or glance at them and trash them.

But, I somewhat feel sorry for the schedulers too at times.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/29/2019 04:25AM by shoptastic.
You're back?

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Yes I empathise with schedulers; I would never be a scheduler. But just state the job, location and payment. The quicker I can get to the info I need the quicker I can decide which jobs I'm doing.
I dislike receiving several of these from the same scheduler, back to back, for the same locations, with an added, "GRAB ONE QUICK, AS THESE GO FAST!" Do they now? If they go so fast, why are you still trying to pawn them off for that measly $5 bonus, and why have you just sent me the same exact email three times in a row, for the fourth day?
Weird. All of the URGENT emails I get also come with significant bonuses. They're probably emphasizing the requirements because the last shopper messed up. It's not something I attribute to a lack of planning on the scheduler's part.

Oh, except for one company. I won't name them but it's always URGENT! OMG! HELP! Extra $5.
Yep. Sometimes I wonder if the scheduler even presents offers to anyone else for approval. They just shoot back with a refusal right away and no counter-offer. Meanwhile, I know the kind of bonuses that the owner has given without hesitating. Sometimes I want to forward the email to someone higher up just to be sure that they don't want it done.

I don't doubt some schedulers think we're just raking in the money too easily.

@ceasesmith wrote:

My especial favorite is the "URGENT!" and then they offer the munificent sum of $8 for a shop that's 200 miles round trip.

2nd favorite is "No Reasonable Offer Refused!" for a shop 300 miles from home. Well, it fits into a route, so I bid....um....$75. Very reasonable offer. "I'm sorry, but I can't offer more than what's in the e-mail ($35)".

Then tell me, please, why did you ask me to "Make Me An Offer!" if you are only going to pay the base rate?

Wastes my time formulating my bid, structuring the e-mail, and the scheduler's time answering my e-mail (if they actually even bother to reply).
I am giggling at all the responses. But I have to admit that I feel the same way.

I would like to add one to the mix: The emails that are URGENT - BONUSED SHOPS!!!!! The shops are for apartments. (UGH). Funny though, not really, when you click on their link to the job board - there is NO BONUS!!!!!! Only the flat rate. And when I emailed the scheduler, and politely asked her to please put said bonus on the shop, she did not respond and did not put the bonus on the shop! After several emails and another scheduler contacting her, I finally hear from her. She has her panties in a big wad and screams (all caps in writing) at me that I never emailed her and that the bonuses are on the board. LOL - screen shots taken (showing no bonus, time and date stamped) and attached to email thread with her lies, disrespect, unprofessional emails and overall tacky behavior over a 2 day period all sent to corporate!

Just a note to be aware with these "bonused shops".... if you request and accept a shop that doesn't have the bonus on the board, it is doubtful you will get it.
What about the daily and multiple emails from a scheduler that you take the time to read, but your state is not listed in the URGENT shops available.....and then, once in a blue moon, your state is mentioned, so then you are forced to read all future emails from that scheduler, just in case....AAAARGGGHHHH!
@ceasesmith wrote:

2nd favorite is "No Reasonable Offer Refused!" for a shop 300 miles from home. Well, it fits into a route, so I bid....um....$75. Very reasonable offer. "I'm sorry, but I can't offer more than what's in the e-mail ($35)".

One of my personal favorites. Shop takes 45 minutes on site, then two plus hours to write the report. And it's 300 miles away. Nothing else to shop anywhere nearby. If you "want a burger" the nearest location is over two hours away from it. But they are trying to find shoppers to do 7 of them, each is at least 50+ miles from any of the others and all are over 300 miles from me and essentially anything. So I say sure: at $80 each (that's about $25 over the regular rate) I will take them all but I have to have them all to pay for the hotel night I will need. They don't reply at all.

Three weeks later, same email goes out under a new scheduler's name. But now they've found somebody to do one of them leaving just 6. I make the same offer again, still $80/ea. This time I get a polite decline email.

Five more weeks go by and yet another scheduler begs and pleads for any reasonable offer. they can't do it without ME, won't someone pleeeeease help out!!!! Now there are just 4 of them left. It's clear it is getting dicey now with their deadline. I offer again but now I need $10 more for each. No reply initially so after waiting 4 days I ask. I get back a polite but brief reply wherein they tell me that their max is $2 less than the amount they have already paid me (now months ago) for several of them that were close to home.

Two more months have passed. There are still two of them left and they will probably be there forever. Both are nearly 500 miles from me. But I am not wasting my time to type an offer.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/2019 05:53PM by JustForFun.
It's a battle for sure. I guess we're all getting real life business lessons on negotiation and economics.

They COULD offer higher most likely, but they end up getting a profit margin squeeze. At some threshold, they obviously lose money. At the same time, if they do not give in and and no one takes the shops at all, then they lose money from not having the projects done at all.

For us, we also could accept lower. But, at some threshold, we also lose money (from the project or just opportunity cost). But, if we wait too long, we may get nothing as well (from someone else taking it or some other reason).

I tend to think the MSCs have the upper hand, though (maybe not in rural areas, but in general). There seem to be more shoppers who are desperate that they can reliably find to fill shops than those willing to hold out.

I'm fortunate enough to not have to rely on ms-ing, but there are many who may have to take the low-ball fees as is. I've ranted on this so many times that I'd just be repeating myself, but this country needs a political and economic REVOLUTION (veteran forum members already know who I am voting for in 2020 and have volunteered for in his 2016 campaign - no need to mention his name)!

I'm heart-broken when I see and hear of people needing to take $4.... $5...$6 shops that I know are low-balls. I've been less critical-minded over time. [ETA: "Greatest economy ever" right? ...yeah, right ...more like greatest tax-cut robbery ever for the rich by a life-long charlatan whose businesses all went bankrupt] It's frustrating for sure! It lowers the fees for everyone else, but I can imagine someone being in that situation better now.

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2019 09:06PM by shoptastic.
[ETA: I've also said this many times before, but just as a reminder: if you depend on ms-ing, do consider being careful of revealing too many details about yourself and/or critiquing the MSCs in the forum (maybe scrub/edit some posts if you feel the need). I wouldn't want to see anyone blackballed as a result. Many seem to be great companies to work for, but I have heard of instances of some watching chat here and blackballing certain posters as well.]

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2019 09:22PM by shoptastic.
@shoptastic wrote:

It's a battle for sure. I guess we're all getting real life business lessons on negotiation and economics.

They COULD offer higher most likely, but they end up getting a profit margin squeeze. At some threshold, they obviously lose money. At the same time, if they do not give in and and no one takes the shops at all, then they lose money from not having the projects done at all.

For us, we also could accept lower. But, at some threshold, we also lose money (from the project or just opportunity cost). But, if we wait too long, we may get nothing as well (from someone else taking it or some other reason).

I tend to think the MSCs have the upper hand, though (maybe not in rural areas, but in general). There seem to be more shoppers who are desperate that they can reliably find to fill shops than those willing to hold out.

I'm fortunate enough to not have to rely on ms-ing, but there are many who may have to take the low-ball fees as is. I've ranted on this so many times that I'd just be repeating myself, but this country needs a political and economic REVOLUTION (veteran forum members already know who I am voting for in 2020 and have volunteered for in his 2016 campaign - no need to mention his name)!

I'm heart-broken when I see and hear of people needing to take $4.... $5...$6 shops that I know are low-balls. I've been less critical-minded over time. [ETA: "Greatest economy ever" right? ...yeah, right ...more like greatest tax-cut robbery ever for the rich by a life-long charlatan whose businesses all went bankrupt] It's frustrating for sure! It lowers the fees for everyone else, but I can imagine someone being in that situation better now.

There is only so much money you can take from the rich. Margaret Thatcher once said, "The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."
@shoptastic wrote:

Does anyone ever feel sorry for schedulers and what they may have to work with?

"MAJOR BONUS FOR HOT SHOPS IF DONE THIS WEEKEND ONLY!! "

You open the email and it's a $2.50 bonus. Like if the shop was awesome, why is no one taking it? And why are you only offering a puny bonus and calling it "major" in the title?

I probably roll my eyes and laugh just like everyone else.
I don't laugh. They have wasted my time opening and reading the email. No, I don't feel sorry for them -- they are either extremely ignorant or dishonest in believing that $2.50 is a major bonus. I have the most egregious of these schedulers' emails routed to a folder that I only bother reading when I need fill-ins.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
Does anyone know if the bonus comes out of the Scheduler's pay? Or does it come from the MSC?
Or the "you will not be reimbursed for gas. You would have bought gas anyways". Yes, I would have bought gas but it would be where I want to buy guys and I wouldn't be making several mental notes while I'm doing it. And the payment was very small considering all the things they wanted done.
@Niner wrote:

There is only so much money you can take from the rich. Margaret Thatcher once said, "The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

Needs a thread of its own, so I'm gonna just re: quick and leave it at that (no intention of further dialogue to derail thread). smiling smiley

I agree. I think everyone, except for communists disagree with socialism/communism. Part of the problem that I see over and over again is the lack of understanding what democratic socialism entails (what Bernie Sanders supports - albeit, given his recent proposals, I actually may quibble with him on some things, as I'm a little more moderate than him on some things).

What we mean by democratic socialism is FDR style economics (which NO ONE on Earth would define as socialist - not even close!...if anyone thinks we had socialism in America in the 1950's, they are nuts!) that is defined by an uncorrupted capitalist system with a sufficient social safety net. So, yeah, I'm personally SUPER capitalist. But, I am also super social safety net, so people don't just fall through the cracks in ways that they can never make it back up. The irony is that conversatives/Republicans who love to tout the "glory days" of the U.S. always fail to point out that the Golden Years (when America had the greatest growth and lowest levels of inequality between 1940 and 1970) were specifically the result of FDR's New Deal!

High taxes
low unemployment
high GDP
strong unions
and NO corporate money allowed in politics!

That is what economists characterize as the "Golden Age" between 1940 and 1970. Prior to that, the U.S. middle-class did not exist. Inequality was out of control. You had what economists call "The Great Compression" - which some characterize as the practical overnight rise of the middle-class in a few short years, due to FDR's New Deal. [eta: Sadly, today, you have what economists call "The Second Gilded Age" in which inequality is at all-time highs and we live in an oligarchy and NOT A FREE MARKET anymore.]

So, yeah, that's what I support. smiling smiley I'm a capitalist through and through, but I'm also a "good society" New Dealer, who wants an adequate social safety net.

*end rant*

Nothing socialist about that! ......I do think lots of people have honest "label"-mistakes and often people we just get into straw man arguments. I wish I could whip out a card or something that I could give to people that says here's what I believe and it's not what you are thinking. grinning smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/15/2019 09:43PM by shoptastic.
@wrosie wrote:

Does anyone know if the bonus comes out of the Scheduler's pay? Or does it come from the MSC?

Sometimes schedulers offer it themselves out of their pay. People have said that here before. Sometimes, it's management. It varies.
shoptastic advises--..... if you depend on ms-ing, do consider being careful of revealing too many details about yourself and/or critiquing the MSCs in the forum .............

Bob agrees--fortunately for me, I am not in that category. When I originally joined this forum, my name, Bob Engleman, was already being used by me on Volition. I have never flaked in 16+ years, I have a reputation of honesty and do not have a problem with reports. If my opinions are distasteful and override my record, so be it!
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