Remember the names of the MSCs still emailing you

These companies are still asking you to go to stores that are closed.
You won't get paid.
You have endangered your life.
You have probably violated Emergency Regulations.

Organizations that expect people to endanger their lives and the lives of others:
-Some charities
-Medical/Hospital
-The Military
-Drug Dealers
-Mystery Shopping Companies

The charities, hospitals and military do that to save lives.

Remember the names of the companies still mailing you. Notice how much they think your life is worth!

It's time to tell them your life is not worth $8. And it's not worth it to endanger someone else's life for that amount.

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@wauserfriendly wrote:

These companies are still asking you to go to stores that are closed.
You won't get paid.
You have endangered your life.
You have probably violated Emergency Regulations.

Organizations that expect people to endanger their lives and the lives of others:
-Some charities
-Medical/Hospital
-The Military
-Drug Dealers
-Mystery Shopping Companies

The charities, hospitals and military do that to save lives.

Remember the names of the companies still mailing you. Notice how much they think your life is worth!

It's time to tell them your life is not worth $8. And it's not worth it to endanger someone else's life for that amount.

This is less than helpful when many email are automatically sent by systems. Give people a break, maybe under stress like all of us they forgot to cancel automatic emails.
Or, they are closed in your area but not all the other areas. Let them know which locations are closed, so they can remove those locations and not waste their own time on top of your time.

Also, sending out an offer is not "expecting" you to do anything. It is an offer that you can either accept, or decline.
Also, managerment of a store or restaurant forced to close or make a significant change to operations with just a few hours notice may not have "cancel the quarterly mystery shop" very high up on the to-do list. I agree that picking up these shops would be foolish, but I'll be so happy if my favorite MSCs are even around in a few months that I won't be worrying about how many automated emails they sent me this week.
I wish that I could remember the name of the MSC who emailed three days ago with a nice long list of phone shops.
The ones I've seen include a disclaimer to follow all local restrictions.
No reason to take a job of a location that is closed. Or to do any job that isn't a good idea right now.
@KSSPete wrote:

Or, they are closed in your area but not all the other areas. Let them know which locations are closed, so they can remove those locations and not waste their own time on top of your time.

Also, sending out an offer is not "expecting" you to do anything. It is an offer that you can either accept, or decline.

BTW, KSSPete doesn't know this, but the MSC's owner for whom he schedules sent me a personal note after I submitted my shop on Sunday night. It was very thoughtful of her. KSSPete did not pressure me to do the shop. I pressured him, since I was hungry and was getting food anyway.
These are not automated. They are sent out using a mailing list, but someone still hits the send button.

It's incredibly irresponsible to send people out as every official in the world is telling people to stay at home.

There is NOT enough medical equipment, hospital rooms, ventilators or medical workers. If the spread can be slowed there will be enough. By asking people to go about normal business, they are sabotaging the efforts of those working hard to save lives.
These are not automated. They are sent out using a mailing list, but someone still hits the send button.

It's incredibly irresponsible to send people out as every official in the world is telling people to stay at home.

There is NOT enough medical equipment, hospital rooms, ventilators or medical workers. If the spread can be slowed there will be enough. By asking people to go about normal business, they are sabotaging the efforts of those working hard to save lives.

There is a National State of Emergency. There are declarations in every state except West Virginia. If the MSCs need the shoppers to tell them there is an emergency, they shouldn't be in business. Any responsible business owner is dealing with it. It is not our obligation to make up for ignorance and irresponsibility.;
At our end, out in the field, we are expected to pay strict attention to a myriad of details: names, multiple physical descriptions, timings - you get the idea.

At the other end, sitting on their considerable rumps behind a computer terminal- the MSCs and schedulers are not expected to pay attention to pandemic “shelter in place” orders? Really?

It literally is less than 30 seconds of searching to determine the situation in any given area.

Right now, there are zero excuses for sending out shoppers in COVID19-filled communities. Zero.
ColoKate63 states--Right now, there are zero excuses for sending out shoppers in COVID19-filled communities. Zero.

Bob's comment--More than an excuse, it would literally be reprehensible for an MSC to send a shopper on an assignment in such a situation. However, in my 17 years in this business, I have neither been sent anywhere by a company nor have I ever heard of such a dispatch. What has occurred, though, is that I have elected to accept and complete almost 3,600 shops.
I personally know a shopper who is on a multistate route today, in a pandemic, over a thousand miles from home, who is frantically trying to finish the route. This shopper has been threatened by the MSP that they MUST finish said route - or risk nonpayment. The MSP’s position on this: “You elected to take that as a full route, it is one project and if left uncompleted you will not be paid.”

Also: not impressed with 3600 shops in 17 years. Thats 3 or 4 a week. *yawn*

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/2020 05:24PM by ColoKate63.
@ColoKate63 wrote:

I personally know a shopper who is on a multistate route today, in a pandemic, over a thousand miles from home, who is frantically trying to finish the route. This shopper has been threatened by the MSP that they MUST finish said route - or risk nonpayment. The MSP’s position on this: “You elected to take that as a full route, it is one project and if left uncompleted you will not be paid

How do you justify that then? Will you be naming the MSC?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/2020 05:57PM by SoCalMama.
ColoKate63 shares--not impressed with 3600 shops in 17 years.

Bob agrees--Me neither. After completing 1394 shops from 2003 to 2007, I accepted I had failed in my attempt to earn enough money to continue. I then switched to being a situational shopper and am quite satisfied with the results. I only work when a job (1) pays for my time, expenses, skills and efforts (2) rewards me with a reimbursement I desire and/or (3) covers my non-shopping travel expenses. I am perfectly content to sit if at least one of the aforementioned does not exist. Since changing directions, my monthly total runs from 1 to 47 jobs.
@SoCalMama wrote:

@ColoKate63 wrote:

I personally know a shopper who is on a multistate route today, in a pandemic, over a thousand miles from home, who is frantically trying to finish the route. This shopper has been threatened by the MSP that they MUST finish said route - or risk nonpayment. The MSP’s position on this: “You elected to take that as a full route, it is one project and if left uncompleted you will not be paid

How do you justify that then? Will you be naming the MSC?

Not my route, not my MSP to disclose. I’d do it in a heartbeat if I was the one getting screwed over (a quick glimpse at my posting history will confirm this) - but the shopper who vented to me specifically said, “Please don’t get pissed and call them out like you do,” so I won’t.

If that shopper gets sick or dies (god forbid), all bets are off; I’d trumpet the MSP loudly, literally EVERYWHERE.
@ColoKate63 wrote:

@SoCalMama wrote:

@ColoKate63 wrote:

I personally know a shopper who is on a multistate route today, in a pandemic, over a thousand miles from home, who is frantically trying to finish the route. This shopper has been threatened by the MSP that they MUST finish said route - or risk nonpayment. The MSP’s position on this: “You elected to take that as a full route, it is one project and if left uncompleted you will not be paid

How do you justify that then? Will you be naming the MSC?

Not my route, not my MSP to disclose. I’d do it in a heartbeat if I was the one getting screwed over (a quick glimpse at my posting history will confirm this) - but the shopper who vented to me specifically said, “Please don’t get pissed and call them out like you do,” so I won’t.

If that shopper gets sick or dies (god forbid), all bets are off; I’d trumpet the MSP loudly, literally EVERYWHERE.

That shopper doesn't have to get sick. That shopper just has to get infected in order to make other people sick or to kill them.

Now would be a good time to use, "Shame on you."
At the risk of not impressing you, that is enough and often more than enough for me and my goofy schedule. But what I want to impress on your awareness now is the possibility that global business conditions might make it miraculous if you can attempt, let alone complete, 3 or 4 assignments per week.

@ColoKate63 wrote:

.... Also: not impressed with 3600 shops in 17 years. Thats 3 or 4 a week. *yawn*

The most dangerous idea is silencing people. - Naval Ravikant
@SoCalMama wrote:

That shopper just has to get infected in order to make other people sick or to kill them.

Or already be infected...and then infect others at the location they are shopping.

This really comes down to a few points, I think:

1. The socially responsible thing to do is to share information, not temp others into going out into public right now. The starting-to-be-well-established reality is that the country would be a much safer place for all if everyone sheltered in place right now, weather or not they are required to.

2. Not every shopper is al level headed or well-advised as SCM or shopperbob. Those two have clear boundaries and don't feel pressure to take assignments.

3. If the majority MSC's and scheduling companies actually cared about shoppers, the industry would not be in the position it's in. It works for those of us who understand the dynamics and can turn it to our advantage, but we are not the majority. It's been a money-grab for a while now, fueled by desperation in many situations.

I feel terrible for everyone affected by this (which is basically everyone) but i also see the potential good in this situation possibly culling the excess of MSC's, and pushing the undercapitalized ones that were just going to stiff shoppers in the future out of business.
I don't get comparing MSCs to the vast majority of businesses like retail and restaurants. Granted there are some exceptions to the rule, but we all know most use ICs for every aspect of their business not just mystery shops. Most do not have large buildings with mortgages or rent. Shutting down for a few weeks will not be more of a burden on them than it is on us. Depending on how long this lasts, perhaps some businesses will forgo mystery shopping until they have fully recovered or maybe they won't.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
@KSSPete wrote:

Or, they are closed in your area but not all the other areas. Let them know which locations are closed, so they can remove those locations and not waste their own time on top of your time.

Also, sending out an offer is not "expecting" you to do anything. It is an offer that you can either accept, or decline.

If I refuse a shop, but someone else does it, that person puts my life and health and the life and health of my community at risk, because they are a vector. I don't care at all whether a location is "closed." Shut every in-person shop down, now.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/2020 06:42AM by db1142.
@prince wrote:

The ones I've seen include a disclaimer to follow all local restrictions.
No reason to take a job of a location that is closed. Or to do any job that isn't a good idea right now.

All in-person shops are bad ideas right now.
@db1142 wrote:

@KSSPete wrote:

Or, they are closed in your area but not all the other areas. Let them know which locations are closed, so they can remove those locations and not waste their own time on top of your time.

Also, sending out an offer is not "expecting" you to do anything. It is an offer that you can either accept, or decline.

If I refuse a shop, but someone else does it, that person puts my life and health and the life and health of my community at risk, because they are a vector. I don't care at all whether a location is "closed." Shut every in-person shop down, now.

Each person out and about damages the safety of us all. We live or die as one, quite literally. If it wasn't clear before Covid19, it ought to be now. Or soon.
I personally have stopped shopping and stay home for the most part, even though I am in an area which does not have a stay-at-home measure in place. I agree it is important for me to help avoid spreading the virus, both for myself and others. But I can't muster righteous indignation against those who have to keep working or those MSCs that allow shopping on a voluntary basis in areas not under restrictions. I am fortunate in that I just came off a busy period, and made enough to stock the fridge and pay the bills for now. But I imagine that if I didn't have that luck, I would be desperate right now with an empty fridge and car payments, insurance payments, rent and utitlties coming due. It's not just shoppers and MSCs in this dilemma. We as a society have allowed a large segment of our population to live paycheck to paycheck, often without health insurance or sick leave, even during times of economic prosperity for the nation as a whole. I know a lot of people who would rather stay home from work right now, but simply don't have that option if they want to eat and keep a roof over their head. It's easy to be judgemental of those who have circumstances different than our own.
That is why I felt no pressure to take any.
I am leaving home tomorrow, for first time in 7 days, to donate blood. I am also going to go to grocery store while out. If there was a mystery shop there, I would do it. (There isn't)
If there is a gas station shop on the way, I'll do it. Not likely though.

@db1142 wrote:

@prince wrote:

The ones I've seen include a disclaimer to follow all local restrictions.
No reason to take a job of a location that is closed. Or to do any job that isn't a good idea right now.

All in-person shops are bad ideas right now.
@LisaSTL wrote:

I don't get comparing MSCs to the vast majority of businesses like retail and restaurants.

I don't think there is a comparison. Agreed that the majority of MSC's are completely scaleable. I just don't think the social distancing issue is going to be measured in weeks. It will be measured in months, and will make a significant change in the customer facing attitude of many businesses that use mystery shopping.

You just have to ask yourself; How can a completely scaleable small business with virtually no overhead go bankrupt?

Yet, we see it happen all of the time. The issue is that they rely on the cash throughput to cover operating costs and have a poor business plan. Like many Americans, many MSC's live paycheck-to-paycheck.

The first to go will be those who do not have enough operating capitol. They will get behind in payments to shoppers during this time and once you lose the trust of the core shopper base, you can't continue. The next wave will be those who were just getting by. When they inevitably lose clients, they may not find it worth their time to continue. Lastly, we have the unpaid IC workforce; Shoppers, schedulers, editors. They will most likely have to find another way to go by, and then the MSCs lose their trained workforce.
I totally agree those with a poor business habits won't make it. I just wanted to point out when your payments are based on work performed, no work means no money going out.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
The “who has and hasn’t paid you for February and early March shops” threads will likely dominate this forum during April.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/2020 06:59PM by NinS.
Could you tell us have you ever done so when 49 states have Emergency regulations? Have you done this during a pandemic?
By the same logic, there's nothing wrong with my offering you money to go into a burning home or if I were to sell you drugs, I would have no culpability.
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