Trendsource( msishopper.net) has a Preferred Shopper status enabling you to self schedule most ( but not all) shops in addition to other benefits. You can qualify after completing 5 shops, switching to direct deposit and passing a quiz.
Do any other ms companies have such a program???
And is Trendsource's really that much more beneficial??
I didn't notice them mentioning anything about preferences for Gold or Silver certified shoppers. Once I do my fifth shop for them, I will try for this other shopper status.
I think most companies have it, though it may not be visible to the shopper. To some extent your score with SASSIE companies constitutes that. I don't know that you see any different shops with Trendsource once you have 'earned your star', but self assign becomes possible. The same holds true with Mintel where you never see scores but at some point after a bunch of successful shops you become eligible to self assign.
It is annoying to start with a new company and request and request and request only to have the shops snagged by folks with self assign privileges. But I certainly understand why they do it. I have had schedulers on the phone asking me how many of a certain shop they could take because 'someone' had gone in and self assigned all of them and disappeared from the face of the map. Or worse, someone went in and took 20 of them, promptly turning in reports that were patently fraudulent so the shops needed to be 'redone'. So it makes sense to one-at-a-time them with new shoppers until they 'earn their star' or whatever their version is that allows self assigning. And of course it is in the interest of every single company to award some shops to new-to-them shoppers to build up their cadre of shoppers for the future since shopper turnover is very high.
Many shops have a self-assign feature after you have done a few shops Others, you might have to request the shop. However, as Flash said, many individuals will take so many shops and not do them properly or even cancel. I have received calls for shops I applied for and did not get with a scheduler who wants them done last minute; many mystery shoppers cancel.
What is really annoying is to apply for a shop, giving my available date and the mystery shop company assigns a different date. I have had many companies randomly assign shops to me, without me applying because I did a similar shop.
I absolutely will not tolerate a company 'randomly' assigning me a shop without my applying for it or giving them specific permission to auto assign. That is just SO WRONG and flies completely in the face of our status as Independent Contractors. They want to do that baloney they can pay me a salary, share the taxes, cover me with workman's comp and unemployment and call me an employee. They don't get it both ways. So shops such as that they get back 'sorry, can't fit in my schedule'.
As for dates. If they ask me what date I can go (as they do on many of the SASSIE shops), I give them a date I will be available. I immediately note on my schedule the date and time and that it is 'requested'. If they assign me some other date/time, I will take it ONLY if it is convenient for me. I am certainly not going to reschedule other work when I left a time slot open for them. This is a business and they need to work with us in a business like fashion.