The reports are about 3/4 the length of EPMS reports.... Payment is very slow, yes, by policy. However, the biggest issue is that you may have to chase payment when the time comes. I’ve shopped for at least 20 MSC’s more times than Cirrus, but have had to hunt down payment more times for Cirrus than all other MSC’s combined. I’ve always been paid in the end, but, find it frustrating enough that they have to be offering a pretty good bonus before I’ll deal with the hassle.
Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Cirrus is typically my #1 MSC each year, and they are well on their way this year as the payments/bonuses are huge. Good thing, because I'm about out of rotation for most of my area.
They expect a fair amount of narrative, and I'm now audio recording all my onsite visits to ensure I get the details right.
FWIS, the EPMS online report is not as time consuming, but I absolutely hate their online implementation. My M.Ed. specialization is online learning, and dealing with their online form strays WAY far away from best practices.
It’s demoralizing for me to have to chase payment, month after month. This is a tough business, and it feels very disrespectful when you perform solid work, meet or beat the deadline, and then literally are reduced to begging to be paid.
I also harbor a sneaking suspicion that part of their business model is to drag out payment so long, newer ICs just give up - and Cirrus keeps full fees. I’ve seen numerous posts over the last decade that mention “I just realized they haven’t paid me for a shop I did last year” and it raises my eyebrows .
Finally, Cirrus has been in business forever (at least in MSP terms.) At this point, they really should have enough capital to fund IC payments in a timely manner. If they don’t, that makes me doubt their solvency and accounting practices- and I’ve been burned once and not doing it ever again.
So... three strikes, they’re on my Ten Foot Pole List.
When Cirrus comes back in line with other MSPs who pay in 5-45 days, I’ll work for them again.
I have been doing online virtual apartment shops. While it is sometimes hard to "catch" the target (if there is one), the reports are remarkably easy compared to what they used to want. Be warned that the calls need to be recorded, and no matter what you do, your phone number will be displayed to the agent. I use a phone number that I pay a monthly fee to get (as far as I know, Google voice displays your name, so no good if you are doing multiple shops) and you will also need a variety of email addresses if you do a few of these. I have gotten to enjoy them. Many are on the West Coast (I am not), so I get an extended time frame to complete them.
Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008