EPMS: Why do you not like them, and what could they change to make them appeal to you?

EPMS shops appear to be not on most shoppers' list of favorite shops to do. What about them keeps you from jumping at the chance to shop them? What changes would make you eager to shop them?

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I love EPMS! The only complaint, and it's minor, I have about them: they don't communicate with their clients. One of my shops was targeted. The target was a maintenance man who was very upset that I was trying to reach him.

I love the reports and the way that they flow.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
In 2015, after having completed 193 assignments of standard, audio, video and inspection varieties, I accepted a new client through EPMS. As I always time a shop I had never completed, the report took 1 hour and 52 minutes of repetition that was nerve racking. I decided I would not accept any additional work for that client. 31 days later, I received a notice I had visited the wrong location and would not be paid. I appealed that decision, stating it does not take a month to discover an error AND I knew I had visited the correct site; my appeal was declined. I requested and was given a cancellation of our agreement.

I do not give second chances, when a situation is clearly overt.
@HonnyBrown wrote:

I love EPMS! The only complaint, and it's minor, I have about them: they don't communicate with their clients. One of my shops was targeted. The target was a maintenance man who was very upset that I was trying to reach him.

I love the reports and the way that they flow.

Are you referring to the fact that their targets are too often ghosts or no longer work for the client? That is a bit frustrating when you find out after half a dozen or more calls over several days. I always assumed that that was the client not communicating with their on site staff. The one thing I do like about EPMS is their great communication with shoppers.
EPMS was my very first shop when I began in 2014, and they are among my favorites to this day...except this: targeted shops. trying over and over to reach target, and having to communicate back and forth with the scheduler, sometimes days awaiting instructions on how to proceed and reach the target. Here's the worst kept secret: they know they're being shopped. The clients have gotten ahead of the game here.

Time for a new approach. I have noticed other MSC's have addressed this issue, using a simple elimination method.
As IC's, our time is money, and I waste my time- money with this going back and forth stuff trying to reach targets. I have other shops and obligations, and this is an obstacle. There's got to be a better way.
I check their jobs board daily, and I look forward to my assignments and working with their top notch team.
Their competitor will tell shoppers the exact schedule of the target. EPMS will often give a target who no longer works there or is in a different capacity. They never give the schedules.

@AZwolfman wrote:

Are you referring to the fact that their targets are too often ghosts or no longer work for the client? That is a bit frustrating when you find out after half a dozen or more calls over several days. I always assumed that that was the client not communicating with their on site staff. The one thing I do like about EPMS is their great communication with shoppers.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I really wanted to build a route of highly bonused shops over 300 miles from home.

In order to build a route, you have to be able to reach the targets.

After 4 days, I gave up, explained the situation to the scheduler, and cancelled all the shops.

A dozen shops, and after 4 days (about 50 phone calls), I had reached exactly TWO targets. Can't build a route like that; can't travel 600 miles for two shops, either.

Of course, this is not confined to EPMS; it's much, much more difficult to build a route now than it was just 4 or 5 years ago (personal experience ONLY, folks, not a scientific study!).
What is EPMS? Edited: Sorry, I read the replies above and found out.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/2021 05:34AM by Dandydew.
In the past 10 mos., I have completed six apt. shops for Intelli-shop. No target was required, but if there were, I was permitted to ask for that person. My pay varied from $50 to $80, with a report that was NOT loaded with repetition and could be completed in approx. 40 minutes of "hunt & peck" typing.
The past few months I've earned more money with Ellis than any other MSC. There's definitely a learning curve on the reports. When I first started doing them they took a very long time but I got faster. And then I had to re-learn all my tricks after things opened up again last year.

With that being said, I have been known to growl at the repetitive forms and will sometimes take a shop for a little less money just because it doesn't have an executive summary page :-)

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
I grumble until the 22nd of the following month!

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
The repetitive nature of the questions is ridiculous and the pay is too low if there is no bonus.
I agree, there is too much repetition in the questions you have to answer. However, for the right bonus, I'm happy to do their shops.

Are the phone/internet inquiry shops as repetitive as the in person shops? Are they worth doing for the $15 being offered as pay?
I had a shop due yesterday. The number I called to reach the target was never answered. I noted this in the call outcomes section of the report.

Scheduler emails me. She thanks me for my hard work and gives me permission to ask for the target.

How, if they line is not answered?!?

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Another issue I've had is that there were two people with the target's first name at the location. How do you discretely ask what their last name is on the phone? Are you John Doe or some other John?

I ended up making an appointment with the wrong one and the shop was rejected.
For one thing, the shop reports are excessively demanding- repetitive questions asking for basically the same info (probably trying to catch the shopper in a lie). The report can take two hours to complete. Also, they're expecting the shopper to describe every detail of the model apartment and the leasing office, including the furnishings. I do not have a photographic memory, and for the money they pay, they ask a bit too much. Although I live in a very expensive area, the shops here pay $30 base pay. I started doing mystery shopping in 2013, and I did a handful of them for EPMS. I stopped working with them because the money wasn't worth it. Then more recently, I decided to give it another shot, but this time, I would only pick shops with decent bonuses. I did one yesterday, and it reminded me of why I dropped this company in the first place. They do not provide the target agent's schedule, so you are basically playing a guessing game. You have to leave your schedule open, just in case you do reach your target - but if you don't, then you have given up the opportunity to make money by doing other things on that day. After several calls, I finally got the target on the phone, but it was close to 4 pm. When I got to the property, she was busy and insisted that someone else help me out. Shop instructions do not address this, and I had to make a decision on the spot, not knowing if I would be paid at this point. Also, I grabbed her business card and noticed that her last name is not the same as in the shop instructions. Does EPMS even talk with their clients? This girl either got married or divorced, and the shop instructions should have reflected that change. They do not make it easy for the shoppers - doing these targeted shops is extremely tedious. The emailing back and forth with schedulers is also time-consuming, and my time is worth something. The base shop pay has not been increased since I first signed up with this company 8 years ago - $30 wasn't much then, and it's even worth less now. The expectations they place on a shopper are excessive in comparison to the peanuts they pay.
That is terrible, I am so sorry that they declined to pay you. I would have been furious. Did you by any chance attempt to contact the Attorney General's Office of Consumer Affairs (for the state where EPMS main office is located). It sounds like nonsense - if you had visited the wrong location, you wouldn't have been able to obtain the correct business card. This company gets such great reviews, but they frequently don't have updated leasing agent information and incorrect access codes, making the shopper call the wrong property. I stumbled upon this one time, and realized quickly that the phone access code was for a sister property. But if I hadn't figured this out, then I would have probably ended up shopping the wrong property as well. It's completely unfair to expect shoppers to do QA for their shop instructions.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/02/2021 12:31PM by digikiss.
@digikiss wrote:

For one thing, the shop reports are excessively demanding- repetitive questions asking for basically the same info (probably trying to catch the shopper in a lie). The report can take two hours to complete. Also, they're expecting the shopper to describe every detail of the model apartment and the leasing office, including the furnishings. I do not have a photographic memory, and for the money they pay, they ask a bit too much. Although I live in a very expensive area, the shops here pay $30 base pay. I started doing mystery shopping in 2013, and I did a handful of them for EPMS. I stopped working with them because the money wasn't worth it. Then more recently, I decided to give it another shot, but this time, I would only pick shops with decent bonuses. I did one yesterday, and it reminded me of why I dropped this company in the first place. They do not provide the target agent's schedule, so you are basically playing a guessing game. You have to leave your schedule open, just in case you do reach your target - but if you don't, then you have given up the opportunity to make money by doing other things on that day. After several calls, I finally got the target on the phone, but it was close to 4 pm. When I got to the property, she was busy and insisted that someone else help me out. Shop instructions do not address this, and I had to make a decision on the spot, not knowing if I would be paid at this point. Also, I grabbed her business card and noticed that her last name is not the same as in the shop instructions. Does EPMS even talk with their clients? This girl either got married or divorced, and the shop instructions should have reflected that change. They do not make it easy for the shoppers - doing these targeted shops is extremely tedious. The emailing back and forth with schedulers is also time-consuming, and my time is worth something. The base shop pay has not been increased since I first signed up with this company 8 years ago - $30 wasn't much then, and it's even worth less now. The expectations they place on a shopper are excessive in comparison to the peanuts they pay.

This is an example of why I would never want to be an editor. This is so hard to read, I don't even try.
They just don't have enough jobs in my area, I have done about 15 of them in about the 5 years I have been signed with them. I would even travel 50 miles but only if I could have other jobs in the area and the apt. shop wasn't targeted. I finally chose to stop getting notifications from them.
Well, when they send you the emails asking why you have not done any shops you can say that you have decided that your time is worth more than they are offering.
In the report, there is a question about whether you met with the same target you spoke with on the phone. I have had several occasions where they were different due to target schedules, calling out from work, etc. My shops were always accepted.

@digikiss wrote:

When I got to the property, she was busy and insisted that someone else help me out. Shop instructions do not address this, and I had to make a decision on the spot, not knowing if I would be paid at this point.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I never take an Ellis shop at base rate unless it's a shop anyone that's conveniently located. My area must have lost some shoppers since things have opened back up. I got an email from a scheduler today begging me to take a shop. It's a half hour from my house, but has a bonus of $60.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
I agree…I’m new to shopping and I took 4 ships an hour away….the targets were nonexistent and one of the shops had incorrect information. Instead of the property that needed to be shoped, it listed the property management company’s number and address. So basically I waisted a ton of time…And the scheduler didn’t care. I won’t be working with them anymore…Also the reports are ridiculously exhausting and repetitive for 30.00…
That doesn't make any sense. If the targets were no longer there and the information was wrong, did the scheduler rectify it for you? You didn't go to the locations, correct?

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
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