Consider yourself lucky to get paid. There are many complaints of a long pay cycle and failure to pay. Their Head Dog and I chatted about this. I stated this was unacceptable and refused to shop for them...:p
Shopping Bama and parts of Georgia.
I'm still learning 24/7.
As a reference point, when did you do the shop? This is important because for a brief period shops appeared to be being paid without demand in the 12 week cycle. If your shop was a recent one, that is good news because it appeared that there was backsliding on payments after the first 'flush' of getting caught up. Also, was your shop paid without demand, or did you need to contact them for payment?
While this may sound bitchy, I personally was (and really am) a big fan of Freeman. I wish them the best, but I also don't want ugly surprises for shoppers. I believe Freeman is currently saying 12 weeks for payment on shops, which is long, especially if you are out of pocket much money, but if they are consistent with their stated schedule and not paying just those who inquire, demand and ultimately threaten, then a history of that will make it safer for shoppers to go back 'into the water'.
I did three motel shops for Freeman on 5/9, 5/10, and 5/21. On 8/10 I called them and left a voice mail, as it had been three months since the first shop. Here is the email reply I received:
I received your voicemail. Accounting is starting to process May shops next week. You will receive your 3 payments on Friday, August 26, 2011. Our payment guidelines do state that we process payments 8-12 weeks from the date all paperwork has been turned in. I understand that the May shops are being processed a few weeks late and we apologize for this. Please check back with me the beginning of September for a payment status of your June shops.
We'll see what happens on Friday, and then again next month for the three shops I did in June. I would have spent the money on a motel in every case anyways, so I would have still spent the money, but 12+ weeks is so long to wait for payment!
Fresno, CA - and shopping all over the middle part of the state!
I am surprised again and again as people "discover" Freeman's slow pay. They must have low reserves and wait for payment from the clients before paying the shoppers. It is a real seat-of-the-pants way to run a business, but they have always been like this. You will see in some threads where shoppers were owed thousands for reimbursements, and it makes me wonder at what point you stop shopping for them. If there were two pieces of advice to take away from the threads and threads on board after board.....
1) Check the address of the shop before you book, and compare it with Trip Advisor. Some of the shops have received poor ratings or are in crummy areas. That might be why the client wants them shopped.
2) Don't do a shop if you cannot afford to be parted with your money for a while. If getting a cheque from Freeman is the difference between paying your mortgage or not, it is not worth the risk.
> 2) Don't do a shop if you cannot afford to be
> parted with your money for a while. If getting a
> cheque from Freeman is the difference between
> paying your mortgage or not, it is not worth the
I say don't do a shop for ANY MSC if you cannot afford to take the hit of losing the money.
Problems eventually arise and if you do enough shops, sooner or later you will get stung. It stings a lot less with a $45 lunch or $5 smoothie that a hotel bill, so keep that in mind when taking hotel shops.
I was once on a high-end hotel shop and got very sick during the stay. I went to the ER and they put me on antibiotics, then advised me to return home immediately and see my doctor. Considering the ER bill, airline change fees and potential loss of revenue from the shop, I stuck it out for one more day and managed to finish the shop.
My shop fee was just enough to cover the insurance deductible for the ER and I broke even on the whole affair, but it would have cost me around $4k to do the right thing and immediately return home. It made me think how bad it would have been if my condition was worse, or if I had been seriously injured on a shop. These days, I don't accept any assignment that I can't afford to buy my way out of if there is a problem.
I hear you on that one, Steve. I was doing a resort, tripped on uneven pavement and whacked my knee such that it got so swollen I could hardly put my slacks on. Since I could still hobble around to make my observations I persisted because that unusable shop would have cost me pretty close to $4k. Writing reports with the laptop on the edge of the 'plunge pool' of my villa while I soaked the knee and tried to keep it limber was not one of those stellar performances. Certainly a time when I wished that more room service meals had been required!
> There is a link right below your post to recent
> discussions about Freeman. You haven't been
> around much, but 4 months sounds GOOD compared to
> what their time frame has been over the past year
> or two.
Easy answer. Don't shop for them ever again. When they see that the word is getting around on how bad they are then they just might shape up.
You are not their dog being lead around on a leash. You do have to be responsible for what you do in a timely manner, as do they. If the cannot square up and do it as responsible adults, then simply take your valuable skills elsewhere and do an outstanding job for someone that respects it. If you view yourself on hands and knees praying and crying, that is not them. And you will get the shops that mistreat you. Your value is determined by the work you do. If they cannot do their work well, fire them and do not interact with them again.
Of course that holds true for any company. The 'problem', if you will, with that is that sometimes a company you really don't want to work with has a client you really want to shop. Those are the situations where you suck it up and do the shop knowing that 1) at best it will be an uphill battle getting paid in a timely fashion and 2) at worst, you just did the work on your own dime.
Very few companies with any history of slow payments have recovered back to the status of 'good corporate citizens'. They have become 'better corporate citizens' by announcing their pay cycles that are more in keeping with their ability to actually get funds out the door so that shoppers actually KNOW to expect to wait 3 or 4 months or longer.
They carry insurace as a property. It would have gotten med attention. ) Shop or not.
> I hear you on that one, Steve. I was doing a
> resort, tripped on uneven pavement and whacked my
> knee such that it got so swollen I could hardly
> put my slacks on. Since I could still hobble
> around to make my observations I persisted because
> that unusable shop would have cost me pretty close
> to $4k. Writing reports with the laptop on the
> edge of the 'plunge pool' of my villa while I
> soaked the knee and tried to keep it limber was
> not one of those stellar performances. Certainly
> a time when I wished that more room service meals
> had been required!
Not so sure about that insurance . . . I was in the third world and there was not even an accident report written up, though I fell while being taken on a tour of the property by the property manager on my arrival. Rather it was suggested that I sit down and they sent over a complimentary glass of wine from the bar.
I'm working in Vegas soon and looking for a lunch...wouldn't you know Freeman has one close to where I'll be staying, so, do I buy myself lunch somewhere, or depend on Freeman paying me in four months, as they have a nice lunch place that's fun.....it is a tossup.
Shops are all pre assigned...no fighting (not sure what you mean), but, know exactly what I'll be doing, have prepared and been assigned shops....works like normal shops, no surprises. I would say shoppers that know Vegas work there, not tourists.
> I did three motel shops for Freeman on 5/9, 5/10,
> and 5/21. On 8/10 I called them and left a voice
> mail, as it had been three months since the first
> shop. Here is the email reply I received:
> I received your voicemail. Accounting is starting
> to process May shops next week. You will receive
> your 3 payments on Friday, August 26, 2011. Our
> payment guidelines do state that we process
> payments 8-12 weeks from the date all paperwork
> has been turned in. I understand that the May
> shops are being processed a few weeks late and we
> apologize for this. Please check back with me the
> beginning of September for a payment status of
> your June shops.
> Thank you,
> Amy Denning // FreemanGroup
> Measurement Accounts Manager
> We'll see what happens on Friday, and then again
> next month for the three shops I did in June. I
> would have spent the money on a motel in every
> case anyways, so I would have still spent the
> money, but 12+ weeks is so long to wait for
Well, the 26th came and went with no payment. I called on Tuesday and asked to speak with Amy. She was "on the other line" so I asked to hold, and asked to hold again. Finally, someone else came on the line and told me that I would be paid this week. I finally got my three payments deposited into my PayPal account yesterday, the 31st. So, they are paying, but are still on an Pony Express delivery schedule. We'll see if I get paid for June's three shops before the last day of September!
Fresno, CA - and shopping all over the middle part of the state!
I did a hotel shop for Freeman on 4/23. Inquired about payment on 7/28. Rec'd email from Amy/Lisa on 7/29 saying accounting was out of the office and they'd let me know when to expect payment by the end of business on Aug 1st.
Inquired on 8/3 about when I was to expect payment since I never got an email on 8/1. They replied rather quickly telling me I'd get paid by 8/19 at the latest.
Inquired on 8/22 about payment that should have been rec'd previous Friday (8/19). Never got a reply but had money deposited into my paypal on 8/24. No fee was taken from my payment.
YES I had to beg to be paid and could not find anyone for a long time. They are running on the edge financially apparently. Imagine getting a little interest on the loan. Not working for me. Do at your own risk.
I just did one of the De-ID shops for them at a place right around the corner. The location was closed and only required me to stop and take a few pictures of the exterior signage. I figure when the money does show up it will be a "surprise".
Today I Will Choose Joy!
"Finally, whatever things are good, true, noble, lovely, of good report...if there be any virtue, if there be any praise...think on these things." ....It's a command, not a suggestion!