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 Received a rude e-mail from scheduler after I declined shop
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.KaBryant
Inactive

Scottsdale, AZ
USA
31 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  09:06:08 AM
I am not even going to mention the company name here, just a sad example of ruthless schedulers. I accepted a shop via prophet nearly 3 weeks ago, had to re-schedule it once and then yesterday, had to decline because of a migraine-like sinus headache. I now have medication for this because of severity and will not drive taking it. This morning, feeling better, I checked my e-mail and a scheduler for the company had sent me an e -mail, saying she would understand if it was a family emergency, etc. but seeing as I am silver certified....and telling me the dates I had selected and rescheduled this shop. No mention of calling them instead of declining on the site. This company allows you to select and then decline, not that habit should allow one to do this constantly. I am shocked that this scheduler sent this to me, I have forwarded it back to their operation manager who says she will handle it from here. I know we are expendable as shoppers, there's always another to fill our shoes but these companies should not be allowed to spit all over us when we make their success possible by doing their shops. I will be taking a break from selecting any shops from this company and take time to check other websites instead.

DonnaInGA
Member

Powder Springs, GA
USA
27 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  09:23:01 AM
Not to sound rude but I think your post explains why the scheduler was a bit tiffed. You have been scheduled for this shop for 3 weeks. I would be willing to bet that the due date was very close. It would be one thing if you just picked up the job and then canceled the shop. You may think you just declined the shop. But what you did was canceled. You rescheduled once so you confirmed with this company that you would do the job. You also didn’t probably leave the scheduler with very much time to get the shop done. I do not know all the facts but from what you wrote in your post I am still trying to figure out what was so rude. The scheduler wrote you telling you she or he was disappointed because they held you to a higher standard because of your certification. Also they backed up their words with examples of dates you had selected and rescheduled this shop. Even though a company allows you to reschedule or cancel (Decline) a shop does not mean you should do it. I am not being rude just pointing out that we have to see both sides of the coin in order to understand every situation. I would not be surprised if the company in question responds to this post because if they pointed out your certification then they probably use Volition also.

Mystery shoppping Georgia and Alabama
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.ColleenNYC
Inactive

New York City, NY
USA
1700 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  09:43:25 AM
I think that the scheduler was reacting to you rescheduling then canceling. I guess that she thought you were "flaking" and you might have been accepted for this shop, because of your certification( and was surprised at you rescheduling and then declining a shop that was scheduled 3 weeks ago). Rescheduling once on site is ok, but declining after this shop last minute puts schedulers in an awful position. I dont understand how the scheduler "spit all over you" or why you felt justified after committing and recommiting, then canceling. You have to accept responsibility in this situation, I would not have forwarded this situation to anyone else. I would have sucked it up and gotten someone else to drive me to the shop.
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ShAndrews
Inactive

Inland Empire, California
USA
480 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  09:59:51 AM  Send ShAndrews an AOL message
I don't know if I am reading this right, but it sounds to me that the scheduler was unhappy because you waited too close to the last due day to complete this shop and then "cancelled" (you cancel a job after you accept, you decline a job if it has been only offered to you). Of course, you didn't feel well and didn't feel like working (who does), but maybe the scheduler's point was it should have been completed already instead of waiting until the last minute to plan on doing this shop (again, I am assuming here on what you wrote, maybe you only had a 1-2 day window on this shop, but it sounds more like 3 weeks). I know personally that when I am giving a window of several days or weeks to complete a shop I pencil it in on my calender within a few days of start just in case something comes up, then I know I will still be able to complete it within the time frame.

And (based again on what you wrote), I don't quite see what she wrote that was ruthless and considered spitting all over you? She mentioned the Silver Certification because in the certification test several of the questions dealt with dealing with deadlines. And I never would have gone over her head and forwarded this to the manager, yikes! It is the scheduler's we deal with, not their managers.

Well, good luck to you, I hope everything works out with this company.

Shannon R. Andrews
MSPA Gold Certified
Shopping the Inland Empire, Southern California
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CabrusoBros
Star Contributor

NC
USA
744 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  10:07:22 AM
I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but jump I will. Three weeks after accepting a shop, circumstances can legitimately change and require a reschedule. I certainly believe in second chances and there was a second chance given for the reschedule. Ultimately, you "decline because of a migraine-like sinus headache."

The scheduler did not have to respond period. The scheduler sent an email to vent their concerns about a shopper who has not met their obligation. There is NOT always another shopper just standing around with a sign saying "Pick me! Pick me!." Give the service a break. They have the same freedom to express their opinion as much as anyone does here. However, the use of "spit all over us" completely blows me away. Maybe I, too, am missing all the facts.

I'm not sure that I understand a company having to contact a shopper to say "Thank you for rescheduling the shop you agreed to 3 weeks ago. We really appreciate you declining the shop the second time so last minute. We are humbly sorry that you feel unwell and we can certainly find another shopper in an instant with no trouble at all. Thank you for putting up with us spitting all over you. We look forward to your feedback about how WE could have better handled this situation." Accept that maybe you could have handled things differently from your end. This company may not be able to afford to contract out with you in the future so a parting of the ways may be best.
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.ColleenNYC
Inactive

New York City, NY
USA
1700 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  12:07:46 PM
What, a professional letter to the shopper who reschedules, then cancels. What else, a Get Well Soon bouquet and some chicken soup.
Schedulers are there to remind shoppers of their expectations, and responsibilities if they cancel last minute. I dont have to see the email, to come to the conclusion that this shopper needs to take more personal responsibility, and then wont have to worry about emails about these sort of problems with schedulers.
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MandyMershon
Valued Contributor

Kyle, TX
USA
187 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  12:41:38 PM
I agree with the other posters that the no scheduler is going to be all that sympathetic to a cancellation at the last minute. Maybe if you had emailed or called her asking for an extension on the deadline giving her some option of not having to find someone at the last minute would have saved you this heartache. If this had been a regular office job where you had said you would get something done with a three week deadline and then decided you could not complete it because you had a headache, your boss would not be happy about it and you would be lucky to get be given heavy responsibility after that. In fact you would be lucky to not get fired. This is the same situation.

That said, I am honestly trying to figure out what she said that you are so "shocked" about. Maybe you did not include enough of what the email said but it doesn't seem like what she was saying was all that bad and I don't see how she spoke to you in a rude or unprofessional way. You can't expect her to be happy that you cancelled the shop but I certainly don't think her response to you was "ruthless" and I don't see how you were "spit on" at all. Instead of forwarding this to the operation manager, you should have apologized to the scheduler for having to cancel and offer to make up the shop another day. As for taking a break from the company, I would not be surprised that the operation manager "handles" the situation by removing you from their database. There may have been more to her email than that but if that is all she said, you are taking things way too personally. Just my two cents...

Mandy Mershon
Shopping Central Texas including Austin, San Marcos, and Bastrop
MSPA Gold Certified Shopper # nkbd8u
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Barbara N.CA
Star Contributor

San Francisco, CA
USA
2397 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  1:46:40 PM
::Jumping on the bandwagon, too, for the same reasons given by the majority here::

What concerns me, too, is the attitude (seemingly) that schedulers should pamper a shopper because that's their job and because shoppers are somehow doing schedulers a favor. Huh? I always thought this was a mutually beneficial, business relationship. We also have no proof that the scheduler didn't do her job here. She might have already found another shopper (if one was available on such short notice). Also, isn't it a scheduler's job to rate her shoppers and determine to whom future jobs will go? Why assume she needs to go through a chain of command?

I've come across quite a few posts on Volition and other places in which some shoppers show they have a lot of negative feelings toward schedulers and MS companies. I know some schedulers and companies are pretty bad. But, the same can be said about shoppers. What gets me is the attitude that shoppers are good and schedulers/companies are bad. I don't get it.

Again, like others have said, we didn't see the actual email from the scheduler. But, based on the original post that started this thread, I really don't think the scheduler was out of line or venting. If I were the shopper in this case, I would have appreciated the scheduler taking the time out to communicate with me, instead of just dropping me from her database.

Barbara
MSPA Gold Shopper since June, 2003.
MSPA 2005 "Go To" Shopper
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ESP
Valued Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
172 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  1:58:20 PM  Visit ESP's Homepage
Wow...as a scheduler I can tell you now...I get all sorts of crappy excuses thrown my way. It is very frustrating when a shopper sits on a job for WEEKS and then cancels at the last minute. Shoppers have to understand that yes, it is our job to schedule and deal with cancellations, but you guys aren't the only ones with a deadline. We have deadlines as well with our clients and our reputation is on the line when we fail to deliver the data in a timely manner because our shoppers are not reliable. I'd rather have a shopper cancel on me than reschedule and cancel. That's just wasting my time. Here I am, bending over backwards, trusting that you would complete the shop, and in the end a let down. I am lucky that I get to work for a company that gives me total decision making power when it comes to shoppers. I have to admit I've "bad-listed" quite a few shoppers the few years that I have been here. Honestly, I wouldn't have bothered with an email to vent. Not worth my time. I would have added you to my bad list in a heartbeat. To all my reliable shoppers, thanks a million for making my job so easy.

Vicki Wallin
Scheduling & Quality Analyst
Evaluation Systems for Personnel
www.espshop.com
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ElizabethJR
Member

St. Louis
USA
38 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  2:14:53 PM
You know, I just want to throw my opinion into the mix:

I had a conversation with a scheduler on Tuesday and she told me that she had spent most of the day Sunday and all day Monday trying to reschedule shops that people had flaked on. It wouldn't be my favorite way to spend my time. She had other responsibilities and here she was, trying to redo work she had already done once.

You have to consider -- schedulers work on more than one job at a time. So, she may have been working with A LOT of cancellations, not just yours.

I would say that the scheduler's job is to schedule jobs. Once they are accepted, they should be able to trust that, barring a death, we will do our jobs. We are professionals after all.

It's not that I'm not sympathetic to your situation -- I get migraines too. Really bad ones where I have to go into a dark room with a cool compress, take my medicine and sleep. But, I've gone into my "real" job under these conditions and I've gone to school under these conditions because those things represent commitments I've made that I feel strongly that I need to follow through on. I feel the same way about mystery shopping. I'm a professional, and professionals follow through on their commitments.

Besides, a mystery shop typically takes around an hour or less. Couldn't you have found a way if you were truly motivated to do the shop? Only you can truly answer that question.

Finally, regarding the scheduler's professionalism: Given the lack of professionalism and lack of respect shown by the shopper, I think she showed restraint in her response and was actually doing the shopper a service by letting her know that her actions might affect her standing with the company, instead of just dropping her.

"In the long run, we hit only what we aim at."
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Shasha
Valued Contributor

MS Gulf Coast
USA
241 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  2:20:16 PM
I, too, will have to jump on the bandwagon with this one. I totally see the scheduler's point of view on this one.

If you stop and look at this situation, you may also understand the scheduler's point of view. From what you said in your post, you don't have a good rapport with the scheduler. You accepted the responsibility for this shop but you have changed your mind twice for the same shop. Many MS companies have a limit on how many times you can cancel/reschedule shops. I understand you were sick but you must also look at the "whole picture". You put the scheduler in a position where she would have to fill a job in a short period of time.

I would not have gone over the scheduler's head to the ops manager. You have assured yourself a spot of the "bad list" for this company.

Personally, I take full responsibility for shops when I accept them. I take great pride in maintaining a good rapport with all of the MS companies I work with.

mystery shopping along the mississippi gulf coast & mobile, al
mspa silver certified
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CabrusoBros
Star Contributor

NC
USA
744 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  2:21:20 PM
A couple points to follow up with from my first post...

1-The scheduler did do his/her job by sending the email. The shopper needs to know that this is an issue. Yes, cancellations are a part of the job. What a fun job. You spend enough time trying to get the shops lined up only to have to go through the process from square one again.

2-No one has yet to mention the client that contracted for the shop. Services develop poor reputations when they consistently fail to meet the obligations to their customers. Cancellations and reschedules cost services contracts. Plain and simple.

3-Rescheduling and cancelling. Things may have worked out completely different if the shopper had released the shop back to the scheduler instead of rescheduling and then having to cancel.

4-Always see the other side of the coin. We as shoppers have to accept the fact that there are times shoppers come up short for reasons that are less than what we offered. When that happens, we cannot always expect the service to go above and beyond to accomodate us. Sick or healthy, out of town, a special occasion, other job, etc. These are all valid reasons, however it causes a ripple effect.

5-I think many people forget this isn't a Mon-Fri 9-5 job where we have to report to an office everyday. We are often 1,000 miles away from a scheduler who we we will in all likelihood never meet. I feel for this reason, some shoppers may take advantage of that fact and place less importance on our responsibilities.

6-Yes, I have been a scheduler, district supervisor, and a regional manager. As several others have pointed out, it is not always companies bad/shoppers good. Be realistic enough to know that a decline affects not just the service, but a scheduler, a service, other shoppers, and a client. Should a scheduler have a back up? Certainly. But, how many of you shoppers will sit and patiently wait until someone else flakes out. After a while, you naturally get discouraged and wonder why you weren't awarded the shop in the first place.

7-I would bet that if not already, this shopper will end up on "the list" or be dropped from the database. Nature of the business. Forwarding a letter to the operations manager because of "shock." As Colleen says, a card and a bouquet ought to be sent...to the service. Call this a learning experience and move on.

8-We have no way of determining how "nasty" or "rude" or "unprofessional" the email was. We are getting the shopper's side of the story. As they say, two sides to every story and somewhere in the middle is the truth.

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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1853 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  7:53:47 PM
[throwing a wrench into the spokes of the bandwagon]

Yes, the scheduler had every right to be angry. That does NOT, however, give her justification to be nasty and unprofessional. She could simply have blacklisted the shopper, or sent a note telling her that she'd left her in a bind and would no longer be shopping for her. Rude and unprofessional emails reflect poorly upon the company, regardless of the circumstances.

Many of us have had shops canceled at the last minute by the shopping company. It makes us understandably upset, especially if we've scheduled other things around them. It does not, however, give us justification to blast off a rude and nasty email to the person cancelling the assignment.

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” Tacitus
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Barbara N.CA
Star Contributor

San Francisco, CA
USA
2397 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  9:50:25 PM
I think I'm missing something here.

What is the indication that the email the scheduler sent to the shopper is rude, unprofessional or nasty? The shopper described the email as:

"saying she would understand if it was a family emergency, etc. but seeing as I am silver certified....and telling me the dates I had selected and rescheduled this shop."

If anything, I see this response as quite mild and very professional. The scheduler pointed out that:

1. she would understand if the cancellation was for certain legitimate reasons, e.g. a family emergency;

2. she expected better of the shopper because the shopper was silver certified, thus supposedly aware of the importance of scheduling; and

3. the shopper had selected, rescheduled, then cancelled the shop, i.e. representing that she would do an assignment and then reneging on that promise.

I did not understand how the shopper could be "shocked" and concluded from this email that the scheduler was ruthless or spitting all over her. Since the shopper was so indignant about the scheduler's conduct, I would have thought that she would have described any evidence of lack of professionalism or kindness on the part of the scheduler. Since the shopper did not, I can only assume that the above quote gives a complete picture of what the scheduler wrote.

What am I missing?

Barbara
MSPA Gold Shopper since June, 2003.
MSPA 2005 "Go To" Shopper
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1853 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  10:11:55 PM
Since she didn't post the note her, I inferred that it was rude from the title of the thread, her comments, and her decision to send it up the chain. .

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” Tacitus
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Barbara N.CA
Star Contributor

San Francisco, CA
USA
2397 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  11:33:07 PM
Hey Julie.

I just want to make sure you know I wasn't targeting you with my last post. Both you and the original poster seem to think the scheduler was out of line. But, I just don't understand what was so wrong about the email. From the O.P.'s description, the email did not seem abusive, ruthless, or otherwise out of line. I really don't understand what was so offensive about the email.

Barbara
MSPA Gold Shopper since June, 2003.
MSPA 2005 "Go To" Shopper
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Aadam101
Valued Contributor

Lynn, MA
USA
168 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2003 :  12:15:44 AM
I had a car problem the other day (a real car problem) and had to cancel a shop. The scheduler was extremely nice about it but I still felt awful. I apologized and told her that if she ever needed someone last minute to call me. I owe her one. Luckily, she got it rescheduled like an hour later.

You were the one who didn't do your job. It's understandable for the scheduler to be upset. You should be apologizing not complaining.
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1853 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2003 :  12:54:34 AM
No harm, no foul. btw, in the Random Thoughts forum, there's a poster who is going to visit Concord soon. Might be nice to get some tips from a local!

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” Tacitus
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.Allison near Toronto
Inactive

Toronto, ON
Canada
157 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2003 :  07:36:44 AM
It's hard to weigh in without knowing what the e-mail actually said; however, it sure sounds VERY condescending at the very least! And I question a scheduler saying "I could understand if it was a family emergency..." Does she want to be lied to? Sheesh, at least the shopper was being honest and didn't invent the infamous "dead grandmother"!

Allison
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.ColleenNYC
Inactive

New York City, NY
USA
1700 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2003 :  09:55:38 AM
Wow.. I cant believe how thin skinned people can be, when they are the ones that created the situation in the first place. If I was a scheduler, I would voice my disapproval and try to explain to the shopper what is considered a legit reason for not fulfilling your shop, that you COMMITTED to twice, before a sinus headache made you cancel. This sort of situation may cause grief to other shoppers who choose to become certified. If certified shoppers begin to get a little flaky, how does a scheduler contine to give them first preferance, or at least assume that they will complete assignments?
Thats why I believe the only way to increase your workload is build good solid relationships, and complete ALL assignments you accept. If you do the wrong thing, expect to be corrected.
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Arlene_HI
Star Contributor

Lawai, HI
USA
676 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2003 :  11:09:14 AM
I am puzzled why the original poster even put this on a public board. Since no question was asked, it seems the shopper just wanted to rant or get sympathy.

1. You accepted an assignment, needed to reschedule, fine.
2. Then you needed to decline, wrong. You decline an "offer," what you did is "cancel."
3. Now you refer to "ruthless schedulers" and companies that spit all over us. C'mon. No one wronged you.
4. "we make their success possible by doing their shops." You didn't contribute to anyone's success by canceling, least of your own.
5. "I know we are expendable as shoppers" - shoppers who flake on assignments are expendable. Shoppers who meet deadlines, follow instructions and write clear reports are in high demand.
6. "I will be taking a break from selecting any shops from this company and take time to check other websites instead." Good plan. You need to move on with other companies or re-evaluate if this line of work is for you. It might be time for a change.
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