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 Shops you wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole?
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ScottB
Contributor

McKinleyville, CA
USA
73 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2004 :  06:04:46 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I did a hot dog franchise for a West Coast company the other day, and was required to take digital photos of the operation. The pay was way too low for a photo shop, but I was bored and had nothing else scheduled that day. I had to make up a story to tell the counter person to convince her to let me take some shots. I pulled it off okay, but I doubt I'd do this one in the future.

MSPA Gold Certified Shopping Humboldt County, CA
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Kanga
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
250 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2004 :  07:57:46 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
It just surprises me to see Exit Interviews on quite a few lists of dreaded shops. I just love them and I have had some great experiences on every assignment. The managers have been very pleased to see me there. They are quite anxious to get good marks. The customers have been mostly very willing to fill out the short form and I enjoyed visiting with a lot of them. There were, of course, some customers that were in a rush to leave and couldn't take the time and almost all of those were very apologetic for not having the time to fill one out.

I just had entirely different experiences with Exit Interviews and I find them to be easy and lots of fun.


MSPA Gold Certified #xixazy
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SharonInCO
Valued Contributor

Conifer, CO
USA
218 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2004 :  6:49:15 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
ScottB - if this is the same hot dog shop as I did, they were in a mall... I just handed my digital camera to my son and told him what shots I wanted - took some from across the mall, others real close up but they just ignored him... at one point I even made a comment to him about being "annoying with that thing" ... it's a good cover if you have a "kid" you can bring along. He's 14 by the way, so old enough to be trusted :)

Sharon
MSPA GOLD Certified Shopper
Shopping the South and West suburbs of Denver
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Peg
Member

FL
USA
13 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2004 :  1:34:45 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The shop I did that had a 72 page report (I kid you not).
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ScottB
Contributor

McKinleyville, CA
USA
73 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2004 :  3:13:37 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I remember when you posted that trick a week or so ago in another thread, but I didn't have a kid with me :) Oh well, I lived thru it and my story to the clerk got bought!

MSPA Gold Certified Shopping Humboldt County, CA
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KellyNY
Star Contributor

Long Island, New York
USA
630 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2004 :  5:03:35 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
It's so funny what some consider bad and others enjoyable...UpstateNYKat mentioned not liking the entertainment complex shop whereas I loved doing this one! My husband and I had such a fun night out! We did it on a Saturday night, not Friday, so we were well rested for it. I agree that the report was quite lengthy, it took me just about 2 hours to finish, but I still think it was well worth it & would do this one again in a heartbeat.

Now as for the retail shop where you have to visit 10 different associates for less than $2 per person, that's another story...I signed up for that one without realizing just how long it would take & don't think I'll make that mistake again!

Long Island, NY
MSPA Silver Certified
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OntarioGinaG
Contributor

St. Catharines, Ontario
Canada
91 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2004 :  09:52:09 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jen-in-Colorado mentioned the grocery shop. Around here we have one with a $7 fee and $7 in groceries. And you have to visit 6 or 7 departments, ask very specific questions and check the shelves for very specific items. Needless to say I end up spending way over $7 on stuff I don't need, plus you have to buy certain items as well.
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RHeinrich
Apprentice

Bullhead City, AZ
USA
4 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2004 :  12:10:55 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I agree with most of you about the FF shops. Specifically, the one that pays $7, wants both drive through and dine-in. Then their form is redundant, you check an answer, like "yes," then have to check on "yes" in the comments box. If you perform a shop that doesn't have drive-thru, you still have to go through all the questions and clear them with both an "N/A" as a check and in the comments box.

In addition, they have different food items for restaurants which do not have drive thru, so you can't even order something you like. If I have to taste it, I want to like it.

To ad insult to injury, they question everything...look for ways not to pay you.

By the time you are finished, you have 3 hours invested in the shop, the survey and answering their questions for a $7 fee.

I complained about this and tried to show them why these shops go undone or they have to pay a high bonus each month to get them done. Result? I was kicked of that specific program.

This company also pays their Canadian shoppers $3 more per shop than their American shoppers. I say, "Send the Canuks down to do the shops for $7."

Richard
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KellyIL
Valued Contributor

Joliet, IL
USA
112 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2004 :  1:53:21 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
As an aside, I have often wondered WHY this particular FF shop pays Canadian shoppers more. I initially chalked it up to a difference in the cost of living, but I do not know whether that is correct. Does anyone have any insight?

Happily shopping Joliet, Naperville, and Orland Park, Illinois and surrounding areas.
MSPA Gold Certified: 7jjf7w
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KathyCA
Contributor

CA
USA
56 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2004 :  2:03:23 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I guess I'm the oddball here because I actually like the FF shops referred to in this thread.

I enjoy the food, the full reimbursement, and the uncomplicated report. I sign up for as many as I can within a reasonable distance from my job. It works out great.

I have had only positive experiences with this company. They pay on time, schedulers are prompt in responding to any questions, and the self assign portion makes it convenient to pick up assignments anytime.

Kathy
MSPA Gold Certified
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.Cynthia Hupp
Inactive

Everett, Washington
USA
36 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2004 :  2:46:13 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Oooh whoooooooooo! I haven't seen eveything on this thread, but somoe of you may remember this one......you shop a specialty "linen-tye" store. I did it once, and ONCE only. You sign up for the shop, and it is a two-parter, with return shop in two months. Now, I read the VERY simplified directions, and it looks pretty good, since I like that store and will be buying something to put away for Christmas. Well, yikes!I take the assignment, download the directions, and realize that will be tracking the movement of every employee in the entire store while I am there. I must also lug a heavy home item around until one of the clerks has the good sense to ask me "would you like a cart"? And you must also track the behavior(s) of the employees, along with where it happened. Lastly, when you fill out this ghastly report, if you don't use the "pi squared" formula correctly, the system just keeps telling you that you are not making any sense! Love it, love it, love it! Knowing I had committed to the shop, the return trip was easier, but still not worth then piddly shop fee and small reimbursement (what can you buy in a store like that for under $6.00)? To cap the "shop" off, I turned in the report on time, and with more detail than the company usually sees. Want to know how I know that? Because I got an email from the audit deparment saying I had shopped the wrong date, and was not going to be paid for the shop!Well, seems my shop date was correct, and I had that infamous "___" form (three letter abbreviation they like to use), and it showed I shopped the correct date.........the computer system was just not updated. When I called the company and told him I had better get paid, he advised me I would, and I did. I also shared with him that this was the last one of these shops I would ever do for ___n___; he said "You know, we have alot of trouble getting these shops completed!" Gee, I wonder why?
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Anni
Star Contributor

PA
USA
726 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2004 :  5:09:48 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have to agree with Huppster. Not only do you have to describe all of the employees, but you must remember EXACTLY where you saw them. You may have seen them in the bedding department, but was it by the comforters or the sheets? Was it the plaid or solid sheets? The twin or queen size? The flat or fitted sheets? Geez, I'm lucky I know which sheets I have on my own bed tonight. The instructions for that shop are getting out of control!
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ElizabethG
Valued Contributor

Chicago, IL
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2004 :  5:51:00 PM  Send ElizabethG an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KellyIL

As an aside, I have often wondered WHY this particular FF shop pays Canadian shoppers more. I initially chalked it up to a difference in the cost of living, but I do not know whether that is correct. Does anyone have any insight?
It's the exchange rate. The Canadian dollar isn't the same as the U.S. dollar.

Gold Certified yysqi1
Shopping Chicago and surrounding areas
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AdAora
Star Contributor

Deep in the heart of, TX
USA
3770 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2004 :  5:53:01 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I know what you mean, Huppster & Anni. I signed up for two, not realizing the true extent of what was involved. Though it was easy for me to write down names, since I pretended I was writing down the prices of stuff I saw, submitting the report was a pain.
On the return trip they were having New Year clearance sales on bedsheets though, so I was happy.

Gold certified in TX
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KellyIL
Valued Contributor

Joliet, IL
USA
112 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2004 :  6:30:55 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the information, Elizabeth!

The shop I would never complete again was a shop where two businesses were competing against each other. Seven employee names and descriptions, greetings, and asking several questions, for a low fee. My head was spinning when I left that location.

Happily shopping Joliet, Naperville, and Orland Park, Illinois and surrounding areas.
MSPA Gold Certified: 7jjf7w
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Donna in Santa Rosa
Member

Santa Rosa, CA
USA
20 Posts

Posted - 05/10/2004 :  1:21:45 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hands down the fitness center is the one I will never shop again. They called me for 18 months after the shop. It was high pressure in your face sales.

At the time of the shop I really looking for a health club to join and took the 1 week trial membership.

The instructors and personal trainers that I encountered had no college background or for that matter had never even taken an anatomy or physiology class.

The facility was dirty and the locker room was absolutely gross.
The gym is located in a high crime neighborhood.
The local paper had 2 articles about cars being broken into at night. I brought this to the counselers attention and he denied it.

The same male fitness counselor who denied this had a very bad attitude problem and the high pressure sales phone calls turned into abuse and harrassment. He even accussed me of going around to gyms and using the free trial memberships so I could get out of buying a membership.

The 2nd to last call I told him I was thinking of joining a much nicer health club in my area. He screamed at me that that place was a playground for rich people and hung up.

There was a message on my machine to call him the very next day. I called the club and told them I had called the police department and they told me to file an harrassment and stalking complaint and to petition the county for a restraining order. I also told them that the employee was starting to scare me and sounded like he needed an anger management class.

The counselor was very apologetic and told me that my name would be erased from the database and I would not be called again.

Needless to say I have not been called again.

I still get emails for these shops and they have dropped in pay. I would not go there again even for $100.00.
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MarcyJ
Contributor

USA
65 Posts

Posted - 05/10/2004 :  2:24:32 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I will no longer shop for companies that do not pay me for my work in a timely manner! I completed a fast food shop and had to wait 90 days for the payment. I did a fine dining shop that required $200 out of pocket and I was very discourgaged when I had to hunt down the reimbursement. It is very unsatisfying to put effort into an assignment and not get paid! I cannot afford to continually be out money either.
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AndieN
Member

Hudson, NH
USA
19 Posts

Posted - 05/10/2004 :  6:38:18 PM  Visit AndieN's Homepage  Send AndieN an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I guess I have a lot to learn about MS'ing. I basically will do anything, provided it fits in my schedule and it's "on the way".

That being said, I don't mind those FF shops, provided I don't have to get the poultry. That stuff can be nasty. Since I "LO-CARB" it, after I verify the temperature and "look" of the meal, I peel the bread off and eat-that-so-called-meat. Yum. I wonder - do I base the "GREASE" test on the packaging on the inside or the outside? Either way, it's swimmin' in lard. I then force a fry down to test salt, temperature, and cohesive crunchiness. I wash that down with a taste of diet-something-or-other.

What do I do with the rest of my meal? Glad you asked. That's when I verify the status of the outdoor waste recepticles.

Off to do another McShopAKing. I hope I don't get pegged as a regular.

Andie N., Hudson, NH
Shopping the NH/MA Border
MSPA *Gold* Certified
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SandieHB
Valued Contributor

Huntington Beach, CA
USA
219 Posts

Posted - 05/10/2004 :  6:59:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Timeshare! I did one ONCE and I'll never do one again. I had to talk to five different people before they finally let me out the door at 11:30 at night!

Sandie
MSPA Gold Certified

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LindaCulp
Star Contributor

Portland, Oregon
USA
2339 Posts

Posted - 05/10/2004 :  9:05:17 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Donna in Santa Rosa,
quote:
There was a message on my machine to call him the very next day. I called the club and told them I had called the police department and they told me to file an harrassment and stalking complaint and to petition the county for a restraining order. I also told them that the employee was starting to scare me and sounded like he needed an anger management class.

This is hysterical! Good for you for telling them all of this! I'm glad it worked for you, too.

I have to agree with the timeshares and that linen store, too. Luckily I learned about the linen store from Volition without ever doing the shop. I know better than to even think about taking it now. I've never shopped a timeshare, and I never will, either. They're not worth it, no matter what. The high-pressure sales tactics those people use are downright despicable, and that's being nice. I refuse to subject myself to being treated that way for the cost of a shop.


Happily shopping the Portland, Oregon metro area!
~MSPA *Gold* Certified, 2003~
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