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 Shopping in Winter Weather: How do schedulers react to snow storms and snow days?
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Joyce A H1
Valued Contributor

USA
150 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2008 :  11:23:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yea, been fighting it all week down in Oregon, freezing rain, ice, snow. I found several very nice companies that worked with you, and we got most of the shops done between breaks. Others would not work with you and they got canceled. I even had one that I emailed, said I was heading out during a break in weather in their shops direction. I was even stopping at that store for supplies, my supply getting was their shop. I asked for no extra pay, just wanted to help them out. They choose to not respond, and now have that shop posted with a bonus and for when the real bad storm will be hitting.

$500 deductable + No health insurance = loosing my house and car for $10, no way.
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LisaOV
Star Contributor

MN
USA
2657 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2008 :  12:01:00 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well I had to contact three companies today - we are in the mist of what they are calling a blizzard. I haven't heard back from anyone, but these were merchandising jobs and all of them should be able to wait until next week.

It is winter and this is MN, so nothing I can do about it.

(but for some reason I still feel guilty).
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Cilla
Star Contributor

MD
USA
1424 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2010 :  06:20:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
In November I was 200 miles from home, on a shopping road trip, when heavy flooding began in the local area and all along my route home. I called in to the MSC and told them that local news was urging people to go to high ground and warning about major bridges being flooded within 2 hours. I headed for home.

It took me 7 hours in heavy rain and, often, fog, to go 200 miles. Yesterday I got the check for that trip. I was shorted over $100 on my documented travel expenses with no explanation. When I asked about that I got an email stating that I had "left us in the lurch" on that trip, so they were disallowing a potion of the trip expenses for which I had provided receipts. I will not be accepting any more jobs from that outfit!

Cilla
MSPA Gold Certified 2005
IMSC Certified 2009
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Bob Engleman
Valued Contributor

Dayton, OH
USA
212 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2010 :  09:39:51 AM  Visit Bob Engleman's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just returned home after only completing 3 of a 6 shop mini-route due to snow; I wrote the scheduler and she extended the work until tomorrow. In my favor is that I've completed 103 jobs over a 4+ yr. period of this MSC, with nary a previous request for an extension.

Bob
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Servanne
Star Contributor

Silver Lake, MN
USA
2430 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2010 :  09:45:46 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Cilla, that is outrageous! We need to know who is shorting shoppers on promised fees! It's equivalent to saying "OK, so you won't do the shop for $20? Sure, we'll give you $40!" and then when you get the check it is $20 regardless! Unethical!

Servanne
Merrily shopping my way through the Twin Cities, Western Minnesota and beyond...
MSPA Gold Certified since April 2007!
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LisaSTL
Star Contributor

St. Louis, MO
USA
733 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2010 :  8:43:29 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Servanne what that company did to Cilla is even worse than what you're saying. To be in a situation that is so dangerous and having authorities tell people to get the heck out of there and then the company accuses her of leaving them in the lurch. Who did they think they were going to get to take care of those jobs in that circumstance? Are they blaming the weather on Cilla and making her pay?

Lisa
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CherryT
Member

Myrtle Beach, SC
USA
43 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2010 :  08:37:32 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Wow - nothing like some of you have had to face.

Recently I was scheduled for a car dealership shop and the weather on my scheduled day turned horrid. Cold (for us) wet and miserable. Not the kind of weather to walk around a car lot. My scheduler was very understanding and allowed me the next day to complete it.

Cherry
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Cilla
Star Contributor

MD
USA
1424 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2010 :  08:16:39 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
We are under a severe winter storm watch from 10 AM today through 10 PM tomorrow. We expect 20-24+ inches of snow, with ice underneath. Low and behold, I saw the very first tiny, tiny, flakes falling exactly as my radio announced 10 AM. I emailed all of my schedulers yesterday and was told to stay off the roads all weekend and we will reschedule as needed next week. Even the federal government is sending all but emergency workers home at noon.

Special kudos to Summit Scheduling for actively monitoring the developing storm and being proactive in notifying shoppers that shops were being canceled in affected areas!

What a lovely change from the folks who felt let down when I headed for higher ground during the autumn floods!

Stay safe and warm, my friends.

Cilla
MSPA Gold Certified 2005
IMSC Certified 2009
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Julie H.
Valued Contributor

MN
USA
146 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2010 :  1:18:35 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My problem today was not that I couldn't get out, but that the location closed due to the weather. So I contacted the scheduler when I got home. The shop is rescheduled, and they're giving me an increased fee for the inconvenience to me!

Julie H.
MSPA Silver certified
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SueNVa
Contributor

Chantilly, VA
USA
68 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2010 :  3:14:34 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My experience so far has been lukewarm. Last weekend when we had a slippery Saturday snow I spent three hours on the road driving to and from a shop that should have only taken me 30 mins one way to get to. At one point I saw cars in front of me sliding off a curve in the road. When I finally reached the approximate location I was unable to even locate the shop as I couldn't find the street that was referenced on my driving directions. I had another appointment "30 minutes" away, which actually took 50 so I couldn't spend time trying to locate it. When I got home, I mailed the scheduler and the company rep letting them know what happened and that I couldn't complete the shop. I heard from neither until I got a computer generated "your shop is past due" email on Monday. I again emailed the company rep, pointing out I had mailed both he and the scheduler on Saturday and what the conditions were. I said I would complete the shop the following Saturday, or if they had to give it to another shopper prior to that, I would understand. The only response I got was from the company rep with a one line email "you can't do it any sooner?" When I wrote back and said no, because I work fulltime during the week, I got no response back whatsover. No, "well ok, thanks for spending three futile hours in your car wasting time and gas, in hazardous conditions for nothing"...(I know, I dream)...

With forecasts and warnings of this weekend's one to two feet of snow having been broadcast since Tuesday, I mailed one scheduler asking how she wanted to handle it. She responded that the shops would not be rescheduled at this time, but that if the weather was as bad as they said, I could reschedule them for next week at a time that was convenient for me. .. The other scheduler cheerfully rescheduled the shop for me for next weekend.....

I actually have a shop scheduled for tomorrow with the same company that I never heard from last weekend, different location, and am hesitant to contact them at all since I got no response when I needed one and a curt one when I finally did. I don't take it personally, it just tells me they are only about the biz, however, sometimes a little communication and understanding might increase their bottom line.

Sue
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Larry S
Valued Contributor

Simi Valley, CA
USA
219 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2010 :  11:36:03 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
First I need to start off with a word from the local Chamber of Commerce: What is snow? With that said I really feel for you guys and take back all the nasty words I was saying yesterday as I returned home in heavy rain and 50' visibility. Most important is to be safe. No shop is worth injury. If you cannot do the shop, no one can and it will just have to be rescheduled when weather permits. I applaud MSC's like Market Force for posting the following on their web site:
For all our Shoppers who reside in the mid-Atlantic states where blizzard conditions are expected, please stay safe.

As another reminder, do not ever put yourself in harm's way by trying to do a shop during inclement weather. Your safety is of upmost concern to us!

Larry
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MsJudi
Star Contributor

New Jersey
USA
582 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2010 :  3:44:34 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
So, with the impending snowstorm scheduled to arrive last night and today, I broke my butt to complete the three shops I planned to do on
Saturday (today) plus the 4 I had for yesterday (Friday), all yesterday. Two had flex dates that were fine. I emailed the scheduler about the other and she promptly rescheduled. I felt relieved and tired, but got them all done. Figured I'd snuggle in and cook real food today.

Well, lo and behold, not a flake has fallen, of course. But, just 30 miles away, they had a near blizzard. LOL.

It is always best to play it safe. If the shops can be done ahead or rescheduled easily, do it. If not, skip them and worry about rescheduling later. Never take the chance of shopping in a storm..it is so not worth it. Most schedulers and all companies I've dealt with have been wonderful about rescheduling in poor weather conditions.

Judi
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Harvey S.
Star Contributor

Glen Mills, PA
USA
423 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2010 :  3:37:17 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I was visiting friends in the part of coastal NJ which did have near-blizzard conditions on Saturday. I rushed to complete some on Friday when they had a time window which permitted me to do so. I just had to report some others as "I did not go and when I called they were closed due to blizzard." In reality, in a few the phone never rang. I presume they were closed. Even if they had been open, I could never have gotten there since they were 3 miles (!) away and the local roads had not been cleared.

If any of you have ever experienced thundersnow, you will know both the amazement of hearing thunder during a snow storm and the intensity of the storm. I drove through it on December 19th (not fun) and heard it again yesterday. Thundersnow can occur only if the snow is falling at a rate of 2.5" (some say 3") an hour or greater. Even then, it is rare.

Harvey
Southeastern Pennsylvania Northern Delaware,"South" Jersey
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Dar-L
Star Contributor

USA
1019 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2010 :  5:29:34 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Had some last week when we got 10". I never heard it, but the weathermen were raving about it.
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AmyRM
Member

Cary, North Carolina
USA
37 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2010 :  12:41:57 PM  Visit AmyRM's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I always believe in safety first! I try to keep up on current weather conditions and my shoppers let me know if the weather has become hazardous in their area.

We had shops scheduled in the DC area for last weekend and early this week. I certainly don't expect anyone to go out and I'm sure most of the stores aren't open 8)

Of course, it's hard for a scheduler to be sympathetic when you get a cancellation for an average rainy day!




Amy
Confero™ Project Coordinator
Customer Experience Research, Rewards, Results
www.ConferoInc.com
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MattMS
Star Contributor

Genoa, Illinois
USA
360 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2010 :  1:27:23 PM  Send MattMS an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I understand both the schedulers frustration and our issues as a shopper. I can say weather rarely makes me cancel, except for shops that require outside photos. I get frustrated sometimes, since my camera will take decent to great photos, even with rain or snow. However, the shop instructions clearly state, "Do NOT shop if it is raining or snowing at all outside." Well, my whole day gets shot if I have to cancel these. Oh well, I'll do what I'm told still!

Matthew - shopping North Central & North West Illinois
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