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 Feedback requested: Advantage Sales and Marketing
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Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2014 :  6:58:57 PM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
My Advantage DM said Project Team and Reset Team are separate and distinct teams. I was assigned to the Reset Team. He indicated if I went to the Project Team, he would have to hire a replacement for me on the Reset Team.
So far, it has been a real disappointment. Every job that I have been assigned to has be less time than scheduled. Not worth my time or gas.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
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Kelly F.
Star Contributor

WA
USA
560 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2014 :  7:26:20 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Was told the same thing, but the recruiter said they do have some resets on the project team. So was wondering if this is just a stickers (basically) and cut in products here and there type job. Got an email saying was to have a interview at a certain day and time(usually they ask when's best for you, but not this time)

Kelly,
Silver Certified.
Merchandising The Puget Sound Area and Loving it! Love what you do, do what you love!
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Kelly F.
Star Contributor

WA
USA
560 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2014 :  5:36:49 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
O.K. Jeff, So are you saying that you would prefer to be on the project team? or is the project team the one with the small jobs?
Trying to figure out if the project team is mostly a 30 minute or less pop or coupon sticker placements team. Trying to figure out if the project team is a good team or not. Would prefer to not waste my time on tiny jobs. With gas, toll bridges etc. that I would have to deal with, I would prefer to be making money instead of spending it on those items.

Kelly,
Silver Certified.
Merchandising The Puget Sound Area and Loving it! Love what you do, do what you love!
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Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2014 :  06:00:49 AM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just have not had enough jobs nor information to know. The few that I have been assigned were done upon arrival when I got there except for one. There were no instructions except report to this store.

EDIT: I forgot to add that unscheduled job postings offered (Opportunities) do not tell you what the job is. They just give the job title. ie "woopppper set" which tells me nothing. Many of them are too distant to be worth it when the job time estimate is 30 minutes to 90 minutes. To be fair, some are half a day to a full day.

Advantage does NOT pay mileage for up to 40 miles to/from a job. They use software to determine the mileage. There is no place to report your mileage. That distance estimate has been flakey at times.
The other standard is they do NOT pay drive time under 60 minutes each way.

I'm not sure how to define each team. I do not perceive that I have been given good definitions of each one.
=====
The only valid jobs that I have had which were true Advantage jobs came from third party companies that paid better and guaranteed at least an hour or more for the effort.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
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Robert A. Miller
Star Contributor

PA
USA
387 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2014 :  07:20:09 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Kind of tells me that if these companies are relying on third party groups to get the job done, that they are understaffed or can't get qualified help. Makes me wonder if the pay/reimbursement structure is to blame. Merchandising companies, like most companies are now treating the employee as a commodity, to be used and discarded, not as an asset to their business.
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DChristine
Valued Contributor

USA
220 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2014 :  11:21:30 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert A. Miller

Kind of tells me that if these companies are relying on third party groups to get the job done, that they are understaffed or can't get qualified help. Makes me wonder if the pay/reimbursement structure is to blame. Merchandising companies, like most companies are now treating the employee as a commodity, to be used and discarded, not as an asset to their business.



I don't believe it has to do with understaffed or qualified help. It's knowing the assignment and pay. The third party may get a little more in pay but they don't get the DT and mileage.
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RobertH
Valued Contributor

Pinson, AL
USA
178 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2014 :  6:48:27 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DChristine
I don't believe it has to do with understaffed or qualified help. It's knowing the assignment and pay. The third party may get a little more in pay but they don't get the DT and mileage.



Fair point.

But then primary merchandising companies themselves are trying their best to get out of paying DT and mileage too, so it's not a problem limited to third-party companies.

Robert
Over 30 years in the Field
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Big Sue
Star Contributor

USA
781 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2014 :  7:28:33 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thankfully in many states, not paying compensation for mileage is illegal. That is one of the reasons we are seeing so many individual law suits and class action suits against merch firms and so many policies suddenly changing at these companies and payouts for past neglects by these companies. People need to start checking out the labor laws in their state and start filing complaints which can be done anonymously. It's not the responsibility of employees to keep bearing the expenses/costs of these companies doing business and this nonsense needs to stop.
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MindyZ
Star Contributor

Hesperia, CA
USA
512 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2014 :  07:30:25 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Very true Big Sue, I take it you read the link I sent you.

In CA, if you carry anything work related be it supplies, POP or specialized equipment to carry out your assignments the company must pay either drive time or mileage.

On the subject of work equipment.. in CA it is illegal for a company to hold you persanally liable for any specialized work related equipment they supply you, if this equipment is lost, stolen or damaged (1 of the reasons they want you to use your own smart phone, tablet or laptop, I now negotiate the cost of this into our project pay, we have a combined $4K in tech equipment, it does make our jobs easier and reporting faster, and I don't mind using it) according to CA law it is on the company to prove you willfully lost or damaged their equipment. If anything happens to their equipment and they deduct any money from your pay... that is illegal, you can sue for reimbursement.

On the subject of work attire, in CA if you are required to wear a certain color shirt or slacks which you have to purchase such as black/kaki pants, a certain color shirt and they do not provide them but require you wear them they have to reimburse the cost and maintenance of these items.

When we accept any assignmentthat requires special clothing I let them know we don't in the normal course of our business day wear these special colors or styles, we can dress decent, if they want to press on the fact they can either reimburse or find someone else to work the project, we specialize in resets...not data collecting.

PS-our tech equipment cost HTC-M8 phone for wife-$800.00 used for mapping/driving directions, searching for any needed information we may need, both our phones are wifi hotspot enabled and bluetooth, all our gear is paired, so we move files and information easily.
2 Nexus tablets-to keep any needed information such as POGs, SOWs and as back up for my Nexus.
HP 17' touch screen laptop with windows 8.1 with office and other programs-over $1,00.00

CRAZY? no, we write this off as every bit of these items are used for work, we charge a bit more for this convenience and we do have some companies that willingly help and pay extra for data and printing, these are the companies we stay with.
HubbyZ

Mindy
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Robert A. Miller
Star Contributor

PA
USA
387 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2014 :  10:12:18 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
HubbyZ, I used to get offers from companies for projecs that required specialized equipment, and they would want me to bear the full cost. I would offer to negotiate to no avail. I would just say bye. In PA, one can write off these expenses, but only a small percentage, OR , your wages would have to be in a certain range. I got to the point of working 1099 only. If a company wanted me to do projects for them, it had to be 1099. Then I did not mind purchasing certain equipment. If they required a smartphone, they paid for it, and I returned it when project was completed. Where I live, we did not have 3 and 4g service until just the last year or two, so I would not bear the cost of one. Could not use it most of the time.
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EdMikes
Valued Contributor

Salt Lake City, Utah
USA
172 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2014 :  09:09:34 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
ASM is turning into a time waster company.

I don't want to say they are better then any of the other big "3" companies but calling me for a DM interview then saying the RM would call me and when he finally does he is more concerned that I will have more then "20" miles of driving a day etc is a waste of my time. He said he would be "disqualifying" e from the position based on the mileage requirements. I asked him how he was going to hire a DM that would not be able to drive more then 20 miles. He said he probably was not going to.

Wasted my time. I really would like to know where they are hiring these RM's from these days.

Ed Mikes
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Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2014 :  09:46:43 AM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I can understand that perception. How they get merchandisers to go thru their hiring process is a head scratcher, but I did it. My recruiter was based in California. The application paperwork is excessive to apply. I was already registered with them and had completed jobs for their various other companies in the past. I still was told that I needed to reprocess as a new recruit using a different email addy.
I kind of wonder if the recruiter was more concerned about her recruiting credit.
I don't recall the telephone interviews. At least one did not happen. That manager went off my paperwork IMO.
When I was notified that I was hired, I was not assigned to the team that I was recruited for. More paperwork.
=========
About three months after I was hired, I received another telephone call attempting to recruit for Advantage for my area. This recruiter was calling from the Denver, Colorado area. She had no clue that I already worked for Advantage.
Both recruiters claimed to be working off NARMS lists. They did not refer to NARMS under the newer name.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
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EdMikes
Valued Contributor

Salt Lake City, Utah
USA
172 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2014 :  12:50:32 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jeff,

I have gotten the same response you have had as well from several companies. Some of them got rude when I told them I was not interested in a job that is only 3 hours and 50 miles from my home.

However ASM seems to be very confused with the hiring process. I have seen less and less ASM reps in-store and the ones I was used to seeing have moved on.

Ed Mikes
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Robert A. Miller
Star Contributor

PA
USA
387 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2014 :  12:54:25 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
All these companies are getting arrogant about getting reps do drive many miles for an hour's job. Just shows how hard up they are. One would think that they could realize the reason they are not getting even poor reps, let alone any reps.
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EdMikes
Valued Contributor

Salt Lake City, Utah
USA
172 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2014 :  2:14:00 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Robert,

Very true statement.

Honestly I really think in the future you will probably see one of the big "3" go under or one will just buy out the other. Acosta seems to be buying everyone so the only ones that are left are ASM and Crossmark.

The ugly truth is that so many people DO NOT have jobs they will snatch up anything they can. And then they find out it's a dead end and wind up working for Wal-Mart etc....

It's getting to be a sad business.

Ed Mikes
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ActorMichael
Valued Contributor

USA
145 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2014 :  10:55:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Now they started put so called locks on jobs so one cannot move around the calendar even though they might be a one or two week window. This is a part time job but they treat you like you are theirs for full time without the pay or work.

Michael
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EdMikes
Valued Contributor

Salt Lake City, Utah
USA
172 Posts

Posted - 10/01/2014 :  3:22:08 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Ya,

They seem to think they can keep more people if they do that lol! It's dumb and really I think they are trying to show that someone is committed to the project to the client.

My personal favorite was when one company sent out a mass email saying you could not work for anyone else but them when you were you were off their clock! Yes even if it was a non-competing company.

These companies don't want to give out anything but think that everyone will do anything they ask for the PT hours they are giving out.

Funny!


Ed Mikes
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Robert A. Miller
Star Contributor

PA
USA
387 Posts

Posted - 10/01/2014 :  9:05:04 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Crossmark tried that stunt with me. I asked that I be removed from their recruiting system, permanently. Every couple of months I get a call from a Crossmark recruiter. The last one became abusive with me when I notified said person that I was to not be in the system. I had to up the ante and stated that if it did not stop, I would refer it to my attorney, and have him file a complaint with harassment charges, and explore employee abuse across the country. I wonder if it will cease. Probably not. I rarely ever respond in this fashion, but a line had been crossed a long time ago.
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Maralyn
Star Contributor

USA
626 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2014 :  7:48:38 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
[quote]Originally posted by EdMikes

Ya,

They seem to think they can keep more people if they do that lol! It's dumb and really I think they are trying to show that someone is committed to the project to the client.

My personal favorite was when one company sent out a mass email saying you could not work for anyone else but them when you were you were off their clock! Yes even if it was a non-competing company.

These companies don't want to give out anything but think that everyone will do anything they ask for the PT hours they are giving out.

Funny!


[/quote
Ed, I work for Advantage, I have never been told I could not work for anyone else.
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Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2014 :  08:00:47 AM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just discussed the locked jobs with my DM. I had five jobs for Monday the 13th of October. They pulled four of them to reschedule a future date. The remaining job is at the far end of the planned route. When I tried to reschedule the remaining job to merge it into a different set of jobs on a different day within the job's two week window, I got a popup saying the job was locked.
My DM assured me that the week the remaining Oct 13th job is scheduled that I may reschedule it myself. It will not be unlocked until the start of that week.
I understand that when the POP is mailed, they expect me to do the job, but this inflexibility needs to be rethought by upper management.
============
On the issue of how far they may auto-assign jobs, They just sent out a memo instructing how each rep may limit that distance they will go. I set mine at 30 miles which was my original agreement with ASM. I am hearing some reps set it so tight, there are no jobs within the distance range they set.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
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