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LindaMarie
Trainee

Harrisburg, PA
USA
6 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2004 :  2:32:27 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Over the past 3 years, I almost always have very successful shops which I take pride in, and like to do my best quality work.

I have done many long involved shops for Bestmark, on short notice or for low pay. Recently I was not paid because out of a very long report, with over 20 associates names, ONE associate did not have a name tag on, so I was not paid for the whole shop, though I gave a thorough descpription. Now, I did a lengthy shop and a very detailed write up. Now they don't want to pay because the item I asked to be escorted to was 4 aisles away, instead of 3. I think they could be a little flexible on that, as I spent an hour and wrote a wonderful detailed report, which I am sure they will use.

My time is too precious to waste one more hour on these low-paying shops. Some other shoppers have said the same....has anyone else had similar experiences with Bestmark? I never used to have any problems with them until recently, which makes me wonder...


Linda in PA

Heather86
Star Contributor

Bourbonnais (S. of Chicago), IL
USA
2015 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2004 :  4:21:56 PM  Visit Heather86's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Bestmark is the greatest. I too had a shop where I was not able to get the name of an associate. Bestmark did not pay me for that 1 interaction, but paid for the rest of them. As they should have since it was a very expensive hsop with lots to cover. I know the shop you are refering to and I have quit taking those for the reason that they are not worth the pay. I personally would talk (phone) to your scheduler and see if they are able to work something out for you.
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NatalieH
Contributor

USA
8291 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2004 :  4:45:56 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have done numerous of these jobs, but I agree that they are definitely more trouble than they are worth. I told Bestmark as much, and I rarely do these jobs anymore. However, Bestmark is one of the more professional companies out there, and I have always enjoyed working with them.

This particular shop is a frustrating one because the client's specifications are so strict. If Bestmark said that they could not pay you for your shop, I am pretty sure it's because the client refused to pay. There can be no deviation from the directions. The shop instructions are specific and clear.
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LynnieB
Valued Contributor

Seneca, SC
USA
151 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2004 :  6:14:33 PM  Send LynnieB an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
These shops are difficult to do and there are not always the required number of associates on duty. I still do the shops but try and time them during the busiest hours and I am usually successful without spending over an hour. I recently did one where an employee was not supposed to be used because of what he was doing. He initiated the interaction, so Bestmark allowed it, but I was reminded not to use this type of interaction in the future.

I really like this company and the scheduler's are great!
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TerriKay
Valued Contributor

WI
USA
171 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2004 :  9:15:23 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm not sure which shop you are referring to...perhaps I haven't done one yet...but I really enjoy working with Bestmark. I have found they are particular about having instructions followed exactly, but I think that's a reasonable requirement. I've been satisfied with the pay, as well. They have great people working there, too. I'd recommend Bestmark as a great company to work for.

Shopping Central WI
MSPA Silver Certified
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MrsKenna
Star Contributor

Oxnard, CA
USA
1641 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2004 :  11:38:12 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Umm, this must be a different shop. I've only done a couple of shops with them with no problem. I can't complain. I've never had a problem being paid and my scheduler is very nice.

CALIFORNIA- Oxnard, Camarillo, Ventura, Port Hueneme and neighboring cities
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LindaMarie
Trainee

Harrisburg, PA
USA
6 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2004 :  4:38:31 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have to agree, the schedulers are really nice. The only client of theirs (though I love the store!) that seems to not pay sometimes is that particular one, so I just won't do that one anymore.

Linda in PA
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JudithSGill
Valued Contributor

Henderson, KY
USA
110 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2004 :  7:45:15 PM  Visit JudithSGill's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have been doing this shop for them for over a year. The shop instructions that you have to digitally "sign off" on specifically say that you have to have a name for each person and that the item can not be more than three aisles away. I can see where you might be frustrated because you aren't getting paid, but it is spelled out clearly in the directions.

Judith S Gill
Owner, Summit Scheduling and Editing
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VickiA
Star Contributor

Rapid City, SD
USA
845 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2004 :  7:48:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I love Bestmark. I love how quickly they pay. I have been doing the shop in question for about a year, it seems, and have never had a problem. I haven't taken them as often because of the time it takes to get all the required information. I usually only go if I know I need something from the store. I wish it had a purchase reimbursement...

Silver Shopper ID# 3akxzg Shopping Rapid City South Dakota and surrounding areas!
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Susan_CA
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, CA
USA
134 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2004 :  7:54:52 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I enjoy Bestmark. I don't do these shops much but I try to go when they are more busy in order to have more people to interact with.

Shopping Los Angeles and Orange Counties
MSPA Gold Certified 8/2003
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1773 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2004 :  8:52:54 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I really like Kyle, the scheduler (sorry to hear that he left). Unfortunately, some of their shops are real stinkers. The one you're referring to definitely isn't worth it for a lot of reasons; the main one is the paltry pay for the extent of the shop. The same client's exit interviews are even more horrific. That said, Bestmark has some plum shops that offer some of the best rates per hour in the industry. I'd suck this one up, vow not to do that client again, and keep checking for better ones. Bestmark does exactly what they say they will -- both ways. And Andrew is very professional and easy to work with.

btw, because of this awful shop, I no longer shop that client on my personal time. Even though the main competitor is 15 miles further, I make it a point to go there.

Julie
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.AwMacV
Inactive

Burnsville, MN
USA
24 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2004 :  08:01:06 AM  Visit .AwMacV's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Linda,

While we never like to deny payment to any shopper who spends his/her valuable time completing an assignment, we also cannot pay for assignments that are not done according to our specifications. Quite often this is because the client will not pay us if we don't meet our obligations and we need to send another shopper out to re-do an assignment.

Also, please note that although the shop in question is a little longer than most, it is also NOT required that the shopper obtain information on and evaluate 20 people as stated in your post, but rather 11 people. And in fact, for 6 of the 11 (more than half of the shop) the only requirement is to provide a name and description of the employee and simply report whether the employee initiated a greet as you passed. There is no additional interaction required. I also took note that this was not the first time, we have had to cancel a shop that you have done for these reasons. In fact, you have been removed from our database for that very reason and are no longer eligible for BestMark shops.

While we certainly appreciate all shoppers's help with this and other shops on our behalf and welcome comments from everyone, both positive and negative, we do hope that those comments will be based on the facts. We do not appreciate comments that are meant to inflame other shoppers against our company based on (at best) exaggerations or partial truths.

Thanks to everyone who replied in our defense and realizes that BestMark has worked hard over the years to maintain a stellar reputation in our industry.

Andrew MacVicar
BestMark

Andrew W MacVicar
Project Manager
BestMark, Inc
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JeanR
Member

Huntington Beach, CA
USA
42 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2004 :  08:43:32 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I would like to add to the praise of BestMark. I have performed a variety of assignments for them for almost two years. However, I have experienced a few odd technical issues with them lately and would appreciate a sanity check from the community out there.

An editor called me recently and said that I did not complete the descriptions for several of the employees. I remember explicitly doing it as there were distinct drop down menus on different pages. On another assignment, I printed the instructions from the dispatch page, performed the assignment, and then was told I used the wrong instructions which had been updated. It was unclear to me how I was at fault when I printed the instructions within one week of the assignment from their website. It was puzzling and the editor was unwilling to accept a FAX from me of what I printed from the website. I was not paid for that assignment. Other times I notice the "Mandatory" review of an item does not show completed, even after clicking on it more than once. On yet another assignment, I helped my beloved scheduler with a new pilot project. I ate $22 of my own money due to a verbal misunderstanding (note to self: work to written instructions only!)

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent! Happy Holidays everyone!

Jean
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PatsACooking
Apprentice

West Paterson, NJ
USA
1 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2004 :  10:23:06 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
ColChester,

I've run into something similar, but have managed to get it worked out before submitting the report...so far. Whether it is Best Mark OR another company, when I finish entering information, I copy/paste it into Word. I also do screen shots, as you mentioned. Some shops require a lot of information. AFTER doing that, I go back and doublecheck each page. That is when I have caught the missing information.

Up until now, I have managed to re-enter it by looking at what I saved. Then I moved to the next page and the next, until it was time to Submit the report. I hit the Submit button then and only then.

I'm not sure if this will help with your problem, but you may want to give it a try. It is frustrating when we enter so much information only to learn it was "lost in space".

Happy Holidays!
Pat :)
MSPA Silver Certified

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TerriKay
Valued Contributor

WI
USA
171 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2004 :  10:55:08 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I wanted to assure you your sanity is probably still intact. I've noticed (not necessarily with Bestmark, but with websites for several different companies) that sometimes the computer (or my mouse) just goes quirky on me. I will complete a report, having checked everything off, and suddenly something doesn't show up in the final copy. With Bestmark, you have the option of saving the page, and then looking at it to see if everything is there that you thought you just entered, before going on to the next page.

Also, I had a recent shop with Bestmark that had updated instructions not long before the shop date. They emailed me to let me know, which I greatly appreciated. Theirs is not the only company that has had sudden changes to the report form at the last minute this month. I'm wondering if it might not be wise on my part to compare my printed instructions to the website instructions one more time before heading out to complete a shop. I would hate to complete a shop and not get paid because I missed something new!

quote:
Originally posted by ColChester1

I would like to add to the praise of BestMark...However, I have experienced a few odd technical issues with them lately and would appreciate a sanity check from the community out there.



And back on topic...I'm now wondering if perhaps I have completed this shop but just didn't recognize it because I'd never had to get names and descriptions of 20 employees. The only one I've done for them that required several names/descriptions was actually not that difficult and I thought the pay was fair. So still wondering which shop we're all discussing! LOL

I've really enjoyed the shops I've done for this company, and enjoy their speedy-payment policy, too!

TerriKay

Shopping Central WI
MSPA Silver Certified
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NatalieH
Contributor

USA
8291 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2004 :  11:12:05 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Terri, as Andrew pointed out above, there are really only 11 associates to evaluate. Those of us who have done this shop knew what LindaMarie was referring to. I think some of us didn't want to correct the misinformation for fear of providing too many specifics.
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KimBie
Star Contributor

USA
606 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2004 :  11:45:11 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
YIKES! If you want to post your opinions on a public forum, you can only expect to receive a response in public also!

My own personal opinion is that Volition is a great avenue to find out about companies. Lets face it, no company will have every single shopper satisfied but from the responses you can see that this is an isolated problem for the most part. What I find helpful is that you can see the situation of not only the shopper with the problem, but also the shoppers who have had good experiences with a company. You can tell the difference between the companies who had A problem as compared to the companies who have NOTHING but problems.

I can't speak about Bestmark personally as I have applied with them but have not completed any shops for them as yet. From the sounds of it, this was an isolated incident as most shoppers seemed to be pleased with Bestmark.

Kim
MSPA Silver Certified
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LindaMarie
Trainee

Harrisburg, PA
USA
6 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2004 :  11:55:47 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Andrew,

I appreciate your comments, and didn't mean to badmouth Bestmark as a company, anyone who shops for Bestmark or who has seen your website can tell it's a high-quality company. I understand you want only quality work, and those 2 shops were the only 2 I have never not been paid for, with any company and I do many shop per week.

I'd like to add that I don't appreciate my personal work record, which has been top-notch thus far,and should be confidential being broadcast on the forum, that was not ethical at all from a professional standpoint. I was only having a problem with the one client, but I guess you felt it only fair to embarrass me. I have received several emails from shoppers today saying they thought it was in poor taste forthat you posted that part. However Andrew, I do think it's great that you are in touch with the shoppers and take time to post on the forum. That's what the message boards and forums are for, so it's nice to know they are being read.

Let it be said that I have an excellent reputation with all the other companies, and this is the first time ever I have ended (mutually) a relationship with a company. I enjoyed shopping for Bestmark and I just think that for all the time and hard work put in, shoppers should be treated with respect, because most of us really do work very hard. My crime was being one aisle off in the store. The other time it was because the employee had a coat on (she worked outdoors in garden, and I gave a thorough description)

I think Bestmark is a good company and does pay very speedily. I was only posting, as others do, when they want Feedback, anc this client is very particular.

The moral of the story is, I should not post when I have a bad case of PMS!

Linda


Linda in PA
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.StephanieA
Inactive

Redmond, WA
USA
1816 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2004 :  5:53:01 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
One point I would like to make is this, part of reading the rather long printed directions is to make sure you know what you are doing before going out on a shop. I think it is safe to state that if you have to evaluate that many people (and by the way I have done this shop and I do not find it that hard to find 11 people in this store). But if I can not see a name or even think for a minute it will be challenged, I'll find another person to use as an evaluation. I also believe somewhere in the directions it states if you canít see the name move on to another person. In fact, I always write down a few extra names and descriptions and the aisles just in case. I have been in this store where there is not less the 30 people running around and getting 11 names is relatively easy.

I for one love the shops with Bestmark and I enjoy getting a call once in awhile asking me to do a shop in my area that someone else dropped the ball on. I donít feel the reports are that drawn out and I like the fact that I have two days to write the report after confirming it. Especially if I have 13 other reports to write that night that must be done 8 hours after doing the shop.

And maybe somethingís were said that should not have been stated, but when you open a can of worms, your going to eat some of what you have opened on your own. Just my

Shopping WA especially, Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Woodinville and from Tukwila to Lynnwood.
MSPA Gold
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ChungCho
Apprentice

Los Angeles, CA
USA
2 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  12:33:26 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I recently completed this shop, for the first time, for Bestmark, and I thought I was going to die! I was at the store for a very, very long time. I think I walked about a mile trying to track down different employees to review. I think I just got unlucky with the location; most of the associates were "zoned out". I also tried to evaluate more than the minimum required to correct some errors, but half of those turned out to be a waste of time. I have another shop coming up, but I'm growing nervous and weary. I've been seriously tempted to cancel the shop, but I don't want to blemish my relationship with Bestmark. I just hope the second one will go more smoothly.

Chung Cho
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ChrissyLou
Valued Contributor

IN
USA
116 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  11:10:27 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CCho

I recently completed this shop, for the first time, for Bestmark, and I thought I was going to die! I was at the store for a very, very long time. I think I walked about a mile trying to track down different employees to review.
I've shopped this store a couple of times for Bestmark and have had the same experience. Each shop has taken well over an hour in the store. They never have enough employees and those that are there are either hiding somewhere or are grouped together in a huddle talking. I've stopped doing my personal shopping there too because it's impossible to get assistance. The shop fee doesn't come close to paying me for the time I spend hunting everyone down.

Bestmark is a fabulous company to work for but they do expect meticulous reports and that you follow directions to the letter. I love how quickly they pay--certainly not the fastest company but far above average as MSing goes. I just wish they had more work in my area(besides the dreaded shop mentioned above)!

Chris

Shopping Central and Southern Indiana
MSPA Silver Certified
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