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KelliL
Valued Contributor

Placentia, CA
USA
149 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2006 :  5:21:48 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your suggestions, Ron. Lorri emailed me this afternoon shortly after I posted here and let me know the tracking numbers. I called DHL and they did not know why the packages were still sitting in their warehouse since Friday. They are sending the packages first thing in the morning! So this was a DHL oops.

Lorri let me know she had been on vacation this weekend and apologized for the delay. Even better, she extended my deadline so I can still complete the shops this week. Thanks Lorri!

Happily shopping in North Orange County.
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Ron de Sacramento
Valued Contributor

Sacramento, CA
USA
214 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2006 :  5:26:46 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
That is another aspect of DHL that amazes me - warehouse delivery/storage. On many of these shops, the package was sent on a scheduled delivery date - mostly ground with five day delivery.

Often DHL would deliver the day after the package hit the local terminus. Then there were the scattered in between deliveries and one that was thrown over the fence that sat for four days in 110 plus temps.

Other than that, I have *no* complaints about DHL. . .
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SusanB
Valued Contributor

North Port, FL
USA
110 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2006 :  11:55:43 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I received two emails today from DHL informing me of shipments coming to me. I received the shipments last week and have already completed the shops. Not exactly timely messages...

Silver Certified - kh63a1
Shopping in SW Florida
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Bob Engleman
Star Contributor

Dayton, OH
USA
370 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2006 :  09:46:40 AM  Visit Bob Engleman's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've completed 5 assignments for Confero. For all, the pay was both as and when agreed, the forms were easy to complete, and there weren't any surprises in the shops. My only negative statement would be the "6" I received from an editor that neither understand the correct usage of a colon, nor a semi-colon, and marked my report as being "inaappropriate" for my use of "plat". In my opinion, an editor without knowledge of punctuation, and willingness to proof read, has no business making comments. I mailed the company on 3 occasions, but didn't receive a reply.

Based upon my experiences with Confero, I wouldn't hesitate to accept an assignment, that paid what is acceptable to me.


Bob Engleman

Bob
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ICourland
Contributor

New York, NY
USA
70 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2006 :  10:26:32 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I work for them a lot doing banks, and never had a problem getting paid. The person who schedules me, Traci, is one of my favorites in the business. She's flexible for me because she knows I get the shops done, and we work out scheduling conflicts that work for both of us.

On the down side, their report forms are very long and repetitive. Their teller shops limit you to one per day, and I find myself occasionally getting stuck with a single shop I have to travel a long distance to get to.

Ilene
I no longer shop. Stop spamming me with your shops!
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LittleJo
Member

Hickory, NC
USA
29 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2006 :  06:02:28 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I agree with the poster who taked about the editors. There is one who works for this company who is a real pain . I always use their spell check but she always tells me I have poor spelling. Also , I wrote that a item I checked to see if it was in stock was called "Shutter Wine" and she stated that there was no such item and I should not be making up items. She is very rude.
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Renanah
Member

Tulsa, OK
USA
10 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2006 :  1:50:26 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have to agree with those who commented on problems with editors at Confero. The only company that has given me a score lower than 10/10 was Confero, because they had to request clarification, and when I responded with numerous e-mails to resolve the issue, I received no response. The result was a score of 7. This was frustrating because I didn't really get a chance to prove my own credibility as a shopper. I don't mind a lower score if I didn't perform up to par, but otherwise...
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ValricoConnie
Star Contributor

FL
USA
1083 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2006 :  5:31:34 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Same thing happened to me. I got mostly 10's, some 9's. Confero gave me a 7; it makes no sense.

>^..^< ::¤Connie¤::¤Gold Certified¤:: >^..^<
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Ron de Sacramento
Valued Contributor

Sacramento, CA
USA
214 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2006 :  7:51:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Confero starts you off as a 8 if you read their FAQ. To get a 9, your report has to be exemplary.

Prior to the reward shops, I had been averaging 9's. Then I got a string of 7's even though on some I really went out of my way to give the associates max opportunities to get the reward.

What gripped me was on another assignment getting a 7 because supposedly I made a minor grammatical error. I asked for a review only to be told that I had to follow the FAQ to get a review. Huh?

Talk about being Mickey Mouse, they can deduct two full points automatically from your report because "they have tougher standards" but a minor error gets a full deduction? And then, a review has to follow procedure because a reply requesting the review to the editor who gave you the grade cannot do that?

I know I don't write bad but requested the review because a friend got a 5 on a reward shop. He writes much better than I. He was fit to be tied and now I know why. Their grading process varies from editor to editor and can be harsh especially if you start out as an 8.
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LynnJ
Star Contributor

MA
USA
409 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2006 :  3:38:22 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have done 8 jobs for them, and received 9's on all. If 9 is exemplary, what do you have to do to get a 10?
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KenASch
Star Contributor

Camarillo, CA
USA
689 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2006 :  11:43:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
How is the current round of reward restaurant shops going for you? The reward criteria seems to be much harder than in past rounds and so far I have had two out of two shops "unsuccessful". I have my third shop tomorrow but it will take a really "special" server to get the reward.

Ken S
Gold Shopper
Shopping Ventura County California
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RuthHallows
Valued Contributor

Mesa, AZ
USA
117 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2006 :  10:21:29 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Prior to the reward shops, I had been averaging 9's. Then I got a string of 7's even though on some I really went out of my way to give the associates max opportunities to get the reward.



My understanding was that we are there as normal customers, and that we should not go out of our way.

Could a lower score have been a result of making the effort for a pass?

quote:
How is the current round of reward restaurant shops going for you?


I only had unsuccessful shops for the previous round. I did my first of the new reward shops last night; it was successful!

I was so excited; it was almost as if I had won.

MSPA Gold Certified
Serving Mesa, Tempe, and Gilbert, AZ
Shopping Since 2001
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JennyP
Contributor

CT
USA
51 Posts

Posted - 10/01/2006 :  2:31:30 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yeah, I've also not been pleased with the editor who worked in my first assignment for them. He said I provided contradictory information because I said that the employee showed me a list of items on a computer screen and then in the next sentence said the screen was not oreinted towards me as the customer. I guess he confused "oriented" with "visible". I not as annoyed since I know I can only start at an 8 anyway. Oh well, there are lots of companies that provide similar shops and some were highly bonused this last month so I think I'll try a different company.

Jennifer - Shopping Connecticut
Silver Certified rrhmjo
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Sara D
Valued Contributor

South Hadley, MA
USA
163 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2006 :  5:48:56 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have to admit that I'm getting quite frustrated with Confero's grading system. I rarely receive below a perfect score (10 on sassie systems, 5 at CORI, full bonus with Aboutface, etc.) from the many companies for whom I shop. For those companies with whom I started out not receiving 10's, I was able to figure out their particular preferences and attain a '10' by my third or fourth report! When I don't receive a '10' from these various companies it's only because I received a '9'! Additionally, in my other work life as a Director, I was known throughout the agency for having exemplary writing skills (and apply the same skills to my Mystery Shopping assignments)!

And yet I simply cannot get above an '8' with Confero. I suppose I simply shouldn't care so long as they and I both agree that I've done the job assigned. However, with my most recent shop I paid extra attention toward verification of my spelling and grammar. I also took extra time to provide all the details (including direct quotes) of all three employee interactions. Honestly, I can't imagine what I could have done better... and, of course, I'll never know because Confero doesn't let me know what could have been improved!!!! Just the same comment as always: 'Good job, thank you!' And, on another occasion, when I did make an error and received a score *below* 8, I did *not* receive an e-mail explaining my error and providing feedback until I chased it down via e-mail to my scheduler!

Don't get me wrong - I don't have any other complaints about Confero. They've been perfectly nice when I've called them, and the assignments are what they are. Nonetheless, there isn't much that makes me feel less valued as a shopper than what appears to be a somewhat arbitrary grading system that doesn't recognize some of the extra efforts and time we put in, particularly in the absence of any time taken to let me know how I could improve! I guess I just don't buy the rationale (a la their 'FAQ') that all reports are equal (i.e., 'an 8') in which it is evident that the shopper simply followed instructions.

Sara

Sara A Davidow,
MSPA Gold Certified shopper #aziwc5
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MargeI
Star Contributor

Middletown, MD
USA
900 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2006 :  10:02:09 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Confero's grading system is NOT at all arbitrary -- it is simply different from many others.

An '8' is the typical grade you should expect. A '9' is a "wow" grade. A '10' is "one of the best we've ever seen in our lifetime" grade. I have gotten many many 8's from Confero, and some 9's. Never a 10 - yet - and I keep getting assignments.

I have always found Confero honest and fair, though their grading system does take some getting used to!
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TerryCorsello
Contributor

Rochester Hills, Mi
USA
81 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2006 :  11:30:41 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
This is my least favorite company by far to work for. Their editor is not constructive. I'll never work for them again. You can help someone improve by being constructive, and in turn they will do a better job for you. I'm staying acitve until I am paid for my last shop and then I'll deactivate from their system.

Silver Certified in Rochester Hills, Mi... I Love audits!! Send me more!
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Sara D
Valued Contributor

South Hadley, MA
USA
163 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2006 :  3:41:55 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Marge,

I don't know... When I read some of the other posts about people moving down from an '8' because of pretty minor spelling and grammar errors, it does start to sound somewhat arbitrary. Additionally, since they don't seem to provide *ANY* feedback about how the report could have been improved from an '8,' well... How helpful is that, really?

Ultimately, I guess my overriding feeling on this one is as follows: Being different is fine if you're about to establish a different system that is also still wholly effective or even better than others. However, it seems to me that the differences here are not effective. If it leaves shoppers feeling undervalued, confused and without a clue as to how to continue improving than really, what's the value? I'm speaking as someone with several years of experience as a Director in the human services field and the thought of implementing and then sticking with a system that seems unproductive for its target audience is puzzling.

Anyway - I think the best advice to anyone is to simply not worry about it. If you do keep getting jobs and get mostly '8's than you're doing fine. It's just unfortunate that it is something that needs to be ignored rather than something that is helpful.

-Sara

Sara A Davidow,
MSPA Gold Certified shopper #aziwc5
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SheilaW
Star Contributor

Fairfield, CA
USA
881 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2006 :  4:08:49 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have always got 8's from Confero and I don't feel undervalued, confused and without a clue.
I am happy with 8's. I read the grading system on the website when I first shopped for them and knew what to expect.
Of course I have no experience as a Director. Maybe that's the difference.

Sheila, NoCal
Proudly shopping Solano County including Travis AFB.
Gold Certified.
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Quinn
Star Contributor

Atlanta, GA
USA
50247 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2006 :  5:08:22 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I looked at one of their help pages and administrator was spelled admisnistrator, I guess even they are human.
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AShuman
Star Contributor

Gastonia, NC
USA
448 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2006 :  06:26:39 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
After 2 years of shopping for Confero, and completing 45 shops (they don't have much in my area for work that interests me), I FINALLY got a 10 on a shop. I generally get 9s, and I'm o.k. with that.

My report that got a 10 had a very detailed narrative, and encompassed numerous additional details about the shop and location that were not asked for in the shop form. Generally, I write my narrative in such a manner as to reinforce my responses on the yes/no questions, detailing why I answered the way I did. To get the 10... I had to go way above and beyond what the shop form asked for, and nothing in the guidelines indicated I should look for/write about these things.

To me, that doesn't make sense. I have always been under the impression that the MSCs create the forms to collect the data that the company wants, and that if they don't want the information, it won't be asked for.

I do enjoy working for the company. The shops in my area pay adequately, and they pay on time every month or email if there will be a delay. I love that you can now upload receipts to the form (I was downgraded on a report to a 5 once because they did not "get" my fax, even though I had a successful transmission in my log.).

Alison
MSPA Gold 2006
Shopping Greater Charlotte, Gastonia, and the Upstate of SC.
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