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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6556 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2005 :  7:12:37 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
It appears to me that the average score is 8, unless the shop is perfect and there is not one spelling error. I have had 10's from them and know what they are looking for. I personally appreciate this type of feedback as I know that each company is different. I sometimes forget that certain companies want the double spacing, etc., so I get a lower score. I then think to myself, remember to look at the sample. Sometimes, we are in such a hurry to get the reports in due to lack of time or other issues going on in our lives we give the facts, just the facts and forget the requests of the editors. Maybe we need to keep a little notebook for the requests.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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RonWelty
Apprentice

Perrysburg, OH
USA
2 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2005 :  11:25:35 AM  Visit RonWelty's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
This message is in response to a posting from shopper Pamela (PamInCa) on 11/9/2005 in which a very incomplete and one-sided story of her recent situation with IntelliShop was told. We typically choose to ignore such postings in these and other forums, both out of respect for our shoppers’ privacy and because we think it’s not a professional way to deal with our business partners. Please note that this will be our only response to this posting, and our only communication with Pamela on this matter.

First, we’re disappointed that she chose to post her message in a public forum before taking other opportunities to resolve it with us. This has not only caused us a lot of extra work, but we are also having to deactivate a shopper who historically received good grades in her assignments from us; we certainly receive no enjoyment from that. But, as we’ve stated previously, we are strongly against airing such things in public forums, especially when they are not accurate, tell a one-sided story, and when the shopper truly has not taken all opportunities to resolve it with us directly. We have never deactivated a shopper who posted messages in public forums that were, in our opinion, accurate and reasonable, even when they explain mistakes we’ve made (yes, we do make some!). We believe very strongly in being responsive to our shoppers who have legitimate and reasonable questions and concerns, and have a good track record of doing so, as evidenced by the many postings to her string in support of our company. Without our shoppers, we simply wouldn’t have a business.

Contrary to the last line of her message, “I have called the ’real’ boss and left a message for him…”, I did not receive any messages from her prior to her posting her original message. In fact, she just left me a voice mail early this morning (11/10/05).

Fortunately, if you read her entire posting, she also explains throughout it the very reasons that we were not able to accept her reports, and for which she has been deactivated from our shopper database. We do appreciate her accuracy in those comments (“Anyway, I uploaded them the best I could and thought for sure if there was a problem, they would ask me to reupload”, along with, “I realized as I was uploading the photos that I should have taken pictures of the outside of each location so I could tell the toilets apart.”). Had she (1) reviewed her own work for quality control and accuracy before submitting it; or (2) taken the photos she wishes now she would have, we would have had her simply re-send the photos and used them. Because she didn’t do either one, and chose to send us reports that she knew might not be 100% accurate, we didn’t see any way that she could accurately re-send photos and tell us which photos represented which specific location. We never directly accused her personally of falsifying reports; we let her know that given the nature of what she submitted, that possibility was certainly there, that we have an obligation to protect us, our shoppers, our clients and the industry from falsified reports, and that obviously something less than 100% accuracy was involved and so we simply could not accept them.

We hope and believe we have an excellent reputation among our clients, shoppers, and competitors for having very high standards and uncompromising integrity in our work. Our shops, and especially our standards and expectations, are NOT for every shopper. We would much prefer shoppers decline shop offers if they are uncomfortable with the requirements, rather than accepting them and then not fulfilling them to our standards or giving less than 100%. The continued success of our industry hinges upon every single shop report being 100% accurate and of the highest level of integrity.

As far as her subsequent comments about our shopper grading scale, all I can say is that (1) it is posted on our website in the Shopper Area; (2) it is EVERY Shop Details document that shoppers are supposed to read thoroughly prior to accepting any assignments from us; (3) the 1-10 scale is very specifically defined – there is very little subjective ness involved; and, (4) our Quality Assurance Teams should always be providing the shopper with detailed feedback on each report, and specifically on why they received the grade that was given. Our goal is that no shopper should be surprised by the grade they receive, and they won’t be if they read and understand this document and our expectations and standards.

IntelliShop is dedicated to providing our shoppers, clients and other business partners with a great experience. We truly appreciate all the hard work our shoppers put into completing accurate, thorough mystery shops for us. Without you, we couldn’t do it!

Ron Welty
President
IntelliShop
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6556 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2005 :  1:21:40 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Mr. Welty, I only wish that your response could be as truthful as my post. My actual phone call which I placed from my cell phone was yesterday afternoon, which affords me the opportunity to have documentation of all calls, prior to my updating the post. (At no time did I say I knew I was giving wrong information nor wish I had taken more pictures, 50+ was enough.) I stated it was hard to tell the "toilets" apart. Also, Michelle stated I was deactivated due to manager contact, not the photos. It took me over an hour to upload the photos as I was checking for accuracy. I was offering this information for shoppers to use in the future. In addition, I have sent numerous emails to both the scheduler and to Michelle which were ignored offering to reupload the photos. I made my initial call early October when I received the email from Michelle stating she was Lorry's manager and I could call her if I wanted to discuss the issue. I did this within five minutes of receiving the email, only to be told that Michelle was not available to take my call. When I did speak to her, which only happened as a result of my tenacity, she let me know in no uncertain terms she was the only one in charge. I would certainly have contacted you prior to writing anything on any board. Michelle stated I could complain to anyone I wanted and refused to offer your name. My question sir, how was I supposed to speak to you if your employees will not offer the information? These boards then become a shopper’s only recourse. If you look at my previous posts, you will see I do not condone posting here unless you have made all efforts to contact the company first. Since it has been almost a month, I feel I made every effort. You, sir did not and neither did your employees. You did not return my call, yet posted here as well.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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JimVan
Contributor

Oregon
USA
156 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2005 :  4:02:23 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I don't know about other people but I can say this...
My experience has been good EXCEPT for the FF shops they have had. Last year when I did the "late nite" shop, I had an issue with the pay and being told that they never got my invoice(I had the fax report that it went through OK) and now I did another one in September that I have not been paid for yet. It seems they don't have that invoice even though I did fax it right after I submitted the report. I was told to re-fax it and I would be paid on 11/10 with the October batch. I did and as of today (11/10) no pay. Of course I have not gotten a response from my e-mail or Phone call to Chriss and tomorrow is a holiday.
The funny thing is, when I re faxed the latest invoice, I e-mailed right away to confirm that they got it and never heard back. Why wouln't I be surprised if they claim they didn't get that one either?

Jim
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Anne Mae
Apprentice

Alamosa, Colorado
USA
1 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2005 :  7:15:56 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I agree with Ron. I have worked for Intellishop for several months. I have not ever had a problem with the company. Once I did not submit the correct information, but I was given the chance to correct the situation. All you have to do is follow the rules given in the description. I have done several photo shops for Intellishop and other companies. I always double check what I am suppose to be taking pictures of at each location. I also seperate my pictures by taking a picture of the work sheet for each location that gives me at least the name and address if not also the assignment number. This way I do not mix up the locations. When I down load the files I immediately pur them in folders that represent the locations. I recently purchased a new digital cameral that even allows me to put album folders on the camera. I can then save the pictures directly to the appropriate folder as I take them.

Ann
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EmilyMtr
Valued Contributor

Vancouver, BC
Canada
204 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2005 :  8:54:27 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've been shopping for Intellishop for 6 months. I've done a variety of jobs with different schedulers and had no problems with pay nor contacting the company via email or phone when I had a question. They always respond quickly. My last job was done Oct. 16 and I was paid today; Nov. 10; 25 days later.
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Elizabeth36
Star Contributor

Greenville, NC
USA
566 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2005 :  9:14:02 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Wow... If the bathroom shops are the same ones I have done, I just remembered what order I went to each location and could tell by how the photos were in the camera what went with what location... The first 14 went to location #1 etc... I have not had any problems with them or the way they grade.. They may be a little tougher on the grading part then some companies BUT they are also VERY specific about that in the instructions... They tell you what is expected before you take a shop... I was a little nervous too about the bathroom shops but ended up not having any problems..

I just have to say too.. I have seen comments on this thread and others where people act horrified that the MSC EXPECT us to *follow directions or we won't get paid*... Well... Yeah... Why wouldn't they expect that??? Are there companies out there who don't want that??? If so... SIGN ME UP!!!

Elizabeth
Shopping Greenville NC and surrounding areas!
I WANT MORE MERCHANDISING WORK! Call me, ok?
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6556 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2005 :  9:27:22 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have shopped for Intellishop since July of 2003. I have never had an issue with this company nor it's schedulers. This person is not anyone I have ever dealt with before. I have posted it here as a warning only. If you read through the other posts, you will see they will deactivate quickly.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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Toni-Girl
Valued Contributor

Ohio
USA
145 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2005 :  10:28:23 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RonWelty

We have never deactivated a shopper who posted messages in public forums that were, in our opinion, accurate and reasonable, even when they explain mistakes we?ve made (yes, we do make some!).

Sorry Ron, but I have to point out that this statement is totally false!
Back when people were having problems month after month after month getting paid (myself and my husband included), we tried the proper channels to get paid. My emails went unanswered - except for the very first one I sent to Jen, who replied telling me to contact Chriss and giving me her email address.

I merely posted the accurate facts of what people were thinking/saying about IntelliShop and I was deactivated with no warning or other contact.
The multiple emails I sent requesting to know why I'd been deactivated went unanswered.

Finally I was given your email addy and emailed you directly. In the email reply you sent, you outright threatened me! That email showed me just exactly how accurate my description of a child throwing a temper tantrum really was. (That email actually caused me to picture a man with a red face and steam coming out of his ears, ready to burst a major blood vessel that was throbbing wickedly in his forehead!)
I didn't bother to reply to that email but I'll say this right now - you can't sue someone for speaking/writing the truth! And nothing I wrote about your company in this forum was slanderous OR reason to be deactivated! (And yes, like I do with all companies I shop for, I have kept every email sent to and received from Intellishop so I can backup what I'm writing!)

I've watched people that complained about your company all of a sudden edit and/or delete their comments and wondered why they would do that. After reading the threatening email you sent me, I've often wondered after something disappears or gets edited if it was b/c of intimidation from an email that you might have sent them that might've been like the one you sent me!

This thread is here for others to get FEEDBACK (meaning GOOD, BAD and INDIFFERENT) about your company. Not a Pat on the Back for your company and nothing else thread! And everyone has just as much right to know about issues that shoppers can't get resolved thru private channels as they do to know about the good things!

Shopping extreme NW Ohio
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NatalieH
Contributor

USA
8291 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2005 :  06:08:39 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
This thread is here for others to get FEEDBACK (meaning GOOD, BAD and INDIFFERENT) about your company. Not a Pat on the Back for your company and nothing else thread! And everyone has just as much right to know about issues that shoppers can't get resolved thru private channels as they do to know about the good things!
Speaking generally (meaning independent of Intellishop, because I rarely shop for them) I absolutely agree with that sentiment. I have noticed that this is a problem with certain other companies too. Only good feedback is allowed, while anything remotely unflattering is quickly jumped on or 86'ed. This seems to defeat the purpose of having a place to voice feedback. If only glowing comments are allowed, then we may as well not even bother with feedback threads.
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LyndaK
Star Contributor

Toledo, Ohio
USA
273 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2005 :  06:18:18 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Just received an email for shops that were previously 20 bucks a shop...except that they have cut the pay by $3. Sometimes, it would be nice to know if they're cutting pay because they had to, to keep the account, or if it's just because the MS company wants bigger profits.

Lynda
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Roswitha
Star Contributor

Pinellas Park, FL
USA
445 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2005 :  07:51:46 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
NatalieH wrote:
quote:
If only glowing comments are allowed, then we may as well not even bother with feedback threads.

I am one of the many shoppers that uses the feedback on this forum as part of my decision for signing up with a company and staying on top when payment issues arise. I was surprised to read that more than one shopper received threathening e-mails from this company, posts were removed, the "good" posts have come largely from newbie shoppers that performed a couple of shops only, there were some payment issues that were ultimately resolved, but the one recurring issue has been that e-mails from shoppers simply went unanswered and then escalated into rude replies when an answer was forced onto the company.
Originally I signed up with this company by mistake because I confused them with another company. By the time I realized that, I had already accepted shops and then saw the thread on the (at the time) payment issues.

So here is my feedback.
I did a series of audits, all graded as a 10 and received my payment on time.
I breathed a sigh of relief but have not pursued any other offers for two reasons. The payment being at the lower end, especially for the amount of narrative required. The one issue that arose when the company communicated (or not) with me about the shops.

My experience was that Jen Kinney responded promptly in a professional tone and also answered a general question I had prior to performing the shops. E-mail replies from Jen arrived within 24 hours, both from shopper contact as well as via a regular e-mail contact.

I then had to send another e-mail to resolve a query that I had received from Michelle. Michelle sent me the same e-mail 3 times in a day and I replied 3 times in a day - however, she did not seem to open and read my replies. In desperation I sent an e-mail to Jen copying in my e-mails to Michelle and although no one replied, the issue was resolved that day.

In fact, one of the e-mails was returned marked "unread" and showed that Michelle had simply deleted it unread about a month later. Does their system automatically delete e-mails from shoppers every so often because they do not have the time or do not want to be bothered with responding to their shoppers? And yes, I still have the e-mail or I would not state this on a public forum.

I noted that Ron Welty mentioned several times that he expects 100% from his shoppers and so he should. However, it is fair and reasonable to expect a 100% back. Communication is key in this business and that is sadly lacking here. I venture to say most of the issues with this company could have been avoided if they responded to their shoppers e-mails in a professional way - 100%.
Just my

Roswitha
MSPA Gold Shopping sunny Florida Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo .....
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JenShoppinFlorida
Valued Contributor

Plant City, Florida
USA
136 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2005 :  08:08:46 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have been watching the comments in the past few days and I have to agree with Pam & Toni...the SHOPPERS in the forum.

Suddenly, Anne Mae and Ron have entered the scene with only one post each on the Volition Forums...of course Anne Mae will agree with Ron, she works for him! Where was she before this issue, however?

This forum is for shoppers to find out about companies...good, bad or indifferent...as someone has already pointed out. Yes a company should expect directions to be followed 100%. Should they ignore emails and deactivate shoppers without warning...come on, is that really fair? Is it a professional way to treat shoppers? No.

These weren't even my reasons for washing my hands of this company rather quickly. Low fees, unreasonable expectations for the fees. I am glad I did deactivate!

By the way, I don't remember how many shops I did for them. I do believe my average was a 9. So what...I had to work really hard on those reports...for less than minimum wage!

***Jennifer***
Shopping Central Florida
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KaySFbay
Star Contributor

Redwood City, California
USA
316 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2005 :  08:54:09 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I don't have a big problem with IntelliShop. They have tons of shops, so there's always something to choose from. I don't think they pay any worse than other companies. They do offer bonuses on occasion; I just did a bonused shop for them and got a 10 on it.

My only gripe -- and it is a minor one -- is that their forms aren't written very well. By that I mean that minor comments in the body of the form that don't have corresponding question and answer blanks are sometimes later made out to be all-important details I stupidly missed. I guess you are expected to respond to every statement they make in the form (such as "Pay attention to the pricing") even though there's no obvious place in the form to enter prices. I have had three shops bounced back for this. I added to them and all was well, but it is worrisome.

At least IntelliShop isn't like the one company I recently shopped for. I got a list of five questions back from the scheduler: You didn't address these points in your shop! Oh, yes I did, did you even READ it? Never again.

Kay
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LyndaK
Star Contributor

Toledo, Ohio
USA
273 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2005 :  08:56:32 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Just wanted to let everyone know about my previous post regarding the reduction of a $20 shop to $17.

I received a very courteous and concerned email from Ron Welty that they had not reduced any fees, and could I please call him, as he wanted to get this straightened out immediately. I then received an email from the scheduler that posted the jobs, apologizing profusely, saying that it was an error on her part, and the shops are not reduced.

I was very please to know that it was just an error, and also, that it was taken care of immediately and with concern.

Lynda
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KaySFbay
Star Contributor

Redwood City, California
USA
316 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2005 :  10:09:17 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Toni-Girl
In the email reply you sent, you outright threatened me!
I don't have a dog in this fight, but I think you need to back this statement up if you expect to be taken seriously.

From re-reading your posting, it appears Mr. Welty may have emailed you cautioning you not to post false or inaccurate information about his company. Is that correct?


Kay
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JewelGoodwin
Star Contributor

Vancouver, BC
Canada
852 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2005 :  11:35:36 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I did 19 shops for this company last month, my first month working for them.

I was paid yesterday right on time

I'm happily doing more shops this month.

Jewel
Shopping In and Around Vancouver, BC, Canada

Jewel
Shopping In and Around Vancouver, BC Canada
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Nora
Star Contributor

PA
USA
6341 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2005 :  1:03:02 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PamInCa
These boards then become a shopper’s only recourse. If you look at my previous posts, you will see I do not condone posting here unless you have made all efforts to contact the company first.
I would agree with this. Frankly, I have never seen this poster advocate a "shoot first, ask questions later" approach to issue resolution between shoppers and MS companies. Furthermore, it seems as if she took every reasonable step to resolve the issue and followed the logical chain of command. Reading Mr. Welty's post, for me, did nothing to diminish the credibility of Pam's account. Incredibly, he admits to the baseless deactivation of a shopper who has "historically received good grades in her assignments from us."

I'm not disappointed that she posted this issue as a warning for other shoppers; that is one of the ostensible purposes of this SHOPPER'S forum, isn't it?
quote:
You did not return my call, yet posted here as well.
The appropriate response would have been a timely, private communication to the shopper, rather than an attempt at public humiliation. That is truly disappointing.
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SharonInCO
Valued Contributor

Conifer, CO
USA
218 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2005 :  2:43:33 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I can't comment on those who have had difficulty with this company as I have had nothing but good experiences with them. I will admit to some frustration with the convenince store that require a certain minimum number of characters for each comment block... it's hard to fill out that many characters on "were you thanked" if the clerk did nothing that would indicate a "thank you" but I manage when I take these shops.

Regarding the poster who had difficulty with the restroom photos - I would say "live and learn" ... whenever doing photo shops I always mark the end of one shop and the beginning of another with something obvious to me - usually the dash of my car. After a while all the locations start to look the same and restrooms are even more generic than other types of locations. I would personally say that the comment that "all toilets look the same" would have been enough for me to question the accuracy of the photos being uploaded.

From my recollection of the earlier posts in this thread regarding the difficulty in being paid, it seemed clear that the primary issue was the receipt of faxes. A word to the wise, even if you have a "confirmation" sheet it doesn't truly state that the other end received, processed, and printed your transaction. Some faxes have memory and if there is no paper etc, it may be stored in memory. It's possible that the memory gets 'dumped' for one reason or another. Papers also get lost, it's just a fact of life. Whenever possible, I prefer to email over faxing information but that's another issue.

Sharon
MSPA GOLD Certified Shopper
Shopping the South and West suburbs of Denver
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Roswitha
Star Contributor

Pinellas Park, FL
USA
445 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2005 :  6:34:41 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I can understand Ron W's desire for a public reply since there was a public statement made by the shopper.

Not to fan the flames but the question I had when I saw his post was: Why not pick up the phone first and talk to one of your shoppers yourself - before posting on this board? However, I am glad he decided to post, simply because I prefer to know the companies position, which he explained quite clearly. It's good to know who you are doing business with and what they expect.

Roswitha
MSPA Gold Shopping sunny Florida Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo .....
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