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 Feedback Requested: Certified Marketing Services (CMS) (2)
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LisaOV
Star Contributor

MN
USA
2659 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2009 :  05:19:56 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
On Tuesday I went to download my Office Max stuff for the week and nothing was there - this was my week to it and I figured with the holidays this week they just must be skipping it. Checked again on Friday - nothing. Got a call yesterday about when I'm going to get it done. Explained to her that nothing was there - she said it was, SO I went back in and there it is - at the very, very bottom (it WAS NOT there before - I checked all up and down the page). Seems odd - but nothing surprises me anymore I guess.

Kind of messed up my weekend but I'm going to do them today.

Has this happened to anyone else? I promise I wasn't drinking when I checked on this!!
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Winona
Valued Contributor

Huntsville, AL
USA
106 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2009 :  5:02:44 PM  Visit Winona's Homepage  Send Winona an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LisaOV

On Tuesday I went to download my Office Max stuff for the week and nothing was there - this was my week to it and I figured with the holidays this week they just must be skipping it. Checked again on Friday - nothing. Got a call yesterday about when I'm going to get it done. Explained to her that nothing was there - she said it was, SO I went back in and there it is - at the very, very bottom (it WAS NOT there before - I checked all up and down the page). Seems odd - but nothing surprises me anymore I guess.

Kind of messed up my weekend but I'm going to do them today.

Has this happened to anyone else? I promise I wasn't drinking when I checked on this!!



Yes! It happened to me week of 12/14 with a Sony @ PetCo assignment. On Wednesday, 12/16, the next assignment on the board was for 12/21 and I had 20 total outstanding. CMS left voicemail on Friday, wanting to confirm that I would visit PetCo by Sunday. WHAT?! I looked & suddenly there's 21 total on the board, and that assignment is there with field dates of 14th & 15th. I called and let them know it was not there before, he said it showed as being posted on 12/3. I never saw it and never rec'd an email about downloading paperwork or anything. I cancelled it as it's 22 miles one way- the pymt would cover gas and not much more, and for pete's sake, I drove right by there Tuesday & would have worked it then IF it had been on the board :(

Other strange happenings that week- on 12/14, I get an email saying I haven't downlaoded PW for one of my cooler projects, although assignments page clearly showed that I DL it on 12/12. On 12/15, I get a call to update status on all outstanding, which I had done on 12/14.

Winona
Servicing north Huntsville, Harvest, Toney, Meridianville, Hazel Green, New Market, AL as well as Ardmore & Fayetteville, TN
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Jonathan B.
Star Contributor

Smyrna, Tennessee
USA
469 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2009 :  7:02:49 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Winona,

The Petco assignment for that week was definitely not posted on 12/3. I saw it on my board on like the Friday before that assignment was to start and I check the assignment page everyday.

Jonathan B.
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LisaOV
Star Contributor

MN
USA
2659 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2009 :  7:41:24 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
So I'm NOT crazy ....at least not about this!!
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DavidCar
Valued Contributor

Charlotte, North Carolina
USA
114 Posts

Posted - 12/28/2009 :  1:34:58 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The new schedule came out for Sony in one of the grocery stores that has an animal in the name. Half of my stores are monthly and the others are every two months during change out. Schedules based on sales and could change at any time.
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Jonathan B.
Star Contributor

Smyrna, Tennessee
USA
469 Posts

Posted - 12/28/2009 :  3:53:13 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I don't like the new schedule either on the grocery stores. . .I;m losing more money now. I had 2 that were 2 times a month, but not anymore.

To those of you that service Petco for Sony: There is now a visit listed for next week (PET010410). At least this time we get a week's notice instead of a few days.

Jonathan B.
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Winona
Valued Contributor

Huntsville, AL
USA
106 Posts

Posted - 12/28/2009 :  5:08:31 PM  Visit Winona's Homepage  Send Winona an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yep, all my grocery stores went to twice monthly, even tho one really needs to be worked weekly (it was already 2x mo for months now, but it's always a disaster when I get there)

Jonathan, my PetCo is showing a field date of 01/01/1901 right now- guess I'm reallly late on that one, lol! My balloons also have the same date showing right now, just a temp snafu, I suppose :)

Winona
Servicing north Huntsville, Harvest, Toney, Meridianville, Hazel Green, New Market, AL as well as Ardmore & Fayetteville, TN
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Jonathan B.
Star Contributor

Smyrna, Tennessee
USA
469 Posts

Posted - 12/28/2009 :  7:25:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Same here on the field date. . .I'm tempted to call and ask why they're over 100 years late on getting paperwork to us, course then we might get deactivated for being so late on the completion.

All of my grocery stores are going to the changeout only visit now. I guess I'll try to pick up something somewhere to make up for the lost income.

Jonathan B.
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Gayle R
Star Contributor

Eastern Shore, VA
USA
1396 Posts

Posted - 12/28/2009 :  8:47:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My grocery stores went to bi-weekly also but they have been that way for a couple of months. Some of the DGs are now bi-weekly and some once a month & one is being discontinued. I am going there tomorrow to do a regular visit & then again next week to send everything back. Crazy. Also my grocery store paperwork did not show up until this morning. I called yesterday because I was supposed to go today & it still said no paperwork available. Short answer was I had to check back for the paperwork this morning. The "project team" would be in at 8 & the paperwork would be posted then. So where has this team been for the past 2 wks? I only have one Anagram balloon store left & I am seriously thinking of dropping that one. They never have any helium & now CMS has me making the pre-call to check on the helium.(They used to do it themselves) No helium, no visit, no money. Last time there was a pre-call on my schedule but no visit. I called, there was helium at that time so I took a chance & went there the same day & did the visit. When I reported there was helium, the visit showed up & I reported it. Same deal this week. I called this morning, no helium. I had to call them about something else & while I had them on the phone I mentioned the precall visit on my schedule had a notation of no paperwork available but that I just found out there was no helium. The person on the other end says that there is no online reporting option for a precall visit. I come home, bring up the site, precall still says no paperwork available but there is an option to enter report so I did. (BTW, no pay for this precall & reporting) Just now I'm back on the puter & I have an e-mail (specifically to me) that says I have not downloaded my paperwork for this week's balloon visit. It has been there since 12/23 & has to be downloaded by 8 P.M. Tues night. Huh? I go to the site, thinking I missed it. There is no visit scheduled, no paperwork to download. I even counted the assignments to make sure I wasn't missing something. There is a Balloon request on there for this same store for 2010 like the ones that remained there all this year & a visit scheduled for 1/11/2010 with a field date of 1/1/1901. Sorry, I don't have a time machine. LOL I sent them a message about all this. I don't know what is going on with them lately.
DG is going to start carrying the same balloons but they are being serviced by a different company which I also happen to work for. First thing they want us to do is climb up on a ladder, reach out with a broomstick to which we are to attach a hook thingy, push up the ceiling tiles & install hangars for a Balloon cage. Then put up the cage. I don't think so. I already told my DM I could not do this. I am afraid of heights (no lie) & I have been all my life. I don't do ladders. This company has reset teams that travel all over & get paid for it. Why aren't they doing this?
Ok, now I feel better. Still might cancel that last remaing Anagram store though. I'm tired of the hassle for $8 a month which is about what I get
for this store.

Gayle
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Kelly F.
Star Contributor

WA
USA
563 Posts

Posted - 12/28/2009 :  8:57:57 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I know over here that driveline and now crossmark are doing some of the Anagram ballons in the Walmarts. I wonder if that will change to Certified doing them?

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

Eastern Shore, VA
USA
1396 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2009 :  8:18:49 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My Wm Balloons are CMS & the ones coming up in DG will be DL. BTW I got a reply to my message to CMS regarding the downloading of non-existent paperwork. Of course the answer had nothing to do with the subject. They replies that if there was no paperwork opn the schedule then there was no visit scheduled. Duh, I knew that. I give up. I am just not going to let this company drive me batty. I also9 got another one of those prerecorded calls from them. You know the ones I'm referring to. I had already done what they were asking so I erased it & ignored it

Gayle
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PClaybaugh
Apprentice

Florida
USA
2 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2010 :  10:46:25 AM  Visit PClaybaugh's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi, this is my first post and I'm hoping to find some insight. I signed up to work for CMS and have been doing quite a bit of Sony work. I enjoy the flexability, pay is alright and consistant.
I took on a different job that I could not complete after visiting the store. They did not have the required department and so therefore the signage would not make sense. I signed the vendor log and recorded my visit. While in the store, I phoned the help desk and gave them the info. I was told to dispose of the sign and report the situation online. After a week went by, I find that my account is deactivated and upon further investigation was told that my report was falsified.
I found that getting information on what happened difficult. I did scan my paperwork and email it but have not heard back yet.
I have enjoyed my experience up until this strange incident. I would like to continue working my jobs but am I wonder why no one called to question the incident or read my online submittal.
I realize that I am but a small cog in a large machine and new as well. Is this a common occurrence. How does one protect oneself?
Thanks for any feedback,

Patti
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Dar-L
Star Contributor

USA
1031 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2010 :  09:47:40 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
So sorry this happened to you Patti. Regrettably, some companies tend to "shoot first and ask questions later" when a report does not match what they feel it should.
"Falsification" on a report doesn't really mean "lying" in the MS/merch business; it also is used often to label any type of inconsistency or omission. In your case they probably feel that the store DID have the department mentioned - maybe smaller or incorporated into another department - and that you did not look closely enough. Pic's from your cell phone would have helped your case here, or even maybe a note written and signed by the manager supporting your case. If the location was new to the program, maybe their info from the client was in error.
Call them. Use different phones if necessary and continue until you can talk to someone in earnest. Offer to re-shop the location for free if that will help. Good luck!
(getting on my soap box now!)
MFI/CMS is a massive organization, with MFI being the controlling interest. MFI is a MS-based entity, where job completion is pretty cut-and-dried, and they seem to feel they have an unlimited shopper base to draw from, therefore they can deactivate for the slightest infraction. But merchandising demands a working relationship be established between the merchandiser and the manager, best achieved by having the same person complete repeated visits to the same locations. And accomplishing this requires having loyal employees. Loyal employees and not just "found", they have to be nurtured, which means communication and understanding on both ends.

I feel CMS would be better served to break away from the hard-nosed acts of deactivating, etc that MFI employs, and to begin culturing (but not coddling) their merchandisers more. Give the newbies a chance the learn/make a mistake now and then.

Thanks for listening.
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Jonathan B.
Star Contributor

Smyrna, Tennessee
USA
469 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2010 :  1:32:28 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well I hope I don't get deactivated. I had to cancel 12 assignments this past week due to illness (4 WM's and 8 DG's). I kept updateing status until Sat. when at that point I knew there was no way I could get them done. (I had been sick since Wed). At that point I called and had a CSR cancel the assignments for me. I asked if I would be deactivated and he said he did not know, that he would not do it. Someone else would have to do it if it was done. So far, I can still log-in. So I downloaded my paperwork for next week and will update my status later on this evening.


So far, so good. Hopefully the powers that be will look at my history with the company. . .over 1200 assignments completed with them over the past 1.5 years and except for one other time for illness, my cancelllations are like less than 5 and that being due to change in field dates.

So, I pray, keep my fingers crossed, and hope for the best. (Now I feel better to type all of this out).

BTW--Anagram balloon tracking will be available tomorrow as well as the Petco paperwork (I called and asked about this today).

Jonathan B.
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Jonathan B.
Star Contributor

Smyrna, Tennessee
USA
469 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2010 :  1:35:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Patti and Dar--

I think that Certified does more hard-nose deactivating than the MFI mystery shopping from what I read and hear. Patti, I would advise calling and try to talk to a supervisor to see if you can be reactivated.

Jonathan B.
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Winona
Valued Contributor

Huntsville, AL
USA
106 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2010 :  2:16:23 PM  Visit Winona's Homepage  Send Winona an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jonathan,
With your record thus far, hopefully, they will understand & not deactivate you :)

I got the 'paperwork is ready for download' email for the Pet project a few days ago, but there wasn't a download link & the field date still shows 01/01/1901, lol! I sent a message right away and they emailed the PW file to me yesterday.

Winona
Servicing north Huntsville, Harvest, Toney, Meridianville, Hazel Green, New Market, AL as well as Ardmore & Fayetteville, TN
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Harold.Sheffield
Member

Miami, FL
USA
48 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2010 :  3:54:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
..having the same exact problems with them..petco paperwork is not ready for download but tomorrow is the deadline..also i got threatened by Nicole for review on a assignment that i accepted yesterday due tonite that they couldn't find someone to do..but i spoke to JOE?? at CMS who is Patti's weekend counterpart...they are having a lot of problems with their schedulers playing hardball with us and when i find the appropriate contact for complaint i will forward a letter expressing my concern about these clerks threatening us for review when a little bit of negotiation and schedule adjustment seems to be the better solution.. I told this guy, Joe that I find it hard to understand how the merchandiser in the field is penalized for an assignment that CMS is hard pressed to find someone to do...but all in all I put up and navigate through all their confusion because I am holding on 38 assignments and more coming half of which are permanent..CMS is the mainstay for merchandising is Miami

Harold Sheffield
Miami FL 33157
harold.sheffield@gmail.com
305-905-2993
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Jonathan B.
Star Contributor

Smyrna, Tennessee
USA
469 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2010 :  4:53:37 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
CMS seems to be the mainstay for merchadising in my area too. All of my assignments except the occassional audit or theater trailer check I pick up are perm. assign.

Harrold--There is a Joe that is a supervisor too. I don't know which one you might have talked too.

Jonathan B.
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Harold.Sheffield
Member

Miami, FL
USA
48 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2010 :  5:31:54 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
..thanks Johnathan..yeah Joe suggested that I call him or Patti on Fridays to go over the outstanding jobs in Miami so that i can pick them up and not be pressured to complete in 24-48 hours cause Jonathan Miami is banging with additional jobs that CMS cant get filled and the rate jumps to 10-12.00 per location if you sign up when offered...

Harold Sheffield
Miami FL 33157
harold.sheffield@gmail.com
305-905-2993
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Jonathan B.
Star Contributor

Smyrna, Tennessee
USA
469 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2010 :  6:00:29 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Harold--With that I'm thinking about moving to Miami If only I wasn't so settled where I'm at. Here, I know I have one town where I have all the perm. jobs that CMS has in the town (granted it is a small town).

BTW-- head's up. . .the Sony changeouts at FL and Office Max this week want photos and the field date isn't until Tuesday.

Jonathan B.
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