Renny is an aspiring freelancer in the dual fields of writing and programming.
Cue Background Music, Please
On my path to making a full time career out of freelancing, I have the opportunity to try many different gig types. Some of them have been great and lots of fun, some of them have been odd, and of course some of them have sucked, but you'll get that anywhere.
But I digress—this particular hiccup in that journey started with an article I read on Pennyhoarder.com about how to be a mystery shopper for churches. I went ahead and decided to try it out—the money seemed good and the opportunity for a different experience was very tempting.
So far, I have had no issues with the company that article was about—Faith Perceptions and many of their sister sites. I have done a few shops for them so far, and while the pay differs per company, as long as you read all of your instructions very carefully and follow them to the letter, you will do fine.
In signing up for a gig offering, I was presented the opportunity to use the GigSpot app, which offers its users the opportunity to see what shops are available in their area from the various different companies they have listed, as well as do their surveys and fill out the profile such as financial information and all of that in one place. A real one stop shop—the whole point of making an app like this, right?
This Is Where Things Get Fun
I'll admit, right at first I loved the app—it gave me access to well over a couple dozen different mystery shopping companies, as well as letting me be able to see what's available for my area without being anywhere near my computer. The snapshot of each job told who it was for, how much it paid, and how far away it was before you ever had to click anything.
The profile was also a great idea since each company on the list pays differently. You were able to save it all in one place and then any of the companies you worked for could look and go, "Oh yes, this is how I'll pay them," and go on about their day. It all seemed to work pretty well.
I won't say the app was perfect—it sometimes did not want to load properly and one of my surveys glitched out on me, which forced me to log into that company's website to finish it. I mean, no technology is perfect, right? Hiccups are to be expected. Something to keep in mind here—I've been using the app for barely a month.
When I first started using it and I had to log into the websites for additional information not available on the app, or like in the case of the glitched survey, I was simply presented with the opportunity to either bring it up in GigSpot or in the classic webpage for that company. No big deal, right?
Until today, when I had to log into the company's website to clarify some questions on that survey that glitched out on me because, again, it would not load in the app properly. When I went to the site, I was presented with an odd choice—instead of the "go to GigSpot" or "go to the classic website" options, I saw instead, "go to GigSpot and lock out the website" or "deactivate GigSpot and use the classic website." This was definitely new, and didn't make any sense to me. I'm sitting there going, "What the heck is this?"
Well, I had to get the survey done so I clicked through to the website and finished everything fine—until i tried to bring the app up on my phone and was told my account didn't exist.
Things Just Went Sideways
Being understandably upset, I immediately sent a support ticket to the company in question, asking why they would force a choice on us like that without warning or consideration of the other companies, and if I could get my account reopened on the app since that made no sense.
The reply from that company was almost immediate—they directed me to GigSpot support. Here's a snippet of the email I received from THEM:
"To be able to ensure that both sites, GigSpot and the classic site were secure, we had to have shoppers make the choice of which one they wanted to log into and use. We could no longer have shoppers logging into both sites."
I'm sorry, What?
Can somebody PLEASE explain to me how this logic makes sense? I can and do understand wanting to protect your clients and your users, but this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. How many apps out there—including ones that have customers and company's personal and financial information—allow their users to use both the app AND a website, depending on where they are? There has to be thousands! They don't seem to be having any issues keeping things secure!
Granted, I am not as well versed as I would like to be in the entire IT security field, but all of this just blows my mind. What is the point of even having an app that is designed to provide both your users and your companies with the opportunities to get jobs done conveniently and in one place, if people keep getting locked out and can't use it?
"Oh you just have to log into the classic sites now." Okay well that's fine but there were so many companies on gigspot that could have had potential opportunities that I only had the opportunity to sign up for a very small handful of them. Now I've lost all access to them.
Eventually, no matter how many of these companies you do sign up for on the app, something's going to happen where you have to access the main site for some reason and then you're locked out for good, and locked out of the rest of those opportunities as well.
Customer Service, Anyone?
I find this move hilariously idiotic for a company that works with companies that are all about customer service. Not only are you alienating your userbase and making it harder on the people who don't have steady access to a computer -- let's face it, most websites are still not optimized for being used on a phone and not everyone has tablets with internet access. But you are also losing workers for the companies who have opted into your app. I think this is a pretty important hiccup here. If no one can access your app and they don't know about these companies otherwise, then there are lost opportunities for them to get their jobs taken care of.
The thing that REALLY throws me though is that there has been no communication whatsoever about this 'security based change' -- from either Gigspot or the companies themselves. If they didn't know, then I feel sorry for them. If they did, well that's a bit of poor planning on their parts—they should have communicated with us.
There was nothing—no emails from Gigspot, no notices in the app, no push notifications, no important alerts in the jobs themselves, and no emails from the companies either. So, you have no idea what's going on until you get slapped in the face with it. Nice way to start your day, eh?
Honestly, I feel that if there were security issues—real or perceived—between the app and the websites, then these people should have sat down and found a way to make things more secure and usable for their contractors, instead of just going, "Eh it's one or the other that's all they get."
Perhaps YOU should have hired some contractors to help you work out your glitches in your app, GigSpot, and help to make sure that everything accessible on the classic websites was also accessible on your app. THAT way, if this was the route you wanted to go, you could do it with out losing users and pissing off the companies who use you. At the very least you should have let us know what was going on so we were prepared for this to happen instead of just finding out randomly.
When you add this to all of the already angry reviews about the app not wanting to work right and there being no bug fixes, we have the perfect example of how NOT to do customer service. Which, I find ironic, considering the fact that mystery shopping is ALL ABOUT the customer service industry.
Congratulations, GigSpot! If this was a mystery shop you would have failed it horribly. Well played.
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
MicheleHiga on August 10, 2018:
I Want To Make Money. Go Ideas or Sign up Pages that Require No Money ? Thank You ! 8/9/2018.