How long do you spend on submitting reports?

I tend to question the amount of time the MSC says it should take to complete and submit a report.I'm not new at this but still find that I can spend, literally, HOURS on a report. I don't have the latest OS but I try to keep my desktop up to date. For Items which have to be uploaded, I scan and save them before I start the report. Even though I really should save a WORD copy of the narratives but I find everything I want to say may not be included. I would like to know how long others take to complete and submit their concise, grammatically correct reports.

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That is completely dependent upon what the shop is and the report format. I do a shop for MF that with the prior MSC took 5-7 minutes. MF has thrown in some additional questions that after years of doing this shop for others as well as doing MF shops I know are MF informational and verification questions. So with the added MF stuff and the MF website the report now takes somewhere between 15 and 20 min and for the same pay as the prior MSC.

The way Harland Clarke shops used to be reported took me 2-3 hours. They moved reporting to on line and it takes about an hour.

An ACL dinner shop is likely to take me around an hour and a half to write up. Obviously it takes longer if I am watching the evening news at the same time or am chatting on line with a friend or answering emails as they come in.
There is a huge range, depending on what it is and which MSC. If there is a lot to scan and upload, that takes a while. My car wash shops take me less than 10 minutes, including uploading files and need basically zero prep time at this point. One version I do uses an app which I can complete in 45 seconds in the parking lot across the street. Dinner shops with a bar visit for ACL can take me two hours because of the clunky website and how chopped up the sections are. Reporting time definitely factors in to which jobs I accept and for what fee.
Depends on the type of report and the technology I am using, whether or not I have to upload photos, etc. Could be 5-10 minutes using an app on my phone for the post office. Could be 5-6 hours for a fine dining report or a hotel shop. If I am out of town using my laptop it is longer because I am more accustomed to using my desktop at home. If I am using my cell phone for photos as opposed to my digital camera it might take longer because for some reason I have a hard time getting either one of my computers to communicate properly with my phone and generally have to send photos via email then download them (I am getting a new phone in a few months so I am going to make sure to get a better smartphone next time). There are just too many variances.
If it's heavy with narratives it could take up to 20 minutes.

Her Serene Majesty, Cettie - Goat Queen of Zoltar, Sublime Empress of Her Caprine Domain
I just finished my Medicare shop in 25 minutes, uploading taking a few minutes while watching the Wendy show. Depending if I do the same shops over and over (grocery), i have it down to 20 minutes. Upscale restaurants about an hour...
I stopped doing the restaurants with reports that never end (Coyle) although I love them, am over it. I think an hour is long enough, this while watching T.V. which is always on. Doing a hotel the end of the month, so will do it in sections having a coke in the lobby and so on. When new it took me forever, pretty much know how and what I'm doing these days.

Live consciously....
I spend about 10 minutes for Market Force reports, about 45 minutes for Chipotle reports, and about an hour for most A Closer Look reports.
However long it takes me to write up a report I'm satisfied with, is how long it takes me. I do not time them. Experience will determine if I do the shop again, particularly with reimbursement only shops.
All reports vary and another factor to consider is your familiarity of the shop format, expectations of the shop, etc.

While it's good to obtain input from others and the input may be similar to your production, but that isn't always the case. For example, while someone stated it takes 45 minutes for them to complete a Chipotle report, it typically takes me around 20 minutes for me.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 31 year old male and willing to travel!
Two factors relate to time spent: What ratings do your reports get? How often do you get questions from editors? I'd especially like to hear from those who do relatively speedy reports, e.g., two hours for Coyle's fine dining; 20 minutes for Chipotle (compared to 45 minutes),
But for fair comparison, we'll need to hear about ratings and time from "slower" and "faster" report writers.

I'll start: I usually get ratings of 9 - 10 with rare questions from editors. I spent 8 - 9 hours each on a couple of Coyle fine dining shops but still made $15 - $25 an hour. Some restaurants take 0.75 - 1 hr and average $25 hr. This year, I made $6 hr. (thanks, Best Buy retail report) to $35 hr. for assorted jobs. These hourly wages usually don't include a deduction for mileage but I always consider that when accepting a shop.
@AuditAce wrote:

Two factors relate to time spent: What ratings do your reports get? How often do you get questions from editors? I'd especially like to hear from those who do relatively speedy reports, e.g., two hours for Coyle's fine dining; 20 minutes for Chipotle (compared to 45 minutes),
But for fair comparison, we'll need to hear about ratings and time from "slower" and "faster" report writers.

I'll start: I usually get ratings of 9 - 10 with rare questions from editors. I spent 8 - 9 hours each on a couple of Coyle fine dining shops but still made $15 - $25 an hour. Some restaurants take 0.75 - 1 hr and average $25 hr. This year, I made $6 hr. (thanks, Best Buy retail report) to $35 hr. for assorted jobs. These hourly wages usually don't include a deduction for mileage but I always consider that when accepting a shop.

I feel like people think waaaaaaaay too much on the feedback from the editors and the ratings.

Every once in a while, I get some constructive criticism from Chipotle's MSC and their editors, but it hasn't held me back from obtaining shops and sometimes a bonus depending on the situation.

The times I do get constructive criticism for not combing through my narratives with a fine tooth comb has not hindered my reputation and hold me back from shop opportunities. As for ratings, going at light speed with thorough checks on the most important parts of the shop (discrepancies on any of the POV's, crucial questions, etc.) can sometimes hit me with an 7 or 8 from time to time, but again, my average stays between a 9 to 10, and I firmly believe my reputation hasn't held me back from bonuses and other shop opportunities.

If you want to talk about hourly wages on large routes, these large routes come and go for me. My average for that lucrative routes sum up to ~$40-45 / hour after rental car, time, expenses and before considering reimbursements. But again, those don't happen often for me but I do take advantage when I see the opportunity.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 31 year old male and willing to travel!
It varies for me, and it isn't just a company thing. There are reports I can do for Maritz in under 5 minutes including uploading, saving, and inputting 4-6 photos. And then there are reports for them that take me an hour, but with a heavy bonus are worth it. Market Force has a coupe shops I have down to about 10 minutes, but then there are a few types of shops that take me 30. The Source shops can take me 20-60 minutes, depending on interactions, and what was involved but then if I'm doing onsite type inspections, it may be as simple as uploading 4 photos and out in 5 minutes.

It's really a broad topic. Best Mark reports can take me two hours at times if things were interesting or if it's a new shop, but if they are reimbursing $55 and paying me an additional $130, and there are rebates on what I'm having done to pad it another $20... I'll fill my coffee or tea cup up and type them a story to behold grinning smiley

MegglesKat
This varies from assignment to assignment. If all is well and there are no disruptions, I can finish "my easy" reports in minutes. If much editing is needed, I will spend considerable time with narrative. If a report form has not changed since my last effort, I may come to the report with entire passages in my head that were composed and proofread while performing shop tasks.

Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June.- Al Bernstein
_____
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
_____
I am glad you asked this question as you have gotten varying answers some of which sound closer to my truth. Thank you Flash for saying it takes you an hour and a half to do an A C L report. Their fine dining, although they have not had any lately around here takes me 2 hours. I am not saying people are lying but in the past mostly what I have read when a similar question is answered is from people who say they do reports in 10-15 minutes and fine dining in 45 minutes when it takes me that long just to turn on the computer download my pics, label them so I can find them again and then sometimes load them into the report what seems like very slowly and for fine dining sometimes figuring out multiple timings to the second and then additional times from one event to another during the shop..time consuming to make sure it is accurate.. It can take me an hour or more for a Chipotle report although the most recent version seems quite a bit shorter. I have to time it tonight. I am glad to hear there are seasoned and respected shoppers out there who spend more time on their reports. Makes me feel better about the time I spend.
As for my take on the question regarding ratings and queries I rarely get any queries when I turn in a report although lately I have gotten some including wanting to know if I "really" spent as much time in line on a pizza shop I recently did and reported close to 12 min when it "should have been" under 4. When I do get questions it generally takes additional time to answer them so for me what AuditAce said about that topic is valid for me.
I have a VPN on my computer and my tablet and phone are provisioned devices. I can take photos on the phone and immediately upload, label, and save the file and it will be there when I load up my computer later. I also have a voice command software that is pretty neat but occasionally my thick southern accent makes her tweak out. I can watch as I speak and see what she types onto the screen. I do have to put in punctuation and grammar as necessary, but I can also say "comma, period, exclamation point" and she will insert those. I haven't figured out how to command it to space or go to a new paragraph, but it's a minor nuisance. I know it isn't actually a she, but eh. I'm a she, so thus the car, computer, phone etc are she's. I have fairly decent editing software on my phone so I can snap photos and crop the image or resize it so it's akin to using a scanner and looks just as neat. No issues thus far, knock on wood. Tech can cut time drastically, but it can also make you want to scream -_-

MegglesKat
I just had a problem that hasn't been addressed. I did a job that took two hours at the dealership and a good 1/1/2 hours for report. I did this Nov. 1st. and hadn't heard a thing, so assume all is well.....NOT! I just get
an email asking for the hours I was there which of course, I had written in my report. This was an MSC from the UK, so there hours are written differently. I now had to go back to remember the hours and the way they want them written (02:00:26 -5 weeks later).
I take back the real time to do a report, as things can change on a dime and hope I'm not docked for needing to provide more info......I like this company, fingers crossed.

Live consciously....
It depends on the shop and the report and how much detail is requested...avg id say about 30 mins max. I type pretty fast.
Also I agree that people spend way too much time caught up on the ratings and what the editors have to say...sometimes they do have valid points. Sometimes it feels like a shop that has NO answers or negative reporting gets questioned....for example...I just did a shop where the person I interacted with was just on the struggle bus and didnt smile, didnt greet, didnt do any of about 6 things that the person is supposed to do and I gave them all NO's...report got sent back...We want you to confirm that they are infact NO. Yes im positive I know what a smile looks like and I also know when someone says Thank you!
Most companies require all of the NO answers to be addressed in the narrative. It is very common that a wrong answer is given in the yes/no part. The narrative acts as a check for that.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2016 06:46PM by Threemom.
@Threemom wrote:

Most companies require all of the NO answers to be addressed.in the narrative. It is very common that a wrong answer is given in the yes/no part. The narrative acts as a check for that.

I did lay out in the narrative what they did not do. I should have mentioned that in the above post.
the report was sent back. If that clarification helps.
@Threemom wrote:

There is a huge range, depending on what it is and which MSC. If there is a lot to scan and upload, that takes a while. My car wash shops take me less than 10 minutes, including uploading files and need basically zero prep time at this point. One version I do uses an app which I can complete in 45 seconds in the parking lot across the street. Dinner shops with a bar visit for ACL can take me two hours because of the clunky website and how chopped up the sections are. Reporting time definitely factors in to which jobs I accept and for what fee.
I wish I would see carwash shops in my area
@MScat wrote:

@Threemom wrote:

There is a huge range, depending on what it is and which MSC. If there is a lot to scan and upload, that takes a while. My car wash shops take me less than 10 minutes, including uploading files and need basically zero prep time at this point. One version I do uses an app which I can complete in 45 seconds in the parking lot across the street. Dinner shops with a bar visit for ACL can take me two hours because of the clunky website and how chopped up the sections are. Reporting time definitely factors in to which jobs I accept and for what fee.
I wish I would see carwash shops in my area

My oil changes includes a car wash.....

Live consciously....
This was an interesting question.

I do a lot of Medicare audits. For one shop, there are several narratives including a couple of long narratives near the end. One of the narratives says to give a detailed summary of the presentation. Being diligent, I would write a detailed summary. The report would take about an hour.

One day I noticed that after the MSC did an update on their website, my narratives were getting cut off, but that would happen only when the report was submitted. In other words, there was no way to tell when you were writing it that what you were writing was too long.

I asked the scheduler about it. I said I had been writing way too long of a narrative all these years. After that. I gave three paragraphs for the longest narrative, and cut the others to one paragraph apiece. I haven't had a single complaint since.
@AuditAce wrote:

Two factors relate to time spent: What ratings do your reports get? How often do you get questions from editors? I'd especially like to hear from those who do relatively speedy reports, e.g., two hours for Coyle's fine dining; 20 minutes for Chipotle (compared to 45 minutes),
But for fair comparison, we'll need to hear about ratings and time from "slower" and "faster" report writers.

I'll start: I usually get ratings of 9 - 10 with rare questions from editors. I spent 8 - 9 hours each on a couple of Coyle fine dining shops but still made $15 - $25 an hour.

I'm in your category.

I work hard to craft my narratives, and it sometimes feels like I agonize to find the right/perfect words to convey my thoughts/outline my experience(s). I feel it's important to provide an objective, well-written and well-supported report, providing insights the client(s) may not be aware of, especially when the client will be reversing close to $10.000.00 for a three-night stay, but I put forth the same effort for my clients' dining/high-end, luxury retail assignments as well. (Yes, I saw that stray cigarette butt in the bushes along the path to the private beach. Yes, I passed it all three days in a row at __:__ PM, __:__ AM, and __:__ PM. Yes, there was a groundsperson nearby on Thursday, ______ at __:__ AM.)

I admire those who can knock out reports much more quickly and efficiently than me, and aspire to reach their level of proficiency in the future.

I might also add, level of effort and time spent reporting goes up, way up, if the assignment goes "sideways" (rudeness, complacency, apathy, lack of attention to detail, etc.) or if you get "upgraded" (two bathrooms to capture images of and test, welcome amenity, etc.,).

I also feel it's important to recognize exceptional experiences and people. I am always happy and willing to write about these experiences and people.
Those estimates don't take in account that people read and think at different paces. I'm a fast reader and writer, so I would expect for some people to take a lot longer than me at doing things. That doesn't mean I'm not trying, of course.
It's taken me more than eight hours to do a report. This was for an "audio" shop. Serious question: Why did I take a recording if they wanted me to spell out a play by play account of what happened?

As for the amount of time I spend, I'm new and I'm hoping I'll get better. I'm pretty frustrated right now.
@PiperTWilson wrote:

It's taken me more than eight hours to do a report. This was for an "audio" shop. Serious question: Why did I take a recording if they wanted me to spell out a play by play account of what happened?

As for the amount of time I spend, I'm new and I'm hoping I'll get better. I'm pretty frustrated right now.

Hang in there. Take a deep breath. Exhale. You will be fine. Reports may be quicker in future.

Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June.- Al Bernstein
_____
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
_____
For me, playing Spider Solitaire, Difficult version adds at least another 15-25 minutes to my report. But it keeps me refreshed when I have more than one to complete.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
Download dropbox to your phone and computer. I go to my photos on my phone, move a photo to my mystery shop folder in drop box and within 30 seconds i have acces to it on my computer.
@dpatter wrote:

Download dropbox to your phone and computer. I go to my photos on my phone, move a photo to my mystery shop folder in drop box and within 30 seconds i have acces to it on my computer.

I will have to try that on my tablet. I don't have a smart phone so many of these tips would not help me. Before anyone chimes in telling me I should have one, I can afford a smart phone but I do not feel the need to get one just for saving a few minutes here and there shopping as I do this part time and the fees would be more than what I earn from mystery shopping. My friends call me anachronistic which is great. I also can walk down the street and admire the trees and sky. I know only a small percentage of people who can just put their smart phone away once they have one and spend time on the smaller pleasures of life.
In any case I will see if I can figure out how to add dropbox to my tablet, move pics to it and then do the dropbox thing on my computer. I do have some of the 21st century technology!
I get what you are saying. I would still have a flip phone if my husband hadn't insisted I get the smart phone. Since he pays for it, I have no argument.
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