Can I shop a location once but write two reports for two different MCS?

I am not sure if this question has been asked and answered in the past. I apologize if it was. I have a situation and I would like to get opinions from the forum members.

I was assigned a XYZ gas station shop from MSC A a month ago. I recently applied for another gas station shop from MSC B and got assigned. Once I opended the shop guidelines, I found this was the XYZ gas station. MSC B only shows the post code of each shop on the job board and you only see the shop address once you are assigned.

This XYZ gas station is out of town and requires some distance travel. I would love to do them together as a route. Both guidelines from the two MSC require purchase of fuel and small C store item. I could follow all guidelines from both MSC and shop the location only once. My only concern is that these two shops are for the same client. If I drove to the gas station once and wrote two reports, would I breach the ICA?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/10/2017 05:06AM by Fenicia.

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This question has come up from time to time. It's a good question. You want to be efficient, and you want to be honest in your work.

You would have to do a separate shop and report for each shop. Each payment is for a separate evaluation/experience.I would suggest that you communicate with schedulers for each shop. Ask them if you are allowed to shop at the same location for the same client via two different MSCs. They may tell you to separate the shops by some amount of time or provide other information. The sooner you get information from the schedulers, the better it is for you and them. If it is necessary to re-schedule or re-assign, you will provide as much notice as possible for them and their additional tasks.

It's great that you are asking about this. smiling smiley

“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.” ~ Marie Curie
No, don't ask your scheduler. It's none of their business smiling smiley
I suggest you not overlap your times, but go ahead and do both shops.
Do shop #1. Wait two minutes and do shop #2.
I forgot to ask about rotation. Are you eligible for both shops?

“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.” ~ Marie Curie
i always discuss dd situations w/ my schedulers. ive never been turned down but they usually recommend diff start & end times esp when purchase is involved. its professional way to handle your biz. communication. ive even been offered triple shop at same location by letting scheduler know what im doing. trifecta shops are even better than dd.
If you do not get the informed consent of BOTH MSCs you risk being disqualified for future shops by one or both. Yes, it IS their business! The chances are very good that the shops are either for the same client or that the regional or local manager for that location will see two reports for the same time and day and will let the parent company know. INFORMED consent is the unwritten rule for all "double dip shops. Get it in writing.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I shopped the same location for two different MSCs once. Both reports were different. The manager who viewed them would not pay me for one of them, I also couldn't shop that location for about a year. I can now.
I would not shop for two without permission from both companies. Two different MSCs, but one client.
I would ask each who the client was, but I would not inform them another MSC has a shop at the location. As long as the end clients were different, say the owner and a competitor, I would proceed while keeping the shops separate and writing two unique reports. If I cannot find out who the client is for either, I won't do the shop. One of the shops is probably for the business owner. I don't particularly want to inform a MSC linked to the owner either a competitor shop is happening during a specific time frame or that the owner is shopping a new MSC.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Thank you for all the above replies. The scheduler from MSC B got back to me after checking with higher up. To shop the location once and write two reports is not acceptable. They wouldn't even allow me to shop at a later time. So the shop was cancelled.
It is not acceptable. But to shop it twice, even if it is back to back but not the same time, is acceptable. Now we all know how this one MSC feels about it.
To me being an IC means a company cannot tell me what I can or cannot do with my time. For instance, I would feel perfectly comfortable walking into an electronics store and performing the following three shops in one trip.

MSC A/Client store - evaluate the computer sales rep
MSC B/Client vendor - evaluate the vendor rep in TVs
MSC C/Client vendor - evaluate a display with no employee interaction

Three different shops, three unique reports, no overlap. In each case my start and end time would pertain to just that shop, not my overall time in the store.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Exactly. Everyone needs to write that down because those are the rules for an I.C. working at the same location for different MSCs!
@spicy1 wrote:

Exactly. Everyone needs to write that down because those are the rules for an I.C. working at the same location for different MSCs!
u cant tell us what to do. we r ics.
There's a code of conduct that all good mystery shoppers subscribe to. 1.) not shopping two or more shops in the same time frame, but not asking two different MSCs for permission to shop another MSC (especially if you know the client and you tell them) 2.) not throwing tomatoes at the jackal that flirts with us at the gas station 3.) not refilling and resealing the mini jack daniels at the marriott (while on a shop anyway) feel free to add to this list.
Generally, writing more than one report from the same interaction is a bad idea.

Now, here's my question. Doesn't the ICA technically prohibit you from talking about MSC A's shops with MSC B, even if the client is the same?
We cannot say to MSC 1 that MSC 2 is also shopping that location of Catastrophic Moving and Storage and is it okay to take both shops. BUT, we can say to each MSC that we have been offered a similar assignment at that location and is it okay with them if we do both on the same visit (or even on separate visits.) That is how you get "informed consent" if both agree.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Unless there is a stipulation in the guidelines that this location not have been shopped in the last three months by the shopper then I don't have to get informed consent from anyone. The shops that have guidelines that I not shop at that location for 3 months are shops I don't take unless they want to pay me for 3 months of shops at that location.
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