Hey everyone! Hopefully this hasn’t been discussed somewhere, I looked around and didn’t see anything.
Anyways, I started doing gas station shops for Alta360 several months ago (springtime). The shops have never really been difficult, and I thoroughly enjoy working with my scheduler. I’ve worked with the same one this entire time and she has been wonderful.
However, starting in about August, the shop has changed slightly each month. First they started requiring an extra 3 pictures (no big deal), then they wanted you to pay at the pump $1 gas so you could submit the receipt (also not a big deal), then they started requiring photos of any indoor “no” answer (used to only require a photo for outdoor “no” answers).
The kicker for me though is this month, they want you to audio record your conversation with the employee when you make the required purchase.
This shop doesn’t pay much to begin with ($7) but they have become second nature for me to perform, I like that they are mystery (no reveal), I’ve always felt good working with this company/scheduler, and there are several dozen available in my area so I can pop off quite a few of them. I honestly just enjoy the shop.
I will not do them though with the newest audio requirement and haven’t reserved any for this month. The (quick, easy) report is submitted through a platform app and it sometimes doesn’t attach a picture or two. I have twice not seen emails in a timely manner where they requested a photo that was apparently not attached to the report. Both times they paid me even though it was several days later that I saw and sent the requested photo. There is absolutely a glitch within the app because it won’t allow you to submit the report without these photos attached. But I digress.
Any words of wisdom here? Does anyone else here perform these shops?
I loved doing other shops for Alta360 but then they lost the client. All they have near me now are those cheap gas shops. I wouldn't do them then, and I won't do them now thanks to your post. They were too cheap when they were easy. I live in upstate NY and $7 doesn't pay for me to drive there, let alone do a shop and a report, app or no app! Good luck!
These gas shops are not worth $7 wait till they are desperate and go up. I think $20 is fair without the recorded audio. I got $25 towards the end of one quarter for several and even $40 and $45 on a few. They lost my go to guy there in Dan O Neil who would work with you and get you a fair price on many of their shops. Now they start at crap and don't want to budge at all. I say let them lose all their shops to other MSPs who will at least bonus. Who knows maybe Maritz gets another gas client.
Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
All we have in my area is a Pizza shop. And only nine of them at that 3 are 25 miles or a little more away and one is over 60 miles. All of this for $5.00 each emm don't think so. And they do come out monthly.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/02/2017 07:40AM by 2stepps.
I had to laugh when I pulled up the shopper guide. It's up to $8 now for a location in Austin, but you must make a small purchase in the convenience store which is not reimbursed? They can't even cough up a couple of bucks for gas reimbursement? Check Marketforce for gas stations.
They’ve gotten progressively cheaper over the last 18 months or so. I stopped doing them in 2016. No job is worth $7. The scheduler is super nice, she’s just saddled with ridiculously low paying jobs that she struggles to unload.
Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
Don't do them. It doesn't matter how nice the scheduler is or how easy the shop used to be. The fee is simply ridiculously low. It is not the shoppers' duty to help an MSC be profitable at our expense.
The app most definitely has a glitch. I have been asked for info on shops (different client) that I specifically remember typing. I have also been asked for a picture or two when I know I took it. The problem for me was I completed shop reports as I was doing the shop (per guidelines) and did 4-5 locations a day. So when asked for the 'missing' info it was really hard to remember the quotes / exact names & descriptions of employees. I now have to take text notes as well as entering into the app.
I have browsed a bit for similar gas station shops, but just haven’t found any in my area. I am signed up with Maritz and have their app. They do shop a couple of gas stations near me, but all the ones I saw were reveal and that’s just not my thing. Part of my problem may be that I’m too picky because I want mystery and no reveal Most gas stations seem to include reveal.
I’ve never seen a gas station pop up on market force... maybe I’m just too far from the locations they shop? I do some of their food shops but that’s about it. Without going into ultra detail, they rejected 2 cell phone shops I drove way out of my way for because they were bonused. The MF woman who rejected my reports didn’t believe the price quotes I reported receiving. So I have treaded carefully with MF ever since.
I quit working for alt360 because their unfair auditing practices. I don think they are shopper friendly and have absolutely no appeal process.
I think they are about at the top of my list for being 'shopper friendly'. Took me about 45 seconds yesterday to get a scheduler on the phone when a shop went a little sideways. ALWAYS a timely response to email. Editor's sometimes asking for info i know I put in the report but I think that's Mobi Audit issues not Alta360....