what makes shell the worst gas station to do?

i've always done the other stations, but stayed clear of shell's due to all the negative feedback i've read on here over the years. i haven't read anything in awhile though, and honestly, i can't quite remember what it was in the first place, but in the back of my head i always know to pass on them. i've been getting calls though, and the schedulers seem desperate. what makes shell worse than the others, or are they not that bad?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/2017 03:48PM by jay225.

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I use to love doing the Shell stations. They started nick picking every picture, even if it was ok. I heard they got new auditors. I noticed that some times they left the picture in question and some times they would delete it. I began to wonder if the ones they deleted were really ok and they deleted it so you couldn't see what it was. The nick picking is why I don't do them anymore.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/2017 04:06PM by pegleg2000.
ah sounds like a pain. is it only shell that the editors bother you like this, or the other clients too? i've had many shops put on hold to clarify things, but it was never to nit pick any of the photos.
I've had some questions with Citgo pictures needing clarification. However, about half were valid questions.

The recent ones I thought were really picky were:

Did it appear the top left corner of the metal valance looked dented?

You just showed a close up of the nasty looking sink (mechanic cleaning black stains). Do you have any overall restroom pictures (I submitted three others to justify this rating as failed).

If you zoom in on the picture, does it look like the credit card application holder looks empty? Please clarify.

Please justify that there are no windshield cleaning supplies available on the island. This was at a location that I had to wait 10 minutes to exit because there were so many repaired cars waiting to be picked up and someone had left their car at the pump to do something in the neighborhood. I couldn't get around. I couldn't walk five feet away to take an island picture with the repaired cars in the way. I had taken several angled pictures. Thankfully, they accepted these clarifications.

I've done Sunoco with minimal issues. I've yet to do BP, Exxon/Mobile or Shell. Either none near me or I'm not signed up with the right MSC, and I'm signed up with 125 different MSCs.
Photo requirement of both men and women's bathroom, photo requirement of a selfie wearing the vest and holding up the manual or tablet with the manual on screen (this one is the most ridiculous, how on earth could anyone do this shop without knowing what the instructions are), multiple photos to ensure you satisfy the picky editors. All this adds time to the shop. The fee is lower than any other equivalent shop with the company, and the bonuses are lower and slower than other shops. If you add all the factors including total time and self employed taxes the pay is less than minimum wage. Except for the very rare exception when the bonus is adequate to justify the time and expense.

I realized some time ago my time and earning potential need to factored in, and I no longer work for minimum wage no matter how desperate the situation. I'm fortunate to be able to do this. Between newbies who don't know better yet and people who are truly desperate, the shops usually get filled. I believe everyone (in this case the company owners and/or stockholders) has to justify their actions and how they treat people at some point, no matter what beliefs or philosophy is in place. I won't have the opportunity to witness that time, but it helps me deal with it.
For me, it is the food photo. You must get the food offering all in one shot, but a lot of stations (unless Circle K) do not have their food offering all in one spot. Frequently, bananas will be next to the cashier's window, for instance. If I mark "fresh fruit" as being available on the form, then the editors want to know where the fresh fruit is and why it is not with the other food offerings. So, I end up taking extra photos all over the store. (You'll notice in the guidelines that the example photos look like a marketing photo shoot and not particularly like most gas stations.) I'd rather take a photo of every pump for Exxon than to deal with such particular inside shots. I guess I've just had more questions overall and more times asking for more photos (or photos from a different angle) from Shell audits than others, and it makes it frustrating. I will not do them unless bonused, and the last time I did them bonused I realized maybe I don't even want to do them when they are bonused.
[nm]

"Let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you - and why?” ~Walter Williams


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/2017 10:31PM by iShop123.
I don't mind the extra picture requirements. What I don't like is having to explain my feelings. That narrative doubles my reporting time, and thinking hurts my brain.
Definitely the picky editors. I think they use Shell to train new editors and they seem to want to prove their worth. I refuse to return to the station to re-take a picture because the shot of the bananas was too close or the corner of the counter was not in the picture or the left wall of a tiny restroom was not in the picture or the shot of the product was too similar to the overall shot in a small C-store that had only one gondola. I have successfully had these objections over turned but wasted far too much time doing so. I still do some Shell shops, although it is my 3rd choice, and have leaned to take multiple pictures. Much easier and quicker than having to return to the station. More than one time I have submitted a 2nd picture that I know was not as good as the first and had the shop accepted. But it seems to keep the editors blissfully happy and feeling they are earning their pay.
@mystery2me wrote:

I don't mind the extra picture requirements. What I don't like is having to explain my feelings. That narrative doubles my reporting time, and thinking hurts my brain.

Don't do Valero, then. I really wish there was a selection that read, I had "no feeling whatsoever."
It's a gas station and I just can't get emotional over a gas station. If my feelings are multiple choice I am confident and comfortable and on rare occasion impressed. If a reason for my rating is needed then the restroom is pristine or dirty. the parking is ample or restricted and the C-store is well stocked or has a limited offering. I can't ever remember recommending a gas station to a friend and, in reality, the gas stations I return to are the closest ones with the best prices.
I've also noticed that many of the gas stations that stay on the board are in the neighborhoods where I am questioned for taking pictures.

On two different occasions I've been asked what are you taking pictures of or why I'm taking pictures.

First was a passer by that went into the station to tell the clerk I was taking pictures. The second I blew off by saying just because I felt like it to another passerby.

I try not to get civilians in my pictures, but some of the neighborhoods you definitely don't want to do that!
I've sworn off BP's. Their editors are the pits. Way more nit picky than any other brand that I've experienced. I dumped three routes that I've been doing for years because I can't stand those people.

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
I honestly don't mind doing Shell shops, but get yourself a cheat sheet to make sure you cover every point and take extra photos. They are easy after awhile although as noted above, there is the occasional picky editor. That is what the extra photos are for. That being said, I mostly won't do them for base pay. I just don't think it's quite enough.
I have never had a problem with them. In fact my very first gas station assignment was with Shell. I absolutely bombed it. I was so frustrated by the time I got done and wasn't sure if i got the correct pictures. I was positive I was not going to be paid and at the time swore off gas stations after the experience. To my surprise, the only issue I had was with confirming the address because a number was off. Since then I have done quite a bit of them (although Exxon is my fave) and have only had one hold due to a food pic. I don't do them often because their bonuses aren't great, but I don't believe their editors are picky.
@pegleg2000 wrote:

Just Shell. I have started doing more Exon/Mobil shops with no problems.
What MSC

San Antonio Tx
@mpetersen89 wrote:

@pegleg2000 wrote:

Just Shell. I have started doing more Exon/Mobil shops with no problems.
What MSC

Good question! Because client names were mentioned, no MSCs can be mentioned. Our ICs do not allow us to link client names with their MSC names.

It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside. - Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib
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I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/18/2017 03:12AM by Shop-et-al.
For me, it is dealing with the owners. In my area, the Shells are often family owned and operated. Again, in my area, these owners do not like to care for thei stores well. They refuse to wear uniforms to represent the brand. They run and throw on a uniform as soon as they see me. I even shop at Shell myself. There is one store close to where my Mom lives that I have audited and occasionally personally shop at, and they go running for their uniforms even when I am on my own time. They do not pay enough unless bonused.

TinaMarie
When I first started doing them, it was a pain with the the pictures. I finally got frustrated and spent 20 minutes on the phone clarifying what they need, what my gas stations were really like (nothing like the examples) and since then it has been easy sailing. I do one with the app in 20-25 minutes on average. With the gas reimbursement I think it is decent pay.
For the Shell shops (and all as far as I'm concerned), the diligent mystery shopper should have their own worksheet or cheatsheet, whatever, that they made themselves. Be sure to include mandatory photos and areas needing to be checked.
For me, I've found the materials offered by the MSC not to be as informational as my own worksheet, especially so for the crazy BP shops.
Is a Shell shop worth it? Depends They have the worst bonuses and their "Night" shops are never worth it as they don't add anything extra for doing them. The mandatory self photo with the tablet or book with Client Requirements along with the safety vest are just silly. Why should they even care if the IC is wearing the vest or has the guide?
The editors are picky and obnoxious. I've found that when they have asked for another photo, that they have overridden my report and determined something to be not up to "their" standard. Really? You weren't even there, its not a "white glove audit". I have to base my determination upon obvious negligence versus amount of customers coming and going and the employee's ability to address the issue promptly.
I could go on. Yet, I still do them because my system works for me.
@wrosie

I once had a customer tell the employee that I was taking pictures. The employee said yes I know, I am going to be in the newspaper tomorrow.
Completing the shop on site is not bad for me, but the reporting takes so long. Maybe with the new site it will be quicker. I always have so many photos and the food and product thing gets me crazy. I agree with the above poster about having a cheat sheet. I have one for Shell, BP and Exxon and it sure helps not miss those pesky things you need to check.

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The more I learn about people...the more I like my dog..

Mark Twain
I will only do them when the incentives are substantial. Same for the Blue/Red and Green gas shops. None of them pay well enough for the amount of work without incentives added.
I've read some of the descriptions of the shops that begin in the new year. Those descriptions are on the new site and do describe required photos of each pump (along with the other required photos - I'm assuming here that they are the same as before food, product, etc).
I also note that the shop fee has gone up to $12.50 each. Then, there is also some type of employee instant reward - whatever.

I just wish that the new site would allow for the shopper to view the requirements and guidelines as soon as the shop is chosen, not a few days before the shop's deadline date.
I have done lots of Shell shops and only had a few problems with the editors. I started using the app last year and have halved the amount of time it takes to submit the shops. I have to agree though, that the "how does this store make you feel" questions are ridiculous. At least Shell only makes you answer the question once. There are other gas stations that make you answer the same "how does it make you feel" questions at least four different times.
For me, it is the forecourt photo. I sent in 4 pictures last week just to make sure. Shop went on hold anyway. The reason stated was they wanted me to stand under the canopy and take the picture as shown in the guidelines. Standing under the canopy will not get the drive path to the canopy. I have had a shop returned because the picture was too close. Make up your minds...what do you want?
I take forecourt photos from two different angles. One standing away from the pumps behind them, and another standing in front of the cstore facing the pumps. Those seem to do very well. I don't know how you would stand under the canopy to take them. I haven't seen this years guidelines but I'll be checking it out when I do.
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