Every day I care less and less…

ShopperBob is the best. I love his "termination" comments on the various threads. He's like the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld. I can see him saying "No more shops for you!"

While there are things I don't like about IPSOS, i focus on the shops I like and ignore the others. I could care less about mailing crap. I don't need gas with electric vehicle. The bank stuff is easy and profitable. So is the fast food stuff.

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I've walked away from a couple MSCs in the last few months as well. If I don't feel like I can do a good job for whatever reason, I don't take the assignment. If they disrespect me, misrepresent things, or make things unnecessarily difficult one too many times, I too am out the door. Every time I leave one MSC behind, I revisit that list of MSCs on this forum and sign up for a few more. It is easy to get into a rut thinking you have to depend on the caca assignments of any given MSC, but the reality is that this is an international industry and there are a whole lot of good MSCs out there who need good mystery shoppers, who pay fairly, and who even treat their mystery shoppers with a modicum of respect and good common decency. Just my two cents.

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?
"Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."
-- Abraham Lincoln


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/2022 08:09PM by GinnyLynn.
Why would any MSC want to hire you?!? You flat out don't care about being honest. Shoppers wonder why we are always being asked to jump through additional hoops to 'prove' we shopped the right location or details, etc. Our integrity is all we have in this industry and you don't give a sh about that.... dishonest shoppers make me sick.

(Oh and I've a client pull video when a shopper submitted a really good report only to find that 95% of it was falsified.....)


@LindaM wrote:

I do want to say that I do add the additional details when the pay for dining is "reasonable" ... by reasonable I mean reimbursement that fully covers a meal (with items purchased at middle of the road and not least expensive) and a small fee around $15 - $30.

If anything comes from this post, I hope the MSC/schedulers realize that reports you may get are poor and not true reflection of the experience, which in turn will impact your business down the line when businesses stop contracting with you. What I'm hoping for in the long run is the MSC to negotiate a higher reimbursement with the client.

@rarararara wrote:

It is frustrating to be continually asked to do more for less. I tend to fill out reports based on how much I'm being paid. If you're paying nice money, you'll get a nice report with lots of detail, extra pics, etc. If you're not, then you're going to get the minimum required pictures and words. It's not that anything is fudged or misrepresented, its just you get what you pay for. MSC pays bare bones money, they get bare bones report.
It is pretty simple. If you do not like the work, you don't take it. We let our emotions control our actions at times. Yes, I would like to be paid as much as possible. But I realize that is not going to happen either. I either take what is offered or leave it hoping others will pass too until it pays what I feel is worth the effort.

I am not going to take a job only to put forth a lame attempt.

I do understand that "going above and beyond" is not human nature. So it makes sense that some people are burned out or tired of it and just do the minimum. This is precisely why I avoid certain MSC. I feel their reports are incredibly too much work/detail for the effort and instead of doing it with a bad attitude, i just don't do it.
I guess my honesty level goes up or down based on reimbursement & fees.

no out of pocket + fees? honest & forthcoming

25% out of pocket? 75% honest

etc - why do they hire me? i dunno. they could hire a more honest shopper if they raise reimbursements and fees

maybe the question we want to ask is why do they not pay more?

@luckygirl0100 wrote:

Why would any MSC want to hire you?!? You flat out don't care about being honest. Shoppers wonder why we are always being asked to jump through additional hoops to 'prove' we shopped the right location or details, etc. Our integrity is all we have in this industry and you don't give a sh about that.... dishonest shoppers make me sick.

(Oh and I've a client pull video when a shopper submitted a really good report only to find that 95% of it was falsified.....)


@LindaM wrote:

I do want to say that I do add the additional details when the pay for dining is "reasonable" ... by reasonable I mean reimbursement that fully covers a meal (with items purchased at middle of the road and not least expensive) and a small fee around $15 - $30.

If anything comes from this post, I hope the MSC/schedulers realize that reports you may get are poor and not true reflection of the experience, which in turn will impact your business down the line when businesses stop contracting with you. What I'm hoping for in the long run is the MSC to negotiate a higher reimbursement with the client.

@rarararara wrote:

It is frustrating to be continually asked to do more for less. I tend to fill out reports based on how much I'm being paid. If you're paying nice money, you'll get a nice report with lots of detail, extra pics, etc. If you're not, then you're going to get the minimum required pictures and words. It's not that anything is fudged or misrepresented, its just you get what you pay for. MSC pays bare bones money, they get bare bones report.
No matter what the pay, truth and honesty in reporting is critical to the integrity of any reporter in any field. Mystery shoppers are business reporters by another name. In fact, we might get more respect if we called ourselves business reporters. Could you imagine if our news and weather reporters decided that whether or not they provided a truthful report of whatever had to do with how much they were being paid. Although sometimes I cringe at the rate of pay, I very much set a bar of how much I will or will not work for, and which assignments I will or will not take. We might have to work to make up the difference by getting on with some different/better companies, but we do have that choice.

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?
"Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."
-- Abraham Lincoln
Seriously? You are now admitting to lying? They hire you because you have not told them that your pay scale involves dishonesty on your part. They assume that you are telling the truth because you agreed to tell the truth.
@LindaM wrote:

I guess my honesty level goes up or down based on reimbursement & fees.

no out of pocket + fees? honest & forthcoming

25% out of pocket? 75% honest

etc - why do they hire me? i dunno. they could hire a more honest shopper if they raise reimbursements and fees

maybe the question we want to ask is why do they not pay more?

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
Helena. thank you; your explanation was crystal clear. Daddy inquired as to why I permitted a single situation to affect the contract between Ipsos and myself. The two instances I stated were the culmination of a year's dissatisfaction. Last night, I realized Karen was correct and I should terminate. I have not an iota of regret.
Since you are not being paid anything to post messages on this Forum, your sliding scale suggests that we should not believe anything that you post here.
@LindaM wrote:

I guess my honesty level goes up or down based on reimbursement & fees.

no out of pocket + fees? honest & forthcoming

25% out of pocket? 75% honest

etc - why do they hire me? i dunno. they could hire a more honest shopper if they raise reimbursements and fees

maybe the question we want to ask is why do they not pay more?

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
The situations are not complete.

I'm really curious how much honesty is involved with full reimbursement AND no pay?

This kind of dishonesty and work ethic only hurts the mystery shoppers as a whole. If schedulers or clients did not doubt our results before, you certainly have given them reason to.

Is that how you operate in other areas of your life? I'll be honest when I deem it worthy to be?


@LindaM wrote:

I guess my honesty level goes up or down based on reimbursement & fees.

no out of pocket + fees? honest & forthcoming

25% out of pocket? 75% honest

etc - why do they hire me? i dunno. they could hire a more honest shopper if they raise reimbursements and fees

maybe the question we want to ask is why do they not pay more?
@GinnyLynn wrote:

Mystery shoppers are business reporters by another name. In fact, we might get more respect if we called ourselves business reporters. Could you imagine if our news and weather reporters decided that whether or not they provided a truthful report of whatever had to do with how much they were being paid.

I know what you mean but there are some who say that the "News" is directly influenced by many factors - advertisers, ratings, political interests, etc. Which all amount to pay in the long run.

sestrahelena
Not sure your "news" example is a fair one. Obviously anything on TV is competing against whatever else is on TV for viewers. So "news" has become sensationalized and skewed to attract an audience. Obviously the more viewers a network has, the more they can charge advertisers to be on their broadcast.

Our reports are not competing with other reports and we have a dedicated audience (client) that is expecting us to be honest in our reporting. Is it dishonest to say you arrived at 12:34:17 when you arrived at 12:34:19? I don't think anyone is going to really care about that minutia because what is the source of time are you using? Also, if your description of an employee is 5'6", but they are 5'5", that is not the details that truly matter. But to change a YES or NO because you do not want to explain, that is dishonest.

Some MSC expect an answer to either response. Do we really want to have to explain the "yes" answers now too? It might come to that if they think you are fudging results to get out of explaining things.


@sestrahelena wrote:

@GinnyLynn wrote:

Mystery shoppers are business reporters by another name. In fact, we might get more respect if we called ourselves business reporters. Could you imagine if our news and weather reporters decided that whether or not they provided a truthful report of whatever had to do with how much they were being paid.

I know what you mean but there are some who say that the "News" is directly influenced by many factors - advertisers, ratings, political interests, etc. Which all amount to pay in the long run.
I’m sorry I want to correct myself… although I don’t know if it would make a difference…

What I want to correct is that my level of investment on whether something is accurate goes down depending on how much out ofpocket expense I incur.

So, no I’m not trying to be dishonest.. but I’m not investing the energy to ensure it’s accurate.

Of course, the Ritz Carlton stay with fees? I will check and double check and add more details, investing late night reviews to ensure accuracy.

The Gyu-Kaku shops that I have to pay an additional $60 out of pocket? I write it once as quickly as possible and move on.


@LindaM wrote:

I guess my honesty level goes up or down based on reimbursement & fees.

no out of pocket + fees? honest & forthcoming

25% out of pocket? 75% honest

etc - why do they hire me? i dunno. they could hire a more honest shopper if they raise reimbursements and fees

maybe the question we want to ask is why do they not pay more?

@luckygirl0100 wrote:

Why would any MSC want to hire you?!? You flat out don't care about being honest. Shoppers wonder why we are always being asked to jump through additional hoops to 'prove' we shopped the right location or details, etc. Our integrity is all we have in this industry and you don't give a sh about that.... dishonest shoppers make me sick.

(Oh and I've a client pull video when a shopper submitted a really good report only to find that 95% of it was falsified.....)


@LindaM wrote:

I do want to say that I do add the additional details when the pay for dining is "reasonable" ... by reasonable I mean reimbursement that fully covers a meal (with items purchased at middle of the road and not least expensive) and a small fee around $15 - $30.

If anything comes from this post, I hope the MSC/schedulers realize that reports you may get are poor and not true reflection of the experience, which in turn will impact your business down the line when businesses stop contracting with you. What I'm hoping for in the long run is the MSC to negotiate a higher reimbursement with the client.

@rarararara wrote:

It is frustrating to be continually asked to do more for less. I tend to fill out reports based on how much I'm being paid. If you're paying nice money, you'll get a nice report with lots of detail, extra pics, etc. If you're not, then you're going to get the minimum required pictures and words. It's not that anything is fudged or misrepresented, its just you get what you pay for. MSC pays bare bones money, they get bare bones report.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/2022 12:28AM by LindaM.
You all are right about the current news not being a good example. It could be that I grew up in a time where it would have been, but I think you get my point.

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?
"Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."
-- Abraham Lincoln
While I understand the frustration of taking a job that may require more energy than deemed worthwhile, what we own and what defines us is our honesty and good morales. If an assignment does not provide the adequate cost/benefit ratio, don't take it. Our integrity is too important to compromise. I have been frustrated with what I considered inadequate compensation for the effort required. I have taken a leave of absence from those assignments until the bonuses equate to what I consider fair.
If you feel like you are not up to the shop for any reason, cancel it and move on. It is better than turning in less than mediocre work. Also, make a list of shops you do not enjoy and are not willing to do. In a year, do one more. That will either confirm or change your opinion.
I just did a report to say I got no response to an e- mail. Not even the immediate automated response.

Once I stated that, the rest of the shop should have disappeared. No, to submit the shop I had to answer all the questions. First, after answering that I got no response a message popped up saying, I had to contact the scheduler.

These extra steps ensured I didn't just say there was no response to my e-mail.

Very simple shop either way. I blame dishonest shoppers for my extra work, in this case.

I do agree fees need to be higher.
@hbbigdaddy wrote:

ShopperBob is the best. I love his "termination" comments on the various threads. He's like the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld. I can see him saying "No more shops for you!"

While there are things I don't like about IPSOS, i focus on the shops I like and ignore the others. I could care less about mailing crap. I don't need gas with electric vehicle. The bank stuff is easy and profitable. So is the fast food stuff.

From now on, I'm saying, "No shop for you!" as I hit the delete button. LOL. lol

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/2022 01:44PM by prince.
A lot has been said in this post.
My personal philosophy is if I'm NOT making a profit. I do NOT take a job. I'm not looking for a discount on a meal or product.
It make no sense at all to take a job if it requires me to be out of pocket 25%. That is economic nonsense.

A Dad shopping the Ark-LA-Tex and beyond.
The level of investment to report a shop and answering questions based on the true facts observed are two different things.

So in the case of Gyu you enjoy the food enough to get a portion of your meal reimbursed, but don't like the pay enough to report what was actually observed, e.g. (your words) wasn't greeted, napkins under the table, curt waiter, etc. I call wrong !

Your methodology is a injustice to the client. The client is seeking facts to know what is working like a well oiled machine and where improvements are needed. If the facts are not reported, the client is given and paying for a false sense of reality.

Also, in the case of Gyu, the MSC requires 5-8 sentences in each section. By answering "no" when appropriate, that helps to knock one or two of the sentences out. I can see only responding with 5 vs. 8 sentences, because frankly even the lowest denominator can be challenging at times. But this is different than saying yes when it really is no.

Lastly, you are dreaming if you think your post will encourage MSC's to pay more. I think its more likely the MSC will deactivate you if they discover who you are.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/23/2022 05:42AM by Zek.
Clearly there is some sort of issue in the industry with inaccurate shoppers that don't do their job correctly. All of the warnings about shops being matched up with video security footage, and even threats that mystery shop companies will come behind shoppers to check them and make sure they are doing things correctly, lead me to believe that they fight this.

While I will say that it is true increasing pay would increase the professionalism of their shopper base and help eliminate this, there is never an excuse for it. I complain on this forum constantly about low pay and stupidly difficult shops that are not commiserate with fees. However, I take my job seriously, and I strive to be completely accurate at all times. I am so careful to always give the employee and location the benefit of the doubt if I am not 100% sure that they did something wrong. There is never an excuse for a shopper that is inaccurate or does not tell the truth. I do put more effort into shops that pay better. Maybe I will elaborate more in my narratives. However, if it's a yes or no question, I am going to answer it accurately.
So how do we know you are being honest about your "variable" honesty?

I used to wonder why MS companies have required more and more different kinds of proof from shoppers. After reading your comments, I understand why.

They may also have caught on to you without you realizing it.

If the fee is too low, or the shop scenario too arduous, or you dislike that restaurant's food, DO NOT DO THE SHOP.

@LindaM wrote:

I guess my honesty level goes up or down based on reimbursement & fees.

no out of pocket + fees? honest & forthcoming

25% out of pocket? 75% honest

etc - why do they hire me? i dunno. they could hire a more honest shopper if they raise reimbursements and fees

maybe the question we want to ask is why do they not pay more?

@luckygirl0100 wrote:

Why would any MSC want to hire you?!? You flat out don't care about being honest. Shoppers wonder why we are always being asked to jump through additional hoops to 'prove' we shopped the right location or details, etc. Our integrity is all we have in this industry and you don't give a sh about that.... dishonest shoppers make me sick.

(Oh and I've a client pull video when a shopper submitted a really good report only to find that 95% of it was falsified.....)


@LindaM wrote:

I do want to say that I do add the additional details when the pay for dining is "reasonable" ... by reasonable I mean reimbursement that fully covers a meal (with items purchased at middle of the road and not least expensive) and a small fee around $15 - $30.

If anything comes from this post, I hope the MSC/schedulers realize that reports you may get are poor and not true reflection of the experience, which in turn will impact your business down the line when businesses stop contracting with you. What I'm hoping for in the long run is the MSC to negotiate a higher reimbursement with the client.

@rarararara wrote:

It is frustrating to be continually asked to do more for less. I tend to fill out reports based on how much I'm being paid. If you're paying nice money, you'll get a nice report with lots of detail, extra pics, etc. If you're not, then you're going to get the minimum required pictures and words. It's not that anything is fudged or misrepresented, its just you get what you pay for. MSC pays bare bones money, they get bare bones report.
I think this really sums it up. If the MSCs were willing to offer decent fees and reimbursements, they could get professional reports written by professionals. I almost never shop anymore due to low fees and reimbursements that don't even cover the required purchases. When I do, I always submit a complete and accurate report, but I often feel the MSCs prefer shoppers that just check all the "everything was great boxes" regardless of what actually occurred.

Years ago, I submitted a supermarket report where I stated that the deli person was not helpful. It was full of specific examples e.g. she turned away and started taking to one of her coworkers while I was asking a question, she answered several questions with a shrug or an "I don't know.", etc. The MSC called me and said, "Don't you think you should have her a higher rating." I read to them the specifics that were in the report and they said, "Yes, but it could still be satisfactory." It became clear to me that the MSC did not want to submit any negatives to the client. Finally I said, "Change the report, if you want, but what I wrote is exactly what happened." I have no idea what they submitted to the customer.


@LindaM wrote:


etc - why do they hire me? i dunno. they could hire a more honest shopper if they raise reimbursements and fees

maybe the question we want to ask is why do they not pay more?
I never got that impression or even that direction from the MSC's I do shops for. I am not saying it is not possible that there could be MSC's that do not want to bother with the negative feedback. But it does defeat the purpose of the partnership between the client, the MSC and the shopper. I believe they really want to know what happened. It gives their client details they need to know about what is really going on inside their business establishment. It demonstrates the need for our work. If everything was just reported as great, eventually, the client could deduce they have managed to train their associates well and do not need our services and save that business expense.

Even if I took an assignment that I hated doing or the report required too much repetition of already stated facts, etc., (like certain apartment shops!), I still cannot bring myself to skimp or cheat on my entries. Like was mentioned above, our integrity is involved and it starts at your very core. If that sort of thing does not bother you, this is not for you. This is about the truth, nothing less or even grey. Most of us chose to do this work because we like to investigate, provide proof and make a difference.
Thank you for doing this. I am sure there are plenty of companies that don't care about us when we say the pay is low, but more of us need to do send this feedback!

@digikiss wrote:

MSP's should realize that shoppers will not go above & beyond when the pay is low, and the end result is that the client is being short-changed. I've started to include a closing comment in my reports for shops that end up being especially frustrating. I let them know that I would not accept a shop like this for the same pay again, and explain why it should pay better. When schedulers ask me to pick up the same shops again, I remind them that the pay has to be better.
OP, I understand what you're saying. Sometimes giving the negative is more work on our parts, but this is what we've signed up for.
I will say, I have had experiences where I gave a negative review on something and the next visit, the issue was resolved (a gas station with a horribly pot-holed parking lot was repaved), which I found gratifying.

I do a different version of your "scale" but its not in terms of honesty, its in terms of quality. A high paying/well reimbursed shop will get very detailed comments from me. You want 5-8 sentences? Sure. Maybe I'll even throw in 9 for that razzle dazzle. A shop that has a basic fee or reimbursement, I will give the basic details as required by the shop. 1-3 sentences? 1 sentence and done.

I've been a shopper for a while and don't really care to do a ton of narrative, so I tend to avoid the companies that require this. If they want extra pictures of the infraction (like an overflowing garbage can), fine, no prob. I'd rather do the upload than write up 3 imaginary sentences about the garbage can overflowing to meet their requirement.
Your motivation or lack thereof is warranted. I look at the gas station reveal shops and the form that has to be filled out and then look at the pay, and feel like as shoppers we are being taken advantage of. The expectations DO NOT match the pay offered.
It's a matter of "Quiet quitting" also called "Acting your wage" which was always present in work life but now has a name and is discussed openly on many internet platforms. It's really just human nature, though, to feel like doing your best work is pointless when those you do the work for do not appreciate your efforts and, instead, require more and more from you while compensating less and less.

sestrahelena
@sestrahelena wrote:

It's a matter of "Quiet quitting" also called "Acting your wage" which was always present in work life but now has a name and is discussed openly on many internet platforms. It's really just human nature, though, to feel like doing your best work is pointless when those you do the work for do not appreciate your efforts and, instead, require more and more from you while compensating less and less.

I wholeheartedly agree with this post! Over the weekend, I stayed at the St Regis where I had to fill out multiple detailed reports. I stayed up late to complete all the forms. I added additional comments. I reviewed the reports again to see if I wanted to add anything else before submission. There were no out of pocket expenses, plus a decent fee, and plus accrued points.

Some posters ask why pick up shops that I know will have out of pocket expenses? Well, I do see some of the shops as a "coupon," as such I will treat the reports the same way.

A lot of posters on this board are so big on this being a "business." Well, as a "business" owner, I value my time and I'm going to treat every shop based on its value. The MSC is also a "business" that is paying for a service. If they want higher quality, they need to pay more. They shouldn't expect high quality when paying pennies.

Yesterday, I bought a cheap toy set for my son. It broke by the time I got home. Did I complain? No. I paid $8 for the toy set, not $28.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/26/2022 04:17PM by LindaM.
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