Blue Gas Station "potential Bias" Email

I do a handful or two of these jobs each month. Last month and again a week ago I received a form letter warning me of potential bias. Obviously, I missed something or am miss-applying a guideline so I asked the MSC for more info to ensure the mistake doesn't happen again. Two different people on the team said they didn't recognize the letter and couldn't see any problems with my work to indicate what it was about. They assumed it must have been from an editor but didn't know why.

I really hate when I get a 9 on a shop and go back to see what I did wrong. This is worse and I can't figure out if it is a standard I am misjudging or something I'm overlooking that is an infraction. Has anyone had experience with these and found out what the mistake was?

"Recently we have sent xxx personnel to locations that were reported without any infractions. In some instances they found multiple long-lasting infractions that the previous shopper failed to report."

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Not working for the MSC, I cannot comment from experience. OTOH, this isn't a big surprise. Many observations can be subjective and training for most gas station audits is woefully inadequate with guidelines that are left to interpretation. From the quote it is obvious you felt some infractions were minor enough to pass while other auditors took a different view. My opinion is the MSC should provide you definitive examples. While it's possible you may be too easy, it could be the other auditors are judging too harshly.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
If this is the same "blue" gas station normally referred to and the same MSC, I do a lot of them. As far as I know the editors are low on the totem pole and report on real or conceived errors on a report submitted. As far as I know they are not authorized to send a letter reprimanding a shopper. And I don't believe a scheduler has that authority either. It would have to be a supervisor. I would pursue this to the supervisory level to find out what the problem is and do it by phone, not email.
Although you do not name the MSC, I am assuming you are referring to the one that has the "Blue" or "Pegasus" logo gas stations. With this MSC, I've never been told my specific shopper rating other than in vague reference.
If it is not that particular MSC, then much of what I am saying in the following ,ay not be germane.
However, I have seen that message myself and therefore, believe it is that MSC.
What you have received is their standard form letter for shoppers who are grading the shops out of their typical algorithm. The letter is the first of a very short series of reprimands that, if not corrected, shall ultimately lead to you not seeing any available shops and your inability to self-assign.
In many instances, the shops you have done might have been overly critical, finding fault with infractions in a "white glove" sense. OTOH, your findings could have been too lax, apparently missing infractions that other shoppers have reported. Whichever it is, (I'm thinking that you have been too "easy"winking smiley, you have fallen outside their curve.
To reiterate, if you have received these warnings with regularity, you shall find suddenly that the shops you want to perform or shops that are assigned every other month to be missing. If you do a search, you shall find not find any of the shops of this particular brand.
In any case, it really does not matter. There is something not right in how you they want you to perform the shops and they have informed you as such.
Do as LIJake advises, call, no Emails. Make sure you ask for and subsequently, speak with a supervisor. After they review with you the reason(s) for the letter or to what they are referring, they can reset your self-assignment settings for your account.
The importance of doing this is critical to continuing as one of their shoppers!
There was a supervisor for this "team" who was quite honest and understanding. Her name was Beth. I am told she no longer is there. It might be someone named Sandy now.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2018 12:21PM by French Farmer.
Sorry to hear Beth is gone. I know she was out sick and perhaps she will return after a leave of absence. Interesting info on the form letters. I did notice a new question on the debrief asking if you called ahead to determine the hours of operation. If "no " is clicked a warning appears. Give me a break.
I believe it is a different shop with the same MSC, maybe I should have posted it as blue and red geometric shape. French Farmer, your warning is what I was thinking might happen. When I called after the first letter I did speak to the supervisor (I don't remember her name) and that was who said they didn't know anything. I just noticed the jobs are listed at reimbursement only right now. While I enjoy them I won't work for $5 in overpriced gas and a bag of peanuts so maybe it doesn't matter as much as I thought.
@LIJake wrote:

Sorry to hear Beth is gone. I know she was out sick and perhaps she will return after a leave of absence. Interesting info on the form letters. I did notice a new question on the debrief asking if you called ahead to determine the hours of operation. If "no " is clicked a warning appears. Give me a break.

Regarding Beth; I was told this in another comment string by another shopper that she was no longer there. however, I have heard that there is a "Beth" working in the bank team. Maybe that is her?


As for the call prior question. Isn't that a bit unctuous? What do I do if no one answers? What do I do anyway? There is no true follow up in the guidelines.
I know for a fact that I shall be doing a gas station next month and it is currently closed (drove by this week - closed). So if I call and no one answers, should I do it? I'm going to and I shall answer that I called ahead.
It wasn't the "blue stations", but I recently did a new-to-me route of new-to-me gas station shops. All revealed audits. The remarks I got from the managers astounded me. "Wow, the usual guy is here and gone in five minutes" (this one took me 40 minutes to complete, even though the store was brand new, just built in February this year -- it was a HUGE station with multiple canopies, alternative fuels, etc, etc, etc.) "I really appreciate you not being rude. I hope you can come audit us again!" (A shopper was RUDE? Why in the world would a shopper be RUDE?) "I've never had a nicer shopper. I hope you can come back."

The one who said they'd never had a nicer shopper had literally hundreds of infractions. But they were in a "historical site" building, and could do nothing to alter the building itself, so the infractions MUST be ongoing. I detailed every bit of it in the report, but it was the same route, and I'm wildly guessing the same guy spent the same 5 minutes and didn't report any infractions whatsoever.

The auditor who went before me deserves to get the letter you got!
I also recently received the same bias e-mail as the OP for the Blue and red geometric station for gasoline. This is the first bias e-mail I have received from this MSC. I will have to give them a call and see what they say. Thank you for the fellow poster's advice to actively find out my mistakes!
@ceasesmith wrote:

It wasn't the "blue stations", but I recently did a new-to-me route of new-to-me gas station shops. All revealed audits. The remarks I got from the managers astounded me. "Wow, the usual guy is here and gone in five minutes" (this one took me 40 minutes to complete, even though the store was brand new, just built in February this year -- it was a HUGE station with multiple canopies, alternative fuels, etc, etc, etc.) "I really appreciate you not being rude. I hope you can come audit us again!" (A shopper was RUDE? Why in the world would a shopper be RUDE?) "I've never had a nicer shopper. I hope you can come back."

The one who said they'd never had a nicer shopper had literally hundreds of infractions. But they were in a "historical site" building, and could do nothing to alter the building itself, so the infractions MUST be ongoing. I detailed every bit of it in the report, but it was the same route, and I'm wildly guessing the same guy spent the same 5 minutes and didn't report any infractions whatsoever.

The auditor who went before me deserves to get the letter you got!

It's amazing to me some of the stories I have heard. The wildest one that I heard was the one that no longer allows employee photos because the auditor made stalkerish comments. In fact, they almost didn't let me complete it the month following so I took great pains to be extra nice! I don't get it...at least in my areas the employees and owners view the stations as essential to their reputations so they take great pride in their stores and treat everyone extremely kindly. Why wouldn't I do that in return?
@ceasesmith;

I'm happy to hear that you reported the comments stated by the manager. I agree with you no reason to be rude if you're a shopper; especially on a revealed shop..yikes.I'm always on my best behavior while performing a shop...Even on my easier shops that I don't reveal who I am, it still takes me at least 15 minutes to do the scenario, ask the required questions, make observations, take the required photos. I can't even imagine what the other Auditor did, what it in the world can you get done in 5 minutes for an extremely thorough Audit, very strange..

Shopping Idaho and Oregon/Idaho border region.
I"m wondering if this is what happened to a shopper in my area. Tons of bonused gas stations on the boards and no one is taking them but me. Even I can't do them all. And everywhere I go the CSR asks me where is Bob? (name changed to protect the possibly innocent.) They seem to want Bob back and look very disappointed when I say I don't know Bob, all I know is I am here to do this audit.
Anybody get the 10-limit email? Got mine today. 4 pumps, tiny store and no restroom should take 45 minutes? Really?

sestrahelena


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/10/2018 10:08PM by sestrahelena.
No. 10 per day max because it is "Rare" that the visit take less than 45 minutes. And a threat to be removed from the project if I do more than 10 because I have on "Multiple occasions." Hard to make an effective route that way.

sestrahelena
Wow. I don't think I've ever done 10 shops in one day. Last month I had a route with 9 shops; I did 2 on the way there on one day, and the other 7 on the way back home. Well, I did drive almost l000 miles round trip. It took me 3 days to physically recover. I have two words for you: Road Warrior!!!!
Did not get a "10 limit email". If you regularly do more than 10 then I believe the email was directed at you. You may be able to get around the 10 limit rule by mixing gas station brands, if they are in your area. But you also risk getting red carded as you apparently got a yellow card. I don't know how strict the MSC is on this but my top limit has been 8.
I will definitely heed the warning. It will create a lot of down time, though, on road trips. Mixing brands is a good idea but they just never seem to fall together in the areas I travel. Thanks for the advice!

sestrahelena
So I just received a “you exceeded the 10 limit rule on multiple occasions” email, but I really don’t think I did? I did a winding road-trippy route last week, but it was mainly the green brand, and then I snagged a few bonused blues along the way and as filler once it got dark.

I did 11 shops total one day, but only 2 were blue. No more than 7 blue over any 24 hour period. Should I worry about the email?

I’m honestly surprised too, because I had a heck of a time with some of my greens & one of the editors— those were the ones I was more worried about!
Well, it looks like my end run suggestion of mixing brands and exceeding 10 shops is not a good idea. Apparently they are checking total gas station shops per day. If you value doing these kind of shops for this MSC I would now suggest that the 10 shop limit be adhered to.
I think I’ll just suck it up and call them tomorrow to see what’s going on.

But ugh, I dread calling about something, but so-and-so has to call me back with the answer. And in the meantime, I get 4 calls from their various other teams and have to answer them all because I don’t know if it’s the person calling me back that I need to talk to or not.
@LIJake wrote:

Well, it looks like my end run suggestion of mixing brands and exceeding 10 shops is not a good idea. Apparently they are checking total gas station shops per day. If you value doing these kind of shops for this MSC I would now suggest that the 10 shop limit be adhered to.

Is this something they told you? I'm only asking because that would be a real bummer and I hope it is not the case. Megs, I'm wondering if maybe you had exceeded the limit with just blue stations several months ago months ago or even longer. I got one of those emails last year. It wasn't triggered by recent activity, but by a report that included activity from months before, before the limit was imposed (based on a conversation with team leader.)
Is this something they told you?

No, I based that on Meg's post saying she did 11 mixed shops in a day. I have not pursued the 10 shop limit with the MSC as I don't do that many in a day. My max was 8 and my norm is 5 or 6.
@ceasesmith wrote:

It wasn't the "blue stations", but I recently did a new-to-me route of new-to-me gas station shops. All revealed audits. The remarks I got from the managers astounded me. "Wow, the usual guy is here and gone in five minutes" (this one took me 40 minutes to complete, even though the store was brand new, just built in February this year -- it was a HUGE station with multiple canopies, alternative fuels, etc, etc, etc.)

I have only done one gas station, even though they keep calling and asking me to do more, because like your experience it took a long time to do the audit and then the report. Just wasn't worth the pay IMO. (Maybe if I did more, I'd get faster at it?)

However, I had the same experience as you. The attendant made comments that the usual guy was in and out in 5 minutes, then continued to come out and ask me if they were in trouble and then said his boss wanted to know if were there any concerns. He also asked if he could put his badge on before I took the photo. I saw quite a few issues, but of course told him that it wasn't up to me as far as grading and assessment, because I was pretty much just an objective data collector.
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