Oh no! Maritz's easy gas shops are changing for the new year.

I have done hundreds of Maritz's non-reveal gas shops that require no pictures. They're among my favorites because they are so quick and easy. Now I see that the ones for the new year are posted and they require a picture of the CSR if he/she is not in proper uniform. In my experience, that is about 25%-50% of the time. I can't see myself telling someone I need a picture of their non-compliant outfit. Pointing out employee shortcomings to the employee is above my pay grade. That's the job of management. Besides, once I reveal myself as a shopper, I ruin my chance of remaining anonymous in the future. I don't mind photographing non-compliant areas such as windshield or restroom problems, but presenting a letter saying I need to take a picture of a non-compliant CSR is too much. I'm gonna miss those shops and the income.

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I totally agree it's no longer worth the base fee, even with the small pay bump, if we have to announce ourselves only to point out the employee's failure. I can see shoppers cherry picking locations where they know the uniforms are in compliance almost all the time. On the other hand, maybe the harder requirements will help these stay on the board long enough to get better bonuses and make the extra hassle worth it.
If the employee is not wearing an authorized uniform shirt or name tag, you will need to identify yourself prior to taking the employees photo. Present the employee with the letter of authorization. If the employee refuses to have their photo taken, note in overall comments.
I don't do the non-reveal shops but this sounds a really dumb idea. No doubt the brainstorm of some marketing guy who doesn't understand what it takes to do a shop.
I have done these new shops for Maritz. They had a few as a trial basis a couple of months ago. When I first saw the shop instructions, I was apprehensive about revealing myself as a shopper and asking the non-compliant employee take a picture so that I can turn you in. Anyway, I did two shops that I actually had to ask the non name tag wearing employee to take a picture. I had no problems, but it was a little uncomfortable. I did not tell the employee why I was taking the picture. I just presented the authorization letter, and explained that needed a picture of the cashier that assisted me. Still, I don't like them. I don't like the reveal for all the reasons mentioned. However, I have returned to the station that I did the reveal and I saw the same person I took a photo of, but he did not remember me. I kinda dress a little differently when I do reveal shops. I dress in a nicer shirt. Otherwise, I wear sweat pants and a baseball cap. I think the different dress choices, along with the elapsed of time between shop helps. I actually signed up for about 15 of these new gas shops. I will see how it goes. Hopefully, I won't have to ask for more than one or two photo lineup pics. The other thing, if they refuse to be photographed., that's OK because they don't have to. You just report what happened.
I made the mistake early on of taking a reveal shop, so I never even see the MS without reveal.

sad smiley

Other than that, love 'em, and love Maritz.
I have done one of those shops for them. It wasn't all that bad it was just that was first day below freezing here and I wasn't dressed for it.
Does anyone know how the rotation will be? Will there be a longer wait to work a site where you've had to reveal? I know I can call and ask, just hate talking on the phone.

sestrahelena
And I would be willing to bet there are shoppers (or maybe just one) that, when the CSR has no name tag/uniform, will not present the LOA or attempt a photo and just report the the employee refused the photo, because it will be quicker and easier that way. I'm sure you guys know what I am referring to with this scenario.

sestrahelena
When you tell them that the picture is from the neck down there should be no problem as they cannot be identified.

Happy Shopping to all.
@bxb21 wrote:

When you tell them that the picture is from the neck down there should be no problem as they cannot be identified.
I did not realize you can take the photo from the neck down. It's been a while since I did that shop. Time to review the guidelines. Taking the pic from the neck down would make it easier.
I was thinking when I bought my electric car a few weeks ago how much I would miss these jobs. I guess it was better timing than I knew since I really don't like revealed shops.
@bxb21 wrote:

When you tell them that the picture is from the neck down there should be no problem as they cannot be identified.
I have quite a few people who refuse that and usually are illegal immigrants, or caucasian young males who think I am lying and the photos will be posted somewhere like the people of Walmart website.
@KateH wrote:

@bxb21 wrote:

When you tell them that the picture is from the neck down there should be no problem as they cannot be identified.
I have quite a few people who refuse that and usually are illegal immigrants, or caucasian young males who think I am lying and the photos will be posted somewhere like the people of Walmart website.
I always joke that I won't show their face so the paparazzi can't find them. Usually they either laugh if they understand the joke and let me take the picture or I'm able to quickly take the picture while they're trying to figure out the joke (and they typically laugh so as to not admit that they don't understand). Either way, it gets the job done! Over the years I've found that humor usually defuses almost all situations.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/30/2019 06:20AM by KarenMSW.
@PSE wrote:

I have done hundreds of Maritz's non-reveal gas shops that require no pictures. They're among my favorites because they are so quick and easy. Now I see that the ones for the new year are posted and they require a picture of the CSR if he/she is not in proper uniform. In my experience, that is about 25%-50% of the time. I can't see myself telling someone I need a picture of their non-compliant outfit. Pointing out employee shortcomings to the employee is above my pay grade. That's the job of management. Besides, once I reveal myself as a shopper, I ruin my chance of remaining anonymous in the future. I don't mind photographing non-compliant areas such as windshield or restroom problems, but presenting a letter saying I need to take a picture of a non-compliant CSR is too much. I'm gonna miss those shops and the income.

In my experience, the cashiers improperly attired did not like their photo taken even when it was a revealed audit.
@1forum1 wrote:

However, I have returned to the station that I did the reveal and I saw the same person I took a photo of, but he did not remember me. I kinda dress a little differently when I do reveal shops.

I read that just sunglasses and a baseball cap prevented most clerks from being able to give an accurate description of a person.
I just went and checked the guidelines and it did not say that you could take the photo from just the neck down. I know that is what the other stations require, but they want a photo either way. Since they only want photos of non-compliant CSR I would think they want to be able to identify them.
@barbage wrote:

I just went and checked the guidelines and it did not say that you could take the photo from just the neck down. I know that is what the other stations require, but they want a photo either way. Since they only want photos of non-compliant CSR I would think they want to be able to identify them.

Thanks. I have a few of these shops scheduled next week. I haven't read the guidelines yet, but will do.
Why reveal at all? Why not stand on the edge of the aisle turn your flash and your sound off like we do for Citgo? Take the picture unbeknownst of the cashier acting like your texting. It's a pain but it might work if your phone can snap quick pics without blurring to much.
B - Not reality ....the negatives in this scenario FAR outweigh the positives...they need to double the compensation (at minimum) for this type of work....

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/2020 08:31PM by salisburync.
I think the client must have told the CSR's to expect the photos. So far I've had to take pictures of 5. None of them seemed concerned. In fact, one even posed. Much more receptive than the neck down only shop. Even with the photos, the shop is much easier to preform than last year.
Not a fan of the potential reveal here. I assigned myself only 1 that I know almost always has the proper uniform and tag. Normally, I'd take a route. There are many that I know have never had the proper uniform or tag in the years I've been going there.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/2020 06:23AM by Mysterion.
How is it easier? I haven't done one yet under the new guidelines, but I don't see where they have eliminated anything in them, only added photos/possible reveal.

@barbage wrote:

I think the client must have told the CSR's to expect the photos. So far I've had to take pictures of 5. None of them seemed concerned. In fact, one even posed. Much more receptive than the neck down only shop. Even with the photos, the shop is much easier to preform than last year.
I am not happy about the potential reveal here either. I loved these gas shops. Most locations near me comply with uniform guidelines, but I wouldn’t want to ask a grumpy employee for a photo. I’m just guessing here, but it sounds like employees are claiming to be properly uniformed when they are not. Otherwise, it seems like they can identify the employee from a description and a schedule.

The only semi scary thing that happened to me while shopping took place on a gas station shop. The employee/possible manager freaked out when he saw me taking photos. He yelled at me and asked me why I was taking photos of “my place”. He then took photos of my car. That didn’t bother me, but I got in the car quickly and drove away to put physical space between us. I parked on a side street, and got the rest of the photos on foot. I was prepared to cancel the shop though, if I saw that guy again. He would not have been receptive to a photo, that guy.

I too wonder how they are easier. I mean, they were some of the easiest shops around, right?
The letter, if you have to reveal, should be an indication to the manager why you are taking photos of his place. I have learned that management, as well as most staff are aware of revealed audits and mystery shoppers. The revealed audit is something that has occurred for quite some time. It is not a new event to them, although it might be new to a shopper if they have not done them before. Additionally, owner/management receive a report about the mystery shop. This information is shared with the staff, especially if there is a non-compliance issue.
@barbage wrote:

I just went and checked the guidelines and it did not say that you could take the photo from just the neck down. I know that is what the other stations require, but they want a photo either way. Since they only want photos of non-compliant CSR I would think they want to be able to identify them.

The guidelines state that a photo of the "attire" might be needed. I have taken photos both ways and they have been accepted.
Post removed
Moderator Note:

Post removed for violation of Posting Guidelines. "Do not reveal the clients of mystery shopping companies". Feel free to remove the client's name and re-post.

@jessimen wrote:

I think I may have been barred from gas stations with them. Have they put up any ***** or***** or ***** shops lately? I havent seen anything other than ***** in like a month. Anyone have any help on that??

Hi. The MSC is identified in the thread title, so we're not supposed to reveal the names of the clients. Forum rules. Yes, I see several gas station brands still on the board, some just released today. Try expanding your search radius. It may be the ones close to you were taken early by shoppers who took the holidays off and are now trying to catch up. Seems to happen every January.
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