Gas stations on SASSIE = End of an era?

This morning the scheduler (who I have decided I am not a fan of and will not go out of my way to help) sent out an email saying tomorrow is the absolute last day these yellow/red shops can be done. So I guess they will just fall off the board and they will tell the client they could not complete them. In my opinion, this is a complete lie. I have offered many many times to do them but they refused since it was not within 48 hours, if they had taken me up on my offer of the multiple Saturdays or Sundays they could have been done weeks ago. It is really sad that this is the way IPSOS (or at least KSS Scheduling) is choosing to operate.

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I call those verbatims "It was a bright sunny day" ones. When I first started out doing these jobs I did a restaurant for Bestmark and they wanted detailed information on everything. So I literally started the report out with It was a bright sunny Saturday morning when I arrived at the location and it went on from there. I felt like I was writing a freaking Danielle Steel novel by the time I was done. But they loved it. I didn't do those again but I will never forget it.
Again, remember that now you have to deal with KSS and their business model. do not give up, do not sell yourself short. The fee will be paid at the end.
@cindycribbs wrote:

This morning the scheduler (who I have decided I am not a fan of and will not go out of my way to help) sent out an email saying tomorrow is the absolute last day these yellow/red shops can be done. So I guess they will just fall off the board and they will tell the client they could not complete them. In my opinion, this is a complete lie. I have offered many many times to do them but they refused since it was not within 48 hours, if they had taken me up on my offer of the multiple Saturdays or Sundays they could have been done weeks ago. It is really sad that this is the way IPSOS (or at least KSS Scheduling) is choosing to operate.

that just sounds really silly. like, why in the world would february 10 be the last day those shops could get done? unless maybe they were january monthlies? either way, as Kate was saying, if we all hold off, they will have no choice but to eventually change their business model as far as dates and pay goes. i do understand that some people need these jobs to survive so they will accept the base pay if they have to.
Maybe after today they go back to IPSOS to schedule. So far, they still have not been extended until tomorrow. I would have had an entire state done for her by today if she had accepted my offer last week, but she insisted she couldn't wait that long.
They are now extended until the 18th, but the bonuses are gone. Very strange indeed.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2021 03:40AM by mjt9598.
And now back to if you did these shops in the last quarter (October to December) you can't do them this quarter. Do now we only get to self assign every 6 months. I think I will just let them figure out how to get them done when no one will go there even with $37.00 bonus.
Just sounds like a train wreck. They will learn to schedule further out and pay better to get them done. They may end up paying crazy the first few rounds but will learn. Then again they could end up not completing them and losing the contract. This would mean they most likely would go to another MSC. We shall see.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
They appear to be playing a game that the shoppers will win in the end. I would have done most of a state for the $37 bonus per shop, but she couldn't understand that it was not possible to get them all done "today" and "tomorrow" since they are too far apart and there are too many of them. Most of them are in cities where they don't have any shoppers nearby.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2021 11:25AM by mjt9598.
The shoppers will not win. It is no different than minimum wage employees scraping by while the CEOs of the conglomerates they work for buy extra mansions and yachts. The top dogs at Ipsos pay us less to keep more. They will not give that up. Who would? What I wonder most is how they piece together shops that have been done incorrectly or abandoned midway when a new shopper realizes how much is involved for the base pay they've agreed to. I guess they work it out somehow. Enough to make their money, anyway.

sestrahelena
@sestrahelena wrote:

The shoppers will not win. It is no different than minimum wage employees scraping by while the CEOs of the conglomerates they work for buy extra mansions and yachts. The top dogs at Ipsos pay us less to keep more. They will not give that up. Who would? What I wonder most is how they piece together shops that have been done incorrectly or abandoned midway when a new shopper realizes how much is involved for the base pay they've agreed to. I guess they work it out somehow. Enough to make their money, anyway.

what do you mean by winning though? eventually they will need to start bonusing and giving bigger windows if they want locations completed. there are way too many gas stations for them to play a waiting game. even still, i don’t consider getting $35 for a gas station “winning”. $100 a shop, ok, that’s a win. i’m just hoping for fair pay.
wow, they literally put a $2.50 bonus on shops today. $2.50... LOL! i can’t imagine anyone saying “wow, a whole $2.50, let me take those shops now, that’s a few quarters for the gumball machine!”

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2021 02:34PM by jay225.
Yes, I had also offered in early January to do some shops for minimal bonus as I was driving that way. The answer I received was that they wont give large bonus anymore. The $2.50 bonus daily drip blast emails started. My email gets cluttered daily. It is amusing but I have done significantly fewer ex-Maritz shops in 2021 but made significantly more $$$. Some fees went up more than 2000% due to last minute. Yes, you read it correct. Not even about travel costs, just 20 minute drives. Others were just 500% 300% seems to be the current rate that most people go for shops in their local area.
@BuffaloNY101 wrote:

Just sounds like a train wreck. They will learn to schedule further out and pay better to get them done. They may end up paying crazy the first few rounds but will learn. Then again they could end up not completing them and losing the contract. This would mean they most likely would go to another MSC. We shall see.

Again, I want to repeat this. There is no learning curve. KSS, the middleperson, between Ipsos and you, has a long shopper database and records of how much $$$ shoppers get paid in each geographical region. They are not rookies. Their business model is to keep bonus to bare minimum hoping a newbie, someone driving there will take them, and then the last day or post deadline start offering better bonus, until they reach the absolute last day that they really have to have the shop completed and then they have to pay real $$$ to have it completed. They also know how much Ipsos will pay them and by when and when they need to have completed a certain % of shops and the % of shops that needs to be done total to satisfy the contract Ipsos has with their client. Do not forget that there are usually performance "bonus" for Ipsos based on the % of locations completed.
@KateH wrote:

@BuffaloNY101 wrote:

Just sounds like a train wreck. They will learn to schedule further out and pay better to get them done. They may end up paying crazy the first few rounds but will learn. Then again they could end up not completing them and losing the contract. This would mean they most likely would go to another MSC. We shall see.

Again, I want to repeat this. There is no learning curve. KSS, the middleperson, between Ipsos and you, has a long shopper database and records of how much $$$ shoppers get paid in each geographical region. They are not rookies. Their business model is to keep bonus to bare minimum hoping a newbie, someone driving there will take them, and then the last day or post deadline start offering better bonus, until they reach the absolute last day that they really have to have the shop completed and then they have to pay real $$$ to have it completed. They also know how much Ipsos will pay them and by when and when they need to have completed a certain % of shops and the % of shops that needs to be done total to satisfy the contract Ipsos has with their client. Do not forget that there are usually performance "bonus" for Ipsos based on the % of locations completed.

i get what you’re saying but but i don’t see how waiting for the last day will help them no matter how big the bonuses are, when there will be thousands of incomplete locations they need done. i’m guessing this is something maritz learned early on.
@jay225 wrote:


i get what you’re saying but but i don’t see how waiting for the last day will help them no matter how big the bonuses are, when there will be thousands of incomplete locations they need done. i’m guessing this is something maritz learned early on.

That's the KSS business plan. It has not been changed for years.
but have they ever had clients nearly as big as these gas stations? it’s easy to hold out when you got a few popular locations to fill, not when you have a sea of them.
@jay225 wrote:

@sestrahelena wrote:

The shoppers will not win.

what do you mean by winning though? eventually they will need to start bonusing and giving bigger windows if they want locations completed. there are way too many gas stations for them to play a waiting game. even still, i don’t consider getting $35 for a gas station “winning”. $100 a shop, ok, that’s a win. i’m just hoping for fair pay.

I was referring to the post preceding this one where the poster said the shoppers will win (the price game).

sestrahelena
Yes they have. KSS is the only game in town, for various reasons that we all know. They have done projects that had to be done in a week, the entire country, national chains, small and large, regional, hundreds of chains. There are MS companies that have outsourced their scheduling to KSS for years. How much larger than the donut company, or both the hamburger chains, all 3 major shipping private and semi private ones? They were scheduling a few of these national accounts simultaneously, (years ago, for some I had to look back to 2004 so do not bother trying to find out the MS company.)

@jay225 wrote:

but have they ever had clients nearly as big as these gas stations? it’s easy to hold out when you got a few popular locations to fill, not when you have a sea of them.
This has been said before, but it NEEDS to be said again....The ONLY way fees will change earlier is for people to STOP taking the shops early !!!! Sure, it is understandable when you are already in an area and you want to add a stop on a route (a small station that is).
When a person takes a 16 or 24 pump stop for $12.50 !?!?!? This is when it is just PLAIN STUPID ( showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense) !!!!
All you need to do is google a location to see what you are running into. Of course, everyone needs money to live. But, 10 stations at 12.50 each, instead of $200+ This is a no brainer !!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2021 05:45PM by claabe.
Everyone has a right to decide what is an acceptable wage for them. For some who really need the work, the low pay plus the gas reimbursements may be considered acceptable. Surely there are many who really need and benefit from the reimbursed gas and snacks.
AND... other MSCs offer half the pay Ipsos does, bonus rarely and sparsely but still get the jobs done. So, yeah, prices will continue to decrease.

sestrahelena
Of course people can choose to work for peanuts, and there is a choice of smoking crack too !! I have been in this business for 12 years now, we are discussing losing money, not settling for a poop fee ! For the low fee, you should just work a fast food joint and get a free meal !
Alta360 (through Gigspot) has RED and White, Blue and Yellow and Red and Blue stations. They all start out at low, very low fee's. I breeze right by them all the time. I wait till the last weeks and get the better fee's.
Again, $4, 5 ,6, etc. ??? Or $15, 20, 25 +++ Common Sense !
At $12.50 a pop someone can do 10 stations while traveling under 50 miles in some places, with maybe $10-$15 in vehicle expenses. That's $125 plus $50 in gas, along with a few sodas and snacks, for a days work. Minimum wage in most places pays less than half that. The problem arises when those dense areas quickly get shopped out. Bills become due, and they end up driving further and further and spending more hours to make that $125 or maybe $150 by now, because they really need the money. They are finally catching up on bills when the car breaks down or they need new tires. The cycle continues. Not criticizing. Just saying people should not be stuck in this situation.
The 10 station in a 50 mile roundtrip is rare(unless you are doing city shops) If you are doing "city" work, then your time is a lot more then the shop time and a little travel time (traffic/tolls sometimes). It turns into hours and adds a lot more wear and tear on your vehicle (as you said, tires needed) As always "to each their own". I have too much respect for myself to work for the low fees (unless it was for Maritz ! I would take some work from them at the starting fee, but they would "look out for me" on a bid or when they CALLED me !!) Please don't think I'm putting anyone down, I'm not. I have been doing site/audit inspections and doing it as a full time job for 8 years now. My first 4 years were part time. I learned the business, and was enjoying MY schedule ! I do believe I will need to change my career choice. As I am losing money since ipsos came along. I'm also annoyed about not receiving any hazard pay with this damn virus.We are near the public constantly and should receive this !!
I've been seeing that $2.50 bonus for about a week now and glad to see that nobody has picked them up. They are all Mega stations (16 or more pumps) and some are in The Killing Fields. Where murders happen often.

I passed a different brand station the other day, one which is also shopped -at $10 a pop, and I was afraid to even stop for the traffic light near it. It was scary AF and I felt afraid for the shopper who takes that one on. The litter in the lot was almost knee-deep, there were throngs of people just hanging around, people drinking, people doing drugs out in the open and fighting.

sestrahelena
I do my best, to be honest with schedulers about what my needs and expectations are. I'm a shopper that can be counted on to go to out-of-the-way places and get things done no matter what it takes, assuming the pay is acceptable. For example, I have driven all over Arkansas, Arizona, and California to help clean up Home Improvement store audits for Ipsos, and I did the same for a gas station client at the end of the year. I will say that I was compensated what I thought to be a fair price for the mileage I put of my own car, fuel, flights, hotels, rental car prices, etc. I think it is important that I am honest with a scheduler about what I can do and what I would expect in return. And, I never flake. I have gone to great ends to hold up my end of the agreements that I make. I also try to have a sense of humor about things. That all said, I just had a really sh@tty experience with an Ipsos scheduler. I wasn't even trying to be rude, I was being honest. If honesty is rudeness then I'm not sure what to do. I am going to lay it all out here for everyone. Please let me know if I deserved the email I received in response to my offer.

For some background information, this is about a gas station client for Ipsos that is being scheduled by KSS. I have received between $40 and $125 per location, even when Ipsos has had the account the last few quarters. These locations are extremely remote, and they require a ton of driving just to get to. The rates I received in the past lead me to believe that there are not any local shoppers for any of them. I was attempting to explain that the locations require more than a $5 bonus to make them viable, and if we wait until the last minute, other responsibilities may preclude me from making a route for this project. I am going to lay it all out here. Please let me know if I was being "rude and condescending," and let me know if you feel the response I received was appropriate. This was in response to an email saying that the locations now had a $5 bonus.

This is the email I sent.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi Virginia

I have seen these shops on the board for weeks now. I have been doing XXXXX shops for years, first with MaritzCX, and more recently with Ipsos. In all cases, I received anywhere from $40 to $120 per location depending upon driving distance and the remoteness of the location. I have received similar bonus ranges for XXX, XXX, and XXX gas stations for Ipsos. If you are at a point where you can pay reasonable bonuses, please keep me in mind. I am willing to drive, and I don't mind putting together a long route of hard-to-fill locations if the pay is reasonable.

That said, the idea that anyone is going to get excited about a $5 bonus for an out-of-the-way location is somewhat comical.

Thanks for keeping me in mind. Best wishes in getting your shops filled.

One other thing to keep in mind is that XXXX will be hitting a hard deadline at the end of March. If you want me to do some of these before the end of March, keep in mind that I will be tied up with XXXX most likely, a group of schedulers that have been more reasonable with bonuses. The sooner we can do bonuses the more likely I will be able to help you out.

Respectfully,

XXXXX

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is the email I received.

Eric,

Please do not be condescending or rude in your email, believe it or not, I have had a lot of shoppers pick these up with a $2.50 bonus as I have 2,000 locations just myself to fill not including the other schedulers that work on the Shell program. Did you ever stop to think that might be why Martiz is no longer in Business? Also, it is not a scheduler who decides a bonus it is the mystery shopping company with which I do not work for. I work for the scheduling company that follows orders from the MSC. If you have complaints about the pay take it up with them, not me.

I really could care less what XXXX is scheduling or doing, I don’t get paid to schedule them. Each program has a different bonus structure depending on the number of locations and other variables. Again, XXXX is different.

Have a nice day.

Virginia Horton
KSS International on Behalf of Ipsos

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I don't think I was being rude or condescending, only honest. There was a significant amount of rudeness and condescension in the communication, but not until I received a reply. I did say in the beginning that honesty is important, and I do appreciate her honesty. That said, how hypocritical to say that there is no need to be rude or condescending and then reply with a significant amount of rudeness and condescension. This reply definitely leads me to believe that there is a level of stress involved in trying to get people to work for less than minimum wage. I can imagine that it eats at one's conscience after a while.

I will definitely keep this in mind when the locations that I am describing are not filled at the end of the quarter and bonus negotiations begin. I will not be doing the XXXX team any favors any time soon.
That is how they reply. I have found the KSS schedulers rude and hard to work with. I do the same and they either ignore me completely or act like I am bothering them. So I have just written the schedulers off and I am not working with them. When they write begging me to help I plan on ignoring them. I sent Ipsos a message complaining bug they ignored me as well.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2021 08:22PM by cindycribbs.
They never say how many pumps are at a particular station. You have to already know. Someone in my area has found out about our 24 pumper by now.
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