IPSOS Gas Shops

Why are they on the board so long? With the predecessor MSC, people created long, bonused routes directly with the schedulers. I see via email that bonuses are offered but the locations are not moving.

Are these now 10-ft pole shops for some reason?

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope

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They are not paying enough to make routes worthwhile. I do long routes for them, but with hotel costs I can't take them at what they are currently able to offer. The scheduler said that one brand was way over budget last round, and that it can't happen again.
Here's a story to make your evenings...I do a couple of stations every other month at base pay because they are well kept, close to me and then I can count on a few bucks to start off my month. Soooo, I go to one of my stations and pull up for gas. I see the owner hosing down the forecourt. I figured he was cleaning oil or dirt or whatever. He sees me and asks if I'm doing the inspection. I confirm (he knows me by now). He tells me I can't go in the restroom and asks if I can come back later, which I actually should have done in retrospect. He explains that the sewer line backed up and he was hosing down..you guessed it...the $hi..y sludge. It had run out of the restroom and was all over the forecourt. UGH, I nearly gagged as I gingerly walked around to get the pump photos. I got out of there so fast I had to crop a few photos to get everything I needed later. Of course I was wearing new shoes, which I promptly disinfected when I got home. Bummer, it was a base pay station..that one should have been quadrupled. I sent a picture of the sludge in place of the restroom photo...got a "10."

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

Mark Twain
The chickens are coming home to roost, and something has to give. I'm not real sure what's going to happen with all of these locations still on the board and the supposed deadline coming up in 14 days. I honestly think they are doing worse this time around then the last quarter when the budget was blown. I don't even think they are going to be able to do as well as they did last quarter, because so many people that got suckered into doing them for low pay realized how long they took to complete, especially the brands on Sassie.
Unlike the former MSC, Maritz, I really have had little, if any conversation with any of of the schedulers (IPSOS or KSS). This would include an actual phone conversation or even Email. Hence, I am in the dark about the new company's financial sense, over or underbudget or otherwise.
What I've noticed that the learning curve seems to have been shortened. Shops are being bonused at an earlier rate.
Like many shoppers, it is my belief that had they allowed on the monthly shops a 3rd week for shopper's to request, they might have been able to not go over their budget, bonusing shops that could be routed by the seasoned shopper.
Maybe its wishful thinking, but having experienced several iterations of MSCs and their practices, I can only hope that they change some of their restrictive, foolish practices that limit the experienced shopper's methods.
One significant development I have noticed is the shopper's ability to change dates (at least once) of a shop's site inspection.
Well, that's a start!
I have done hundreds of these shops. Routes, the works. No way in hec I will do these for suck little pay in the heat, and I certainly can not make overnight stay doable with such low money. Ipsos has gotten very greedy with pay.
If their costs are too high, they will lose clients. If they can't get the jobs done, they will lose clients. I don't think they are being greedy - I think they are in a difficult position of having to fill many rural locations with no close shoppers.
...because they usually do not have a scheduler assigned just the general email address. And if things go south - you get a very ugly email, even if you have tried to contact someone by using the email address they post before things went south.
Don't get me wrong - I like the gas shops and would do them all for base, if they just would get a scheduler for them. Yes, the new change shop date utility is nice, only it doesn't work for the gas shops if you are scheduled via a monthly rotation. Priceless :-)
@mjt9598 wrote:

If their costs are too high, they will lose clients. If they can't get the jobs done, they will lose clients. I don't think they are being greedy - I think they are in a difficult position of having to fill many rural locations with no close shoppers.

You are assuming that the client pays costs rather than a flat fee. Facts not in evidence. It is entirely possible that the client pays the MSC a flat fee without consideration as to what the MSC pays the shopper. If that is the the case, the MSC does not lose a client, it loses money. IPSOS certainly has the resources to lose $$. But it didn't become a multi billion euro entity by allowing its projects to go over budget on a regular basis. One way or another, the shopper will likely lose.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/2021 07:13AM by Rousseau.
The bonused ones are all done in my 100 mile radius. They got grabbed up at the first pay bump a few weeks ago.

sestrahelena
They are playing hardball this time around, but I am calling their bluff. I am not going to do locations for less than a fair wage for the distance and time. Maybe they can find another sucker, but it's not going to be me.
I live in a pretty rural area and will not touch the one shop they have in my area until they are bonused. There is no way I am doing a shop for the measly fee until bonused. No one wants to drive that far and I have seen the fee go up to $100. Why would I do it for 12.50? Now if they would give me a decent route I may change my mind.
Anybody else finding they're not fully reimbursing two full gallons of gas? Gas prices are three decimal places out so 2.999 per gallon should reimburse $6 but they're only paying out 5.98.

Took a big route with a nice bonus so I'm really not upset about a couple pennies but it's the principle of it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2021 01:29AM by foodluvr.
@foodluvr wrote:

Anybody else finding they're not fully reimbursing two full gallons of gas? Gas prices are three decimal places out so 2.999 per gallon should reimburse $6 but they're only paying out 5.98.

Took a big route with a nice bonus so I'm really not upset about a couple pennies but it's the principle of it.

Where do you see that? On my form, 2.999 times two gallons gives me $6.00 reimbursement.
@mystery2me wrote:

@foodluvr wrote:

Anybody else finding they're not fully reimbursing two full gallons of gas? Gas prices are three decimal places out so 2.999 per gallon should reimburse $6 but they're only paying out 5.98.

Took a big route with a nice bonus so I'm really not upset about a couple pennies but it's the principle of it.

Where do you see that? On my form, 2.999 times two gallons gives me $6.00 reimbursement.

Showing 5.98 under mine on the form for reimbursement Max. I started rounding up to get the full $6.
@French Farmer wrote:

Unlike the former MSC, Maritz, I really have had little, if any conversation with any of of the schedulers (IPSOS or KSS). This would include an actual phone conversation or even Email. Hence, I am in the dark about the new company's financial sense, over or underbudget or otherwise.
What I've noticed that the learning curve seems to have been shortened. Shops are being bonused at an earlier rate.
Like many shoppers, it is my belief that had they allowed on the monthly shops a 3rd week for shopper's to request, they might have been able to not go over their budget, bonusing shops that could be routed by the seasoned shopper.
Maybe its wishful thinking, but having experienced several iterations of MSCs and their practices, I can only hope that they change some of their restrictive, foolish practices that limit the experienced shopper's methods.
One significant development I have noticed is the shopper's ability to change dates (at least once) of a shop's site inspection.
Well, that's a start!
deleted
Moderator Note:

It is against Forum policy to name an MSC in the same thread as the Client, whether or not they have the Client. You are free to re-post, without the violation.

Yes, I wonder about them, too. Dione was my favorite.
Moderator Note:

Your quote from the above Poster was deleted. It is against Forum policy to name an MSC in the same thread as the Client, whether or not they have the Client. You are free to re-post, without the violation.

I miss Maritz as well. I still have them in my contacts. The sentimental part of me can't delete them!

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
@mjt9598 wrote:

The four brands I currently do for them have schedulers who reply promptly.
Me too and I haven't had any problems!
The schedulers are fine. It's the management that is making things difficult.

For example, I bid on around 8 locations in a rural area at the beginning of July. I had done these locations anywhere from $50 to $125 in the past, so I thought $65 was a fair offer. They rejected it and countered at $40. I told them that I couldn't do less than $60, and that was the end of the negotiation. Two of the locations are gone, but I was able to recently get $100 each for the 6 that are left.

I offered to do a very, very remote location for $100 a couple of weeks ago. I received $135 for the location last quarter. So, I thought $100 was fair, but they did not accept it. Now that I am not anywhere near that area, I told them that I needed $135 for that location again, and they accepted it.

I guess they just roll the dice and hope someone will take it off the job board. I don't think it worked out too well for them this quarter. In the last couple of quarters, they have had a new influx of shoppers from the Ipsos and KSS databases. In theory, a larger database of shoppers should mean that more shops are picked up at lower pay, and I think they were operating on this premise. However, a lot of the new shoppers that accepted some gas stations at low pay learned that it was not worth it. Now that they have learned their lesson, IPSOS is back to having to pay out again. They could have made a little more money had they accepted my bids when I offered them a few weeks ago. It is always a roll of the dice, however. It is possible that by rejecting $40 I would have completely missed out. I have had a generally positive outcome this quarter, however, by being firm on my amounts.
Based on what I am getting paid vs. last quarter, I think that it, (getting the budget blown), happened again, maybe even moreso.

@mjt9598 wrote:

They are not paying enough to make routes worthwhile. I do long routes for them, but with hotel costs I can't take them at what they are currently able to offer. The scheduler said that one brand was way over budget last round, and that it can't happen again.
Holding out is hard, but it gets easier if you plan on minimum incomes while you hold out!

That said, I am currently amazed that in 24 hours of trading emails, negotiating on completing a bunch (12) of gas station shops, that all but three are scheduled....and the scheduler 'acted' like we were all set to go...and then, of course, the target moved, and we went from negotiating a route of 12 down to three remote shops. I will hold firm, because my miles are the same, and there is at least one overnight involved!
Yes be strong! Don't settle for less than what your time and money is worth. One other thing that makes the whole process frustrating is the moving deadlines. Theyrr only seems to be one gas brand that has a firm deadline. The others seem to move around. I have found that the best way to be able to stand firm is to do my best to diversify. I have signed up for lots of companies, and although some of their shops may not be my first choice, it's good to have them to fall back on if I don't end up getting some of the gas stations that I expect. Sometimes I roll snake eyes, but this quarter I got dealt out a royal flush by being strong. This is going to be the best quarter ever for me.
I hear you, Thunderdeacon. The 12, then 3, now 1 gas station shops (at a huge bonus because they were remote) that I was all but promised, have evaporated into the wind. I keep on hearing that schedulers are different, that each has their own ethical compass...but I think they all go to the same IPSOS sponsored "Screw 'Em" academy. They all seem to think nothing of leaving us out to dry. Simply assuming that we can change our plans and drive hundreds (if not more) of miles to cover their a$$es, is, in the long run, a fool's play. I need at least three days to plan and execute and road trip, and IPSOS changes the target and availability every few hours....hard to negotiate with a moving and fluid target. So, lesson learned, they will get no special favors from me, and I would advise anyone reading this post to be very wary. They will lie to you.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2021 09:24PM by salisburync.
Getting those high bonuses is hard. By the time they are approved, the self-assign bonuses go higher and someone else is more likely to grab them. The new schedulers take a little longer than when Maritz did them. But, on the other hand, at least they don't use our work preparing bids to get a baseline and then call other shoppers to do them for less like Maritz did.
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