Random Thoughts On IPSOS Gas Station Shops

Last week, while doing a "Blue" gas station shop in a very large city, I took a photo of the "Lubricants" offered (as required), the station's manager quietly remarked with a sad expression, "We have more of that type in the back. But look at where we are. This is a poorer neighborhood. Nobody buys that. Its too expensive."
I nodded. The gas station functions more or less as the local convenience store, offering cheap food items that locals might buy. The owner knows his clientele better than the big oil company.
I'm just doing what is asked of me by the company, I thought to myself. But, I have to agree. At over $7 per quart, that's darn expensive.
I notice on the "Job Board" the "Yellow" gas station shops are now $14 fee. But, in reading the fine print, they require: "A smartphone with a camera is needed to capture photos onsite".
Hmmm...does that mean no more shops with a digital camera? I love using my DC. At those gas stations, I download my photos from my DC into a specific file for each site in my laptop (that accompanies me), review each photo for clarity, etc and then rename them. Why use a phone?
Back to the "Blue" gas stations - those "Change Date" links: I went to change the date of the shop to the first week from it being due in the second week. I don't understand - there is no obvious way to move it to another date other than shortening the last possible date to perform. How does that make sense? Why would anyone shorten the time span. Am I missing something here?

Create an Account or Log In

Membership is free. Simply choose your username, type in your email address, and choose a password. You immediately get full access to the forum.

Already a member? Log In.

"A smartphone with a camera is needed to capture photos onsite". That's funny. Which smartphones don't have cameras? So maybe WITH means "In conjunction with" - making 2 separate devices. In which case, you're all set to go! Also, it's good that they've pointed out capturing photos ON SITE rather than trying to get those gas station pics once you've returned home. Oh, Ipsos. Bless their hearts!

sestrahelena
@sestrahelena wrote:

"A smartphone with a camera is needed to capture photos onsite". That's funny. Which smartphones don't have cameras? So maybe WITH means "In conjunction with" - making 2 separate devices. In which case, you're all set to go! Also, it's good that they've pointed out capturing photos ON SITE rather than trying to get those gas station pics once you've returned home. Oh, Ipsos. Bless their hearts!

A broken smartphone might not have a camera.

Its likely an editing error in the guidelines. "with" rather than "or." Perhaps by someone who cannot comprehend that there are cameras which are not parts of phones.
French Farmer - those $14 fees are “Darkness Preferred’ shops…a $1.50 “bonus” for nighttime, rather than the $5 they used to offer. They do not, however, *require* nighttime just yet. You can turn them in as a daytime shop.
I have to admit, I don’t know how you do many shops a day using the method you described…can you do 8-10 a day with the camera method?
Smartphones have embedded metadata in their photos. QC editors can check the metadata in each photo for location and time - and correlate to when the shopper claims to be on-site.

Digital cameras often do not have that capability, and so MSCs strongly prefer smartphones.
Thank you Katie for clearing up a mystery for me. A few months back, I was considering a SmartPhone after missing a shop paying $45 two blocks from a Roadhouse that provided my favorite lunch; it was Friday and some are open for that meal. I noted what I missed for two months, but upgrading would have been a negative for me, Narrative extensive shops, so far, have not been bitten by the SmartPhone bug and my Kodak has been acceptable to the MSCs.
If the digital cameras don't have the metadata information, couldn't you just provide the Geo-Verifier information most Sassie shops have spot for at the top of the report. I'm not sure if it's there in any apps.
I routinely use my digital camera for IPSOS gas stations and never have had an issue. Sometimes I use phone camera for inside and switch to digital for outside. I find it's much easier to hold, along with the paperwork and pen, as it has a strap for my neck. (It's a big 'ole camera and quite fancy, I've been told.)

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

Mark Twain
Those instruction have been there a minute. I continue to use my digital camera with no issues. Regarding rescheduling, I don't understand. Why are you changing them from the second week to the first week?
I do not do gas station shops but I only recently started to use a phone camera. I never had an issue using my digital camera. -
I have been touting the tracfone deal for around $50 a year (maybe 60 now) that comes with minutes , texts and data plan and a cheapo phone. My new phone was stolen a few weeks ago and in between I switched on my old LG trac fone and the camera still works fine even tho I cannot use the phone part without a plan.. I have seen those LG tracfones online for about $15. The phone camera works well enough for mystery shops altho I have never done a shop that needed a code.
@Mousegal wrote:

French Farmer - those $14 fees are “Darkness Preferred’ shops…a $1.50 “bonus” for nighttime, rather than the $5 they used to offer. They do not, however, *require* nighttime just yet. You can turn them in as a daytime shop.
I have to admit, I don’t know how you do many shops a day using the method you described…can you do 8-10 a day with the camera method?

Re: The $14 fees: I find nothing referring to "Darkness Preferred" nor a bonus. However, the time to perform the shop is described as "6 AM and Midnight".
My "method" presents no problems. I've done up to 10 shops in a day without any issues. The advantages to me are numerous. I carry 2 additional DCs as a preventative measure along with charged batteries and a charger. In short, be organized and prepared. You know, the old stuff - make a worksheet specific to the client and for each site. Staple your receipts to the sheet. Create a file on your computer for the client and a subfile for the address. Download your pics into that. Review them and name them onsite. Before leaving for the day's work, review your shops and prep them. Upon returning from the day's work file your reports (or debriefs) immediately.
So no biggie.
As for metadata embedded, the cameras I use have a switch to turn the app on or off. In the old days, I recall one of the previous MSCs requiring the date stamp on the photos.
I've done a bunch of yellow shops this period with a digital camera and no one has said anything about it. I wouldn't really feel much sympathy for that station owner, having the minimum number of facings is not going to break the bank, and he has an agreement with the station brand which in turn means they want their lubricant brand offered, too.
@ColoKate63 wrote:

Smartphones have embedded metadata in their photos. QC editors can check the metadata in each photo for location and time - and correlate to when the shopper claims to be on-site.
Well, I always thought that was true, but ran across this issue with another MSC. I did my shops at 1:30 pm, and took the required photos with my smartphone. I emailed them to my laptop email and when I got home, I opened them up and saved them with the proper filename. Lo and behold, when the MSC Editor looked at them....the TIME on the photo was the time I had opened them on my laptop and gave them their filenames...the photos didn't have the metadata time any longer on them of the actual time I took the photos!! I still had them on my phone but was reporting from my laptop. I explained all this to the editor and the shop went through fine. But this may be another factor to consider when transferring photos from smartphone to laptop!
Guysmom - I airdrop the photos, ihpone to iPad, sort pics into albums by shop, and it takes no time to do the reports. With airdrop, all the metadata transfers with the pic.

I tried using a laptop a few times to do gas station reports…ugh. Adding the photos takes me twice as long on the laptop as with the touchscreen on the iPad. Since we do a minimum of 8-10 stations a day, I have had to find the fastest method that works for us to get reports in.
@Mousegal wrote:

Guysmom - I airdrop the photos, ihpone to iPad, sort pics into albums by shop, and it takes no time to do the reports. With airdrop, all the metadata transfers with the pic.

I tried using a laptop a few times to do gas station reports…ugh. Adding the photos takes me twice as long on the laptop as with the touchscreen on the iPad. Since we do a minimum of 8-10 stations a day, I have had to find the fastest method that works for us to get reports in.
I wasn't speaking about gas shops...I don't do those. This was a Cricket Wireless audit, and only had a few photos. I don't have an iPhone...I have an Android with OS11 on it, so that's up to date. Not sure what you mean by "airdrop"....is that an iPhone thing?
Is it anything like drop box?

@guysmom wrote:

@Mousegal wrote:

Guysmom - I airdrop the photos, ihpone to iPad, sort pics into albums by shop, and it takes no time to do the reports. With airdrop, all the metadata transfers with the pic.

I tried using a laptop a few times to do gas station reports…ugh. Adding the photos takes me twice as long on the laptop as with the touchscreen on the iPad. Since we do a minimum of 8-10 stations a day, I have had to find the fastest method that works for us to get reports in.
I wasn't speaking about gas shops...I don't do those. This was a Cricket Wireless audit, and only had a few photos. I don't have an iPhone...I have an Android with OS11 on it, so that's up to date. Not sure what you mean by "airdrop"....is that an iPhone thing?

Creativity is always a leap of faith. You're faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage. - Julia Cameron

_____
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
_____
Airdrop is an iPhone thing - it just allows you to quickly drop several hundred photos from one Apple device to another.
Is anyone else seeing a large number of “Nighttime Only” shops on the board for their area? Right now, all of the red and blue stations in my area of Texas are showing “Nighttime Only”…and there are dozens on the board, all with small bonuses. Doesn’t matter how big the bonus is, we won’t do most of them at night. (For a large enough bonus, we might do the ones in a 5 miles radius…)
The yellow stations are almost all “Dark Preferred” right now, but they *can* be done in the daytime, for now.
There are dozens of yellow gas stations in my area that the scheduler says have to be done by tomorrow. No way that's going to happen. They are in areas where route shoppers would have to have enough to cover hotel stays, and the pay is nowhere near adequate.
Mjt9598 - same here. I’ve started booking for next week. I would rather do the red and blue shops, but they haven’t moved the due dates on any daytime shops, and the dozens of nighttime only shops are just sitting there.
I like that -- "More Money Preferred" !!! Perfect!
Here's a good one for y'all: recently did a Yellow Gas shop that was "preferred" to be between 9 PM and midnight, (late summer, and it was in the farthest north state you can get to!). I finished the shop, at 11:52 PM, drove home, went to bed because I was exhausted, and got up at 7:30 AM to write up the report...NOPE! ...it had been cancelled because I didn't have it in by midnight. No amount of explanation and patience got through to IPSOS....so much for that sweet bonus they offered! Well...whatever... they ARE, at basis, FRENCH, and their FRENCH cowardice and lack of ethics have now invaded their U.S. employees!
@salisburync wrote:

they ARE, at basis, FRENCH, and their FRENCH cowardice and lack of ethics have now invaded their U.S. employees!

I'm not certain what you are referring.

The "Yellow" gas station is a Dutch owned company with its base operations in Texas.

And yes, IPSOS is based out of Paris.

Nonetheless, I take exception to your description of "French" and really wish the moderator would remove your post.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/02/2021 12:35AM by French Farmer.
Why remove it?... just an opinion about IPSOS, and a joke about their corporation which is based in France... Vive La Drapeau Blanc!
I have been using cell phone photos since 2008. Having a Smartphone and using the Ipsos app means you can actually take a photo straight into the survey form. (Clarity, lol. I can see what's going to happen on my screen.) I am planning on using the app for photos next time. I'm in a distant area and prefer for the shops to bonus. Once got $100 and felt like that was worth my time. It's dirty work, but someone's got to do it. (I just purchased a safety vest.) Just think, if we all waited...
Come on now, just about all MSCs want their shops by midnight. Did you contact the scheduler? I recently saw one company that said they allow 8 hours from the time you shop to complete your report. It annoys me that a person's shop can be thrown out just because of a failure to comply with a midnight deadline.
@salisburync wrote:

Why remove it?... just an opinion about IPSOS, and a joke about their corporation which is based in France... Vive La Drapeau Blanc!

Comme il est triste que vous souhaitiez vous amuser à ridiculiser toute une nation de gens.

Paix à vous et moi sommes terminés.
I have always used my phone for shops. It’s a direct upload , rarely is there clarity issues just scan thru the pics and make sure they all look good and upload directly into the debrief. Saves tons of time. Sometimes I get all pics uploaded and debrief sent while still onsite.
Couldn't you just reassign the shop? or was it gone from the board too? I try to extend to the last day and do it the schedule I want to do it. Or put the due date the day AFTER the day I have scheduled to do it so I have the proper 24 hours to complete it. It is rare but occasionally I have to go to sleep without finishing. Can I ask you a question? Did you at least start the report before going to bed? and put your clock out time in? With MF if you start a report and do at least the first few pages they won't pull it early AM. I had to float an Orange gas station last night because we got back late from a route over 2 hours away with quite a few red Gig spot stations, and an OSI RISC, and I had to finish a blue and red Indian design shop that had 23 infractions! Plus I had to spend the last two days clearing pictures out of my phone from the last week (I move them to files on my computer) because my gallery was giving me messages. (not enough room to take pictures, all of the gallery functions may not work due to insufficient room) Got to bed at 4 AM!
Gas station peeps here is what I discovered. Start your shop and save it. Then if you have to get an hour or so nap you can come back. If you don’t it will be put back on the board . I also use the 24 scheduling to give myself the time needed.

Those who don’t want darkness shops: There is a benefit to doing night shops: No customers!!! I can do these twice as fast. No waiting for bathrooms to clear or pumps to clear. Some areas might be riskier if they are in bad neighborhoods but I carry bear spray and ask for more $$$. Be sure to call each store and ask hours, and verify the store is also open “24 hours.” I have messed up a route driving to a location to discover their pumps are 24 hours and their store closed at 10.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login