Alta360 makes me sad.

I have loved working with this company for a long time. Not often because pay rates are historically low but they are, otherwise, a top notch company. I have been told that they absolutely will not be approving bonuses that have been agreed to in the past, meager as they were. For example, last quarter's petrol shops are still on the board, for next to nothing. Even remote locations. It's like they've taken a page right out of Ipsos' book of keeping all the millions at the top, crying broke and paying contractors peanuts. Or trying to. I used to enjoy their shops. But they want us to work for free (the pay might buy 2 gallons of unreimbursed gas to get to and from a shop) and I. Just. Won't. So, so sad. Thanks for letting me vent.

sestrahelena

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I have never worked for them, but what you described seems quite sad. Especially if it was a regular part of your income. What I do wonder, though, is how long the client will continue to do business with them. If there are still first quarter locations that did not get done, and they are still not adding a bonus, it's likely that many locations will never get done. I wonder if they are about to end their contract with some of the clients and are just making sure they go down in a blaze of glory. This is all conjecture of course.
Back in 2010, I completed gas station shops for them that paid from $15 to $25 + gas and $1 in the store. ,There were three I passed driving to an aunt's house, but then, out of the blue, they tightened their purse and, while I suppose I am still contracted, nothing in at least 11 years. For an unknown reason, I still recall the scheduler's name: Matt Dumas.
I guess the shops get done. Eventually. There are probably many shoppers who feel needed or favored when responding to those, "I REALLY need your help" scheduler emails that many schedulers send out. The needed to be needed supersedes the need for cash. I don't know. Right now they're using Fast Pay as an incentive to work for less.

sestrahelena
I'm not doing it , and I don't blame you. Last quarter the highest price was $13 a piece and only if you answered an email you couldn't schedule them yourself for that price. They never made it to $15 so I never took any. I haven't seen any new emails recently so they're probably all back at base price, the $7 or whatever?

I don't work Alta360 often, but I did enjoy doing the gas station shops.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2022 09:25AM by Morledzep.
I've done work for Alta360 an few times.. The scheduler that I worked with was very helpful.. I enjoyed working with her.

I remember Matt D
I think this extended "off cycle" period is getting us all a little stir crazy right now. I just went three through weeks without shopping, and not for lack of trying. (I finally fixed my sister's leaking faucet after forever. And I did catch some nice fish.) I'm only beginning to pick up a few now. Like you, I could always count on at least some work from Alta360 to fill in the down times at the beginning of the quarter -- not this time. But don't get discouraged. Nobody in my area has bitten at those low prices for a while - I think the price of gas is keeping people away. Eventually, they will have to raise the rates.
I haven’t performed any shops for them since they changed names from Ritter and Associates many years ago. I have informed a couple of schedulers that I would take jobs with bonuses and they never replied once they found out how much I wanted. At least Matt and Susie were kind enough to reply to emails. Thank you for your post - I guess I can stop checking their board every couple of weeks now :-)

@sestrahelena wrote:

I have loved working with this company for a long time. Not often because pay rates are historically low but they are, otherwise, a top notch company. I have been told that they absolutely will not be approving bonuses that have been agreed to in the past, meager as they were. For example, last quarter's petrol shops are still on the board, for next to nothing. Even remote locations. It's like they've taken a page right out of Ipsos' book of keeping all the millions at the top, crying broke and paying contractors peanuts. Or trying to. I used to enjoy their shops. But they want us to work for free (the pay might buy 2 gallons of unreimbursed gas to get to and from a shop) and I. Just. Won't. So, so sad. Thanks for letting me vent.
Alta360 is a hot mess these days. They low-bid to get clients, without considering the cost of their overhead. This financial goofiness ends up on the backs of their ICs, whom they expect to take work for peanuts.

Too much overhead, too many salaried employees, too little paid to the people (that’s us) who are actually getting their jobs done. I don’t see them with any petrol clients after this year. They are underperforming in multiple ways.
I have never done any of their gas shops but I sometimes still do parking shops for them, always with a bonus. I am reluctant to do even the parking shops now because the scheduler has made a few mistakes, such as not including key information in her postings.
Begging and making people feel important is always going to sucker if you suckers into doing work for less than sensible pay. But it's not going to work for every location. And as inflation goes up and the cost of living goes up, it's going to get harder and harder to do that. Eventually they're going to have to pay or they're going to lose their clients. Gas companies expect every single location to get done. Or at least a very large percentage. I think that's why Ipsos is struggling so much with their gas brands and complaining about always being over budget. When you have a client that needs 100% completion, and many of their locations are remote, you're going to have to pay eventually. You might guilt someone into doing a job nearby for less than minimum wage, but you're not going to get somebody to drive 200 miles round trip for 15 bucks.

And as stated above, it is believed that they are under-bidding for clients. This is a huge issue. It's like the sales teams are on crack. I've had schedulers tell me that their sales teams have lost their minds. That there is no way they are going to be able to make money based on what they're bidding on some of these contracts. That's why schedulers are exasperated and always complaining about everything being over budget.

It's like calling a plumber and telling him that they need to install their pipes for half of the normal cost because their house is over budget. The plumber would just laugh. But they expect us to do business that way. If there is any industry that can afford to pay more, it's the gas brands. Instead of trying to pay us less, they need to be asking the gas brands for more.
It’s laziness, too. They are stuck in a “Keep the petrol clients” mentality without reaching out to other industries. It may be a bit more work to land a new client, but the profit margin would be greater and you could let your tight-fisted petrol clients go.
I feel sorry for their schedulers who are made to falsely claim that a $3.00 bonus is substantial.
The whole rest of the country's workforce is getting increases in pay. We get pay cuts. I wonder if the schedulers and managers are also getting decreases in pay.

sestrahelena
I consider $2 worth of gas Ipsos pays as absolutely ridiculous. I also think paying 7 dollars a shop basically "sucks". No job TODAY should pay less than 10 bucks. Especially when you consider we have to use our gas, and vehicle to get to the locations. They should market the $7 pay shops, to the homeless. No gas purchase is required and you don't need a car (for the ones on a bus line). Fast pay is not waiting 3-4 weeks to get paid. (Shops done 3rd week of April paid May 15 is not fast.) TS pays at least twice a month. IPS pays every single week with the exception of teal stations (most shops a week or less). Think about it. The only jobs that pay in intervals like that are teachers and lawyers (who work for free until they settle the case [personal injury/workman's comp etc]) If you can't pay two weeks after the work period (pay period) you need to hire more people to do payroll or get a better contract.
Don't get me wrong I love Alta and will continue to work for them. But personally, I think they can do better. Blue and red and red and white stations you can do better.
The bottom line is that as long as people keep undervaluing themselves and the work performed in this industry by accepting low pay, the pay will not increase. Auditors that have set bottom lines (such as myself as well as many others, as I learned from a separate post), will continue to pass on jobs and request bonuses for remote locations. The red and white shop/audit combos went up $3 here yesterday in an email about being “Heroes” for accepting a certain number of shops. They were snapped up quickly just as was intended.
@patman9760 wrote:

The red and white shop/audit combos went up $3 here yesterday in an email about being “Heroes” for accepting a certain number of shops. They were snapped up quickly just as was intended.

In the MS industry, a "Hero" is a "Sucker."
Rousseau:
Sad but kind of true in a way. Sometimes I'm that sucker too. If I want it to go with my route or I just like that store or whatever reason I have at the time. Then other times I have enough work and can afford to pass on those underpaying gigs. But I can say I won't take all of them. There's a red/white gas station in My town that I've done only one time (in five years) and I promise you it was not at night! My husband and I have a "do not shop" list. Places where the owners are butts or are just too dangerous.

In the MS industry, a "Hero" is a "Sucker."[/quote]
Comes across as a way to coax the 6 or 7 rated shoppers before a wordsmithpro editor gives them another 4, preventing them from autoassigning. smiling smiley
Well, they've been able to get a few of last quarter's remote locations done. Many disappeared at $17. Not bad pay for a relatively simple shop but the ones that were left had at least 1/2 hour drive between each one and at least an hour from any large town. In the areas I searched, anyway.

sestrahelena
..... But it don't sing and dance and it don't walk.....


@Swilli wrote:

I don't fall for those emails, money talks.
He was great to work with. I did work for another one of his clients who I no longer see jobs for.
Well, they still have some of last quarter's on the job board, including the remote town which I offered to do at $25 and was told no. It's at $35. I'm not going that way now. Apparently neither are other shoppers. The new quarter shops have bonused early but not quite enough for me. If you take one at $13 you will be stuck at that rate.

sestrahelena
I could run off so many of their gas stations right now, and over this weekend that they'd go from needing a bunch of them to probably being almost done with my area.

But I won't, for these reasons:
1) With the required pictures, this brand needs to be a revealed audit.
2) No gas reimbursement. With gas prices right now, the lack of reimbursement for fuel is a bigger deal.
3) $13 doesn't excite me.

#1 and #2 are something that the client needs to approve, obviously. They may be stuck with keeping #1 the way it is, but right now, #2 is simply a deal breaker and the client needs to step up and do what their competitors do. Until then, #3 doesn't really matter.
#2 NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
It would take so much longer to get gas, definitely not worth it unless they are reimbursing 2 gallons, not $2 like some other companies. I personally would MUCH rather have it the way it is.
#1 I really don't care, I take my photos quickly anyway. Never have been questioned by an employee.



@KA047 wrote:

I could run off so many of their gas stations right now, and over this weekend that they'd go from needing a bunch of them to probably being almost done with my area.

But I won't, for these reasons:
1) With the required pictures, this brand needs to be a revealed audit.
2) No gas reimbursement. With gas prices right now, the lack of reimbursement for fuel is a bigger deal.
3) $13 doesn't excite me.

#1 and #2 are something that the client needs to approve, obviously. They may be stuck with keeping #1 the way it is, but right now, #2 is simply a deal breaker and the client needs to step up and do what their competitors do. Until then, #3 doesn't really matter.
@F and L TeleComm - don't be! You are the only person that can choose your shops. Take a pass on shops that do not pay enough. Even if you are already inside a store and you see something in an app paying $5 or something ridiculous like that for a "quick photo audit" - turn it off! I would rather pay out of my pocket than do something for $5 that will earn a company $500. When you get a reputation for working cheaply, word gets around and you will never get good paying gigs (unless you stop shopping and reestablish yourself later down the line). I have worked on and off in this industry since 2003. I did not know about bonuses when I started working. I took gasoline audits for $13 back in the day (now, they start at $8!! - 19 years later...) and I ended up charging so much money on my credit card for gas and food that I had to stop shopping and go back to a 9-5 job just to pay off the money I had lost. Think about yourself and think about others - raise the curve, don't lower it. There will be something else right down the road that will compensate you for passing on the cheap.


@F and L TeleComm wrote:

Rousseau:
Sad but kind of true in a way. Sometimes I'm that sucker too. If I want it to go with my route or I just like that store or whatever reason I have at the time. Then other times I have enough work and can afford to pass on those underpaying gigs. But I can say I won't take all of them. There's a red/white gas station in My town that I've done only one time (in five years) and I promise you it was not at night! My husband and I have a "do not shop" list. Places where the owners are butts or are just too dangerous.

In the MS industry, a "Hero" is a "Sucker."
[/quote]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/30/2022 06:58AM by patman9760.
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