Is This An IPSOS Shopper's Strategy?

Over this past year, I've noticed something peculiar on the IPSOS Job Board.

The gas station shops that asks about doing the shop again as rotation allows, Week 1 or Week 2 are assigned right before the beginning of the new month. The ones that I requested to do again are added to my list of jobs. That's great!
But, when I look on the Job Board of the shops for the new month, I see the monthly shops that were not requested by a shopper. These are the ones that might be in odd places, whatever, that the last shopper might have done one month yet decided not to request it to do again as rotation allows.
Here is what I am seeing and now realize it might be a new shopper's strategy: On that first day of the requested assignments being assigned for the upcoming month, I visit the Job Board and see all of those unassigned monthly shops. I look at them and think how can I make a route of them. I look at my map and figure out a route.
But then, within a day or two, they're gone! Mind you, they are almost all gone! I know their addresses and they are not near each other. They are so varied and apart by distance that they make no sense to do unless they become bonused.
Yet, in the following week, many reappear. After their original due date.

So, here is what I am thinking happens: Recently, I learned something from IPSOS. It was when I self assigned a wrong shop. I immediately requested to IPSOS that it be removed. I received a reply from IPSOS to not worry - if I do not do the shop, it will fall off after the ending due date. There seems to be no penalty for this.
Now, I am wondering if some savvy ( ? ) shopper is just assigning every one of those shops, doing whichever ones they can and allowing those they cannot do to just fall off, re-emerging on the Job Board after their original last due date.

Could this be happening? Am I the last one to realize this strategy?

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I had one shop assigned to me that I do every other month. However the dates assigned are exactly when I will be away. I'm sure I didn't request it for that week, but maybe I did mistakenly. I can't reschedule to a new, earlier or later date so I contacted IPSOS and was told to let it drop off and then pick it up when I can do it. Ok then. So I could actually assign a bunch of shops that I want to do later in the month and let them drop off and assign them again when I can do them, this way assuring no one else gets them? Never thought of doing that, but I guess it's possible. However, I usually wait for the bonuses to arrive before taking anymore.

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This seems like a good thing to know about this company. I've just started working with IPSOS. So far, I like them. They pay quickly.

Shopping central/southern NJ and eastern PA
I have not noticed it in my area. It very well could be deliberate. I would be too afraid someone would catch on and there would be a penalty after all.
It’s a bad idea. I have mentored a new shopper who tried that, and ended up losing their self-assign status with IPSOS entirely. (They consistently got 10/10 and had a 9 overall shop average.)
IPSOS may let you slide and over-assign, with shops “dropping off,” but eventually you will tangle with their algorithm and be off the client program.
@French Farmer wrote:

So, here is what I am thinking happens: Recently, I learned something from IPSOS. It was when I self assigned a wrong shop. I immediately requested to IPSOS that it be removed. I received a reply from IPSOS to not worry - if I do not do the shop, it will fall off after the ending due date. There seems to be no penalty for this.
Now, I am wondering if some savvy ( ? ) shopper is just assigning every one of those shops, doing whichever ones they can and allowing those they cannot do to just fall off, re-emerging on the Job Board after their original last due date.

Could this be happening? Am I the last one to realize this strategy?

I'm surprised Ipsos allows this, if they do. Most companies will deactivate you for self-assigning shops and not completing them (flaking).

Sooner or later this is going to bite them (and the shoppers doing it) in the keester. At the very least it strikes me as unethical, even if Ipsos lets you get away with it for now.
If you're taking the shops during the I shop 1st program, when they are first posted at base pay you are cheating yourself out of money. I don't want or need auto scheduled shops, because they are at base pay, I need to be paid a living wage for age for what I am doing.

And yes, They are allowing shops to drop off of your shop log if you don't shop them. There is probably a penalty, I see somebody said that you can lose your self assign privileges if you do it too often. With some of the shops it will block you from signing up the same shop again later too.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/2022 10:15PM by Morledzep.
I think that is a storm that you could only weather for a very short time period. The fact that the shops automatically drop off isn't a good bone or forgiveness from the MSC. They will tolerate some, but too many and the shopper will be deactivated or penalized like Moriedzep mentions, and that is regardless of who the MSC is. And I imagine the penalty could be more severe if the shop has to be reposted with a higher bonus.
It’s called hoarding, and if you’re caught doing it in Presto you’re kicked off the corresponding project. I don’t know if the algorithm is set to notice that in Sassy, but eventually someone will catch on. In Presto, you usually get a warning. Also, although I think there’s a lot of leeway to allow shops to fall off in Sassie, I’m not sure there’s not some sort of limit after which you get some sort of black mark.
The original emails introducing iShopFirst explained how the shops would be placed back on the board if they were not submitted on time. Then, they said, "If you still want it, you need to re-claim it (just like Presto)." This might seems like an open invitation to some to do what you are referencing. I don't use Presto much, but I recall previous threads discussing the likelihood of some using a similar strategy there. I also seem tor recall something from the iShopFirst program stating there would be no penalty for not completing the shop, but that it may change in the future.
Rousseau-Great reply! Another strategy is to wait until the shops are heavily bonused, plan your route and self-assign the shops for a DAY early. Then let them drop off and re-assign yourself early the next morning. VOILA! ....this normally results in an extra $5 bonus.....!!!! (Not that I would EVER do that...just sayin')

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/05/2022 10:17AM by salisburync.
I will admit in the middle of a busy route I have accidentally let one or two drop off, and then reclaimed them in a panic with an extra $5 after seeing the notification. But I normally I extend the date, or in rare circumstances email the scheduler for an extra day. I feel a little bad getting the extra $5, but there have been times where the scheduler has assigned me locations for a little less due to a miscommunication (I assume,) and I let those slide too.
During a snowstorm I had a $50 shop fall off, reclaimed it at $195… but wrote to the scheduler and had her put it back at $50. Think about that one a lot, not sure if I’d do that again. Especially since she’s been rude in correspondence since.
Yep, as the 9th of May rolled in, some of the shops are back on the Job Board.
I also note that most of the shops due in the first week (May 1 to May 8) are extended on the board to May 11. Without a bonus.
Seems IPSOS is playing a game.
They’re definitely trying to be as cheap as possible but this is how it’s always worked, even before ishopfirst. There’s an earlier due date because they want shops done as soon as possible for as little as possible. Then, depending on how many get done, they extend again usually again without a bonus but then after a day or two a bonus might be put on, even before the second due date.
They have been slower to add bonuses tho this quarter for each step up.
Even worse is the brand that’s not in Sassie where they combined two audits—so it’s now >1-1/3 audits—added additional questions for infractions, and have the same base pay. No way is their client paying the same for the combined audits.
@French Farmer wrote:

Yep, as the 9th of May rolled in, some of the shops are back on the Job Board.
I also note that most of the shops due in the first week (May 1 to May 8) are extended on the board to May 11. Without a bonus.
Seems IPSOS is playing a game.
The funny part is that by apparently allowing the renegade or overly "ambitious" self assigning all those shops almost immediately and then allowing them to fall off without performing them and without a penalty, IPSOS may shoot themselves in the foot.
For me, some of those shop are in areas that would have been an addition to one of my routes. Now, because they were taken, not done and have returned to the board, they become singular shops that no one wants to do unless bonused (for all the obvious reasons).
Well, that my opinion anyway.
ColoKate - With one exception (DJC's, great people), I have not, in 30 years, found one MSC worthy of that type of consideration....generally speaking (and I know this a broad brush here) MSC's will never correct some fee or payment error in your favor, unless you inform them about it first! "It's just business."
@salisburync wrote:

ColoKate - With one exception (DJC's, great people), I have not, in 30 years, found one MSC worthy of that type of consideration....generally speaking (and I know this a broad brush here) MSC's will never correct some fee or payment error in your favor, unless you inform them about it first! "It's just business."

Agreed. I am just scrupulously honest, at least up to current date, lol. (Who knows, I may go full renegade someday.)

To put a positive spin on it, it DID alert me to the fact that these particular shops were bonusing to $195. I ended up watching the IPSOS Sassie board like a hawk at 10 AM EST when they are reset, and found two more that week.
Just curious, but where did the idea that you could let them drop off with no penalty? I know they say they drop off and you can reassign them, but I can't believe there is NO Penalty.
@barbage wrote:

Just curious, but where did the idea that you could let them drop off with no penalty? I know they say they drop off and you can reassign them, but I can't believe there is NO Penalty.

Mistakenly, I self assigned a shop. Immediately, I notified IPSOS via their E-mail that by mistake, I assigned the wrong shop, please remove it. Their reply (a few days later) basically said, just allow it to fall off after the last due date.
No problem, no worries.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/11/2022 12:34AM by French Farmer.
The email announcing the program says if you don’t complete an assignment by the due date it will fall off automatically, like in Presto. They say nothing about a penalty, nor does the auto reply you receive when a shop is dropped off. There is no penalty in Presto, *within reason*. If you are caught hoarding pins, or they think you are hoarding, you will be kicked off a program. If you let occasional shops drop off (or delete them), whether or not you reassign them, there is no penalty. I think we should assume this is the same.
@barbage wrote:

Just curious, but where did the idea that you could let them drop off with no penalty? I know they say they drop off and you can reassign them, but I can't believe there is NO Penalty.
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