IPSOS new rule for routes and shops bonuses

I got this yesterday from aan Independent Scheduler for Ipsos Mystery Shopping
Thank you for responding. When submitting your offer, you must include distance from your home to each shop site and reason for fee increase (mileage, route, hotel, etc.). Your bid will be disregarded without this information.
I being a dumb shopper I responded " And when did this happen?"
They responded " Within the past month."
I did as any good shopper I responded " Do you have a guide that shows me exactly what you want? "
and this is the response: "Your offer must include each location, the fee you are requesting for the location, the distance from your home to the shop site, and the reason for the fee increase."

My takeaway is this, You will have to give them the day or days you plan on doing the shops, use MapQuest to figure out the best round trip route to and from your home, and use the times and distance between shops and estimated fuel cost. Then give them the hotel and amount of the room for each night on the road. Then they will respond MAYBE with the line "We can only go to July the 31st, and they approved $?? bonus each. If that is ok, let me know.

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When this started I tried giving them a range, such as "they are all 150-250 miles from my home." Nope. They want to know the distance for each individual location. A pita. I don't go into expense details, just tell them it will require lots of travel and hotel stays. Honestly I don't even like telling them that much. I'm an IC, after all.
Folks, before I fired Trendsource, on the line dealing with my reason for extra money, I always typed IRRELEVANT. I am a self-employed independent contractor; if my position removes me from consideration for the work, so be it.

I am a proponent of old adages; the following applies for this situation: Give 'em an inch, they'll take a mile!" I am not critical of the MSC for attempting to continually ask for more and return less, that is business. It is my opinion, shoppers will never be sufficiently rewarded until they so demand and bring a halt to laboring for pennies.
None of that is any of their business, actually. Someone is bullying you. As long as the shops will be done to specifications they can accept or decline your offer. Period. Are they obligated to disclose their fee structure and reasoning for it to us? No. And neither are we.

sestrahelena
So does the route offer go to the generic mailbox, or is there a particular dept to submit to?
I suppose one could send it to the general mailbox, but I would rather use my luck on a lottery ticket then the chance that even generating a response.

These are the route offers that go to the schedulers. The schedulers are asking for a distance from home for each location individually.


@ceasesmith wrote:

So does the route offer go to the generic mailbox, or is there a particular dept to submit to?
And if I’m on the road 1000 miles from home? Station 1 is 1,022 miles from my house. Station 2 is 1,031 miles from my house, etc. Ridiculous. Obviously they’re not gonna pay me the equivalent of a bonus for 1000 miles. They want groveling and for shoppers to start doing what they do on this forum and start thinking it can be done for less.
I am wary, leery, and smh. I am a strong proponent of shoppers being able to identify, explain, and justify their requested payments. This new system might help to reduce bloated requests. But as others pointed out, it also could result in less or no profit to shoppers who encounter unexpected delays. Perhaps someone could add the extra paragraph about unforeseeable delays and bring the matter back toward center.

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
_____


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/27/2022 01:12PM by Shop-et-al.
I think the MSC has always looked at the "miles away" numbers when considering a route request, and used it as possible leverage in negotiating. Nothing is changing, except they are now making the shopper do the work of listing the number of miles. We are still free to set our own fees and turn them down when they lowball.
You yourself said above that you can’t say that the locations are 150-250 miles away. You have to route out each shop. That is not reasonable. If you’re requesting a bonus for 50 shops, you go through all that work and they deny it? Much more reasonable to say there are 8 under 100, 10 101-200, etc. Even that seems excessive. The distance you have to drive if they are relatively in a line from your house is the furthest shop. Or you could map out a couple and say I have to drive total over 700 miles. They normally give extra bonuses based on quantity and distance. They’re making it seem like quantity doesn’t matter anymore which of course it does. That’s why they seem to be favoring route shoppers now (along with new shoppers who will work for peanuts). Less work for the scheduler or they can even bypass scheduler altogether, a reliable shopper, etc. If the first in the route is only 5 miles from home that’s irrelevant.
@mystery2me wrote:

I think the MSC has always looked at the "miles away" numbers when considering a route request, and used it as possible leverage in negotiating. Nothing is changing, except they are now making the shopper do the work of listing the number of miles. We are still free to set our own fees and turn them down when they lowball.
The above stated reasons for negotiation is why I never enter into that form of establishing fees. After receiving a letter concerning my interest in an assignment, I determine the least amount of money acceptable, reply and add that it is non-negotiable. It is rare for me to ever receive a response; so be it. I do NOT shop to enrich MSCs or their schedulers; I work for Bob's benefit.
@Shop-et-al wrote:

I am wary, leery, and smh. I am a strong proponent of shoppers being able to identify, explain, and justify their requested payments. This new system might help to reduce bloated requests. But as others pointed out, it also could result in less or no profit to shoppers who encounter unexpected delays. Perhaps someone could add the extra paragraph about unforeseeable delays and bring the matter back toward center.

Although I don't currently, I'll bloat if I want to.

sestrahelena
The link leads to a legal article titled 'The Measure of "Reasonable" Defense Costs in Independent Counsel Situations' and might be an example of finding the middle ground. Insurers may routinely use law firms or attorneys,. or they might create independent contracts with firms or attorneys. Sometimes, there are cost savings for one or the other arrangement. Insurers do not want to over-pay independent contract attorneys.
MSC's do not want to over-pay us.

The costs of insurance that we pay includes something toward the possible need to defend us if we have an incident. Our policies mention reasonable costs. As consumers, we might want to know that our insurance companies are not going to pay an ill-defined 'reasonable cost' to defend us or other insureds. As mystery shoppers, we might not be surprised by an effort to reach some ' method to determine the basis of actual costs that could be billed and approved by an MSC.

Somewhere in the middle should be a good faith effort to match actual costs and fees paid.


[www.irmi.com]

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
_____
I noticed that their blue bank shops are stuck at $18, and it's almost the end of the month. Last month I tried to get more money for a few of them that would have been 50+ miles round-trip, and they would not take my request, said it wasn't far enough. Usually they would raise the price on them up to mid-$20's by now (and were when I submitted my request). Maybe there is a new policy/approach there, in addition to the new rules being discussed here. There are several in my area, but I'm not doing them for $18.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/27/2022 11:27PM by MisterBill.
The tactic of not accepting a bid initially then offering another bonus still below then finally accepting a bid urks me. These games are not worth the time. If enough of us don't apply maybe they will rethink their strategy.
I noticed that more and more of their locations are getting done late. They will end up paying, but they do it kicking and screaming, and late. I guess it will all end up depending upon how much the client will tolerate. They have certainly shown that they value the average shopper about as much as a pile of monkey poo.
Sorry but I don’t get the relevance. Mystery shopping is based on supply and demand. They need work done and if they are required by their contract with their client to complete 100% or X% of locations by Y date then they will need to pay more later if it’s not done. If I want to charge $40 because they end up paying $50 every month that is reasonable. They are free to go elsewhere just like you can go to another insurance company.
It is none of their business whether I’m going to sleep in my car or stay in a hotel or have a friend along the route to stay with. Or stay in a cheap air b n b or a campground or all the other possibilities. They will overpay if they say no to reasonable requests because they view the mileage as low or whatever. In NYC you can spend 2 hours going 5 miles. Going to the Florida Keys, where it’s one road in one road out, you can get to Key West in 2.5 hours or 10. It’s “reasonable” for a shopper to take that into account when giving an offer, but it’s none of Ipsos’ business. Aren’t you one of the people shouting all the time that we are business people? (Sorry if not). Does Ipsos grill their outside legal counsel or their plumber on how far they had to travel to do the work?
@Shop-et-al wrote:

The link leads to a legal article titled 'The Measure of "Reasonable" Defense Costs in Independent Counsel Situations' and might be an example of finding the middle ground. Insurers may routinely use law firms or attorneys,. or they might create independent contracts with firms or attorneys. Sometimes, there are cost savings for one or the other arrangement. Insurers do not want to over-pay independent contract attorneys.
MSC's do not want to over-pay us.

The costs of insurance that we pay includes something toward the possible need to defend us if we have an incident. Our policies mention reasonable costs. As consumers, we might want to know that our insurance companies are not going to pay an ill-defined 'reasonable cost' to defend us or other insureds. As mystery shoppers, we might not be surprised by an effort to reach some ' method to determine the basis of actual costs that could be billed and approved by an MSC.

Somewhere in the middle should be a good faith effort to match actual costs and fees paid.


[www.irmi.com]
It's the principle of the thing. If even attorneys must demonstrate that their fees are justified, so should we be able to do that.

It in no way addresses the concern of many shoppers about low-balling and other tactics they have experienced.

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
_____
This is such a stretch. You linked to an article that is about insurance companies paying for counsel when there’s a conflict of interest. It has to do with paying for attorneys as a third party that doesn’t control what the attorney does.
It has absolutely nothing to do with our situation and it is such an immense stretch you seem to be vested in defending Ipsos’ practice at all costs.
When Ipsos hires outside counsel who they control, they do not grill them about the corporate attorneys fees that are upwards of $1,000 an hour. Nor do they grill a temp agency about how many miles the temps have to travel.
Like I said there are so many situations that aren’t dependent on miles driven, and if I stay in a hotel or not if I do a five-day route is not their business and it is outrageous they are asking that of shoppers. And mapping out each and every stop is a waste of time. And more outrageous that shoppers are defending this requirement.
such nonsense... my default response will be "this is what the job is worth to me, and i believe it is a fair fee." this company has become so awful to work with unfortunately. they have one good scheduler, but she doesn't have power to do anything really. good project managers left, and were replaced by ones who can't even spell the name of their main clients correctly lol. shows how much they care.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2022 12:32PM by jay225.
I feel belittled and like a comoddity doing their busy work for them when I have to include a driving distance for each location.
Exactly TD.......One so-called project manager, has written to me to regarding three different projects....which can only lead me to believe that ONE person supposedly manages three different (and HUGE!) clients?????? Really??? I thinks they are fibbing.....
A quote from another shopper regarding IPSOS -- "....no good project managers left, and were replaced by ones who can't even spell the name of their main clients correctly lol. shows how much they care.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2022 08:46PM by salisburync.
Yesterday I offered my services to do a shop on my way home from where I was working, I offered to do it for the regular price of the shop plus a $10 bonus, NOT in any way unreasonable. The scheduler who I have worked with before and never had a problem with, countered my offer with $8, and I refused. Today, less than 24 hours later, she sent out an email offering a $10 bonus, but I'm not on my way home from the other side of that city, and I'm not going to make a special trip..

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2022 10:39PM by Morledzep.
This is the new Ipsos way.

But they sent you "swag" in the mail so treating you this way should be acceptable!


@Morledzep wrote:

Yesterday I offered my services to do a shop on my way home from where I was working, I offered to do it for the regular price of the shop plus a $10 bonus, NOT in any way unreasonable. The scheduler who I have worked with before and never had a problem with, countered my offer with $8, and I refused. Today, less than 24 hours later, she sent out an email offering a $10 bonus, but I'm not on my way home from the other side of that city, and I'm not going to make a special trip..
They are alienating their quality shoppers. They are headed down a slippery slope.


@Morledzep wrote:

Keep dreaming Thunder, I'm too fat and too old to be a doormat..
I do the following xxx shops in three states for $1700 304 hr 43 min 2329.3 miles with three nights in a hotel
Independent Scheduler for Ipsos Mystery Shopping replied about submitting the to the PM
I work with him closely and at this point he has let me know that he will NOT consider any offers over $40 per shop for the reshop audits
I don’t have any authority to approve a bonus at all, but I work within the parameters that I am given for this project. Going forward with xxxx these amounts you are asking will never be approved for reshops.
Is this similar to a route you’ve done in the past? You didn’t mention how many locations were included. I wonder how much they will go for eventually. Reshops tend to go for $60 and up. Are they going to begin doing these late to avoid paying bonuses, too? I still am curious if they’ve changed their contracts with clients or have just decided to deal with whatever consequences there are for not completing the work on time. The monthlies for a different blue client just sit at $35 even tho it’s already the 31st.
I didn’t understand the 304 hrs. @ 60 mph that would be 18,000 miles.
@bmttinman wrote:

I do the following xxx shops in three states for $1700 304 hr 43 min 2329.3 miles with three nights in a hotel
Independent Scheduler for Ipsos Mystery Shopping replied about submitting the to the PM
I work with him closely and at this point he has let me know that he will NOT consider any offers over $40 per shop for the reshop audits
I don’t have any authority to approve a bonus at all, but I work within the parameters that I am given for this project. Going forward with xxxx these amounts you are asking will never be approved for reshops.
It kind of reminds me of the story about the guy who calls and plumber. The plumber looks at the problem, hits the pipe with a hammer and fixes the problem. He hands the guy a bill for $500. The says he wants an itemized bill. So the itemization is as follows: hitting pipe with a hammer - $50; knowing where on the pipe to hit - $450.
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