IPSOS new rule for routes and shops bonuses

Next they will probably require a copy of your hotel and gas receipts showing that what you estimated were correct.

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I have been told this in the past, but when they really get up against it and have to get a location done, they end up paying just like they always have. Do not believe them! And do not accept shops for less than you have been getting in the past. That's what they're expecting you to do. They're lying to you and hoping that you will take the shops for less. There is always the risk that someone else will go in and grab them. They are doing their best to try to recruit new suckers. If you can take that risk, then please don't accept the shops for less than what you were paid in the past.

I have been told, point blank, that they were never going to pay that much in the future, and they might just let the locations not get done. Well that was a lie, because they all got done, and they ended up paying me what I got in the past. I may have only gotten about 75% of the locations that I did before, but in the end they paid the same amount.

I think the limiting factor is what the client will tolerate as far as shops being done late. They are all getting done, but they are getting later and later. They are probably doing better on their budget overall, but there are still quite a few shops that end up withthe high fees that they always have commanded. They just get done after the deadline instead of right before it.






@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.
There’s no doubt they are currently paying lower fees for some clients and letting shops sit for days and weeks past the deadline. There are yellow shops (quarter ends today) with a date into august for $40. I’ve done yellows for that amount weeks before the deadline. Otherwise I agree, if you can afford to wait and can afford to possibly miss some opportunities, better to hold out. New people don’t know any better or may be in it for a month or two. This will affect us for months or years to come. Also, tho my financial situation is dire and eventually I have to do shops for less than they should be paying and had been paying, I try not to do specific locations that I know have always gone for very high amounts in the past, even if I won’t be around there at the end of the month or quarter, and even tho I do need the money now.
Btw The project xxx discussed is, I think, a project with very strict deadlines so in this case I think you’re right that it’s a lie that they won’t pay that much.
@thunderdeacon wrote:

I have been told this in the past, but when they really get up against it and have to get a location done, they end up paying just like they always have. Do not believe them! And do not accept shops for less than you have been getting in the past. That's what they're expecting you to do. They're lying to you and hoping that you will take the shops for less. There is always the risk that someone else will go in and grab them. They are doing their best to try to recruit new suckers. If you can take that risk, then please don't accept the shops for less than what you were paid in the past.

I have been told, point blank, that they were never going to pay that much in the future, and they might just let the locations not get done. Well that was a lie, because they all got done, and they ended up paying me what I got in the past. I may have only gotten about 75% of the locations that I did before, but in the end they paid the same amount.

I think the limiting factor is what the client will tolerate as far as shops being done late. They are all getting done, but they are getting later and later. They are probably doing better on their budget overall, but there are still quite a few shops that end up withthe high fees that they always have commanded. They just get done after the deadline instead of right before it.






@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.
IMHO, gas receipts are worthless and irrelevant. Anyone shopping on the basis of "gas money" is IMHO deluding themselves. Determining the mileage and then using the IRS mileage rate of $0.625 per mile is reasonable and justifiable. The cost of gas is perhaps 25% to 33% of the cost of driving (oil changes, tires, wear and tear, depreciation, etc.). Also, I want to get paid for the time I am driving. This has to be built into the payment for the shops themselves.
@wrosie wrote:

Next they will probably require a copy of your hotel and gas receipts showing that what you estimated were correct.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
My route bid 8 hr 35 min 518.5 miles I can do these 5 shops for $ 390
Independent Scheduler for Ipsos Mystery Shopping: The most we can probably do is $200 total for 5 locations.
ME :514 miles x .60 per mile is $314 plus shop fee of $12.50 x 5 is $ 62.5 that equal $366.5
IS: We also don’t force shoppers to travel and take shops that are far away from them. I’m sorry but we can’t pay more at this time.
IS: It’s probably best that you look shops that are closer to you and do not require a lot of travel.
ME: Send the package to the pm and let him make the decision
IS: The PM will not approve that pay for 5 locations.
Moral Independent Scheduler for Ipsos Mystery Shopping are a afraid to ask or do anything to help the MS
to be honest, i wouldn’t expect them to want to pay more for people who travel unless it is a last resort. not saying you shouldn’t get more if you travel, i’m just saying that even if you’re only asking for $5 more than someone who lives 5 minutes from the location, they don’t really have any incentive to go with you unless they’re certain only you can do the job correctly. at the end of the day, as long as you can take the required photos(which isn’t difficult), you can basically do these jobs, so it’s hard to separate yourself as someone better than the rest.
According to today’s news releases, roughly 583,000 new jobs were added to the American economy in the past 30 days, and there are millions of unfilled positions in all areas of the economy.

IPSOS isn’t employing the best and brightest if they think the pool of workers for their clients is unlimited. We can, and do, say “no.”

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/05/2022 03:05PM by ColoKate63.
I was contacted by an independent scheduler for whom I had first completed a shop in 2005. She inquired as to my interest in a visit to a blue bank, mentioning I had completed an assignment at that location the prior year for $30. I replied that was because I was traveling through that small town, but this week required $60 or she could wait until the following week, when I would again be through the town, for $30. She stated Ipsos would never agree to my request and the matter was closed.
Never! Never ever!

Lie lie!

I've done blue banks for $100 before. I've seen them on the job board as high as $75 at times.



@shopperbob wrote:

I was contacted by an independent scheduler for whom I had first completed a shop in 2005. She inquired as to my interest in a visit to a blue bank, mentioning I had completed an assignment at that location the prior year for $30. I replied that was because I was traveling through that small town, but this week required $60 or she could wait until the following week, when I would again be through the town, for $30. She stated Ipsos would never agree to my request and the matter was closed.
Got an email yesterday about URGENT blues that must be completed by today (July shops, so they really should’ve been completed a week ago). If you need a bit more just ASK ME but only if it’s reasonable. Then: “ Please only send me reasonable offers. Asking for more, when you live within 25 miles, is not reasonable.” No, what’s unreasonable is basing bonuses only on distance and not what it’s worth to you to get an URGENT shop done. Maybe there’s another shop that’s a bit easier for same rate but I’ll do this one if I’m paid a bit more. Maybe traffic is terrible so 25 miles isn’t reflective of travel for me. Maybe … none of their business and why do they care except to lower our overall exceptions for bonuses?
Oh, and like I’ve said before, in the past these paid $200 in the 29th. Now it’s $45 on the 7th of the following month.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2022 04:42PM by Notme2021.
Stay strong and just keep saying no. There is a chance that someone else will jump in and take them. However, what are you missing out on? $45?

Clearly they are not urgent if they're not willing to pay. Good for you to not accept the lower amounts.

They show off their corporate events and executive dinners on their Facebook page. And they tell you that you are not reasonable for asking for additional pay in the middle of explosive inflation during a recession. Who made them the arbiter of what reasonable means?. They can take their jobs and shove them.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2022 05:24PM by thunderdeacon.
The old company shcedulers did the exact same thing. The only difference being the automatic online bonuses went up regardless of distance.
Now if the scheduler had come back and simply said that they could not pay that much yet, I would respect that. Because that would be a business decision. They are a business, and they can do business how they want. However, it is completely inappropriate to belittle you by telling you that your request for more money was not reasonable. And to say it in such a snide fashion is completely inappropriate as well.
That was the snide wording in the mass email. I didn’t apply to any of these locations as they’re too far. Being to everyone in those 5 states, and starting out scolding like that makes it even worse imo. Snide to everyone.
@thunderdeacon wrote:

Now if the scheduler had come back and simply said that they could not pay that much yet, I would respect that. Because that would be a business decision. They are a business, and they can do business how they want. However, it is completely inappropriate to belittle you by telling you that your request for more money was not reasonable. And to say it in such a snide fashion is completely inappropriate as well.
That is even worse then. I hope the client gets super pissed. Gas companies have tons of money, and there's a ton of competition out there when the new contracts come out.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2022 08:09PM by thunderdeacon.
I may be the odd ball on this one . . .

The request to provide information doesn't bother me. Coming from high-tech, both as a employee and a contractor, it is standard to submit and get approval on expected expenses, such as, mileage/airfare/car rental, hotel, meals, entertainment, etc. in advance of a business trip (or before spending $ on projects). Then to get paid, submit a report supported by receipts.

For me, I'm programmed for it, so I'm accustomed to it. Plus I have to figure it out to keep my expenses inline and for my taxes anyway. I understand this thinking is not the same for everyone.

Where the MSC gets us -- in the IC agreement there are words to the effect that the Independent Contractor agrees to pay for all expenses incurred to complete a shop. This gives Ipsos the power to be as discretionary as they want on bonuses to cover routes or travel outside a shoppers general area.

I'm not saying it justifies lower fees from the start or not approving bonuses by any means. Especially as the cost of living continues to rise. Every shopper needs to determine what pay is acceptable and what they need to clear to perform a shop to run a profitable business. Does Ipsos sometimes make that more challenging these days - yes! But what we also know is the former MSC (thinking of gas shops) was pretty willing to open their purse when needed. We enjoyed the benefit of that and miss this part with the former MSC. But the purse either opened too much, haphazardly, or the mystery shopping division had too much overhead or was run extremely poor, as it is no longer in business.
The reality is that driving 25 miles each way costs $31.25 at the IRS mileage rate. That means driving for an hour (not an unreasonable estimate and maybe low in many areas) and doing the shop itself for $13.75. I won't be doing it for $13.75. In fact, $13.75 is not IMHO enough to compensate me for driving for 30 minutes each way.
@Notme2021 wrote:

Asking for more, when you live within 25 miles, is not reasonable.” No, what’s unreasonable is basing bonuses only on distance and not what it’s worth to you to get an URGENT shop done.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
Great point. Where I am, you can’t easily go 25 miles without paying tolls as well. I guess the final stragglers for this project are probably in remote areas, possibly without tolls for 25 miles around, but she’s making this seem like their current general policy for additional bonuses. If I avoid tolls, then the distance is higher than Google says and it’s also significantly slower than 60 mph. In the NYC area you could easily have to pay $15+ in tolls and spend 1.5 hours or more driving each way to go 25 miles each way. Also, as shown in another thread, it’s getting harder to find a market item for under $1 for any of the gas station shops so that’s more out-of-pocket money.
@myst4au wrote:

The reality is that driving 25 miles each way costs $31.25 at the IRS mileage rate. That means driving for an hour (not an unreasonable estimate and maybe low in many areas) and doing the shop itself for $13.75. I won't be doing it for $13.75. In fact, $13.75 is not IMHO enough to compensate me for driving for 30 minutes each way.
@Notme2021 wrote:

Asking for more, when you live within 25 miles, is not reasonable.” No, what’s unreasonable is basing bonuses only on distance and not what it’s worth to you to get an URGENT shop done.
Zek, I agree with everything that you are saying. There is a reason why MaritzCX mystery shopping does not exist anymore. However, Ipsos had access to the contracts and they knew exactly what they were getting themselves into when they acquired the company. They are in business, and they can do business however they want. If they want us to give distances, then that's their prerogative. My issue with that is when I am on the other side of the country from where I live. When I am putting exact numbers that are all over 1,000 miles from home on each shop, it's just pointless busy work. It's belittling. I should be able to just say it all locations are over a thousand miles from home.

Also, regardless of what their exact goals are in attempting to lower fees, they should always be polite, professional, and business like. Belittling and snide statements about what is reasonable and what is not are not appropriate. And I don't care how bad these contracts are for them, it doesn't give them any right to treat shoppers that way. They are not the sole arbiter of what is reasonable and what is not. They are using derogatory language and mind games to try to get shoppers too accept shops for less. All they have to do is say no. Simply say that they are not able to pay that much right now. That's business, and that's professional. There's no reason why they can't do that. Also, if they have so much money to send people stuff in the mail and have lavish corporate outings that they show off on their Facebook page, then maybe they shouldn't have to be so aggressive in lowering our pay. That was the point I was trying to make.

There is one thing that I know for sure, however. When it really gets to it, and these shops become weeks or even months late, what is reasonable ends up being whatever it takes to get them done. They can belittle and be snide to shoppers, but in the end, when it has to get done, they pay what it takes. They are just going to do it kicking and screaming after all of their mind games and snide comments didn't work.

I would also like to add that some of the schedulers are not like this. There are a few schedulers for this company that truly are professional, kind, and respectful. They do exactly what I said above, and simply say that they can't pay that much. There are other schedulers that are less professional.

They are the front line workers that are having to deal with the company's decree to aggressively lower shop fees in the middle of an inflationary recession.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2022 11:08PM by thunderdeacon.
Of course any business that is paying an employee or a contractor for mileage or expenses is going to require receipts and mileage forms. And if there’s a bid they want to know ahead of time what those will be. But as you said, Ipsos is not paying those expenses, we are. It would be pretty ridiculous for us to complain about having to submit receipts for reimbursed expenses and I’m sure there’s no one here who ever has complained about it. Furthermore, the fact that we are supposed to say the distance for each shop on a route from home is silly and busy work. Also, as independent contractors we have all sorts of reasons to charge more. I mentioned tolls, there are many other reasons. If they want to call it a mileage bonus that’s one thing. But they won’t do that because they only want to pay the bonus for people who ask and when Ipsos is desperate enough.

Maritz sold the division to Ipsos, that doesn’t mean that Ipsos should treat their shoppers like excrement. People have mentioned the professional schedulers that don’t speak like this. But they are not the schedulers receiving the majority of the work for Ipsos. I’m fairly certain that this snide scheduler who likes to make threats has more work than any other scheduler. So there is nothing about Ipsos’ actions in the past year that is pro-shopper in my opinion. Yes, yes, it’s a business. But it’s possible to run a profitable business without some of these actions. They are the biggest and so they provide a lot of work, but decreasing fees and reimbursements during such high inflation and then requiring more is despicable in my opinion.

Also, I’m guessing that Ipsos must have changed the terms of some contracts given that so many shops have deadlines pushed out. That’s probably not something Maritz could do, but since Ipsos is big and has cornered the market they can call a lot of shots. However, I’m not sure that it’s good business in the long run to do July shops on Aug 7 and to only have brand new shoppers working, and to have shoppers who are unhappy with them, etc.


@Zek wrote:

I may be the odd ball on this one . . .

The request to provide information doesn't bother me. Coming from high-tech, both as a employee and a contractor, it is standard to submit and get approval on expected expenses, such as, mileage/airfare/car rental, hotel, meals, entertainment, etc. in advance of a business trip (or before spending $ on projects). Then to get paid, submit a report supported by receipts.

For me, I'm programmed for it, so I'm accustomed to it. Plus I have to figure it out to keep my expenses inline and for my taxes anyway. I understand this thinking is not the same for everyone.

Where the MSC gets us -- in the IC agreement there are words to the effect that the Independent Contractor agrees to pay for all expenses incurred to complete a shop. This gives Ipsos the power to be as discretionary as they want on bonuses to cover routes or travel outside a shoppers general area.

I'm not saying it justifies lower fees from the start or not approving bonuses by any means. Especially as the cost of living continues to rise. Every shopper needs to determine what pay is acceptable and what they need to clear to perform a shop to run a profitable business. Does Ipsos sometimes make that more challenging these days - yes! But what we also know is the former MSC (thinking of gas shops) was pretty willing to open their purse when needed. We enjoyed the benefit of that and miss this part with the former MSC. But the purse either opened too much, haphazardly, or the mystery shopping division had too much overhead or was run extremely poor, as it is no longer in business.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2022 05:08AM by Notme2021.
I find the whole "reasonable / unreasonable" thing to be unprofessional and more importantly unproductive. In fact, I find the recent flippant and snide use of the word "unreasonable" by some schedulers to be...unreasonable.

When I submit an aggressive and fair offer on a series of hard to schedule distant shops after receiving DAILY pleas for help for three weeks, with rates that I've been paid before more than a few times, and then receive a reply that snidely says the offer is unreasonable, I recoil.

If you can't pay it now, that's fine. Just say that, thank me for the offer and we'll talk again a different day. But trot out that word "unreasonable" and try and beat me with it and the door will close for a time. We can check in with each other next quarter or maybe after the new year.
That’s the thing. They’ve decreased the bonus for doing a shop the last day of the month by 83%, despite inflation and increased gas prices. (Bonus was $187.50 and is now $32.50, a week after the deadline).
It is far more unreasonable to expect shoppers to work for that much less when we have increased expenses, than for a shopper to expect that asking for a fee, say $75, that is still 60% less than last year’s fee will be met with professionalism and seriousness. The policy of them asking us how many miles away is also new and it’s unreasonable to expect that the policy works for every situation.
And if they have new policies and new hard limits then don’t tell us we’re being unreasonable for expecting to be paid somewhere in the vicinity of 2021 rates (never mind 2020 pandemic rates).
@JustForFun wrote:

I find the whole "reasonable / unreasonable" thing to be unprofessional and more importantly unproductive. In fact, I find the recent flippant and snide use of the word "unreasonable" by some schedulers to be...unreasonable.

When I submit an aggressive and fair offer on a series of hard to schedule distant shops after receiving DAILY pleas for help for three weeks, with rates that I've been paid before more than a few times, and then receive a reply that snidely says the offer is unreasonable, I recoil.

If you can't pay it now, that's fine. Just say that, thank me for the offer and we'll talk again a different day. But trot out that word "unreasonable" and try and beat me with it and the door will close for a time. We can check in with each other next quarter or maybe after the new year.
@Notme2021 wrote:

...The policy of them asking us how many miles away is also new and it’s unreasonable to expect that the policy works for every situation.

I've often included ballpark mileage and necessity of overnight stays in my offers. If they want more detail I am happy to give it. However they must understand that I too am running a business here. If I spend 20 minutes building them a spreadsheet of locations / miles / etc. then that's time that has to be covered in the offer. I'm not going to just work a longer day for the same (or less) money.

Putting it another way, if they want that detail it has to be paid for and they are the only ones who brought a checkbook to the party. So they can expect each stop on a route where I give them that detail to cost an extra $5.
@Noteme2021

@Notme2021 wrote:

Of course any business that is paying an employee or a contractor for mileage or expenses is going to require receipts and mileage forms. And if there’s a bid they want to know ahead of time what those will be. But as you said, Ipsos is not paying those expenses, we are.

Zek's reply: No, what I said was (based on the statement in the IC agreement), Ipsos has the power to be as "discretionary" as they want.
---------------------------
It would be pretty ridiculous for us to complain about having to submit receipts for reimbursed expenses and I’m sure there’s no one here who ever has complained about it.

Zek's reply: Agreed.
----------------------------

Furthermore, the fact that we are supposed to say the distance for each shop on a route from home is silly and busy work. Also, as independent contractors we have all sorts of reasons to charge more. I mentioned tolls, there are many other reasons. If they want to call it a mileage bonus that’s one thing. But they won’t do that because they only want to pay the bonus for people who ask and when Ipsos is desperate enough.

Zek's reply: I'm not of the same thinking in that I don't view what Ipsos is asking for as silly, busy work or belittling. I have to figure out my expenses and time anyway to accept the shop as posted or to include in my ask so I turn a profit. Yes, we do have other expenses, but the new process does not prohibit a shopper from asking to have certain reasonable expenses covered by Ipsos, in the past, or going forward. Some get approved, some won't. In my experience, a new process is often implemented when a problem has surfaced. I have no evidence, but possibly it was put in place to encourage accountability and monitoring for potential abuse.

------------------------
Maritz sold the division to Ipsos, that doesn’t mean that Ipsos should treat their shoppers like excrement. People have mentioned the professional schedulers that don’t speak like this. But they are not the schedulers receiving the majority of the work for Ipsos. I’m fairly certain that this snide scheduler who likes to make threats has more work than any other scheduler.

Zek's reply: Ipsos acquiring Martiz and how Ipsos treats its shoppers, are two different subjects. I'm unclear on the point you are trying to make by including in the same sentence. I purposely skipped over this part of the discussion in my original post because I don't have issues with how any of the Ipsos schedulers communicate with me, other than the occasional delayed response. I'm not seeing the entire text you are referring to, but my skin must be thick because the use of words like "unacceptable." is not snide or offensive to me. They don't want to accept my offer -- okay -- I don't take it personal and move on.

--------------------------
So there is nothing about Ipsos’ actions in the past year that is pro-shopper in my opinion. Yes, yes, it’s a business. But it’s possible to run a profitable business without some of these actions. They are the biggest and so they provide a lot of work, but decreasing fees and reimbursements during such high inflation and then requiring more is despicable in my opinion.

Zek's reply: I agree, low and decreasing fees are always a concern, and even more given the present state of the economy.

-------------------------
Also, I’m guessing that Ipsos must have changed the terms of some contracts given that so many shops have deadlines pushed out. That’s probably not something Maritz could do, but since Ipsos is big and has cornered the market they can call a lot of shots. However, I’m not sure that it’s good business in the long run to do July shops on Aug 7 and to only have brand new shoppers working, and to have shoppers who are unhappy with them, etc.

Zek's response: My best guess is that they want a pool of both seasoned and new shoppers. Mix of local and route shoppers. Pay, reliability, breath of information to the client (so not the same ole all the time) seem like they would be top of mind.


@Zek wrote:


The request to provide information doesn't bother me. Coming from high-tech, both as a employee and a contractor, it is standard to submit and get approval on expected expenses, such as, mileage/airfare/car rental, hotel, meals, entertainment, etc. in advance of a business trip (or before spending $ on projects). Then to get paid, submit a report supported by receipts.

For me, I'm programmed for it, so I'm accustomed to it. Plus I have to figure it out to keep my expenses inline and for my taxes anyway. I understand this thinking is not the same for everyone.

Where the MSC gets us -- in the IC agreement there are words to the effect that the Independent Contractor agrees to pay for all expenses incurred to complete a shop. This gives Ipsos the power to be as discretionary as they want on bonuses to cover routes or travel outside a shoppers general area.

I'm not saying it justifies lower fees from the start or not approving bonuses by any means. Especially as the cost of living continues to rise. Every shopper needs to determine what pay is acceptable and what they need to clear to perform a shop to run a profitable business. Does Ipsos sometimes make that more challenging these days - yes! But what we also know is the former MSC (thinking of gas shops) was pretty willing to open their purse when needed. We enjoyed the benefit of that and miss this part with the former MSC. But the purse either opened too much, haphazardly, or the mystery shopping division had too much overhead or was run extremely poor, as it is no longer in business.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2022 11:11AM by Zek.
@thunderdeacon

I won't be surprised if a shopper hotline, chat room or some sort of Zoom sessions are created someday for shoppers to discuss issues live time one day.

Yes, everyone deserves and should be treated with respect. Sadly, it even gets lost in this forum sometimes.

You are probably driving longer distances or doing more routes than I do. I do venture into both, but not every week or month. Just saying maybe that is why the new procedure is more painful for you than me.

But ironically I am headed out on a road trip in a few days. I submitted a request yesterday for additional $ to a already nicely bonused shop with an explanation it would take me 57 miles off my path and the additional drive time. I had a reply this morning that my offer had been submitted to the "client" and the scheduler would let me know. It did get approved. It was just one location, so not as intense as what you may have to submit sometimes, but the word that stuck out to me is "client." Just saying is it possible the additional justification requirement are being driven by the client ?

There is a old saying "there is one bad apple in every cart." Ipsos' cart is no exception. The scheduler who is giving you some grief, I'm thinking is short and direct in communications. Most times I choose to take the high road, so I can move onto what is next on my list. This is why replies like "unacceptable" don't eat away at me. I don't have control of how someone else behaves, but I do have control of how I react. I know that is sometimes easier said than done when fees are decreasing, more justification is required and our costs are rising. I get it.

But I also feel (while not necessarily intended), some of the speculation expressed in this forum stirs things up. Perceptions get set. For example, a poster expressed concern about Ipsos hiring a person to help field shopper inquires. The poster said doing so would just reduce shopper pay. What proof is there of that? None. Another poster stated the meet-n-greets/training events and swag was robbing Peter (shopper pay) to pay Paul (marketing). I do think it is a stretch to label the events as "lavish." But the two budgets are completely independent of the other, and I can't think of a single $2.5 billion dollar company that doesn't have a marketing department out front doing their thing. The only thing we can control is to go to one of the events or not, and whether to keep or toss the swag.

Hope your day and week is going better.

@thunderdeacon wrote:

Zek, I agree with everything that you are saying. There is a reason why MaritzCX mystery shopping does not exist anymore. However, Ipsos had access to the contracts and they knew exactly what they were getting themselves into when they acquired the company. They are in business, and they can do business however they want. If they want us to give distances, then that's their prerogative. My issue with that is when I am on the other side of the country from where I live. When I am putting exact numbers that are all over 1,000 miles from home on each shop, it's just pointless busy work. It's belittling. I should be able to just say it all locations are over a thousand miles from home.

Also, regardless of what their exact goals are in attempting to lower fees, they should always be polite, professional, and business like. Belittling and snide statements about what is reasonable and what is not are not appropriate. And I don't care how bad these contracts are for them, it doesn't give them any right to treat shoppers that way. They are not the sole arbiter of what is reasonable and what is not. They are using derogatory language and mind games to try to get shoppers too accept shops for less. All they have to do is say no. Simply say that they are not able to pay that much right now. That's business, and that's professional. There's no reason why they can't do that. Also, if they have so much money to send people stuff in the mail and have lavish corporate outings that they show off on their Facebook page, then maybe they shouldn't have to be so aggressive in lowering our pay. That was the point I was trying to make.

There is one thing that I know for sure, however. When it really gets to it, and these shops become weeks or even months late, what is reasonable ends up being whatever it takes to get them done. They can belittle and be snide to shoppers, but in the end, when it has to get done, they pay what it takes. They are just going to do it kicking and screaming after all of their mind games and snide comments didn't work.

I would also like to add that some of the schedulers are not like this. There are a few schedulers for this company that truly are professional, kind, and respectful. They do exactly what I said above, and simply say that they can't pay that much. There are other schedulers that are less professional.

They are the front line workers that are having to deal with the company's decree to aggressively lower shop fees in the middle of an inflationary recession.
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