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 Feedback Requested: Corporate Research International (CoRI) (3)
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Sue Br.
Star Contributor

Oklahoma
USA
660 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  05:14:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Larry, I can take pictures discretely because of my CIA training, or was that the FBI? Anyway, you can station yourself behind a pump and the staff can't see you. You can stand with the restroom door open and the staff can't see you because they are to your back. I usually drive across the street to take the overall, that's when a camera with a good zoom is nice. These shops require only three photos. These are super easy with mostly yes and no questions. The narratives are easy enough for a 3rd grader to write. We must be taking about different shops.

Sue
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MsKim
Star Contributor

Bryan, Texas
USA
419 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  05:23:34 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
LOL ok Harvey I can see where those photos are hard. I guess I forgot in Tx we NO LONGER have the NON-reveal gas shops, ALL of our shops are reveal now. FUN,FUN,FUN!!!

BUT I will say.....will a little creative thinking...you can take a picture OF ANYTHING!!!!

Ms Kim
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MattMS
Star Contributor

Genoa, Illinois
USA
360 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  07:34:01 AM  Send MattMS an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I usually write descriptive narratives, explaining what was clean, dirty, etc. However, with the character limits CRI has, I just went to the super basic sentences. And they still accept them.

As for the pictures, I'll agree with the cell phone. I use my cell phone to get the pump easily. You pull up to the pump, leaving about 2-3 feet between your car and the pump, and pull just past the pump. (Like you're pulling up to a house on fire in a fire engine, see three sides of the pump, leave some room for any one who is a firefighter.)

Then, when walking back, I act like I got a text. Easy to take the photo, and then walk to my car.

Matthew - shopping North Central & North West Illinois
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
693 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  07:45:15 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by

As for the pictures, you will be AMAZED at how "unaware" people really are.


I do tend to forget that people are very unaware. I guess that's because I am a very aware person and I think most others are too.

As far as telling customers that spot you that you are a mystery shopper, I think this is is a big no-no. You should never tell anyone you are mystery shopping, customer's included. Especially working for CoRI.

I like CoRI for the reason that they NEVER want you to ask an employee for their name if the employee doesn't have a name tag or it's not legible or whatnot. I like that CoRI understands that in most cases asking for a name could potentially reveal you as a shopper. That's the only professional way to conduct yourself, IMO. Names are never so important that you need to compromise your identity. Companies that require you to ask for a name are very untrusting of their shopper so they put this mistrust ahead of shopper secrecy. That's not very professional. Unfortunately, this is how most MSC's I am signed up with run things.

So , I don't know what CoRI would say to telling customer's you are MSing, but I would bet that they are strictly against it. You should look into that or just refrain from doing that to be on the safe side.

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake, at least I'm done with merchandising... for goodness sake.
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Sandi G
Star Contributor

Tallahassee, FL
USA
918 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  08:26:20 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LarryT
Companies that require you to ask for a name are very untrusting of their shopper so they put this mistrust ahead of shopper secrecy. That's not very professional. Unfortunately, this is how most MSC's I am signed up with run things.


That's not necessarily true. If the client is looking for an overview of the situation, they might not care so much about the names. If a client wants to follow up with additional training, praise, bonuses, etc based on specific interactions, they really need to know who the person was. In a mom-and-pop store, a description might be sufficient. If you're in a department or megastore, chances are good there are several "female with shoulder-length straight brown hair, brown eyes, 5'5", early 20's" and they are then stuck. Knowing Ashley was in the children's department is more helpful, even if there are multiple Ashleys that work in the store. Yes, they have video tapes, but asking us to provide a name is a whole lot cheaper than paying hourly rates for someone to go dig it up and search through to find which employee it was.

--Sandi
traditional & video shopping FL and GA
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
693 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  08:41:31 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sandi G

[quote]Originally posted by LarryT
Yes, they have video tapes, but asking us to provide a name is a whole lot cheaper than paying hourly rates for someone to go dig it up and search through to find which employee it was.



I think they can afford to have someone "dig out" security cam footage rather than compromise the shop. With today's digital equipment, it would not take too long, given the fact they will have receipt times to help them pinpoint the exact interaction. Even if a store does not use 100% digital surveillance, these systems are designed to quickly find the time point you need to look at.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one, I think.

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake, at least I'm done with merchandising... for goodness sake.
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MsJudi
Star Contributor

New Jersey
USA
582 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  2:26:46 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hey Harvey,

FYI, most of CoRi's NJ gas shops that I do, do not require a pump photo. An overall photo of the location is okay instead. I almost always manage to get one anyway even if I zoom from across the street...and my camera is a full sized Olympus jobber. I just snap while the attendant is fussing with the pump or when I exit the restroom. I don't necessarily get one of the pump used, but I submit a pump photo anyway. Reports have been accepted with no problems. It helps me later when doing the report to be sure of things like applications etc. I like to take as many pix as I can in case I forgot to check something. One time I was caught trying to get one last photo of the POP. A fellow starting yelling, "Hey she's taking my picture." I told him I wasn't, and he starting arguing about seeing my camera. Put the car in DRIVE and left pronto. I've learned to be a bit more careful. Some of these NJ folks have a lot of skeletons in their closet and don't want their photos taken. Then there was the time a guy thought I was scoping out locations for the Sopranos show. LOL He posed for me...a real Guido type with his hair all fixed up in his gas station shirt. I deleted it as soon as I left. Love the gas station shops...you never know what will happen..I like the challenge.

Judi
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MsKim
Star Contributor

Bryan, Texas
USA
419 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  5:46:49 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LarryT

[quote]Originally posted by



As far as telling customers that spot you that you are a mystery shopper, I think this is is a big no-no. You should never tell anyone you are mystery shopping, customer's included. Especially working for CoRI.



Larry, I guess I dont really worry about this, since I have to reveal myself on EVERY gas station shop now. I dont take any of my photos till after I reveal myself. So when I am seen by a customer, yes I do tell them who I am, but not what company I work for. I guess that comment was for when I did the gas shops when you did not reveal yourself, which we no longer have in Tx.

One of the reasons I use to tell the customer who would catch me taking pictures is because I can not tell you how many times I have had the cops called on me. (I do a lot of shops in a "not very nice" area). I would be spotted sometimes and not even know it, till a police car was either pulling up or pulling me over about a block away. Ya, people thought I was "casing" the place to rob. LOL

But I do understand your concern about telling customers who we are and I do agree.


Ms Kim
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
693 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  6:26:18 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I see. Interesting about the police. Please tell, what was that interaction like.

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake, at least I'm done with merchandising... for goodness sake.
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MsKim
Star Contributor

Bryan, Texas
USA
419 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  7:18:30 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
It has happened 6x for me in almost 8 yrs....lol.

First time was scarey....but I explain who I am, show the officer my laptop (I use it to map my route out), and the best defensive is my camera, loaded with pump, toliet and sink pictures. All but 2 of them laughed and said something like, ifthey had to guess it looked like it I was "casing" the restroom and not the store.

One wanted more information about Cori, number, address and name of my "supervisor", which I explained I was independent and did give my scheduler name. Since it was a weekend I knew he would not get in touch with anyone but I also did worry since I was able to show him the website with all the locations I was going to and the infomation sheet.

The other one was the funniest.....
First off, this location was in the middle of no where and was in BAD condition. Put it this way, I had so many pictures of what was wrong with that location that I could not attach all the pictures.
I was in my car finishing up a shop and glancing at my notes to make sure I had everything, while starting the car and fastening my seatbelt. I heard the police car siren coming down the street, so I remained stopped till it passed. BUT no it came right at me, blocked me in and the officer got out of the car and drew his gun and I was ordered to park the car, stop the engine and put my hands on the wheel. At first I was scared then I realized what was happening and started laughing....well trust me that DID NOT HELP my situation. lol
(Please remember this is a small town cop who probably runs his siren once a year and draws his gun....uh never).
He told me to slowly exit my car and I did everything he asked, while laughing..still not helping me but this was funny and as soon I explained I was sure the cop was going to laugh. Well, I finally got to explain, show my evidence for my defensive and he did start laughing. He went in and talked with the guy behind the counter, WHO CALLED THE COP.
The employee/owner...figured out I was a shopper because I asked for a receipt for a drink, and per him NO ONE ever ask for a receipt around here. He said he was tired of "us Mystery Shoppers" coming around here and telling Exxon how dirty his restroom, store and pumps were. The cop looked around and said, "well it is digusting in here, I dont even come here to buy bottle water". The guy was so mad and demanded the cop tell the company (cori) to stop letting people come there. The cop told him that it was none of his business who checked on the cleaness of his place and that if he worked for Exxon he would of shut the place down.
Later the cop said that I might not want to do that location anymore, since the guy might shoot first and ask questions later, remember I live in Texas, lol.
I never have returned to that location and later saw on the board it was debranded.... I wish I could of done that debranding shop. LOL

So that is my funny story about getting caught with the cops. I still giggle as I think about it and write it now, even though it has been almost 4 years since it happened.

Ms Kim
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
693 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  7:43:18 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
LOL.. What I find funny is the the employee/owner in your last story pretty much admitted that he knew you did not have criminal intent and kinda insinuated that he only called the cops to make your life hell. Can't remember what that's called, but there is a law against that, I believe. If he truly did not know your intent, or did and kept his mouth shut, that would have been "legit".

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake, at least I'm done with merchandising... for goodness sake.
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MsKim
Star Contributor

Bryan, Texas
USA
419 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  7:50:43 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I always wondered if he got in trouble, but never will know cause the cop nicely asked me to leave.
But oh well, it is a memory that is funny!!

Ms Kim
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Sandi G
Star Contributor

Tallahassee, FL
USA
918 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2011 :  10:51:55 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Are the red/blue revealed audit commissions going up slower than usual this month in all areas? I find it odd that every single one within 100 miles of me is the exact same rate. They are all $1 higher than the starting commission. Even the ones in the boondocks that hit the lovely high numbers before they get done are all at the same low price. I keep trying to build some routes, but it is absolutely not worth it to add these in at this point. I'm thinking by the time the usual formulas kick in and they go up to a decent rate, everything else will have been done for the month and a route won't be feasible.

--Sandi
traditional & video shopping FL and GA
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Sue Br.
Star Contributor

Oklahoma
USA
660 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2011 :  12:29:27 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I got a reply to my email about the gas shops outside the World's Largest Retailer going up so fast and being gone. Well this lady said the shoppers are just lucky enough to click when the shops have gone up. These shops don't just jump from $4.00 to $20.00 overnight. Also all the shops are gone that are usually hard to place, miraculously within an hour. I don't know how stupid these people think we are but I am not falling for it. Since when do they bonus that much before the 10th of the month? They don't usually bonus that much at all. Don't p-- on my shoe and tell me it's raining.

Sue
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
693 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2011 :  12:35:19 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well...only thing left I can think of is...

Merry Christmas! lol.

And on that note, I would like to share a warm corporate Christmas story with all of you...

I worked for a company one year (huge international company) that sent out a memo to all employees saying that in the spirit of giving, this year we are going to donate your christmas bonus to a needy charity. LOL. Needless to say, my jaw dropped and I was in shock for hours. I never did try to find out if in fact they actually donated anything. While it sounds like a nice gesture on the surface, it's not really considered polite to donate to a charity WITH SOMEONE ELSES MONEY...lol, unless that person whose money it is tells you to do it. BTW, the letter was in the form of a "holiday" greeting card.
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MsKim
Star Contributor

Bryan, Texas
USA
419 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2011 :  8:27:53 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The only shops that were at a decent rate this weekend were the quarterly shops and there were NOT very many left. The station outside of the retail store....well they went up as usual to the usual amount around here. There were a few that disappered the first weekend for the beginning amount.

As for the monthly gas shops....ALL of mine are also 1.00 more than starting rate. Not sure what is going on, kinda thought they would of gone up more this weekend since next weekend is the last weekend of the month...if you think about it.

I expect they will jump BIG TIME around Tues/Wend of next week...will have to wait and see.

As for the shops going from 4-20 in one day. I have never seen anything like that around here. I have noticed if a shop is taken at a high rate, like 40-50 at the end of last month, then it will start off kinda high, like 15-20 at the beginning of next month. But is someone takes it at the beginning of the month at 15-20 then the following month it will start out lower and raise a little at a time till the end of the month again. SOOOOOO.....what I am trying to say is, the shops that keep being taken at 20.00 each EVERY month at the beginning of the month....well you are right....something is strange.

Merry Christmas to all....and hope everyone finds some shops!!!!!

Ms Kim
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MsJudi
Star Contributor

New Jersey
USA
582 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2011 :  06:42:42 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Most of the usual red and blue shops are $7 here. I expect to see a jump very soon. I'm too busy now to do a lot of them anyway, so I'll take some leftovers when/if the fee jumps. The other station they have here, blue and yellow, has begun to climb nicely though.

Judi
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
693 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2011 :  08:03:33 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
As far as fee increases, I noticed that a certain red retailer shop that has many requirements (but only a $1.00 purchase reimbursement) went up to 50 smackers. This one is about 100 miles from me. But all the other ones that are closer are going for less than 10 peanuts.
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Joyce in Maine
Valued Contributor

Maine
USA
123 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2011 :  2:43:33 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Anyone done a debranding lately for the gas shops --- they want way too many pictures --- I think this requires more time and effort than the quarterly regular shops -- the debranding used to be easy!

Joyce
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Harvey S.
Star Contributor

Glen Mills, PA
USA
439 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2011 :  3:13:57 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Joyce -

I did a debranding recently. Much of what they wanted photographed no longer physically existed. No pumps, no canopies, no signs, just a building, and paved lot, and a "For Sale" sign. I did find two overlooked brand insignias on the building. I had to submit a picture regardless of whether "it" actually existed or not, but I had taken lots of photos and just attached what I had. It was reasonably bonused and I was driving by it anyway.

Harvey
Southeastern Pennsylvania Northern Delaware,"South" Jersey
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