Overview: Although these assignments are not flashy or exciting in comparison to other available mystery shopping opportunities, they still have their own allure.
These share a quality with other non-glam assignments such as grocery stores and gas stations, that being if you have to go there anyway, you might as well get paid for it.
Project Variations: Automotive services assignments cover a mixed bag of visit types. The majority are involved with oil changes. Others deal with tire rotations, vehicle testing, car washes, and other services. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on oil change assignments. These can take place at businesses that only provide this one service, or at dealerships which provide many.
Visit & Reporting Requirements: On site time can be anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour. Reporting time for some of these visits can be 45 minutes or more, depending upon the MSC. One mystery shopping company in particular that offers these assignments is notorious for requiring heavily narrated reports.
Strategies: Be aware that there is a lot of misleading marketing out there in relation to costs of services for oil changes. Businesses that specialize in speedy in-and-out oil changes sometimes employ tactics to give the impression that they are better, faster, and cheaper than dealerships. This is so not necessarily the case.
The last oil change I had completed at a quickie oil change business actually cost me more than one I had done at my dealership. It also took longer. To avoid unpleasant financial surprises, call the business before even accepting the assignment to get an idea of what kind of prices are being charged. It is rare for the whole cost of an oil change service to be completely reiumbursed in any case.
Timings are usually heavily emphasized in assignment requirements. The client will want to know how long you waited to be acknowledged, how long you waited to be checked in, how long it took your vehicle to get into the bay, when work started on your vehicle, if and when a consultation took place with you after the technicians had a chance to review the status of your vehicle, when you were told your vehicle was finished, when the technician briefed you on the completed services, and when you were able to retrieve your vehicle and leave.
Although tedious, this is not a big deal. Use your smartphone to keep track of your timings, as well as to note names and descriptions of employees that you interact with.
Be prepared to comment heavily on your interactions with technicians. The client will want to know if you felt pressured into adding more services, if the technician was personable and trustworthy, and why you would or wouldn’t return to the location.
What Others Have to Say: Few shoppers on www.mysteryshopforum.com take a pass on oil change assignments, even those that don’t usually go for shops that pay off mostly, if not all, in reiumbursements. As shoppers, we put a lot of miles on our vehicles, and it’s great to be able to get a break on a service we need.
Estimated Pay: Forum members report that pay has been dropping for these assignments. Fees and reiumbursement are varying widely across the country. In my part of mystery shopping land, recent fees were $5 with a $40 reiumbursement. Others are seeing assignments listed with similar or no fee with $25 in reiumbursement.
MSCs: Among the mystery shopping companies that have available assignments for oil changes are IntelliShop, Confero, Bestmark, and Shoppers Critique International.