Overview: Hey, citizen! Wanna boogity to the upcoming convoy real estate for some 40-weight and a hubcap? 10-4, good neighbor!
Translated from trucker lingo, this means: “Although you’re not a trucker, would you like to meet up at the nearest truck stop for a cup of coffee and an egg sunny side up? It’d be great to see you there, friend!”
Check out travel center assignments to experience more of the trucker life, and to make some decent “fun time green stamps” – otherwise known as money.
Project Variations: There are two scenarios. For one type of assignment, the shopper visits a single location. For the other type, two locations are visited and compared.
Visit & Reporting Requirements: Time on site is usually 20 to 30 minutes per location. Single location reporting take about the same amount of time as that spent on-site. The comparison reporting can take much longer, in some cases an hour or more.
Strategies: Many shoppers shy away from these thinking that they need to have a certain image type to carry off this type of covert assignment. That’s a myth. Truckers and their travel companions all vary in appearance, just as with any other walk of life. So don’t let this prevent you from considering trying out a travel center assignment.
Another aspect of these assignments is that the guidelines specify that a shopper must purchase a shower. This makes shoppers pass the assignment by, because the thought of having to take a shower at a truck stop is a real turn-off for some. However, although you have to purchase a shower, you don’t actually have to take one. And if you wanted to, rest assured that many of these facilities are cleaner than your average motel bathroom. Just remember to take along a small tote bag so it at least looks like you are really taking a shower.
Use the time in the shower room to take thorough notes, especially for the comparison assignments. The report will require you to comment on your interaction with the cashiers that you purchased your showers from, including their attitudes. This goes for any other visible employees that you observe or interact with during your visit.
Other items to include in the report are site conditions, attractiveness of the location, status of restroom and shower room, food venues, and other amenities. This can get more complicated and involved when comparing one location against another. All ratings must be backed up by detailed supporting information. Some of these use a point system for the different areas rated, and it must be clear to the client as to why you allocated the scoring in the manner you did. Some of these areas are defined by area of responsibility, such as whether the location manager or the corporation had influence over why you rated one location higher than the other.
What Others Have to Say: Due to some of the commonly held misconceptions described previously, a lot of forum members on www.mysteryshopforum.com haven’t stopped to consider taking on one of these assignments. Others have tried them out and found them to be financially worthwhile to do. These shoppers have found that on-site conditions are usually very clean and sanitary. Additionally, they have stated that reporting is reasonable.
Estimated Pay: The comparison assignments pay the best, usually between $20 to $30 per location, along with reimbursement. These also are frequently bonused nicely. Single visit assignments average around $15 in fees plus reimbursement.
MSCs: Among the mystery shopping companies offer travel center assignment opportunities are IntelliShop and Secret Shopper.