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I’ve been doing a lot of mystery shopping lately. I wasn’t sure what I was going to put that towards, but then I remembered that our contents insurance is due this week….so I will pay that on my Visa ($84) and pay it off when I am reimbursed at the end of the month. I’ll definitely be able to cover that because I did six bus surveys yesterday; I travelled out to Wesley to take photos for a story I’m working on. Then I had some free time and did a few more random ones around town. Off peak buses are so much more punctual! And often the drivers are much nicer.

The bus companies must spend a lot on mystery shopping. Sometimes they do over 200 in a month, and assuming the mystery shopping company takes a 50% cut on each survey, that would be $4000 a month on surveying customer satisfaction!

And yet, another mystery shopping company I’m with also conducts surveys for the bus companies – they used to pay fairly well, but have cut their bus payments in half or more. Now the gimmick is getting “free rides” rather than actually getting paid to ride.

3 thoughts on “

  • Reply Sense May 6, 2009 at 23:34

    ooh, free bus rides/getting paid to review bus rides?! that’s like my favorite thing to do (complain about the buses here)! do you have referrals for this or any recommendations for places to sign up?

  • Reply Sense May 6, 2009 at 23:39

    I do not understand the bus system here, btw. You have to flag the driver? what kind of nonsense is that?

    Ok, ok, i get that it saves time and gas–fine. I can deal with that. However, what about not knowing where to get off and having to distract the driver?

    When you are new to a city/country, you only know what your stop is called, and vaguely which route you are taking to get there. How on earth do you figure out where to get off without bugging the driver?

    I certainly am not going to recognize my stop, never having been there before! And the maxx maps of each route are of no help–they don’t detail each stop on the route map.

    They really need to have a sign at the front like they do in every other bus or subway train I’ve ever been in, telling you which stop is next or coming up, or which stop you are currently at. That makes so much sense, and the bus driver wouldn’t have to constantly be answering my question, “Are we close?”

  • Reply eemusings May 7, 2009 at 19:31

    I sent you an email about mystery shopping 🙂 maybe you can help reform the bus system and do something good with your commutes!

    Of course, the really horrendous drivers I’ve encountered have never been during mystery shops, sadly. Funny how that works.

    How do buses work in the States? Do they actually stop at every stop? And how often are there stops along a route? They are like 100m apart here on average, which sometimes seems like far too close together and we’re always stopping and starting.

    Yeah, I always feel sorry for tourists trying to navigate their way around Aux and figuring out where the hell to get the right bus from and when to get off.

    Once I saw a lady put an exchange student on the bus to her new home. She asked the driver to please signal the girl when we got to her road. He was like “Maybe – If I remember.”

    Seriously?? It wasn’t rush hour, the bus was pretty empty. I thought that was really rude. He did help her to get off at the right time, btw.

    Agreed, they vamped Maxx.co.nz – it used to be much more helpful esp. with stops and stuff. Now it’s just crap. Thankfully google maps helps to alleviate this slightly.

    A few of the trains do have those electronic signs signalling what the next stop is. Very few. And often they don’t work. And right now the western line, at least, is to be avoided…all the railway work makes it too unreliable and too much hassle.

    We are such a fourth world public transport system.

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