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Service Check Report
Posts:9
Has anyone else had a problem with this company? I just recenty did a restaurant bar shop for them, and spent a bit of time reviewing their instructions. They stated if there was a wait to be sitted in dining room proceed to the bar. Two large groups were in front of me, I proceeded to the bar with my guest. $40.00 later they want me to reshop???? I have done so many of these types of shops for companies that this just blows me away. What do you all think?
July 26, 2010 09:58PM
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Posts:18,239
I have done overall simplistic jobs with them and the instructions were pretty complete. There were never any issues with doing or reporting the shops. On one occasion I got my knuckles rapped because I forgot to wax poetic about the john in the narrative since I had already mentioned elsewhere that it was nice, clean and attractive. Other than that, no feedback to speak of and always paid.
July 26, 2010 10:04PM
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Posts:2,188
Never had a problem with SC and found them to always be professional, but demanding.

Sounds like there was a miscommunication somewhere and it's hard to lend an opinion here without specifics. Did they explain why they required a reshop?
July 27, 2010 10:26AM
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Posts:8,157
I have done shops for them, but never a restaurant. Pay is low, reports demanding. They just want what they want, if they say go into dining area, don't go to bar, (wait for a table in the front) that's a whole other job.

"Can't you see, I want my life to be something more- than just long".
July 27, 2010 11:32AM
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Posts:7,803
nuttyb54 Wrote:
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> Has anyone else had a problem with this company?
> I just recenty did a restaurant bar shop for them,
> and spent a bit of time reviewing their
> instructions. They stated if there was a wait to
> be sitted in dining room proceed to the bar. Two
> large groups were in front of me, I proceeded to
> the bar with my guest. $40.00 later they want me
> to reshop???? I have done so many of these types
> of shops for companies that this just blows me
> away. What do you all think?


I read this a bit differently than others did. I read this as when you saw the two large parties at the station you proceeded to the bar without checking in with the hostess, you may not have known if there was a wait for the small party or not. If that is correct, and they required that you check in, then perhaps that is why they are requiring a reshop? Perhaps I am wrong, but that was my interpretation.

**********************************************************************
“Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling."
~Gilbert K. Chesterton
July 27, 2010 12:34PM
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Posts:8,480
That was my take as well. If, after checking with the hostess, you were told there would be a 15 (30, or whatever) minute wait, only then should you proceed to the bar. That's a fairly common guideline with MSPs.
July 27, 2010 12:52PM
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Posts:4
Oh weird, this same thing just happened to me. I was told our table was not ready so we went to the bar. A few minutes into the bar shop our table was ready and so they sat me and my husband finished getting his drink (he is a registered shopper for them as well).

They said since we were sat seperately it didn't count. I actually had my iPhone with me and made sure we were doing everything per specs and it said to "arrive to be seated together" which we did. I know I'm being nit picky but I thing here instructions should read "arrive AND be seated together. I'm trying to get management to look at this because I'm out my time and $50.

Unless this is resolved well, I would not do another shop for them. It would be to much of a financial risk to do the nicer restaurant shop and have them reject it when I believe I have done it per instructions.

Let me know if you are doing anything about yours. Good luck!!
July 30, 2010 05:00PM
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Posts:8,983
Cstalder Wrote:
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> Oh weird, this same thing just happened to me. I
> was told our table was not ready so we went to the
> bar. A few minutes into the bar shop our table was
> ready and so they sat me and my husband finished
> getting his drink (he is a registered shopper for
> them as well).
>
> They said since we were sat seperately it didn't
> count. I actually had my iPhone with me and made
> sure we were doing everything per specs and it
> said to "arrive to be seated together" which we
> did. I know I'm being nit picky but I thing here
> instructions should read "arrive AND be seated
> together. I'm trying to get management to look at
> this because I'm out my time and $50.

Just my opinion, which means nothing to you or to the MSC, if I read the shop instructions that said "arrive to be seated together," it would be my understanding that the requirement was that we arrive together and BE seated together, at the same time. If we arrived together and were at the bar and I was ready to be seated but the husband was not, either I would wait until he was ready or I would ask him to carry his drink with him to the table. Most of the restaurant/bars I have eaten in allow a diner to carry his unfinished drink to the table or they will hold your table until you have finished the drink, usually whichever is the diner's choice. I would think that being seated at different times would skew the results of the dining shop. The reason I think that is because: what did you do when you sat at the table before your husband joined you? Were you served a beverage? Bread? Did you order anything? Did you just look at the menu or did you ask menu-related questions of the server? If yes to any of these, was the action duplicated when your husband joined you? Because of my interpretaton, I'm not surpised at the MSC's reaction to your being seated at different times. I would have not agreed to be seated while my husband remained at the bar.
July 31, 2010 01:39PM
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Posts:2,389
Cstalder and AM, I see both your points. I think the important thing to consider is the integrity of the shop. If you feel your actions did not jeopardize the shop, that's what I would focus on when appealing the rejection.

That said, I don't disagree that there's a potential problem with semantics in the shop's instructions. Ambiguity and room to misinterpret is pretty common with these things, and it bugs me. They think we should think like them and know what they mean, but they don't bother to think about the way WE might be reading it!

Question to other shoppers -- have you ever experienced this and resolved it in an "it's a draw" way with the MSC? In other words, get reimbursed for the expense, but agree to not be paid for the shop?
July 31, 2010 01:53PM
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Posts:4
Great points, thanks for the input.

My huge frustration on this shop is that I had to interpret what the guidelines said and my understanding was different then their meaning. This shop was for $40 reimbursement and $10 bonus. However, I spent $65, thinking I would get the $50 back. Now I am just out all the $65 and they are out nothing. I feel that service check and other companies should carry some liability if guidelines are questionable (btw...there has been two other typos that I got clarification on before other shops...I feel this is a continueing problem and they just fix it and move on but I might invalid shops had I not had time or though I understood it a different way)

I can't decide if I should push the issue or not. I'm not sure I want to shop for them again because of this anyway hut if I push the issue I'm sure they won't assign me future shops anyway. What would you do??

One last thing...I originally did plan on coming together and being seated together (which should have been written "arrive AND be seated together" but when they got us in the middle of the bar shop I thought it was fine because it read "arrive to be seated together" (understanding "to be=with expectations of"winking smiley
July 31, 2010 02:57PM
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Posts:2,389
I agree, and that's exactly why I'd appeal. But I would still make the primary focus on not hurting the integrity of the shop. THEY may have to prove that to the business who hired THEM!
July 31, 2010 03:01PM
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Posts:4
Email string (removed the whole thing just to be safe &#58389winking smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/31/2010 04:14PM by Cstalder.
July 31, 2010 03:04PM
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Posts:2,389
Quite honestly, now this looks like a different situation. It sounds like the report was completed by two different shoppers. If your interaction at the bar was really completed while you were there, you might want to see if they will allow you to rewrite it from your perspective. Methinks this is a bigger problem that the semantic issue. They contracted YOU to do the shop, they want YOUR perspective and for YOU to conduct it.

Oh, and I don't know that I'd post complete text and names here, especially the emails that did not come from you. But that's me.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/31/2010 03:29PM by nicelytwicely.
July 31, 2010 03:16PM
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Posts:8,983
The info you've provided sheds more light on the situation. Before it sounded as though the only issue was a misunderstanding of the phrase "arrive together to be seated" and "arrive and be seated together," because your initial post sounded as though your husband quickly finished his drink and joined you within 2 or 3 minutes. The inconsistency of the shop sounds a bit more than that. Again, only IMHO, the shop wasn't performed according to the specifications, and I agree with SC. It sounds like the shop was assigned to you, not your husband, even though he is a registered shopper with the company. This is one I probably would not argue. But, I will say, there are MSCs whose directions I find misleading and unclear and I do not shop for them because of that. If you believe Service Check's guidelines are unclear to you, if I were in your place, I would put them on my Do Not Shop list.
July 31, 2010 03:28PM
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Posts:7,803
You need to remove the client name from this post. Like nicely, I also would not post the entirety of this here (for many reasons...)

I have to say I fully agree with them. *You* did not do the bar evaluation; you left it to your husband, who you state is registered with them, but he was NOT the assigned shopper for this shop. You were. People are not interchangeable (despite what MFI thinks.) They selected you over other shoppers for some reason.

I would not be seated on a dinner shop for two without the other party being seated with me. I do not understand why you did not ask them for a minute to get your drink, or if you needed to stay in the bar a specific amount of time, explain to them that you had just ordered as the table was not ready, and now you want a few minutes to relax over your drink at the bar. I do this many times *when not shopping*, it would not out you when you are. Then you would have been seated together.

Finally, if the shop was for two, why did you not mention your husband in the dining narrative?

Sorry if you feel like people are ganging up on you here, but you asked the questions and these are the answers people are feeling.

Edited to add:
This is one to chalk up to experience. Clarify any potentially ambiguous instructions ahead of the shop and keep this one in mind every time you do a shop that you have to pay out money that won't be reimbursed if it goes bad. We've all been there at least once, fairly or unfairly.

**********************************************************************
“Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling."
~Gilbert K. Chesterton



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/31/2010 04:10PM by dee shops.
July 31, 2010 03:39PM
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Posts:4
No, that is exactly what I needed, outside opinions from shoppers. It was a different situation since our table was ready after a few minutes into our bar shop. And I understand about me being the shopper and not him but that was not why it was cancelled.

My husband did join me for dinner after finishing the bar evaluation. The rest of the shop was as normal as normal can be.

Off to figure out how to edit the previous post a bit more.

Gotta love the internet for instant feedback!!
July 31, 2010 04:11PM
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Posts:7,803
Cstalder Wrote:
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> And I understand about
> me being the shopper and not him but that was not
> why it was cancelled.
>

YOU WROTE that SC WROTE:
" the shop was canceled because you did not include yourself in the Bar Narrative whatsoever. The Bar portion of the shop was conducted solely by your husband. Even if you first sat down together, he conducted the entire transaction and you left to be seated in the dining room. Your report further states that you sat at the dining without your husband and makes no mention of him during this portion of the shop. This client is extremely particular about requiring 2 or more guests to conduct the shop and remain together as stated in the shop instructions"

It sure sounds to me like that is a huge part of why it was invalidated. YMMV.

**********************************************************************
“Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling."
~Gilbert K. Chesterton
July 31, 2010 04:15PM
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Posts:18,239
Even if my companion has stopped off at the restroom, I will not allow myself to be seated alone. This is because so many of the timings depend on you being ready, willing and able to fully participate with your server. This would hold true in the bar, where the bartender may have thought you disappeared to the restroom and so was slow to take orders to allow your return. Or it would hold true if you were seated at a table for two and the hostess did not remove the extra place setting. The server could lose a whole lot of points for not greeting your table promptly if she figured your companion was just calling the sitter, parking the car, washing his hands, etc. I would consider separate seating unfair to the staff and if there was a matter of complete urgency that made it happen, would start timings from when my companion was seated with me.
July 31, 2010 07:25PM
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Posts:7,803
nicelytwicely Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> Question to other shoppers -- have you ever
> experienced this and resolved it in an "it's a
> draw" way with the MSC? In other words, get
> reimbursed for the expense, but agree to not be
> paid for the shop?


I had a situation with this MSC where I did a shop I would not have done for the $14 offered, but I was going to be in the same mall to do two other shops at the same time (it's 8 miles away-sounds like nothing to many of you, but on the roads here that is 20 minutes each way) AND I had a route set up of gas shops on that part of the island.

I arrived and did the two other shops, a bookstore and a bookstore coffee shop. I waited till the rest of the mall opened and did the store. It was not open. I waited 20 minutes on a bench nearby. It did not open. I did the report, with pix I took of the closed store, time stamped, on my iPhone with my laptop in the image and the time in that as well. I did the report and submitted the pix as the receipt. I was told the shop would not be accepted. I contested, as the rest of the mall was open but this store was not, and I waited more than the proscribed time to be served if they had been. They asked me to reshop for the same pay and they would pay me for that second one at a bonus. I refused. I remained steadfast that I had done my job. They claimed that the client said that "the mall had had issues with closures due to power outages." I researched that on-line, found the last time had been over a year before during a storm, and again said I expected to be paid. They said "ok." I ended up doing the same shop two months later for a $20 bonus (Xmas intervened, and the client did not allow Dec. shops.) I won on both counts. :-)

That said, this is a tough cookie MSC. You need to make sure everything was followed to the letter. If not, your pay and reimburement will be denied. They downgrade scores if they "had to contact you" about stuff that is already in the report in the correct section. And they downgrade reports for things like "Diet Coke" being written as "diet coke."

Know who you are dealing with before posing a complaint to any MSC, as the odds are always against us. I am not saying that we should not fight injustices, we definitely should. However, I would not fight on the semantics of a missing AND in a sentence, as it was implied.

**********************************************************************
“Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling."
~Gilbert K. Chesterton



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2010 03:20PM by dee shops.
August 01, 2010 02:39AM
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Posts:8,157
When a table is not ready, they need to know how long until you were seated, did the Hostess make small talk on the way to table, etc. When you choose to go to the bar, that was all denied. I do many bar intgrity where you are required to just go to the bar. The dining you are required (both of you) to wait for a table, time it and so on.....sorry, they can be nit picky for their own reasons, we are working for them, so.....

"Can't you see, I want my life to be something more- than just long".
August 01, 2010 12:22PM
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Posts:2,188
I have found it usually get everything or get nothing when there's a problem, but dee's advice is right on the $$.

Debating the syntax of the instructions after the shop has been declined will most likely be a dead end. Calling in advance to clarify anything confusing is the best approach.

Chalk this one up to experience and at least you got a meal for the $$ spent. I think almost all seasoned shoppers have at least one story of getting burned when they thought the shop had been performed correctly.

Understand from the MSC point of view that if they have a particular client, they cannot risk submitting a report that's ambiguous or confusing in any way.
August 01, 2010 12:25PM
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Posts:63
I also did a shop for Service Check Report. We disagreed on what their instructions said. They had questions regarding the bathroom and had a particular situation in which the bathroom was not be be visited. The N/A was to be used in a particular situation and this store did not meet the defined guidelines.

I cannot understand why it would compromise my detailed, well written shop because I used a public bathroom. The instructions did not in any manner say not to visit in the kind of store I was evaluating.

I deactivated with Service Check Report. I feel they would be wise to do some self-evaluation prior to thinking they are suitable to evaluate others.
October 08, 2010 03:24PM
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Posts:18,239
There is one client for whom the restroom visit used to be mandatory and failure to do so or to discuss it in the narrative would reject the shop. It struck me as bizarre because I'm not sure how many customers at this (or many other locations) ever venture near the restroom. Being older female, I'm in the category that can always "need a restroom" :^) and at some places I go in with a feigned look of desperation to check the restroom first and then browse at my leisure. (Sort of a 'Thank you' for letting me use the facilities.)

I noted last round that there was a specific prohibition regarding restroom use at the client where it used to be mandatory. My guess is that it made shoppers too apparent.
October 08, 2010 03:37PM
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Posts:63
I actually saw several other shoppers using this very nice restroom. I am happy that I found out the ways of this company on a $10 shop.

The fact is that the report form asked restroom was evaluated. The report form stated only that in a particular, sister company, site were you to skip the restroom. It was not an all inclusive instruction.
October 08, 2010 03:44PM
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Posts:18,239
That is the same here and indeed the restrooms are very nice. I only do these when the side-by-side sisters are bonused to $20 ea, which makes it worth the trip :^)
October 08, 2010 03:46PM
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Posts:63
I cannot imagine how much money it would take for me to do a shop for this company. As a teacher, if different students understood instructions in a different way I realized I was not communicating very well. Instead of blaming the reader when this happens the company needs to hire someone with better communication skills. Rewriting the directions and the shop forms is a job I would welcome.
October 08, 2010 04:12PM
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Posts:18,239
I have never had issues with them. I've done a variety of work for them and only regret they don't have more in my area.
October 08, 2010 04:53PM
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Posts:8,157
Normally, a couple would eat together, not have one drink at the bar while another eats alone. I don't think this is normal or what the evaluation had in mind. I would have waited for a table for 10 minutes then visited the bar together and then had dinner, or had dinner first and then did the bar evaluation together. The split could be the problem, I do agree Service Check is rough and nit pickey. They score very low as well.

"Can't you see, I want my life to be something more- than just long".
October 08, 2010 06:11PM
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Posts:8,983
Irene_L.A. Wrote:
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> Normally, a couple would eat together, not have
> one drink at the bar while another eats alone. I
> don't think this is normal or what the evaluation
> had in mind. I would have waited for a table for
> 10 minutes then visited the bar together and then
> had dinner, or had dinner first and then did the
> bar evaluation together. The split could be the
> problem, I do agree Service Check is rough and nit
> pickey. They score very low as well.


I'm sure with you on this, Irene. Going with a husband out to dinner and he sits eating and drinking at the bar while the wife goes to the dining room to eat alone is just plain weird. Altough people do odd things in restaurants and many staffers barely notice a little strange behavior, this would make the shopper stand out like a sore thumb.
October 08, 2010 06:40PM
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