I met the worst mystery shopper ever — Details inside!

Today I met a mystery shopper while I was doing mystery shopping at the same store. How did I know he was a mystery shopper? Read on to find out!

*****STORYTIME!*****

Today I was conducting a mystery shop at a cash checking/payday loan store. My scenario was to just simply cash out any check.

When I was filling out an application, the teller called over a customer. I was minding my own business, until out of nowhere I heard someone said "secret shopper" out loud. I immediately looked to my right and blatantly stared at the guy. This shopper was an African American wearing a black cap, dark shirt, gold necklace, and rings on both hands that resembled brass knuckles. He didn’t notice me. He was busy looking at the teller. I recalled the teller asked the customer "What is your occupation?"

At this point, I had two thoughts running through my head — the guy was either at the store for personal purposes or conducting a real mystery shop. I assumed it was personal because you are not supposed to announce that you are a mystery shopper. I was also guessing that he does not do mystery shop at this location or else the teller will remember him. Okay, I went back to completing my application.

Afterwards, I went back to my position to wait for the teller to assist me. The teller went to the back room. After 15 minutes passed, the teller came back and asked what the customer needed. He said he wanted to sign up for a prepaid card to put his funds in. The teller said she will need to call his bank for verification. After she was unable to contact his bank, she asked him if his bank was open right now. He said they were closed. She said could not help him; his bank has to be open during its business hours.

Hearing a grunt and mumbling from him, he said he wants his card today. The teller apologized, saying that she cannot do it today. He said, “Are you serious? Wow. Man. I gotta this done today. You know, I’m a mystery shopper." I was shocked. Did he just announced that he was a mystery shopper? In the back of my mind, I silently shook my head and facepalmed. Worst shopper ever.

The teller kindly told him to come back tomorrow, and then she can help him. He reluctantly agreed, and he left the place. Then she called me over, and I proceeded to complete my shop.

I can’t help but to think he will waste his time coming back. He will mostly likely get his shop rejected without any reimbursements. I didn’t want to tell him that he failed his shop just by identifying himself (twice!) as a mystery shopper.

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It happens all the time. That's why the guidelines are written for morons. Now, they have to go back and put in there, "Do not announce that you are the mystery shopper." Oh wait, most guidelines already say this, specifically for idiots like you just met.

And this my friends, is why fees are so low.
I am not sure I would be able to keep quiet! I'd want to follow him out and ask all about his career, just to see what else he might volunteer!

Doing what I can to enhance the life of my family! I LOVE what I do smiling smiley
He could have been a regular customer who used the 'mystery shopper' line to try to get better service. Perhaps, he has heard about mystery shopping from a friend or relative.
I have a bridge I can sell you. A person can say anything. It is not necessarily true. Do we tell the complete truth when mystery shopping? Threatening that you are a mystery shopper is the new big customer service lie. I have heard it many times from folks I know are not mystery shoppers.

Offensive story with racial overtones. I hope you do not write your reports that way,
Was this supposed to be a funny mystery shopping story or an example of a clueless person's idea of racial profiling?
I don't think the OP's description is racial profiling. He just gave an accurate description of the person. The stereotype is someone of that description would be in a check cashing place and not at Lord and Taylor. The OP didn't insult the person's looks. I've been in the seedy parts of Manhattan and Bronx many times and see people that fit that description. I don't see them in the nicer parts of the city. It is what it is.
comparing rings to brass knuckles not cool. not all AAs r thugs. Italians & Latins & Jewish & many types of people wear lots of rings.
I have to question the guy's choice of attire. I've done shops at this type of place and they specifically say to dress down. Sounds like this guy missed that memo, if he really was a mystery shopper.
That was interesting, and it made me wonder............. Do any shop guidelines instruct mystery shoppers/secret shoppers to identify themselves as mystery shoppers or provide other, specific job titles during shops? I ask this because it is possible that someone is measuring associate responses to a variety of occupations. Has this person been in the location before? Do they give a different job title every time they are there? Does the associate respond evenly to all persons? Hmm.....

Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.” ~ Jane Smiley
My question is: Why would anyone (race excluded) say their a Mystery shopper, drinking coffee and scratching head!!

When you know better you do better....

Oprah
I think roflwofl answered that, and I have observed it as well. Some customers try to get a better deal or perk by claiming to be mystery shopper. When I have observed this card played, it is usually more subtle, like they are letting them in on a secret.

proudly shopping in the D.
@SoCalMama wrote:

It happens all the time. That's why the guidelines are written for morons. Now, they have to go back and put in there, "Do not announce that you are the mystery shopper." Oh wait, most guidelines already say this, specifically for idiots like you just met.

And this my friends, is why fees are so low.

Hence, why I'm not offended when that one MSC stated that the only requirement needed to be a shopper is to have a pulse ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. Badged for Denver International Airport. Can travel within ~100 miles of these areas and can create long weekend routes! Also willing to travel and can make reasonable arrangements!
@7star wrote:

I don't think the OP's description is racial profiling. He just gave an accurate description of the person. The stereotype is someone of that description would be in a check cashing place and not at Lord and Taylor. The OP didn't insult the person's looks. I've been in the seedy parts of Manhattan and Bronx many times and see people that fit that description. I don't see them in the nicer parts of the city. It is what it is.

Right, because if it was a Black male, he was described dressing like a thug (e.g. something resembling brass knuckles), whereas any other race would be described as dressing casual....

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. Badged for Denver International Airport. Can travel within ~100 miles of these areas and can create long weekend routes! Also willing to travel and can make reasonable arrangements!
Sounds like the guy knew he would have a problem because his bank was closed, and thought playing the mystery shopper card would get him preferential treatment. Any real mystery shopper would know revealing themselves would make the employee less likely to break the rules. Good story, and I'm sure you meant no offense, but I agree mentioning the guy's race was not relevant and should be omitted.
@Tarantado wrote:

@SoCalMama wrote:

It happens all the time. That's why the guidelines are written for morons. Now, they have to go back and put in there, "Do not announce that you are the mystery shopper." Oh wait, most guidelines already say this, specifically for idiots like you just met.

And this my friends, is why fees are so low.

Hence, why I'm not offended when that one MSC stated that the only requirement needed to be a shopper is to have a pulse ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Sorry to be a broken record on this issue, but I always feel obligated to set the record straight. It was not the MSC who said mystery shoppers just needed a pulse to qualify, it was someone not familiar with MSing who thought it was a clever wrap-up to a brief conversation.

Nice artwork Tarantado!

ETA: after reading Prince's post below, I went back to the video tape, and yeah, the MSC's statements weren't entirely innocent, either. Here's the video queued up to the exchange. MSC's lawyer is on left, the show's announcer is on the right. [youtu.be]

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2017 10:37PM by ChrisCooper.
Chris, I tried to find the People's court clip where a MSC did say that all a mystery shopper needs is to be breathing. But apparently the You Tubeclip clip has been deactivated. Here is a link to a discussion about that court case. It was pretty funny at the time. I have seen the statement paraphrased many times since then on this forum.

[www.mysteryshopforum.com]

@ChrisCooper wrote:


Sorry to be a broken record on this issue, but I always feel obligated to set the record straight. It was not the MSC who said mystery shoppers just needed a pulse to qualify, it was someone not familiar with MSing who thought it was a clever wrap-up to a brief conversation.

Nice artwork Tarantado!


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2017 04:24PM by prince.
So you were doing a mystery shop, and another person was doing a shop at the same time? Sounds like a really unlikely thing.

Years ago, when I was a waitress, I had a customer tell me they were the restaurant critic for the local paper. Even at 20 years old, I was like "No you're not, you are just saying that, a REAL restaurant critic would NEVER admit it, even on their time off."
@FrugalCat wrote:

So you were doing a mystery shop, and another person was doing a shop at the same time? Sounds like a really unlikely thing.

Actually, I have been on shops more than once where there were multiple shoppers at the same time/location. In some cases the store was being shopped my multiple MSCs, usually with different goals. Other times the MSC was getting multiple reports either for validation purposes (compare reports) or because they simply had a quota to fill for that location.
You need another one of my lattes.

@Irene_L.A. wrote:

My question is: Why would anyone (race excluded) say their a Mystery shopper, drinking coffee and scratching head!!

Kim
@PaulinMI wrote:

Why is it relevant that the shopper was African American. Couldn't you have just said "man"?

It is not relevant that the person was African American. It is also not relevant that the person was a man. How much better just to write, "I saw a person," and then just describe the interaction observed.
@Rousseau wrote:

It is not relevant that the person was African American. It is also not relevant that the person was a man. How much better just to write, "I saw a person," and then just describe the interaction observed.

Agreed. Point taken.

proudly shopping in the D.
Talking about the worst mystery shopper ever: There is a website in my country where you can ask a lawyer for legal advice. I found a post there from a mystery shopper who wrote he did 20 bank shops. He "might have mentioned" at the end that he was a mystery shopper because the briefing didn't forbid him to do so. Now the agency asked him to declare on oath that he did not mention anything about being a mystery shopper, otherwise they would sue him for compensation as the customer had stopped the project. They were informed by the customer that they had a mystery shopper who identified himself and asked for a giveaway. Now he wanted to know from the lawyer whether he should make the declaration on oath.
I did a high-end auto dealership a few months back and received an email from the MSC asking if I told the sales person I was a mystery shopper. Three people shopped the location over the course of the month and one of them actually told the sales person they were the shopper, according to the client. I was pretty amazed that the MSC actually had any shoppers in their pool that were so stupid as to do that. I of course assured them that I have a few believable professions to draw from and would never do something like that, especially after being a shopper for over 16 years. The MSC rep said the other shoppers said they didn't say it, either. Very odd.
It could be a case of someone at the dealership trying to dispute the report. While believing there are probably morons out there who would admit to being a shopper, my opinion of the original story is the customer knew the ropes, knew their bank account could not be confirmed and came up with the idea the location would acquiesce if he claimed to be a mystery shopper thinking the "shop" is all about customer service. Obviously the real mystery shopper understands it is a compliance shop meaning the clerk would be less inclined to do something against the rules.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
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