My first REALLY NEGATIVE report

I did a grocery store shop yesterday. The grocery store was pretty dirty. The meat department and bakery department were in chaos. The bathroom smelled like it had not been cleaned in quite some time, and the checkout employee was about as excited to be there as one would be having a tooth extracted. I wonder how much explaining I am going to have to do after THIS report.

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Not too worry, it is our job to see the owner knows and when you see it cleaned up, be proud...where were you?

Live consciously....
@adamaimeemom wrote:

I did a grocery store shop yesterday. The grocery store was pretty dirty. The meat department and bakery department were in chaos. The bathroom smelled like it had not been cleaned in quite some time, and the checkout employee was about as excited to be there as one would be having a tooth extracted. I wonder how much explaining I am going to have to do after THIS report.
If this is the extent of the detail that you wrote in your report, expect to be asked to elaborate in great detail.

MSPA Gold Certified 2003
eyespy is correct about detail. I've done many negative reports, never had one denied, and very seldom get asked questions after I file the report. But I probably go overboard in my detail when a report is negative. A good report is a good report and everybody's usually happy with a good report. A negative report usually makes someone unhappy, and I give ten times as much detail on a negative report than a positive one. Part of it is that I don't want them to come back and ask questions. But the other part is that I really would like to see my negative report make a difference. If an employee has failed or if the facility overall service or cleanliness is not good, I want to give them as much information as I possibly can so they can understand exactly what was wrong and give them a chance to get it right next time.
I've been there... cashier at a Kroger was yelling back and forth with her husband while she rang me up. She forgot to scan one of my items and bagged it up, and she dropped my money on the belt/bagging area instead of putting it my hand. She did not apologize, say thanks, or even look at me while ringing me up and continued arguing and cursing with her spouse for the world to see. Her bagger moved to a different lane and just sort of eyebrowed from a distance. Oooh, I also had an ATT rep play on their phone and text while I was in the store one day. They appeared to be doing some sort of game and playing/texting with a friend while at work. It happens. Just be detailed grinning smiley

Oh my! I am in the area too and haven't come across that much chaos at once. I have done some HORRID gas station shops though. I have found typically the reports all go fine through. Good luck!

It is unfortunate but the management at the store will likely not see the report because it was a competitor shop. I hope that the store that asked for the shop takes note of what bad customer service is and makes sure it does not happen in their stores.
@adamaimeemom wrote:

It is unfortunate but the management at the store will likely not see the report because it was a competitor shop. I hope that the store that asked for the shop takes note of what bad customer service is and makes sure it does not happen in their stores.

I wondered if it was one of those and yes I likely know where of you speak! Well the competitor will at least feel good about what they are doing.

This is a good strategy so that a report is accepted without being returned. When expected behaviors or criteria are met a simple verification should suffice. But the more detail that can be provided for anything outside the norm, the better.

I received a phone followup after an apartment shop for details regarding my marking down a leasing agent for not being dressed "professionally". I was asked to describe in detail what the agent was wearing. When I did so the rep from the MS company said, "Yeah... he sent us a selfie with him wearing something similar. He does look dumpy." For the win...
Oh, yes, I have had to report some pretty terrible details about gas station bathrooms, usually using words like "fecal matter" and "filthy toilet." Or, "Had to shove down my gag reflex and hold my nose until I was back in the fresh air." Ah, brings back so many fragrant memories!
I hate writing a bad report, it's so much harder than writing a good one. That's why I am always amazed if an MSC questions the report because it was bad. Why would someone take the extra time and effort to justify all of those "no" answers, just for the fun of it or what?
Writing a negative report is one of the hardest things I find in this industry. I try to find positives. But there are shops that the negatives are more than the positives.

I will admit that one negative report was rejected and I wasn't paid. I was emotional and passive aggressive throughout the report. I deserved the reject. My only regret is I didn't report 'the facts and just the facts, mam', because I wasn't paid. I do not regret writing the report the way I wrote it.

I was bent like any customer would've been & had taken the time to air their grievances. I wasn't the only customer who was told it would be a few minutes while the associates discussed their party plans and who was not to be invited.

Borrowing a phrase from my SIL, I have huge donkey ears.

Please learn from my experience, take time to calm down after a shop that is wonky. Write the 'facts, just the facts'. If it means taking a nap or having a libation, do it! Honestly, playing ball with my dog helps huge.

If you have to write a negative report, back yourself up with facts. This is when recording shops comes in handy, if you're allowed to do it in your state.

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning; the devil shudders...And yells OH #%*+! SHE'S AWAKE!
A negative report can also be backed up with photos. In today's world, a selfie is not unheard of.
I do a gas shop that requires a selfie with every report.
I have had to do a few negatives reports on fast food assignments, green tomatoes, dry cold burger, stale buns. Burnt fries, Never had one rejected but I keep emotions out of it, no toilet seats in the restroom, even bugs(eek).
But those reports are few and far between.
And YES I have seen improvements in several gas stations I do on rotation. It took 10 months and look. they get a new fresh canopy and all new upscale Pumps. I was Impressed. I know it makes a difference to some businesses.

Shopping Southern Georgia, Valdosta, Waycross, Quitman, Thomasville and North Central Florida I-10 & I-75.
I wish I could say my negative bathroom reports at gas stations have made changes, but for the most part, they haven't. Those that have filthy toilets, broken cabinets and nothing to dry off hands STILL gets the exact same reports from me again and again. The only immaculate bathrooms are those shared by gas station employees and the public. And lately, more and more, when I request the bathroom key, I'm told the bathroom is out of order. Which means they don't have to deal with keeping them clean or equipped with toilet paper or anything else, right?
Don't you wish there was a way to capture odors other than with words? Oh that would be too funny. The MSC editor opens the report and says, Oh wow, this one REALLY stinks."
I have wondered about something. Are some locations being shopped because as per contract they must be shopped until they are replaced? Why spend money to fix umpteen issues (which will probably recur constantly) when you already know that you are going to replace everything on site with new items? Has anyone else wondered about that, for some locations?

@JASFLALMT: They could make assorted scratch and sniff stickers for shoppers to use. You may have smelled them when you got within thirty feet of some magazines that had the little scratch and sniff samples of perfume...

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means waste of time. - John Lubbock, "Recreation," The Use of Life, 1894
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/04/2017 01:15AM by Shop-et-al.
Maybe a description, so detailed, that when the editor is reading the report, she is actually getting sick from the "smell", just reading the report. That would beat a scratch and sniff. tongue sticking out smiley
I have had to do a few "negative" mystery shops. I actually did one yesterday. I don't like doing negative reports, but I did what I normally do and factually reported what occurred during my visit. I watched a server yak with her coworkers (during a lunch hour visit) while I waited, and waited, and waited for my check. I didn't like giving her a bad review but, if I'm dressed in business clothes during lunch hour, and I'm not a shopper, I am also going to not want to be kept waiting for my check. I was also overcharged for an item, and double-charged for another, though that charge was reversed. A few years ago I had to do a very negative report for an employee who was reserving marked down items for employees. On subsequent visits I noticed the employee was no longer employed. It's important to be objective and report factually for all shops, but more so, and in more detail for the negative ones since someone's job may hang in the balance. Sometimes, as in the case of the mark-down hoarder, you really don't want them working at your favorite store anymore.
@cbayer3833 wrote:

I did a negative report on a Credit Union. They claimed they knew I was a mystery shopper.

I've been accused of the same thing. My response was, "If they knew I was the mystery shopper, then why didn't they do a better job serving me?"
I wrote up a negative report on a gas station visit recently. Several different items received a negative rating. I got a call back from the MSC double checking because the station (or the franchise?) was surprised at the low rating. I was confident in my report so I just reiterated why I scored it the way I did.
I have had very few bad reports. One a few years back was a Sunglass Hut, (which we don't shop anymore in my area) The male associate was sitting at his register with a full McDonald's meal in front of him. He barely looked at me while he was licking his messy fingers. There was nothing good about the report. He never got up and assisted me. I didn't have to write much in that report. I know they also have cameras.
The only very negative review I have done was a hotel, so I took photos of the problem areas even though I didn't have to, just in case I was asked. Most of the issues were in the room so that was easy to do. It's obviously more difficult to take photos in a public area or a store. I haven't accepted any shops that require photos in a store because I'm not confident that I can do it unobtrusively.
I've had to submit a lot of negative reports. At the same time, I know how drastically our reports can impact the livelihood, promotions, etc. of employees; so I am very careful to be precise when providing feedback. Depending on the MSC, I take care to write objectively and leave out emotion or words that reflect opinion. Some want opinion/subjective feedback. Others want completely objective feedback. I had a company whose editor was noticeably angry with me for giving negative feedback on "her client". The editor wrote me with several questions challenging my report. She must have thought I did not keep a copy of the report. I had addressed each of the questions already and with sufficient detail, so I just referenced my original report. The editor gave me a very poor rating because she said that she had to ask for clarifications, and she said that my grammar and spelling were off. Meanwhile, I knew I had no errors; and the editor could not cite where she supposedly had found errors. I contested with her manager and got a 10/10. Amazing the editor was so resentful and so defensive. It was like she wanted to find something wrong with me since I found so many things wrong with "her client".
I had to do a not so good report for a restaurant, it was a narrative and for some reason after the negative report on the service and food, both of which was awful, they were more concerned about the money and the tip and the change they gave, so I guess that particular report and shop was focused on the integrity of the place and server, not so much the food or service. The integrity was spot on! the rest... not so much
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