Eliminated Because of Age

I was deeply offended recently when I started receiving offers of mystery shops at a well-known coffeehouse chain, offers that stated the shopper had to be 65 or under. I am 79, and over the years I have done more than 100 shops at this coffeehouse chain, literally all over the San Francisco Bay Area. If I have ever gotten less than a 9 or 10 in the evaluation of a coffeehouse shop shop, I would be surprised. There is absolutely NOTHING that is age specific about the shop. I can count the number of scraps of toilet paper on the floor in any restroom just as well as anyone else. I can assess the state of cleanliness of the condiment area as well as anyone else. I can note the name of the person at the register and I can count my change as well as anyone else. I am not decrepit. Most people judge me to be in my late 60's. I walk 2 miles a day. And the coffeeshops I have shopped have a large number of customers over 65.

When I complained and asked if this discrimination was against the law, I was told I was an independent contrator and had no legal beefs. It isn't that I was making lots of money doing these. It was that it was a mystery shop I could often do on my way to other shops, and I was very, very good at it. At this point, the next time I get a message saying someone canceled and the company has an urgent deadline and an urgent shop, will I take it, I will just so no thanks and tell them why.

When it happens to you, just know that age discrimination exists, and if you are lucky enough to live long enough in good health, you will be subjected to it, too.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2017 05:57PM by Richard94611.

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I have done shops for MSCs that know my age and allow me to shop, I am 73. I would speak to your scheduler if you haven't. I agree with you 100%. I do understand that some companies have no choice, they have to do what their clients want. Ask Irene, I'm sure she would say the same.
@Richard94611 wrote:

I was deeply offended recently when I started receiving offers of mystery shops at a well-known coffeehouse chain, offers that stated the shopper had to be 65 or under. I am 79, and over the years I have done more than 100 shops at this coffeehouse chain, literally all over the San Francisco Bay Area. If I have ever gotten less than a 9 or 10 in the evaluation of a coffeehouse shop shop, I would be surprised. There is absolutely NOTHING that is age specific about the shop. I can count the number of scraps of toilet paper on the floor in any restroom just as well as anyone else. I can assess the state of cleanliness of the condiment area as well as anyone else. I can note the name of the person at the register and I can count my change as well as anyone else. I am not decrepit. Most people judge me to be in my late 60's. I walk 2 miles a day. And the coffeeshops I have shopped have a large number of customers over 65.

When I complained and asked if this discrimination was against the law, I was told I was an independent contrator and had no legal beefs. It isn't that I was making lots of money doing these. It was that it was a mystery shop I could often do on my way to other shops, and I was very, very good at it.

When it happens to you, just know that age discrimination exists, and if you are lucky enough to live long enough in good health, you will be subjected to it, too.

It is completely within MSPs' clients' rights to specify a targeted demographic for shops to be able to evaluate their customer service to that demographic. They have a valid marketing reason/strategy behind it.
There is no age discrimination involved.
It is the client's criteria, not the MSP's.

Joan Gingras
Senior Project Director~Inside Evaluator Brands/BarStoolie
joan@barstoolie.com
joan@insideevaluators.com
This has been discussed before. Some shops have age restrictions both ways. If one is not within the age restrictions, they should not apply for the shop. Fortunatly the MSC has allowed you to perform this shop despite not fitting the parameters. The MSC and client have obviously tightened things up.

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I know ISS carries a couple restaurants I'd like to do but have a 45yr. age limit. Personally I think it's crazy. Seniors have time and don't entertain at home much therefore love to go out. I understand they want a younger demographic and in doing so will get a not so seasoned shopper. Just go with the flo there are plenty other jobs out there, not coffee houses, but your feelings will pass, nature of the business...we do get to work many more years than in other professions so I'm happy for that. I really find more companies use our skills than not.

When you know better you do better....

Oprah
They have our Social Security #, how do you get around that without lying. Honesty is always the best, lies catch up and is it worth it for a 10.00 job?

When you know better you do better....

Oprah
Having your SSN does NOT give them access to your age.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
How do they know your age I have applied and told I didn't meet the age requirement. I do put my true age on profile guess I answered my own question. Would you suggest lying as above poster did?

When you know better you do better....

Oprah
For me the SS number is beside the point. My question would be: Are you willing to compromise your integrity and make a liar out of yourself and suggest it to others on an internet forum? Not me.

If a shopper is willing to "change your year of birth to whatever would work in your case" and advises others to do it, could his reports be trusted to be accurate or might he say whatever would work in a particular situation?
@roflwofl ..once again, right on the money, no don't lie..live and work with integrity. Belief in Karma forces one to do the right thing...

When you know better you do better....

Oprah


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2017 07:05PM by Irene_L.A..
I'm sure lots of others have NOT done it. At least not those on this forum.

But thanks for letting us know the price of your integrity is a cup of coffee.

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.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2017 06:56PM by LisaSTL.
I tried pretending I was 75 once.... I was pretty disappointed when it worked, considering I'm still in my 30's.

______________________________________________________________________
Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
I think there is a bit of my personal history that makes this age discrimination especially bitter for me. Many years ago, a gentleman named Mr. Peet started his coffee business with a coffeeshop on Vine Street in Berkeley. On his very first day of business, I went into this new coffeeshop, met him, and had a cup of coffee. We got to know each other a bit and I used to bring him free vanilla beans from Tahiti, which I visited on business several times a year.

That's why I feel especially betrayed by this age limitation.

Well, I guess my solution for personal coffee now is to patronize Starbucks, which recently opened up the most splendiferous coffee shop with couch, several types of chairs and several types of tables, all airconditioned, as part of a Safeway not too far away. Those of us who have been around a while know that the good things in life usually don't last and must be enjoyed while one can.
You need to be realistic when mystery shopping and stop taking it all personally.

Businesses target various demographics whether we like it or not. Of course people don't stop drinking coffee at 65 or buying new technology at 50 or, my personal pet peeve, wearing Sperry's at 40.

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.
I find the issue with lying about your age to be pretty funny in light of the fact that there are so many shoppers that come on the forum and say they cannot do a shop as they are asked to play act and they consider it a lie to do so. So if you are "play acting" to want to purchase a car immediately and really badly why can't you play act you are 50 instead of 65? This is a rhetorical question on my part. It does not mean I would do either. I do not consider mystery shopping acting at all.
@ChrisCooper wrote:

That's horrifying. Aren't you afraid of being sued for fraud?

It's more horrifying that someone could blatantly lie without feeling any guilt or compunction. I think there are people out there who also only "do the right thing" if they think others will find out that they didn't, and maybe some people live in fear of God striking wrath upon them if they break commandments. You know what I mean? I have to live with my own conscience and have to answer to myself. I know you and many others in the forum feel the same way. I guess some others don't.
Oh, and BTW Richard, I like to shop at Spencer's. The MSC who has that client won't met me because I am too old, LOL. I am actually only 55. Another MSC won't let me shop the grilled cheese place also because I am too old. There are several other places I would like to shop but can't because I am too old. Oh well There are plenty more fish in the sea!
Sandyf, MSCs will and do waive age requirements if they feel the shopper can pull it off. Obviously the difference between that and a shopper lying is they know what the client will and will not accept.

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.
@Richard91466..I know the Peet's you are talking about being from San Francisco where Peet's was king.
You were personally involved and I understand. I would just go there on my own now and then, and not worry about not being able to shop them. Keep your relationship personal, no reason to change. Starbucks isn't shopped so spend your money at Peet's, they have better coffee anyway. We have Peet's in my town, things change and a few maybe 5% of shops now have age requirements, but that leaves 95% for us seniors able to shop. Some companies want a fresher demographic and have the right. I'm unable to do a couple restaurants i want due to a 45yr. age requirement, that's life in the jungle.
Thought of a funny story...when I was 50, I lied about my age and said I was 45 because all my friends were 5 years younger. When I turned 51, I decided to fess up and sat my teen down to tell her the news....I'm not 45 , I'm 51 her answer was , Good for you can I go out and play......what's a few years.

When you know better you do better....

Oprah


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2017 11:18PM by Irene_L.A..
I used to shop Starbucks but didn't pursue it after a few shops because one had to receive one's coffee and then run out of the ship and take the temperature of the drink with a special thermometer they sent you. I don't know if Starbucks is being mystery shopped these days.

I would like to say I am a nice person and can push away the adverse feelings I have in this situation. However, I am not. Knowing myself as I do, I know that in time these feelings will fade, but that I will always hold a grudge about this situation.

I must find solace in the fact that I do, indeed, get calls from companies I have worked for before, asking me now to do a shop for them. Just got one a few minutes ago, which made me feel good.
I can't do some shops because I am too old or too young or because it is for a male. It is in no way discrimination. It is what is needed for the shop. If it was specified BEFORE you took the shop then it is your mistake. If it was not then they should pay you. Just my 2 cents.
Post removed because it contained personal insults against another forum member –– Admin
RyanM, are you are putting us on? It's hard to believe that anyone would commit fraud and brag about it in a forum where they are likely to be found out.

The problem is that MSing requires honesty and integrity. You have demonstrated neither. The problem is that if it's found out that you provided a false information for personal gain, the MSC would never use you again. MSCs talk to each other and you will likely be blackballed. The problem is that all the shops that you have done will come into question and could cause an MSC to lose a client.

ETA: you signed a contract verifying the information you provided was accurate. You can be sued for fraud.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2017 01:13AM by ChrisCooper.
i still have fake id from college. maybe its time to break it out so i do do those medicare shops. i am too old for compliance but too young for many other shops. dont sweat it.
ABSOLUTELY NOT!
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

Would you suggest lying as above poster did?

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
@ChrisCooper wrote:

That's horrifying. Aren't you afraid of being sued for fraud?
He probably has nothing, what's to sue.....he will eventually be dropped someone will read this and catch on.....

When you know better you do better....

Oprah
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