Eliminated Because of Age

To me, it has never seemed worth misrepresenting one's age to get work. There are something like 300 MSCs out there, so to find work one does not have to become dishonest. Having started this lively thread, I think this may be my last post onto it. But in thinking over the situation, I camed to a few ideas and conclusions.

One of the things I considered is that the MSC in question really bungled the situation. I have owned and operated several large companies, and I know what decent personnel management is. True, none of us are "employees." We are "contractors." But --

When you have worked with someone over a number of years and they have done over 100 jobs of a particular sort (in this case, coffeehouse evaluations) and almost always received 9 and 10 ratings for your work, then suddenly find that for reasons beyond control the other client has put an age limit on the shops, how do you treat your mystery shopper ?

Do you just tell them, "You are too old for this shop according to the client," or do you find some way to reassure the shopper that you have valued their work, know that they have always done well, and that you would like them to continue shopping for you ? Were I in the MSC's place, I would add something like, "Let me see if I can look around and find a nice juicy shop for you," and I would have found just such a thing and offered it to the shopper.

One does often get the feeling that the MSC personnel we deal with often think we are just so much dirt -- except when they are in a jam and absolutely have to get something done. They -- and we -- forget that we are each other's reason we have jobs. I say this not to criticize many MSC people, because the callous ones are not very common. But mutual respect for each other's feelings helps a lot in this underpaid business.

We all have choices. The companies can offer or not offer individuals jobs. The shoppers can reject or not reject specific jobs. And when they make a list of what companies a newcomer might like working for, they can leave certain companies off the list of recommendations.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2017 04:00AM by Richard94611.

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I don't lie about my age or income on shops, but I definitely do email schedulers and ask if rules can be bent if there is a shop I am interested in. I'm 28 and on the younger end for some shop types and requirements but occasionally a nice email and a due date can get you those 30+ or 35+ year old shopper requirements waived.

MegglesKat
@Richard94611 wrote:



When you have worked with someone over a number of years and they have done over 100 jobs of a particular sort (in this case, coffeehouse evaluations) and almost always received 9 and 10 ratings for your work, then suddenly find that for reasons beyond control the other client has put an age limit on the shops, how do you treat your mystery shopper ?

Do you just tell them, "You are too old for this shop according to the client," or do you find some way to reassure the shopper that you have valued their work, know that they have always done well, and that you would like them to continue shopping for you ? Were I in the MSC's place, I would add something like, "Let me see if I can look around and find a nice juicy shop for you," and I would have found just such a thing and offered it to the shopper..
u said it yourself. reasons beyond control. u dont have control of age limit. msc doesnt have control of age limit. coming from client. maybe not your age, maybe they want fresh eyes. maybe youve done too many shops for them. a large msc does this all the time.

its not msc job or scheduler job to reassure shoppers & hold our hands. like others always say were running a small biz. if scheduler offered nice juicy job, i would run. just like those fun & easy shops we get tons of emails for.
Ryan is correct. This is exactly why when we have shops requiring an age demographic we require the shopper to email us a copy of their driver's license or passport

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2017 06:36PM by dcrector.
I understand the feeling, especially as I just moved into a new age range and suddenly wasn't able to complete shops for a particular type of shop I had done regularly. I wrote to the scheduler and stated I was interested in performing the shop but no longer qualified due to new age limit... and my march into older age. She was very gracious and simply overrides the requirement. I'm relatively sure it's the same company and I'm sorry if you did try this and I missed it. We're in the same area so it seems like we're talking about the same MSP. But it doesn't feel good on any level, no matter the outcome...
I had just responded to you and then saw your last post. Very well put in terms of personnel management, managing mystery shoppers should be governed by the same standards we utilize as supervisors. If someone has performed well for years and no longer meets the age requirements for a particular shop,the best practice would be to do what you proposed. Take care
The reality is that companies are interested in a certain demographic- and sorry you are not in it. Me too, I can not do certain shops because I am too old for some of them. It is not personal- they have the right to be interested in collecting data only from certain demographics- that is not discrimination. It is harsh and maybe ugly -but not discrimination. The clients has the right to collect data (or not collect data) on whoever they want. For instance, "Forever 21" is not interested in my viewpoint. Coffee is a little different but they are obviously not interested in certain age groups- their right. You are not an employee assigned to a specific job- you are a contractor agreeing, assignment by assignment, to collect data.
@RyanM wrote:

Just go into "Profile", and change your year of birth to whatever would work in your case. If they question that, just say there was an error in their records, and it is now corrected. I'm sure lots of others (Me?) have done that. It works.

To any shopper considering doing this....
This is fraud.
Most MSPs these days have safeguards in place that notify them when profile information is changed.

This industry does NOT take FRAUD on any level lightly!!!

If you want to be blackballed by that MSP and most likely many others as well, don't do it.
If you ask the scheduler and they can make an exception, then fine.

Joan Gingras
Senior Project Director~Inside Evaluator Brands/BarStoolie
joan@barstoolie.com
joan@insideevaluators.com


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2017 07:42PM by Inside Evaluators.
I didn't do this on purpose. I just didn't read the guidelines carefully. There is a shoe store in my area that I have shopped twice. They are looking for under 50. I was way over 50 when I did them. Like I said, it was not on purpose. I just didn't read the guidelines carefully enough. I did get paid. I will not do them again on a shop. I have been in the store on my own and if they had any shoes I like I would purchase. I don't understand how whoever sets the age guidelines doesn't think that those of over 50 or whatever age it is don't require food, clothes and shoes. Our money is as good as someone in that certain age range they are requiring of their shoppers.
@Richard94611 wrote:

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 used to do those too when I first started mystery shopping, about 20 years ago. The funny thing is that I hated Starbucks coffee (still do) so the fact that I didn't have to evaluate the taste was what encouraged me to go ahead and shop them. I had to pay for the thermometer they sent me and something else that I can't remember (scale maybe?) did you? Ahhh memories . . . lol

What's done is done. An egg cracked cannot be cured.
There are 3 kinds of lies. Lies, Damn lies, and statistics.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2017 01:43AM by sassymmmm.
@Clamchatter wrote:

I didn't do this on purpose. I just didn't read the guidelines carefully. There is a shoe store in my area that I have shopped twice. They are looking for under 50. I was way over 50 when I did them. Like I said, it was not on purpose. I just didn't read the guidelines carefully enough. I did get paid. I will not do them again on a shop. I have been in the store on my own and if they had any shoes I like I would purchase. I don't understand how whoever sets the age guidelines doesn't think that those of over 50 or whatever age it is don't require food, clothes and shoes. Our money is as good as someone in that certain age range they are requiring of their shoppers.

Just a thought... is there some statistic about the number of shoppers whose shoe purchases change over time? Years ago, I frequently wore heels and other frivolous shoes. Now, I wear comfy shoes most of the time and lower heels when my feet or back permit this. Am I the only one? Do others have different shoe needs or preferences as time passes?

Anyway, I'm glad you were paid for your work. And you are spot on in that persons of all ages require food, clothes, and shoes.

Be grateful for luck. Pay the thunder no mind - listen to the birds. And don't hate nobody. Eubie Blake
ive seen middleaged women shopping at stores for 20 somethings or they still wear same styles from their 20s. its not a good look on them.
Several times I've had schedulers contact me directly about a shop, begging me to help them out. Then, after I've accepted the shop, they respond that they need to unassign me, because they forgot to check my age.

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

ive seen middleaged women shopping at stores for 20 somethings or they still wear same styles from their 20s. its not a good look on them.

LOL! I do a shop at a store that has a complete range of sizes. There are customers and employees of all ages and sizes. I always wonder if other customers are shopping for themselves or other people. I shop for myself during my shops. The clothes there are as cute as can be and range from casual to professional to dressy. But I (boring old bag extraordinaire) only wear a few of the available styles. There is no hope for me, fashion-wise. Oh, well.

Be grateful for luck. Pay the thunder no mind - listen to the birds. And don't hate nobody. Eubie Blake
There are valid reasons for age limits. I would be a poor choice for an alcohol compliance shop for a store. I find more important reasons to be offended.
What could possibly be the reason for an age restriction of 65 at a coffee shop? Do you need to be able to jump over the counter?
@Clamchatter wrote:

Our money is as good as someone in that certain age range they are requiring of their shoppers.

First of all, the MSC's aren't the ones setting these requirements. The end client is setting them. There are quite a few reasons why. Most companies market to specific demographics. For instance, BWW shops you have to be 45 or 50 or something or younger. My parents went in one and swore they would never go back. It was loud and annoying and too much going on. BWW doesn't market to seniors. They market to 35 year old wanna be frat boys. So that's what they want in their shoppers. There are many, many reasons companies might have shopper requirements. Perhaps this particular coffee shop is super popular with retirees but not so much with other people and they want to see if there is something they are doing to cause younger people not to go. It's not that your money isn't good enough, you just don't have the perspective they're looking for.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
You are making excuses for age discrimination on the part of someone -- we really don't know if it is the MSC or their client -- but your comment does not apply to the coffeeshop shops I have seen -- and I have done over 100 of them. I challenge you to come up with even one question asked on the report form that is affected by the age of the shopper. Opinions are not requested or allowed, just the specific facts. The questionnaire has NOTHING that can be construed as being affected by the age of the shopper. So give it your best shot, whomever you may be, and whomever you work for.
Not a single piece of information on the report form of any coffeeshop shop I have seen -- and I have done over 100 of them and received almost all 9 or 10 -- has anything to do with age. Theis is pure age discrimination on someone's part.
Richard, you're taking it way too personally. Many shops have restrictions. I'm surprised you are running into your first one after all these years. You have a personal connection with the company because you knew and had a friendship with the founding owner, which should have been a disqualifying factor from the start. Time to find new shops.
Just my two cents:

Based on Richard's posts in this thread, his ability to be neutral and objective when it comes to this particular client is questionable, and should not be shopping this client regardless of his age.
Sevrral of my favorite restaurants that Coyle represents have a maximum age restriction of 56. I turned 55 this year. Coyle has not accepted any of my requests for those clients since last year. My scores have always been very high. I have to accept this and move on.

BTW, I am not aware of the BWW age restriction mentioned above. Where did you see that on the site or guidelines?
Here is what i see: "Your age must be 18 years or More"

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2017 11:34AM by isaiah58.
I really hate entitled people and OP you are coming across quite entitled. Okay, so you can no longer shop one of your favorite shops, but you can still enjoy their coffee on your own dime. There hundreds of coffee shops I've come across that doesn't have age restrictions, try those.

Parameters are set by the client for whatever reason they choose. It is not discrimination, it is market research for a particular demographic of people. I've seen shops that specify specific genders, race and income. It is not discrimination. Everything isn't for everyone.
And of course, let us not forget, we have the power of the pen!!!! Or rather the phone and computer. I find that if a requirement isn't too far off from me, I can usually get wiggled in with some nicely worded emails. Although, tobacco compliance is not one of those :/ Bummer too because they often hit $40-$150 a shop in this area. I have relative that I sent that-a-way since she's only 26 and can get a few good months of bonuses in. Some parameters are weird and occasionally you meet the requirements. I had one that was a 21-29 year old female, income of XXXX, student ID required, Visa debit or credit, and a particular vehicle class. They must have combed the databases to find me based on my HONEST profile information.

MegglesKat
@Richard94611 wrote:

Not a single piece of information on the report form of any coffeeshop shop I have seen -- and I have done over 100 of them and received almost all 9 or 10 -- has anything to do with age. Theis is pure age discrimination on someone's part.

repetitious much?
@Richard94611 wrote:

You are making excuses for age discrimination on the part of someone -- we really don't know if it is the MSC or their client -- but your comment does not apply to the coffeeshop shops I have seen -- and I have done over 100 of them. I challenge you to come up with even one question asked on the report form that is affected by the age of the shopper. Opinions are not requested or allowed, just the specific facts. The questionnaire has NOTHING that can be construed as being affected by the age of the shopper. So give it your best shot, whomever you may be, and whomever you work for.

this is public form so all of us have right to post opinions. but you demand facts so here it goes.

[www.gallup.com]

Coffee drinkers tend to be older, with 74% of adults aged 55 and older consuming it daily, versus 50% of those aged 18 to 34. Among coffee drinkers, those younger than 35 tend to drink fewer cups per day on average (1.8) than those aged 35 and older, who consume roughly three cups per day. Fewer lower-income than higher-income Americans drink coffee, but lower-income coffee drinkers consume more cups per day than higher-income coffee drinkers (3.8 vs. 2.4 cups, on average).

edited: i dont drink coffee & im alot younger than 55. most of my friends drink energy drinks instead of coffee. clients are probably trying to figure out how to bring in younger crowd. older customers will not live forever so client needs to look to future customers. totally makes sense to me.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2017 01:09PM by MSNinja.
I do not know why persons aged 65 and older would not be eligible for mystery coffee shops. So, I speculate... Is there any risk of interaction between caffeine and medications that persons aged 65 and older are more likely to use than younger caffeine users? Are some coffee locations deliberately situated near other businesses that are targeting younger crowds (and, are youngsters sought there as well?)? Are some locations planning to provide entertainment that is more likely to attract a younger crowd than persons aged 65 and older? Have any persons aged 65 and older (65 is still a common age for retirement) used any coffee locations as third place, as some did with a McDonald's location? Have any persons aged 65 or older attempted to get or presumed that they must receive a senior, retiree, or other old-age benefit from any coffee locations? Are more persons aged 65 or older likely to be on fixed incomes which indicate budgets that strain to cover the cost of coffee that is purchased from a coffee specialty seller? Are persons aged 65 and older more likely to experience discomfort while waiting in line for service? Are persons aged 65 and older unlikely to be perceived as fitting in with others who visit the locations at certain times? Do any locations have regulars who always or usually come in before work, during a lunch hour, or on the way to "somewhere" after work? Can many shoppers who are aged 65 and older portray such a person?

None of this is my business. I have not seen any stats. I merely wonder about such things. However, it would be important to eliminate other possible explanations or factors before following up on the idea that age discrimination has occurred regarding the OP.

If age discrimination did occur, then the OP may respond as they will. In that case, I wish them luck and a happier coffee situation.

Be grateful for luck. Pay the thunder no mind - listen to the birds. And don't hate nobody. Eubie Blake


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2017 01:37PM by Shop-et-al.
Just scanned my inbox and saw that I'm ineligible for many shops because I'm: not the right gender, not the right age, am not an existing customer of client, and do not speak a foreign language. None of these restrictions are discrimination. I just don't currently meet the demographic the client is looking for. It's not personal; it's business.

But, I think OP should have voluntarily excluded himself from the coffee shops because of his personal relationship with the owner. OP, did you disclose that information to the scheduler? If I were the MSC and knew about your friendship with the owner, I never would have assigned a single shop to you. Consider yourself lucky that you got 100 shops.
You're "deeply offended" that a client has an age limit? Wow, if that's the worst of your problems I'll gladly switch places with you.
Since repetition appears to be the order of the day, restrictions are NOT age discrimination. If the client is looking to target a younger demographic, just how is your perspective going to help them accomplish that goal? I don't see 20 something shoppers complaining or screaming age discrimination about assignments requiring the shopper be older than 35 or 45.

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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