Eliminated Because of Age

One question: the answers may vary. If anyone utilizes loyalty, rewards, and/or senior discounts, for which the qualifying age may vary, do you save more or less money than if you bought a product or service via a mystery shop? Is there an incentive to use savings instead of mystery shops, or vice versa?

I thought about something else. In health research, subjects are matched according to general demographics and/or specific factors. If someone wants to test "new and improved socks intended for diabetics when used with x diabetic skin cream" with diabetics, would they need to include non-diabetics in the study? If someone wants to test "y protocol" for prostate glands, should the study exclude persons who do not gave prostate glands?

Where is the right place to include and exclude?

And finally Winter, with its bitin', whinin' wind, and all the land will be mantled with snow.
- Roy Bean


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/2017 04:09PM by Shop-et-al.

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Discrimination is just that ,whether it be age, color or difference in political. views....it's a form of control. They know you can do the report .you've worked for them for years over and over. I had the age thing lifted a few times when they needed me. Most have a couple months when they can use the other shoppers for same job,
so why not get a versatile collection of shoppers...makes more sense. Goodwin (I love you) is one that has restaurants I want to do but have a 45 age limit (forget about 65). I know more about food and service than someone only because there 18/45. Get a brain!!!!

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/2017 04:10PM by Irene_L.A..
Yes, your and independent contractor doing a mystery shop. Still the fact remains your being discriminated against.
I still would send a letter to the cooperation that denied me of the shop and ask them why they feel I'm not capable of doing a shop that I know I could do better then most people half my age. I would have to ask that question. If there were no logical answers? I would write a review about that company I was working for and let everyone know that this place discriminates against older people in doing such easy work! Then I would move on to something better. Everything happens for a reason. It's not meant to be Then move to something better!
I still don't feel it's fair at all!

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Speaking only for myself: I am fairly certain that no client must justify to me why their studies include but are not limited to factors such as my age. As far as I know, they are free to determine the paramaters for each study.

In academia, this issue would be covered under the topic of academic freedom, right? As this regards ICs and mystery shopping, there may be some business ethic which ensures freedom in market research. Here, should a company be free to test factors it deems necessary, free from undue pressure from outside groups? And, might we consider that clients/businesses may include a variety of shoppers in multiple studies that are conducted elsewhere or in other ways?

And finally Winter, with its bitin', whinin' wind, and all the land will be mantled with snow.
- Roy Bean
People are working longer now, no one retires at 65, more like 70. My ex just closed his business doors at 81.
I know many who are still active in business..I think 80 is the magical age that you feel, well, time to hang it up.
That's just me speaking from experience..no one knows before it happens...

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
Because it is not discrimination, writing a letter to the MSC then falsely accusing them in a public forum of age discrimination would have one effect. The shopper would not be working in this business at all.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
I wish not being eligible for a coffee shop was the only thing I had to complain about......OP received wonderful advice, some different perspectives. Sometimes, as my late Grammy used to say, "Some people just like to complain to hear themselves speak.". If the OP doesn't want to adhere and listen to peoples advice, that's on the OP. Everyone else on this thread (just about) has tried to help.
These are anonymous replies so I can't see how the shopper would not be working in this business at all because they give their opinion on this issue. May as well have said shut up.

And have other things to complain about and saying they've gotten wonderful advise they don't want to take and that peeps just like to hear themselves speak is super helpful; thank goodness you bothered.
There are a lot of places with age restrictions on them. The client wants to know how the place looks from the perspective of that age demographic. It's not discrimination, it's that they are looking for specific information which you, by nature of your age and experience, cannot provide. There are shops I won't do because, at 70 years old, I stand out like a sore thumb, and will be remembered by the staff because it's so unusual for one my age to shop/dine/get a drink there. It's the customer's requirement. If you don't fit it, don't lie about it. There are still plenty of other shops without that requirement. Not as many as before <sigh> but that's the way the world works.
My comment was neither in response to the OP or suggesting this discussion would have any impact elsewhere.

It was in response to ChristineJCJ who keeps insisting we are covered under labor laws then suggested the OP write to the MSC demanding an explanation, an action which would not be completed anonymously. She then summarized the next step as, "I would write a review about that company I was working for and let everyone know that this place discriminates against older people in doing such easy work!"

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
This is the OP who started this thread. I have to toss back to many of our readers the same advice others gave me: "Get over it." I was over it at least a day ago. I will continue to shop more lucrative shops, or when I want a good meal free or nearly free, but I have finished fretting over the age restriction thing. No one has given me an explanation that holds water about why someone over 65 couldn't do a coffeehouse mystery shop, but that really doesn't matter. I suspect that the restriction was slapped on by the MSC, not the client, but who cares ? I am not about to sue anyone. Ant the age of 79 I have better things to do. Having three published books to my name, I am preparing two others for publication. I get offers now and then for $100 shops, and I guess I will stick to those and a few dinner shops. It irks me a tiny bit that the MSC in question still sends me offers for the coffeehouse shops and when I read the the fine print I find I am too old. They said they would take me off the coffeehouse shop list, but so far haven't. Fifty years from now, who will care? .
You answered better than I could have ever done.
Does the client think that people over 60 do not buy cars?
Do they think people over 60 don't go to stores?
I just don't understand their way of thinking.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

@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.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

@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.
Please save the word horrifying for something is actually horrifying you're being a bit dramatic.
One of the definitions of horrifying is to shock greatly. She wasn't being overly dramatic to suggest she was shocked greatly by a professional shopper recommending others commit fraud.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Lets talk about suing, cost of lawyers, small fee's involved, MSPA never helping shoppers, who has a chance. Being a unit helps, but no one here agrees on anything, so getting shoppers to unite seems nil. Do other Independent Contractor's face the same problems shoppers do. Do shoppers have any place to go, maybe an Atty. that would work with us, on age discrimination laws. Personally, I really don't care, just take another restaurant, I always move on...but, for sake of debate, open for discussion.

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
im horrifyingly offended & feel discriminated against because of this thread. who do i complain to?
Don't read it...simple...I'm not horrified by anything on forum, expect it all...just sayin. I think many unethical shoppers lie until they get caught.

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
Christine and Spicy, the fair employment laws that you refer to DO NOT apply to independent contractors (ICs) which is what we are. The tests that are used to determine if folks who are "classified as" ICs by their companies, but are being treated like employees simply do not apply the MSers. They may actually apply to some schedulers and/or editors in our industry, which worries the heck out of the MSCs who are treating them like employees but denying all of the benefits of the employment status. (PhD in Industrial Relations and Labor Economics, and I DO keep current with employment law.)

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.
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

Don't read it...simple...I'm not horrified by anything on forum, expect it all...just sayin. I think many unethical shoppers lie until they get caught.
didnt read most of it. i love scroll button. i can get a feel for most posts by first sentence or two. obviously not everyone gets sarcasm.
@ChristineJCJ wrote:

Yes, your and independent contractor doing a mystery shop. Still the fact remains your being discriminated against.
I still would send a letter to the cooperation that denied me of the shop and ask them why they feel I'm not capable of doing a shop that I know I could do better then most people half my age. I would have to ask that question. If there were no logical answers? I would write a review about that company I was working for and let everyone know that this place discriminates against older people in doing such easy work! Then I would move on to something better. Everything happens for a reason. It's not meant to be Then move to something better!
I still don't feel it's fair at all!
i suggest you read new members section in forum because u have alot to learn. just suggestion to edit your very long & identifying profile for this forum. u will become target for scammers & trolls if u havent already done so. this is public forum which runs rampant at times.
@ChristineJCJ wrote:

For the past half century, federal law has banned employers from discriminating against people based on their age.Elderly and youthful employees sometimes experience age discrimination in the workplace. Ageism, is stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups on the basis of their age. Employers are generally not allowed to hire, fire, promote, or decide an employee’s compensation based on their age.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 (OWBPA) amended the ADEA to specifically prohibit employers from denying benefits to older employees.

That's if the employer can't come up with any other reason for you not to get the SHOP JOB!


I would write to the ADEA. (Age Discrimination Employee Act)

ChristineJCJ, you keep using the words "employer" and "employee" but we are all self-employed in this business. Mystery shoppers are not employees and these laws do not apply to us.

I would love to shop that grilled cheese restaurant that requires the shopper be under 45. I can't because I am too old. I don't work for the MSC or the client, I am an independent contractor so it is not discrimination. There are many shops I am not allowed to complete because I am too old. I understand you are trying to be helpful, but again, these laws do not apply to us. If they did, don't you think experienced shoppers would have already done something about it?
@spicy1 wrote:

These are anonymous replies so I can't see how the shopper would not be working in this business at all because they give their opinion on this issue.
Schedulers can sometimes figure out who we are. I mentioned on the forum something about a client's product, and shortly after that, the scheduler for that client contacted me out of the blue with a comment in the same vein as my post. She contacted me using my email address that's my real name. I'm busted! It's a small world.
@ someone who spoke as if the "experienced shoppers" would have handled an actual issue: Is there absolutely no instance of age discrimination in the entire history of this large industry? How could the "experienced shoppers" know of every moment and circumstance of every shopper's experiences? If you do not know all of that, and you probably cannot, then why would you indicate that you would have handled an issue that you did not and probably could have known about due to the nature of our work? What if other experienced shoppers have experienced age or other inappropriate discrimination? If so, did they attempt to make a difference? But what if their efforts were quieter or in venues outside of this this fabulous thread?


@ the people who are questioning the appropriateness of known or changeable age qualifiers: I hope that you will always feel free to question conditions and situations that you encounter. Each mystery shopping situation has the potential for thorough examination which may reveal any discrimination or other issue. Each shopper should be encouraged to remember that he/she has the right to think and act independently of "experienced shoppers", whoever they may be. Each shopper has the right to take his/her concern to other resources. I have asked questions in this thread because some statements about discrimination were too general and broad, imho. Those statements were not necessarily wrong. Any wrongdoing would be determined outside of this forum, by other persons in other roles. Thank you for letting us know that we can take our concerns to relevant resources outside of this forum and receive information or redress.

And finally Winter, with its bitin', whinin' wind, and all the land will be mantled with snow.
- Roy Bean
If I'm, as Spicy1, talking on this forum about my assignments, within the realm of what is acceptable to talk about, and the scheduler is reading it and sends me an email about it then that scheduler needs to consider doing more with their life. I would tell that scheduler where to put their email. What does a scheduler have to do with the particulars of the shop besides scheduling? Nada!
Sure, we're I.C. and suing as an employee is obviously not in the realm of possibilities unless you first sue to prove you were treated like an employee and obvious most of us cannot. I got that. I was throwing out there that this has happened and there have been cases that have won. That's why companies skip over us and are constantly trying to find new people to do these assignments so we're not expected to be at the same place at the same time month after month. That's part of this work; being disappointed by the lack of continuity which another reason I can't imagine doing this full-time. How can you fill in all of that time? Certainly not with consistent rounds of new homes and old folks homes, ten dollar burgers and $350 dinners that pay $5 for the report. sad smiley
@spicy1 wrote:

Certainly not with consistent rounds of new homes and old folks homes, ten dollar burgers and $350 dinners that pay $5 for the report. sad smiley

Wow spicy, glad I am not doing any of the shops you mentioned. Is that what you are resigned to choose from where you live? That sucks.
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