Termination as a result of MS

Does anyone have any concrete knowledge of a time someone was actually terminated as a result of a MS report?
We always wonder if what we're doing can have such catastrophic results, but with all the really bad things I've reported, I don't really know if any client has ever gone so far as to terminate an employee. Retraining is much cheaper and easier than firing someone.

The one I always think might be in jeopardy is the housekeeper who lets me in my room without a key. I always feel bad for them. It's happened.... three times this year and that's kind of a cardinal sin in hotel management.

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2017 02:48PM by Hoju.

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The only ones that I know about had to do with either serving alcohol to minors or cash integrity issues. For instance, most parking garage/valet shops are not video. But when suspicious activity is observed in a regular shop, that location and/or that employee may be video shopped several times to establish what is actually happening. I was just told that $25,000 was recovered from the apartment of a valet parking attendant. (Not in my metro area.) He gave it up to escape prosecution. Yes, he lost his job. No one knows how much else he had skimmed.) I know that at least one doorman and several valet parking attendants that I video shopped taking cash at $35 to $45 and up per instance, at a very busy hotel valet operation, no longer work there. (And, I have not seen them at any of the other hotels where that management company handles valet parking or any other of the many hotel parking operations that I shop. I do hundreds of valet parking shops per year in a large metro area.)

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.
One more thought. The housekeepers who admit you to a room without following hotel procedure for properly identifying you as the guest in that room are much more likely to be retrained. They did not personally gain from the action and what they did was not actually illegal.

The bartender who serves minor (or who serves anyone who is obviously intoxicated) did do something illegal and which could cost the owner his/her liquor license. The real estate agent or bank employee who violates discrimination laws will most likely be retrained and watched closely. BUT that person may also endanger the client to the tune of millions in fines, so any pattern of such behavior is likely to end in termination.

Finally, the guy I would really like to see terminated is the car sales fellow who told me, "When your husband arrives we can talk about engines."

Yes, you got 3 more thoughts for the price of one!

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.
Yes, but the service provider was guilty of appalling and blatant theft. It was a Sears in-home carpet cleaning with a $150 reimbursement and a $15 fee. I made an appointment.

I LOVED the cleaning job. They were 2 hours late, but the guy was friendly and professional and had a helper. He looked at the space and asked questions, but then he asked what I was quoted & I said $130 unless the 3 areas were considered more than 3. He said "$130 + tax and tip" and that 2 of the areas were actually 2 areas each (LR/DR, Den/Breakfast) and then the Bedroom, so it was actually 5 areas and would be more. I said I had only budgeted $150 so maybe I would just get the LR/DR and Bedroom done. He casually asked how I was paying and I said "cash, is that ok?" He said "cash works fine" and that he was going to "cut me a deal" and do all the areas, counting them as 3, for $99, plus tax, which would leave me money for good tip for him. Then he said "You're planning on $150, we'll keep you at $150." I wasn't sure what the MSC wanted, but I was required to pay cash, so I figured they wanted to know this. So I said OK. He said he would leave his name and cell # with me so I could call him direct and he can save me some money next time. When I paid, he told me he was able to keep the truck for weekends so he would come out on Saturday evening or anytime Sunday and he could give me a very reasonable price because I would be dealing directly with him and not Sears. I paid him $150 cash, he gave me a receipt for $107.17, and he wrote 3 rooms on the receipt when it was actually 5. And he wrote his name and cell # right on the receipt. I was scared he might get fired if I wrote the report, and I was scared I would not get reimbursed for the big cash tip since the receipt showed only $107.17. I was also scared that if he did get fired, he would come visit me because surely he would know it was me who ratted him out and would remember where I lived.

The scheduler e-mailed me, thanked me for a great report and said the big cash tip was a new one on her, but that was one of the things the company was looking for. I got paid the whole $150 plus my $15 fee. Two weeks later, the scheduler phoned me and gave me a heads-up that the guy was fired. She said the company did not disclose my identity, but I still worried that he would figure it was me. I worried needlessly, never heard from him.
Austin Mom, that would be scary since he knew where you lived!

Former mystery shopper, current merchandiser.
Many years ago, I did a bar audit, and saw the Bartender put tips in her pocket instead of the tip jar.
She was also quite rude to customers. I wrote it in report, and went back being curious, and she was no longer there. I wasn't told about it, and they no longer shop this bar/restaurant. Not bad, after doing so many bar audits, to catch only one......tells me most are honest. Not being an actual "employee", you may never know
the reason. my guess is they make up a reason. Would be nice if someone told you the behind the scenes stuff.

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping....


Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/14/2017 12:57AM by Irene_L.A..
Poor kid was likely fired for not checking my ID and serving me alcohol. I guess he though I was cool enough to slide by the rules. He was never seen at that location again.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 27 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
That's one thing I am not totally on board with: if they don't card someone who is 25-30 (supposed to ask for ID for people who look under 30 and older in some states) but the person is obviously not under 21, should the server/bartender still be fired or just given a warning? My husband's cousin did a few age compliance shops awhile back when she was 28. She went with her Mom. She didn't get carded, and each time the server got fired. She quit doing them because it bothered her so much. I mean, she was with her mother and did not look anywhere close to as young as 21 (she looked close to 30), so I get why the server felt safe serving her alcohol. If a patron is under 21 and the place stands to lose their liquor license because the customer got served while underage, that's an entirely different situation.
That I can remember I know of 2 that I am almost certain got fired. The first was a one off new home shop. A small community wasn't selling at the rate their market research showed it should. New home companies are rarely off that much so they wanted to see if a video shop might show the reason. When I arrived the agent was not there. The construction manager showed up and attempted to help me with a house. When he told me he was the construction manager I asked about the sales agent and he said she had taken off that day. It was not her day off. When I inquired about a re shop the scheduler told me "they got the information they needed." The second was a manager at a hotel. A guest was interested in a woman he met the last time he was there and the manager pulled up her room number and gave personal information about her to the guest. I was not told that he was fired but I can't imagine that he was not.

There is one other that I think got fired. I am not absolutely certain but I have shopped that location again and he was not there.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
There was a court case a few years back in CA when a bartender was let go because of shopper report...and then sued both the MSC and shopper if I recall correctly.

Since then, I have been very careful about reporting theft or integrity issues on CA shops unless the MSC has a PI license. When I worked for an MSC, we would attach a note to reports which implied theft, suggesting that the client should look into hiring a PI to monitor the employee in question for concrete evidence if they intended on letting them go. This job does not pay enough for the shoppers or MSC to get wrapped up in a legal battle over termination....
@AustinMom, I would be scared to but I'm wondering if he did it to others so he wouldn't have necessarily known it was you.

Kim
In this area both the valet parking attendants and the doormen are represented by very active unions. I know of cases for both where the employee went to arbitration over the "firing offence". However, before the hearing the union rep asked to see the video (along with the employee) and then advised the employee not to pursue arbitration and to, instead, try to negotiate the dismissal terms, make restitution, and, if possible, to avoid prosecution. (Too many commas?)

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.
The one bar audit I do has the same Bartender and the bar is 95% empty when I go at 3:00 pm. Knowing one's age is impossible, in a city where high school kids are savvy, they all have phony ID's....my daughter tells me stories about her senior year...lordy! They do watch folks that have "one" too many as the bar is held responsible and stealing, over pouring (loss prevention). I'm sure it's easier to fire the bartender than go to court. I used to worry about court, (never happened). Happy hour in my town is jammed with young kids on Friday nights, but they're not shopped. Really no way to stop a 17 year old from drinking, and who looks their age today, pulling out a phony ID, what's the bartender to do.....

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping....


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2017 08:28PM by Irene_L.A..
I turned a friend onto mystery shopping this week. His first job was a hotel bar audit. First job ever.
Right out of the gate the bartender was telling racist jokes. He also failed to card my friend and his guest- ages 23 and 25.
This won't end well for the bartender but my friend is now HOOKED on this kind of work.

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
Hoju, when I am in between NASA engineering contracts, I work for banks in various capacities. In 2016, I was laid off from a center and worked for a regional bank. During training, they asked if we had outside employment. I disclosed mystery shopping.

What a mistake on my end. My primary shops were banks, which were in conflict with working for a bank. I was suspended until they could investigate. I opted not to return, since I made more money MSing.

Get your flu shot...because I didn't!
I have directly gotten at least 2 people fired.

I am 100% sure I got a woman server fired at a hotel near Disneyland. I was to go there and with someone, order a buffet breakfast. I had to arrive at a certain time slot. Once the check was placed on my table I was not to take it but I had to get some details from it – time stamp on it, server name, etc. I went 4 previous times and all was good. The fifth time I went I get there at 9:05A. Server greeted us at 9:10A and we told her what we wanted and she said we could go get our food. A 9:15A she dropped off the check. The check was time stamped around 8:45A. The reason I was there was to see if the servers were using an itemized bill a previous customer had and left on their table. It was very obvious this is what she did. Once again – I say nothing but act normal. I did the shop before cell phones were something everyone had and before they took pictures – so you know how long ago this was. I leave and from a pay phone in the hotel call Systemchec – the MSC that sent me there (They are long gone so I can use their name here). I let them know what happened. I go home and hand write my report and then fax it to them (how it used to be done – seriously). I went back one more time and she was not there – she was there all of the other 5 visits. I refise to say I got her fired. She got herself fired. My report ended her employment there but she got herself fired. She did her job the previous 4 times and was still employed there – the fifth time she did what she did and she got herself fired. I ref HS Hoops in SoCal and I will have a coach scream at me: “You just fouled out my best player.” My reply, “No I didn’t coach – he fouled him/herself out – I just called the fouled he/she committed.”

One was at some local bar dining place. They sent me at a certain time to look at a certain employee. When a company does that they are just looking for the “last straw” to fire someone. So I show up there and order my drink. I am not a heavy drinker so I ordered a Strawberry Margarita. Woman pours it in my glass and hands it to me. There is some extra left over. A few of her friends show up and she hands them the extra I PAID FOR! I say nothing but file that away for the report. This place has no kitchen. If you want a burger, hot dog or similar they give you the raw piece of meat and they have a BBQ outside where you cook your own meal. I actually like this. So I order my burger and she hands it to me. She gave her friends each a burger – without it being paid for. I am 100% certain she got fired once they got the report.

I sense my reports have seen a few other people lose their job. I don’t feel bad about it at all. I tell everyone when I MS: If you are doing your job – you have nothing to worry about. If you are not – get your resume ready – you are going to need it. I know for a fact my report also got a server promoted from server to manager. I wrote in my report how great she was and how awful the manager was and how if I owned the place I would make the server a manager and that if I owned a dining place I’d steal her away and make her the manager she earned being. My brother went back to this same dining place a month-ish after my report and said she was a Manager and I know it was because of my report.
Yes, I am sure that I got a server fired. It was in FL. I was working for a licensed PI. I had to notarize my notes and agree to testify. Luckily, I did not have to go to FL again to do that. It was a nice job too. Paid RT airfare for 2 from LAX to FLL. Paid all expenses and a big fat fee.
@SteveSoCal " I refise to say I got her fired. She got herself fired." This is exactly how all of us should view these situations and how I explain it to my kids all the time. I'm not the bad guy here. You caused this yourself.

"I wrote in my report how great she was and how awful the manager was and how if I owned the place I would make the server a manager and that if I owned a dining place I’d steal her away and make her the manager she earned being. "
I thought MSC's didn't want us adding in our opinion like this.

______________________________________________________________________
Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
Our work is only one side of one part of one story. We are not the be all and end all of employee evaluations. There is always a possibility that additional, contradictory, or explanatory information exists which we did not encounter, witness, or include in our reports.

So as far as I know, my MS work has not contributed to or resulted in the firing of anyone that I have encountered while performing mystery shops.

The exceptions would include some bar shops where some employees can be fired on the spot for certain real or alleged infractions. I have not done those shops, so that does not apply to my work.

Peace begins with a smile. ~ Mother Theresa
I am nearly certain that I have never gotten anyone fired from MS work but I know that my work got people fired in my past work. I work in accounting and while researching some irregularities came across employee theft at two different jobs without even expecting that the issue was theft. While I momentarily felt bad, it passed quickly.
As for poor service, I would think a single bad report would not be enough to get some one fired. Most places I've worked have procedures like giving warnings, being written up, poor performance reviews etc..before someone can be fired.
I do not believe that somebody could reasonably be terminated based exclusively on our reports. However, our reports will bring an issue into question and might lead an employer to look at video surveillance, order audio/video recorded shops, report a potential problem to security, etc. As we are not employed by the client and do not have specific HR training, anybody could fight an allegation we make.
@Hoju wrote:

I thought MSC's didn't want us adding in our opinion like this.

Why are you directing the question to me? I'm not the one who wrote that....
'Termination as a result of MS' - this is an ill thought out heading. When I scanned the title, my first thought was it was related to the medical condition.
I thought for sure someone would be let go when I did a furniture shop. They were being remodeled and he was not a happy person and really let it show. The report asked what could have been done better and I gave all sorts of examples of what would have made it a better shop. Did the shop again three months later and saw the same person with the same surly expression on his face slumped in a chair by customer service.
@SteveSoCal wrote:

@Hoju wrote:

I thought MSC's didn't want us adding in our opinion like this.

Why are you directing the question to me? I'm not the one who wrote that....

Whoops! Sorry.

______________________________________________________________________
Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
@Catnap wrote:

'Termination as a result of MS' - this is an ill thought out heading. When I scanned the title, my first thought was it was related to the medical condition.
Considering this is a mystery shopping forum and not a medical forum, I’d say your assumption is ill placed. Even @CureMS wouldn't make that assumption.

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/14/2017 03:09AM by Hoju.
@Hoju wrote:


"I wrote in my report how great she was and how awful the manager was and how if I owned the place I would make the server a manager and that if I owned a dining place I’d steal her away and make her the manager she earned being. "
I thought MSC's didn't want us adding in our opinion like this.

I wrote this so I will follow up on it.

For the most part - YES! But in about 99% of all reports there is one section where we can put some subjective thoughts in the report. I did it in this section
Goodwill takes the feedback and reports of their shoppers seriously. I shopped a location and the donation attendant was very disrespectful and condescending. In short, he was a little $hit. I have not seen him since my report.

Get your flu shot...because I didn't!
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