You know you've been outed when....

You go inside to prepay your gas (no card reader), and the clerk doesn't have a name tag on. You go back inside for your inside purchase, and she has put her name tag on.

sad smiley

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When you tell the valet parking attendant that you are not a hotel guest (as required) and he replies, "Why not use the free street parking? The only people who use valet here are hotel guests and mystery shoppers." #@?! scenario.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2018 03:22PM by MFJohnston.
How about when you lost your grocery list (with notes on the back) and you go looking down the aisles when a manager hands you a piece of paper and says "are you looking for this?" Ouch.
you are required to submit your picture with the report so that the manager can verify that you are not an employee
Aquiest!

Similar thing happened to me in a restaurant that is no longer shopped.
I'm not sure about an electronics associate who kept saying "I TOLD you all that the last time you were here".
WTF?

@MSF wrote:

you are required to submit your picture with the report so that the manager can verify that you are not an employee
It's been more than a year since you shopped a bank branch, and the banker starts the conversation by discussing the detailed scenario you used the last time...

The clerk calls you "shopper" and then corrects herself to "sir" (happened when I was *not* shopping that location that day)

Scratched those two locations off my list....
When the banker says here let me get you the required materials you need just as you begin to ask you scenario.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
Where the hell are you doing shops, LOL?!!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2018 05:18AM by JASFLALMT.
Gas station reveal shop. Drug paraphernalia and/or pornographic material are considered non-compliant. You are supposed to get a picture of them but it's hard to do when the employee becomes suspicious and frantically hides everything.
@yankeepoo2 wrote:

Gas station reveal shop. Drug paraphernalia and/or pornographic material are considered non-compliant. You are supposed to get a picture of them but it's hard to do when the employee becomes suspicious and frantically hides everything.

In my area the paraphernalia displays are massive and there is no way they could hide entire display cases of items. lol
After finishing my meal at McDonald's, the manager came out, asked "How was everything, sir?" and cleared my tray away....but completely ignored the other 20-30 diners.
Above scenarios happened to me several times too. I wonder how did they figure out we are the shoppers. One manager at a local McDonald asked me how was everything and cleared my table while totally ignoring all other diners too. We are required to put in shop start and end times for all shops. I wonder if the manager just check these times on the reports and playback the video surveillance to see who walked in and out of the store at that time.
That sounds about right. I think Five Guys knows who their regular shoppers are, too. They wouldn't be able to peg me since I only do each location around here 1 or 2 times a year.
I think some of you have confirmation bias in some of these posts. I've been to some restaurants the very first time ever in my life, and the manager has offered to clear my table and seemingly ignore others. There is no way they knew I was the shopper. I just let it go as they happened to be near me and are just being helpful.

When you see things like this, you are more likely to conclude you are outed because you are looking for it, but that might not be the case.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2018 04:33PM by quovatis.
Most Five Guys won't peg me as a regular. There's only two I do consistently. I've done others in Florida, Tennessee, and Michigan - obviously not often enough to be recognized.
There are people who eat there pretty regularly at the $6 fee and $12.50 reimbursement. I know there are ways to make it healthier, but I like the burgers and the little fries when I go. In fact, make it a bacon cheeseburger with extra bacon, LOL. I just won't go for $6 so I don't do them very often.
Whenever I do an ACL shop where I have to snap photos of the food and anything amiss and I am seen by one of the employees doing so (it's not always easy to be discreet), attitudes quickly change.
@quovatis wrote:

I think some of you have confirmation bias in some of these posts. I've been to some restaurants the very first time ever in my life, and the manager has offered to clear my table and seemingly ignore others. There is no way they knew I was the shopper. I just let it go as they happened to be near me and are just being helpful.

When you see things like this, you are more likely to conclude you are outed because you are looking for it, but that might not be the case.

In my case, there were other indicators. The manager spoke to another staff for a few seconds. Next thing I saw this female staff member took the cleaning supplies and closed the restrooms for cleaning. Then the manager waited for me by the exit to say "Thanks for coming. Have a great day!" Then the manager run to the drive thru driveway to clean the litters on the ground.That day, I did my instore order first then the drive through order. By the time I arrived at the drive through in my car, the manager just finished picking the last leaf on the drive thru ground. He quickly run into the back room and disappeared when he saw me approaching. At the pick up window, the manager was the one handing me the order and wishing me a good day.
I agree with you sometimes just clearing the table and engaging customers to small chat might not mean outted. In my case, I felt I was clearly outed that day.
To this day, I still wonder how did he know I was the shopper.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2018 11:40PM by Fenicia.
At restaurant last week, the chef came out from the kitchen, greeted me by name and asked about my satisfaction with the food, then went straight back into the kitchen. He passed many other seated tables getting to me.

I was the only customer there who went to the bar, certainly the only one who paid cash there (since the bartender had to go the the hotel front desk to make change) and apparently the only person that evening with a reservation, since the host greeted me by name after I simply said, "I have a reservation."

Now, there's no way they could know for sure it was s shop, but they were definitely playing it safe.
@BuffaloNY101 wrote:

When the banker says here let me get you the required materials you need just as you begin to ask you scenario.

Yeah; I think this is a sure sign he/she knows you're the shopper.

Sometimes I wonder if the manager at one bank, once suspicious of a potential customer, calls frantically around to the other branches with a heads-up that the shopper is on the move, complete with description and name.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2018 06:11PM by BirdyC.
Someone came up to me in a bar/club once and asked if I was a mystery shopper! He was a banker who had helped me "inquire" about a new account. Of course, one has to play it cool...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2018 07:30PM by chrisg0619.
@MFJohnston wrote:

When you tell the valet parking attendant that you are not a hotel guest (as required) and he replies, "Why not use the free street parking? The only people who use valet here are hotel guests and mystery shoppers." #@?! scenario.


I have said this before, some shops know why the mystery shoppers are by the questions and things you have to do on the guidelines. The guidelines give you away.
I use to do a clothing store, as a mystery shopper. You had to go to 4 areas and count a total of 650 items. The employees would see me and get ahead of me to check that section. LOL Sometimes the guidelines give you way as a mystery shopper.
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