What are some funny or out of the ordinary things that have happened while shopping?

Walked in on a salesman getting a lap dance at a wireless store shop. Asked what I needed. I said service and a new phone. He asked for my phone. Looked at it, handed it back and said no you don't. Then handed me a pricing sheet and said go online.

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During a fast food shop an employee was sitting at a table with friends. A lot of screaming back and forth with employees behind the counter. When I turned to leave the people at the table were flipping off the employees behind the counter. Directly in front of me as I walked to the door. Did I mention this was a video shop?

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.
You just can't make this stuff up !!

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.
I got screamed at ( twice) couple of days ago on a phone shop. The employee said that there are a "lot of people like me" who make appointments for oil change and then don't show up. He asked my name and address which I had gotten from Zillow. He said that he knew for a fact that the address does not exist!! It was a recorded call. He flat out refused to help me. I gave up and pretended to be frustrated saying that I would make the appointment elsewhere.

The second time was when I asked an associate his name. He said that he didn't know what was happening and he was just trying to do his job. He said he didn't give his name to just anybody and he was the service manager. That was recorded too. Both were Bestmark calls and got approved.
I love it when recorded phone shops go south on the part of the other party, such as you said @Mum. I get to show off my cool as a cucumber skills.
Was doing a high end restaurant shop and caught one of the waitstaff in the restroom doing drugs. That was a fun report!

Went to another location and overheard the employees complain about being mystery shopped and a low score etc from a prior shopper as I was there shopping them.

Been asked if I was a mystery shopper several times, played it off and have never been identified.

Watched a bartender engage in fire breathing in a bar and almost catch the bar on fire.

Did a hotel shop and was evaluated due to a fire in the kitchen.

Did another hotel shop and the ceiling in the room was moldy and falling down. Advised the front desk staff and was told they were sold out, sorry. Same front desk agent was having "affairs" with her boyfriend or a guest (not sure which) saw them in the office and this was a national chain of moderate hotels. No, I won't be returning to that hotel anytime soon.

Had a restaurant shop where I saw numerous roaches crawling around the kitchen area. No, thanks I'm really not that hungry. I could not wait to get out of there.

Did a bar shop in a hotel, where the bartender was hitting on me and kept trying to give me free drinks and tried to have me bring him up to my room. Another fun report.

These are the most memorable ones in about 10 years of doing this.
I remember one from Best Buy a couple of years ago. I was there waiting to get information on a new plan and the associate was flirting with a customer. They talked about High school, Karaoke and how they had stuff in common while poor old me waited helplessly. Two other associates came by who offered to help me and I couldn't refuse. I had been standing there for more than 10 minutes just listening to " Oh Maaaaai Gauuuud, Faur reaaaals, NOOOO way." Other associates started making very nasty comments about their colleague who now had a date for Friday. One of them even made a derogatory comment about the dress of the woman he was flirting with. I filled out the report but didn't mention anything other than the fact that I did not get any assistance for 10 minutes when an employee was standing right in my face.
I just remembered ..... My partner and I walked out of the elevator and into a crime scene - a murder. We just missed getting into the same elevator as the dying, now dead, guy. They didn't even have the scene taped off yet. The security team escorted us through the back of the house to the second level of the hotel and back to the casino I went. They never close the casinos.
I had a trifecta (3 shops in one location) at a bank. While I was in the waiting area, I heard someone ask the greeter what company did their mystery shopping. I nearly fainted when the greeter said one of the companies I was there for.

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
Had an assignment to try to purchase drugs from an employee at a hotel. I didn't want the drugs but was able to make a buy if I wanted it....was great for the scheduler!!
@SoCalMama wrote:

I just remembered ..... My partner and I walked out of the elevator and into a crime scene - a murder. We just missed getting into the same elevator as the dying, now dead, guy. They didn't even have the scene taped off yet. The security team escorted us through the back of the house to the second level of the hotel and back to the casino I went. They never close the casinos.

Can not top that...
Many years ago I did a visit for Systemchec (no longer in business and hasn't been for a long time which Is why i named them here). I did a dining place along the lines of Chili's. The visit required going to the bar first, which I did. I am sitting next to some guy and I clearly see he and the bartender had a "thing" going on. He had a salad in front of him, and then she brought him a beer and some wings. She took some of the wings from his plate and put them on a plate of her own so she could have some. This bar was a "U-shaped" one where everyone could see everyone else at the bar and the bartender. She served the guests but also ate some of the wings. The guy next to me obviously had no idea who I was although we did talk some. He later tells me how it is nice to know the bartender and to be able to get some free stuff. I say very little other than something like "OK." Until I got home and wrote my report. One I sense the bartender was not happy to see.

I did a breakfast buffet near Disneyland. I had to go after 9A and with a guest. I was to pay with cash and leave the check there but get the pertinent info from it. The goal was to see if servers were re-using the checks left behind and pocketing the money. I went 4 times and all was good. The 5th time I arrived at 9:05A, was seated ASAP and ordered the buffet at 9:10. We go get our food and come back about 9:15 to see a check already waiting for us on the table. With a time stamp of 8:15A, or about an hour earlier. I noted all of that and did the visit. When done I called Systemchec on their 800-number from a pay phone (tells you how long ago this was) where no employees were near or would be and let them know. This server was there the first 4 times I was there and this 5th time. I went back one more time. She was not there.

I do not feel bad about it. As I have said many times before: I have NEVER gotten someone fired. They did. THEIR actions caused THEM to be fired - not me. The employees who did their job correctly on my visits never got fired. Only those who did not. I don't feel 1% bad about any of the handful, or so, people who lost their job because of my visit/report. THEIR actions got THEM fired - not my report - which only said what THEY did. I know my report got someone promoted because my report was glowing about her.
My last Assisted Living home had the target/Mgr. like me, and acting like we were friends. I was waiting for her call back and it came three weeks later to wish me a Happy Chanukah and tell me she was invited to her friends for the first night? She asked how my sister was doing and if we had made a decision, and to stop by and say hello......I wiggled out of it.

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
I did a shop that included a phone call the day before the visit.
The call was answered with a rather interesting greeting. Instead of hello, the employee said "what upppp b**ch?"

I suspect that report didnt go well for them.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2018 09:14PM by jgoodwin.
I think the oddest experience I had was when I was on a military base and the shop was for a base exchange. I saw an employee emptying the shelves of a certain set of sheets. When I asked if something was wrong with the sheets she had me follow her to where she had a stack of these sheets, marked down for a very good price. I told her I was interested in getting a few sets of these sheets. She then said something like she wanted the employees to get a chance to buy them. She asked me to come a few minutes later after she'd checked with her boss. I returned and met her manager who looked at me like "I know you're the shopper-I hope you'll write this up for me!" and told the employee to give me the sheets I had requested. I think she asked the employee to put the sheets back on the shelf.

Well, this certainly wasn't correct behavior for an employee of a military exchange. This unusual, unethical, and possibly illegal activity caused me a several page write up of the events that transpired. When I came back in following months, that employee was no longer working there.

I agree with the others that have written: I didn't cause the person to be fired, their bad behavior caused their dismissal. I purchased two sets of sheets that day, and still have a set on my guest room bed.
While doing a recorded storage center shop I got hit on the head. The employee had pulled up the door, and I quickly stepped in. The door rebounded and smacked me on the head. A few days later someone from the storage company called to get more details and ensure I was okay.

The most bizarre incident happened in a retail store. I watched the store manager perform an exorcism on an employee and her friend. That was nuts.
I totally forgot about another good one!

I was doing undercover video for illegal cable broadcasting. Was in a not-so-great area of town so I took my husband with me and the event that we were trying to capture was a PPV event.

Show up at the first bar and my husband and I clearly stick out like a sore thumb. Get the required video and get the heck out before security bounces us. Go across town to the second bar and right before we walk in we see a whole bunch a people scrambling out of the bar like cockroaches. As we walk up, a whole bunch of police cars come over and bust the place. I have no idea what they were doing, my guess is some kind of drugs or money laundering. Had to call the scheduler at 11 p.m. and explain what was going on and why I couldn't get into the bar even though they confirmed it was open. I'm sure they had fun watching the video of The Sting operation and SWAT busting the bar down. 5 minutes earlier and we would have been caught up in it. Definitely not worth it!

Was doing an undercover gas station once. Small gas station in the middle of town. Owner didn't like the fact that was taking pictures and confronted me with a knife. I'm not doing those anymore either. Too many cameras! Much easier to do a reveal once you do the customer service portion and the sneak around and take pictures of the outside of the open gas station.
Had a cell shop a few weeks ago. The report wasn't hard to begin with, and the employee made it even easier for me. Invited me into the office and went over the phones on the computer screen. Didn't mention any features or benefits and didn't try to sway me towards either operating system. Even encouraged me to wait for Black Friday sales.

The kicker is that I took the job because I was in the market for two new phones. This store wasn't with my carrier, but those lines weren't under contract. I ended up walking a block over to my carrier's location and bought my own upgrade. My SO got his upgrade on Black Friday, at a kiosk I had shopped earlier in the same day.
I did the same at the mall jewelry that owns them all and went on the wrong corner. No way I could have gone the 25 feet away and shopped the right one I'd been busted....I argued that they were all the same and what difference did it make but was denied. I no longer do $11 mall shops anyway.
I was doing an appliance shop for refrigerators. The employee looked at me rolling her eyes and asked “are you done asking questions yet? I really need to go talk to my supervisor.”
I had just stepped up to make a purchase at a clothing store and the cashier ignored me while having a conversation with her coworker. The cashier said "I should just quit this job" and all I could think was "I can help you with that". Unfortunately the report only had a question "Did the cashier greet you?" and specifically said they don't want comments so I could not report the statement the cashier said.
Two stories ...

Story One -- During a fast food drive-through shop, I waited at the pick-up window for my order and witnessed a cat-fight when the drive-through window attendant asked another crew member for the sandwich to fill my order. While I sat in my vehicle, still waiting for my food order, one crew member tried to break up the fight, the manager (all 4 feet 8 inches of her) ordered the two crew members to quit fighting, and another crew member shouted that he was calling 911. I continued to wait, after all, I was in the middle of a shop and I am a committed shopper. smiling smiley During the time I waited, the police appeared and began interviewing the crew members. Eventually a crew member (the crew member who announced that he was dialing 911) realized I was sitting at the window and walked over to apologize for the delay. He asked what I ordered and tried to fill my order. Unfortunately, the crew members who were tasked with preparing food were as captivated by the fight fiasco as was I so my order had not yet been prepared. The crew member told the manager what I ordered and the manager prepared my order. The manager presented the order with an apology and I drove off ... only to realize that I was not given a receipt. I had park and enter the restaurant to ask for the receipt, walking past the police as they handcuffed one of the fight participants. Normally, I would have written up my report explaining that I did not have a receipt but I did not think the MSC would believe my adventure without at least a receipt to back me up.

Story Two -- During a fast food dine-in shop with a reveal, I ordered and received my food after a l-o-n-g wait. I shuffled off to a corner table to complete the paperwork for the reveal portion of the shop and approached the register counter to request time with the manager to share the results of the mystery shop. The manager asked me to wait for a few minutes. Because the store was very busy, I waited ... and waited ... and waited. After waiting more than 20 minutes, I approached the register counter again, joining the register line to ask if the manager had just a few minutes to speak with me. While I waited in the line, a customer waiting for his order complained LOUDLY to the cashier because his order was not yet ready. He argued with the cashier and accused her of preparing other orders before his. The manager intervened in an attempt to diffuse the situation but the customer escalated instead by yelling more loudly, demanding a refund, pushing a pickle container at a crew member, and attempting to leap over the counter. Horrified and worried about the employees, I called 911 to report the incident. The police showed up within 2 minutes and tracked down the customer who, by the time the police arrived, had returned to his truck and was leaving the scene. I'm not sure what happened to the customer because I met with the manager while the police dealt with the customer. I would hope the customer learned some proper personal interaction skills ... but I suspect not.
I walked into a carrier store to shop a brand of cellphone. Give the greeter a false name. I am browsing the store waiting for my name to be called. I walked by the greeter and she says, "I know you. You used to shop at big box electronics store. In fact doesn't your name begin with n---. The last time I talked to you, you bought a hard drive." The greeter was right on all points. She even remembered my name from over three years before.

She said, "We would see you walk in and call the departments and tell them that you were there." I said that it didn't seem to have much affect. Every shop that I did at that location, the employees would miss one or two points during every shop. And I would be shopping multiple departments. The greeter agreed that some of the employees were not the most diligent and that was one reason why she left.

I was happy to tell her that I was not shopping her brand that day. She didn't figure out that I was there to shop a cellphone brand.
It started with a recorded telephone bank shop which I needed to ask a few questions about my existing account. No problems there but days later I was contacted by the bank that someone had stolen my identity and that my account was being reissued and that i needed to file a report with the police department. Troublesome but my life recovered.
Six months later or so, I decided to do several bank shops that were with Financial Advisors. I was assigned three on the same day. Went to the first one and it went of without a hitch. Went to the second that had a different advisor, of course, and got some strange looks when I checked in. The advisor was cold and seemed not to be giving me lots of information. About 10 minutes in the bank manager barged in and started asking me questions about my earlier visit to the first bank. I denied being there and they kept drilling me. I didn't want to reveal that I was a shopper so I told them I would come back at another time and started my exit. I was met at the door by the police to haul me to jail! I presented my paperwork saying that I was really who I said I was and they still gave me the eye and followed me to my car. It was only when I presented my car registration did they let me go!

What really happened was the first advisor signed me in as his customer on the computer and the second advisor's secretary could see it in the system which caused the alert. When they got to checking they saw the identity theft on file and thought I was the thief! Oh, my gosh, I was ready to wet my pants! I keep my distance with banking now.
I've told this story before, but not in this thread, or recently, so I'll tell it again.

Long ago, when McDonald's was being shopped, I accepted one 175 miles away from home.

I went inside, everything went fine. Got my tray of food, found an empty seat in a crowded room, got out my book to read, and started enjoying my meal.

It gradually dawned on me that people seemed to be watching me.

Looking at me. Staring at me.

I left my tray and book, and hustled to the ladies' room. Did I have spaghetti in my hair? Was there a giant spider sitting on top of my head? WHAT? Why was everyone staring at me?

I could find nothing amiss.

As I moved back to my seat, I realized that the seat I had taken -- the only empty seat of over 100 -- was directly UNDER a large screen TV showing a national playoff game of college football. And, of course, OUR team was in the playoff game!

Go, Huskers!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2018 06:59PM by ceasesmith.
It was my first year mystery shopping, and I carried a small recording device in my front coat pocket on every shop. I was performing a postal shop, finishing up, just about to leave, when I accidentally leaned against the counter. “Entered post office 10:42 AM!” boomed my voice from my recorder. I hastily turned and raced from the post office, terrified. I was sure I had been “made” and would find out that shop had been disqualified. I got lucky. The shop was accepted. But I had several bad days. I laugh about it now.
I was set to shop a casual, sit-down regional Americana chain. I have shopped several locations of this chain over the past five years or so, with no issues. I conduct the pre-visit call and am told that they are closed through the weekend due to plumbing issues. Two days later, the local news affiliate broadcasts that his location is closed indefinitely due a rat infestation. Dodged a bullet on this one!
I was scheduled to shop the IRS once. The first time I tried, I had a flat and didn't make it there until after closing time. Called the scheduler who understood and re-scheduled me for the next day. Got there earlier with my book, prepared to wait (always a wait at the IRS!). Suddenly an alarm went off and we were advised to vacate the building and were sent to a parking lot where we were to wait until directed otherwise. After standing out there for an hour, an employee came out and told us all to go home. Said the office was closed for the rest of the day. I went over to ask what had happened so I could get her name for the report. Filled it out and got paid, without ever actually shopping the IRS! Never found out what had happened, either.
I had the manager of a cell phone store try to bribe me. It was an announced audit and the store didn't do well. At the end, you had to go over the findings and get the manager's signature on the report form. He wasn't very subtle with the 1st $50 bill he sort of pulled out of his shirt pocket. Even less so with the 2nd one. I looked at them and said, "Sure, I'll go ahead and change my report. Now i have to add your attempt to bribe me." He refused to sign the report.
Later, he claimed I was lying about the bribe and instead, tried to say I asked him for a bribe to give him a better report.
I tape all my shops, and sent the MS Company the audio file.
I ended up getting a bonus and personal call from one of the cell phone company execs thanking me for my report and my integrity.
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