What was the strangest mystery shop you ever had to do?

Just curious, what all odd/strange/unique shops have you completed?

I think my strangest mystery shop was to get a urinalysis drug test completed. I had paperwork claiming that I was a newly hired truck driver and needed a drug test for the Department of Transportation. The report wanted to check for all the pieces that the DOT requires for a drug test to be valid (temperature sensor on the collection cup, specific instructions provided, if the employee initialed the specimen cup within a specific time frame, etc)

Anybody else have any unique MS stories?

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None. I never HAVE to do any shop. As an IC, I only do the work I want to do.

That said, attempting to bribe a guy into letting me illegally wire money was interesting.... As was posing as somebody trying to open a bank account that would receive large international deposits from certain questionable countries.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I did not like the bribe shop. Fortunately, the employee was perfect, and I could scurry home with my heart pounding and only a mild fear of being investigated by the Fed... Then there were the shops for customers only. I was not told that only customers were qualified for the product/service. I was here. I was there. I was not a customer anywhere. At each location, I was given the politest bum's rush imaginable. I still wonder if the entire point of the shop was to test the employees on their ability to identify customers and non-customers.

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. - John Muir
I don't do any job I don't want to do, but Ikea was my most difficult and waiting for pay the most annoying.

Live consciously....
I did an adult store shop once. It was super awkward asking the employee for sex toy recommendations. It was worth it though. The scheduler was desperate and heavily bonused it. Also have done merchandising for adult stores too. That one's not as bad.
@azncollege wrote:

I did an adult store shop once. It was super awkward asking the employee for sex toy recommendations. It was worth it though. The scheduler was desperate and heavily bonused it. Also have done merchandising for adult stores too. That one's not as bad.

Hah, I love the adult toy shops, they're one of my favorites. Usually can get them bonused because people are uncomfortable with them, and I have no problems at all with asking employees questions. Almost everything in our "marriage" drawer has come from mystery shops. I'm worried I'll get caught out because I do them basically every 60 days like clockwork once the rotation limit is up.
I had to go to GNC and take random pictures of the stocked shelves. I was reimbursed for an item I needed. When I was checking out, it was then that I realized the cash register was broken and I had to pay cash. Hence the shop.

"Been stuck in the middle of a vendetta between me and myself" -Citizen Cope
@MFJohnston wrote:

None. I never HAVE to do any shop. As an IC, I only do the work I want to do.

That said, attempting to bribe a guy into letting me illegally wire money was interesting.... As was posing as somebody trying to open a bank account that would receive large international deposits from certain questionable countries.

"Had" was definitely the wrong word to use. Either the strangest shop you completed, or even just the strangest one you saw listed.

I can't imagine doing a shop that requires you to bribe people. Honestly I don't even like doing the alcohol ID audits that can lead to somebody getting fired
Checking toilet flush holes with a hand-held mirror...and climbing on a step ladder, that the shopper carried with them, to check the air freshener thingy. I won't admit to doing it, though I might have 12 years ago or so.

*****************************************************************************
A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.

Zen Shin Talks
@awestover89 wrote:

Just curious, what all odd/strange/unique shops have you completed?

I think my strangest mystery shop was to get a urinalysis drug test completed. I had paperwork claiming that I was a newly hired truck driver and needed a drug test for the Department of Transportation. The report wanted to check for all the pieces that the DOT requires for a drug test to be valid (temperature sensor on the collection cup, specific instructions provided, if the employee initialed the specimen cup within a specific time frame, etc)

Anybody else have any unique MS stories?

I do these whenever I can. They are very, very easy and take about 15 minutes usually. I have even done blood draws for the same MSC.
@azncollege wrote:

I did an adult store shop once. It was super awkward asking the employee for sex toy recommendations. It was worth it though. The scheduler was desperate and heavily bonused it. Also have done merchandising for adult stores too. That one's not as bad.

I did one too. I couldn't get myself to spend the $35 reimbursement and bought some spray cologne. My husband wanted nothing to do with the place either. Weird.
Maybe not strange, but certainly unique. I once did a 55 & over new home community shop with a popular forum member that I met for the first time. I had to portray her son who was buying her a home. Meanwhile, the salesman completely ignores me, and spends all his time with the forum member (this was a video shop), treating her like a star.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2019 04:41AM by Eric in Tampa.
@MsJudi wrote:

Checking toilet flush holes with a hand-held mirror...and climbing on a step ladder, that the shopper carried with them, to check the air freshener thingy. I won't admit to doing it, though I might have 12 years ago or so.

Loved them and hated them. They were well bonused by a low paying popular MS. I did all of them late in the evening and never revealed myself because I did most of the locations as regular mystery shops as well.

When I was a newbie, I have bought a time share with a $4k check that I was worried they would cash it, despite the MS insisting nothing like that would happen. Drug testing is done routinely for years, as is adult shops. My strangest was to go to a strip club that is shopped monthly for customer service!
Local cannabis dispensaries in my area often do shops involving photographing various bongs, pipes, etc. Sometimes I also get to buy weed and lighters.
@globalinhabitant wrote:

Local cannabis dispensaries in my area often do shops involving photographing various bongs, pipes, etc. Sometimes I also get to buy weed and lighters.

I am near these types of shops, in a non-legal state. I think we can have edibles here?
To be safe, or just to stay out of jail, I do not do these shops. I also do not do the product.

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. - John Muir
Back in the prior decade, a security company decided to "test the waters" of mystery shopping and sent me to hand marked bills to a missionary priest; as the story went, he was suspected of scamming donations. It paid $40, with a report that was very easy.
I don't know about strange, but this one was definitely awkward: on a tax shop, with a fake SS number and fake W-2 provided by the client, when I handed over the w-2, the preparer just about jumped out of his chair. The business on the fake W-2 was in the same parking lot! "I've never seen you there," he said. "Oh, I'm pretty well hidden in the back office." "Hmmm," he continued, "this doesn't look like the W-2s for the other employees." He got up, went into the back office, and came back with a sheaf of filed taxes. "Yours looks totally different, and doesn't have the same EIN as these do."

Gulp.

"Oh, I just probably work in a different division than those other employees."

(Scheduler's response to this: Omigod, you're GOOD!)

Awkward, awkward, AWKWARD!!!
That was a dumb move on the MSC's part!

@ceasesmith wrote:

I don't know about strange, but this one was definitely awkward: on a tax shop, with a fake SS number and fake W-2 provided by the client, when I handed over the w-2, the preparer just about jumped out of his chair. The business on the fake W-2 was in the same parking lot! "I've never seen you there," he said. "Oh, I'm pretty well hidden in the back office." "Hmmm," he continued, "this doesn't look like the W-2s for the other employees." He got up, went into the back office, and came back with a sheaf of filed taxes. "Yours looks totally different, and doesn't have the same EIN as these do."

Gulp.

"Oh, I just probably work in a different division than those other employees."

(Scheduler's response to this: Omigod, you're GOOD!)

Awkward, awkward, AWKWARD!!!

"Been stuck in the middle of a vendetta between me and myself" -Citizen Cope
@quovatis @Runnindemredlights HS Brands does adult store and strip club shops. Intellishop occasionally does adult store merchandising shops.
MCP has them in my area, and they are the kind that truck driver's might frequent and the stores have a masculine sounding name. The scheduler puts "Fun and Easy" in the subject line. Eh, gross. KSS schedules these shops.

@quovatis wrote:

haha What MSC has adult stores? I've never seen those.
Easy one for me.

I was flown across the country in the middle of the night to arrive early when the store opened. The airline ticket was over $1000 one-way. The return was more like $300.

The client was trying to track down a very expensive item that was being sold as new, but was really a re-sale item. The items had a pedigree, much like a pink slip. I had to step-out to "discuss with my husband" on the phone, who was really the MSC owner, who was also in contact with the client overseas. The whole thing was crazy, scary, sketchy. I had a ton of cash on me to pay for the item, but was supposed to back out at the last second if I could see whose name was on the "title". I got the information that I needed and got the heck out of there.

The job paid really well. Plus, they gave me two nights in a hotel of my choice and meals. Once the job was done, it was a nice mini-vacation.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I've done a ton of adult stores. Seen one, seen them all. I was a nurse in my 20's. Body parts and toys don't phase me. I actually put some of that stuff on eBay. One promotion was "free gift wrap." It was a metal bucket that they put a sticker on and filled with tissue paper. I took off the sticker and used it for Girl Scout Cookie Share donations for years. Nobody knew where I got it. smiling smiley
I've done some decent adult stores that carried pretty lingerie and sex toys, but not the kind of adult stores that are located near truck stops (that I am reasonably sure don't carry lingerie--unless truckers like to cross dress?).
@JASFLALMT wrote:

I've done some decent adult stores that carried pretty lingerie and sex toys, but not the kind of adult stores that are located near truck stops (that I am reasonably sure don't carry lingerie--unless truckers like to cross dress?).

One that I shopped in Illinois was basically a truck stop (it was directly across the street from an actual truck stop, and most of the clientele was obviously truckers) They did definitely have a lot more toys and movies than lingerie, but they did have some. I think it was more oriented as gifts for the girl back home than for the truckers themselves.

The shop I do most of the time in Florida is half toy half costume/lingerie, with no videos/magazines. The one I did in Alaska was a combination with a bit of everything (but much less truck stop-esque)

I've stopped getting bonuses though, that's the only real sad part. It's not that people are doing them either, I constantly get the emails from the scheduler, but they seem to just move the date further and further out rather than bonus them. Still, I do my shop like clockwork every time the rotation limit is reached. I'm getting quite the collection saved up
@shopperbob wrote:

Back in the prior decade, a security company decided to "test the waters" of mystery shopping and sent me to hand marked bills to a missionary priest; as the story went, he was suspected of scamming donations. It paid $40, with a report that was very easy.


You must have gotten them! My target priest didn't even show up on the appointed day! Still got paid after returning marked bills to the MSC.

sestrahelena
@awestover89 wrote:

Just curious, what all odd/strange/unique shops have you completed?

I think my strangest mystery shop was to get a urinalysis drug test completed. I had paperwork claiming that I was a newly hired truck driver and needed a drug test for the Department of Transportation. The report wanted to check for all the pieces that the DOT requires for a drug test to be valid (temperature sensor on the collection cup, specific instructions provided, if the employee initialed the specimen cup within a specific time frame, etc)

Anybody else have any unique MS stories?
I did this one a few times. Unfortunately, the associate left me alone with the urine cup (unsealed) and I had to report that. As I recalled it was about 15-22 seconds left alone, but long enough for someone to tamper with the specimen cup..The client wants to know if they followed the rules but in this case, they did not. tongue sticking out smiley
The most awkward shop I did was going in-person to a bank and telling them an account I opened was unauthorized. What was supposed to happen is the banker simply tells me to call a number and I leave. But the banker I got was particularly thorough, and she investigated the case in front of me. She pulled up my signature from when I opened the account and compared it to my drivers license and commented that it matched perfectly (and showed this to me on the computer). The banker got on the phone and explained her findings and was digging deeper. I feigned getting a text, and told the banker I had a family emergency and had to leave immediately. It worked, and I was given the number to call and got paid, but I'm not doing that again. I got letters in the mail from the bank about my inquiry, even though in the follow-up phone call I revealed myself and they were supposed to clear all the complaints.
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