Hotel shops with 4 guests

I'm going to Orlando in May. We are 2 adult and 2 kids (6 and 8 years old). 1 bedroom with 2 bed are enough for us. I found a hotel mystery shop that says "can bring 1 guest".
If we go 4 people instead of 2 people, without telling the mystery shop company, is there a risk that the company knows about it and refuse to refund me? Also, at the hotel check-in, can I just say that we are 2 people, and bring my kids in the room later?
I'd like to do things without cheating, but I couldn't see a hotel mystery shop that allows to bring more than 1 guest.

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The hotel can reject your report because you didn't follow the guidelines. One guest is one guest. If the hotel gets wind of it, you may not be paid. Your plan is risky!
Agree with bestofbothworlds. Not following any shop guidelines puts you at risk of not getting the shop approved. There could be video at the hotel they review that would show you with more than 2 guests.
Why don't you ask the scheduler if it would be okay to include your kids? That way you will know in advance and ease your mind. I would not do it without approval. Also, if they approve it, print and/or save the correspondence in case they come back later with denials or questions. Certainly don't try to do it on the sly and sneak your kids in. Way too much could go wrong. Perhaps they will say no kids due to distractions or client requirements. Then you'll know for sure.

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

Zen Shin Talks
I've asked a scheduler and was told to lay low with the kids and that I could still only bring one guest to the restaurant visits. It's definitely something to clear with the scheduler in advance though.

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

I've asked a scheduler and was told to lay low with the kids and that I could still only bring one guest to the restaurant visits. It's definitely something to clear with the scheduler in advance though.

Agreed and same. But the kids are too young to be left alone. So If it requires an adult be with you for restaurants you are out of luck unless you get a babysitter (which I did do once for my then 4 year old - but it was a very high end property that was worth it for me to go out of pocket for a babysitter).
Even if I would have been able to find a hotel shop that allowed kids when my kids were young, there is no way I would have wanted to take them. And they were generally well-behaved. I don't even like to do hotels on vacation with just me and my husband. Why would you want to be cooped up in the hotel completing the required tasks and observations writing a report and miss out on time spent making memories on your vacation?
Oh, but you might want to consider a timeshare shop. Those usually only involve your 90-minute sales interaction instead of the engineering, housekeeping, bar, and dining outlet observations that are required with with most hotel shops. And, you might be able to work it where you do the presentation on the day before you leave and can write the report when you get home. Not sure if you can bring kids on those, but I think you would stand a better chance on that.
@miamiparis wrote:

I'd like to do things without cheating...

Based on your post, I don’t believe that.

It depends on what hotel shop you have found. If it requires bar/dinner, as MickeyB stated, you’ll need a babysitter.
It's definitely worth asking the scheduler. I had a situation where my family's travel plans changed suddenly. I offered to reschedule my hotel shop but also asked if it was okay to bring my son and husband and do it as planned. The scheduler said having the three of us (instead of the initial just me) was fine, though I think I could only bring one person for the meal.
I used to do a high end small local chain of restaurants. At one point after about two years those restaurants disappeared from the msc website. A few months later I was talking to a scheduler and asked if that chain was coming back anytime soon. She told me that a shopper had brought 2 children on the 2 adults only shop and the client saw this on video. They promptly fired the msc from that lucrative job.
There may be many other repercussions to your "not cheating " plan than you think.
Timeshares do allow kids but they have to be old enough to leave in room for presentation
They are usually condos, not rooms .
You'll be fine, most hotels don't charge for kids anyway. You can still leave them off the reservation. Just don't take them on the hotel restaurant shop if you have one of those.
I would only do it if the MSC gave me the OK. I assume I am always being video recorded. So, no trying to do anything sneaky.
@kristimullisgmail.com wrote:

You'll be fine, most hotels don't charge for kids anyway. You can still leave them off the reservation. Just don't take them on the hotel restaurant shop if you have one of those.

You probably shouldn't be giving advice on hotel shops.
[www.mysteryshopforum.com]

Didn't you also agree to a code of ethics when you got your MSPA Gold cert?
I would ask. I have definitely taken kids with me before and it’s been fine. All above board. The key is to make sure it’s allowed.

Liz
Not worth it. Hotels in Orlando can be had on the cheap. Shared Insight recently posted a very easy route of Orlando shops. Tiny report, minimal time. You could probably pay for your hotel with <3 hours' worth of work.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
The last hotel shop I did, most of my time was spent in my room trying to complete all the sections of the report. Having my kids along with me would have driven me crazy! Although possible, I would not recommend.
@miamiparis wrote:

I'm going to Orlando in May. We are 2 adult and 2 kids (6 and 8 years old). 1 bedroom with 2 bed are enough for us. I found a hotel mystery shop that says "can bring 1 guest".
If we go 4 people instead of 2 people, without telling the mystery shop company, is there a risk that the company knows about it and refuse to refund me? Also, at the hotel check-in, can I just say that we are 2 people, and bring my kids in the room later?
I'd like to do things without cheating, but I couldn't see a hotel mystery shop that allows to bring more than 1 guest.

As an ex-hotel AGM, I can tell you with 100% certainty if I realized you had 2 kids with you, plus an adult, that I am refusing the shop.
As a scheduler, I had to reject a hotel shop where the manager complained that the shopper had brought along additional unreported family members.

It's a foolish move to do that without advance permission.
We've brought kids on hotel shops before, but always check with a scheduler. The kids can swim with their Dad while I enjoy peace and quiet while typing up the report.
@SteveSoCal wrote:

As a scheduler, I had to reject a hotel shop where the manager complained that the shopper had brought along additional unreported family members.

It's a foolish move to do that without advance permission.

Yeah, there are reasons why this is bad and affects the results. Obviously, I am a shopper now and don't do hotel shops due to my past experience, but here's one scenario (true story) where a kid affects the result: parent complains towel dirty with blood in bathroom. Desk clerk remembered they had McDonald's items when they checked in. Desk clerk goes to room, sees dirty towel. Obviously ketchup the size of a child's finger. The child obviously dirtied the towel, but the desk clerk is not going to say that to the guest and is simply going to rectify the situation. However, don't think that a note isn't going to be added in your internal guest notes about you, which is going to cause the desk to look at you with extra attention/skepticism about the rest of your stay if something happens.

Now let's say this was the shopper. Hotel is going to be dinged for housekeeping on a report when they should not have been.

Also, if your kids are with you at check in, the clerk will be short with you because they assume you just want to get to your room and handle them and settle them in. This can then cause them to skip a key question that you will address on your report, that would have otherwise been asked.

Children, being overly noisy can disrupt the guest next door. That in turn will affect the service you get if they complain about that noise. Children can be pushy in the breakfast area, which in turn can affect the service you get by the breakfast attendant.

I don't do hotel shops, but my past life knows why this rule exists. I can go on, and on with more examples. So, most definitely, if I found our shopper had kids, I would decline the report and mention that. They will affect the hotel's score, one way or the other, and likely not in a positive way.
Start with ACL. No pay but easy shops, and reimbursement, so you can earn more rewards points. They are good training if you want to move up to more demanding hotel shops. AND, no matter how "fancy" any hotel is, ALWAYS check out the Trip Adviser reviews and the "bed bug alerts" before making a final commitment.

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 would never do this. If the guidelines say one guest, then it's one guest. Not two more people. I would not even consider 4 people. I would only do this shop with one guest. It is okay to ask your scheduler but I always stick to the guidelines.
I have brought my kids when it’s approved, but I wouldn’t do it unless it was in the guidelines or in an email. My husband is also a shopper and we work well together to balance the shop needs and the kids. We’ve had good experiences.
Ask your scheduler for the approval; explain and let them know that you are able to do the job and that family members wil not a distraction
Generally speaking, the folio would list the number of adults and children, such as 2/2. And FWIW, I have a hard time believing someone would come on to a mystery shop forum and ask how to go about cheating the system.
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