Optional really not optional?!?

"Photo(s) if you see ‘anything amiss’ –not required but requested"

Does this mean that you MUST take the picture? I got an email asking why I did not include a picture of something that was "amiss." I was asked to please explain why I did not take the picture. I sent 15 photos. I did not take a photo of one of the things I mentioned in the report.

I really try to do a good job with these reports. I spent hours completing this shop. I did not think I had missed anything if the guidelines said "not required."

What do you think?

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I'm with you, Niner Not required means just that.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/01/2019 11:36PM by bestofbothworlds.
This sounds like an ACL guideline. I have always read that as meaning if you see something amiss then you should take a photo of it but it is not counted as one of the required photos, of which there is normally an exact list. IE, The hotel shop requires 8 specific photos and anything amiss is an additional photo, not to be include in the 8 "required" photos. Basically saying if the shop requires 8 photos and you take a photo of something that is amiss you shouldn't then say oh yay I only have to take 7 of the required photos because this one makes #8.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
That makes sense, that if you see "something amiss" that they want a picture, but that taking a picture of something amiss is not required, but if you see an issue, take a picture.

I described the problem, but did not specifically take a picture of it. I did have a picture that had the issue, so I sent that.

I was also asked if I went with more than one person. No, my husband, as always. I can't imagine where that one came from. They are welcome to check that video we are always told about.
I agree it's poor wording though!

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@bestofbothworlds wrote:

I'm with you, Niner Not required means just that.

I asked them directly, but have not heard back. I took all of the other listed photos that were "required."
Yeah, if it is ACL, they talk a big talk but they won't decline the shop for it. They'll just send a "we're gonna be really nice and take this shop even though you didn't do exactly what we wanted" email to make you feel bad and try harder the next time. It's their carrot/stick method.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
This was an expensive place that I would not hsve gone to, and the report took me hours. I included a play by play of the night and what I thought were photos of everything.
It sounds like a Coyle shop if it took that long and had that many details. Hope it was worth it...
It was not a Coyle shop. They give me a 100 and leave me alone. I like that trade better. Five hours of my time writing, $15 fee, and $200+ dinner.

This was $100 for dinner, three hours writing, and being accused of taking more than one person with me. I am an honest person, and take pride in that, so questioning my integrity does not sit well.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/2019 12:01AM by Niner.
I've done a $125 lunch from them and it wasn't that many details or writing. At least you got the full dining experience for $200.
The lunch was for Coyle? I have not seen a Coyle shop that did not have a lot of details, except for the first one I ever did. The reports have 242 questions.
@bgriffin wrote:

Yeah, if it is ACL, they talk a big talk but they won't decline the shop for it.

Crap. I cancelled a shop with ACL because I forgot a food photo. I mentioned in an e-mail to the scheduler and she suggested filling out the report anyway and wait to see what the editor says. The report's over an hour to fill out so I just said hell with it and cancelled.
Ohhh, that's a tough one to cancel. I always make sure I take the photo of the food first. So far I haven't forgotten yet. Forgetting to make an observation here and there, now that'something I've done. Fortunately I've always had someone with me to pick up the slack or to remind me.
There's usually a hushed "stoppp!!!" coming from my table as my husband gets ready to eat the food before I can take a picture.
I forgot a bathroom photo once wit ACL. I noted it in the comment section they have that goes to them only. I got an email from the editor saying he would put it through but wasn't sure if it would be accepted or not. It was accepted.
I don't think the restroom photo is ever optional with ACL. It is one of the reasons I do not take some of their retail shops
There is a difference between being "optional" and "can get away with missing it." This will vary more by client than MSC.

If you miss a single photo with any MSC, they will want to get your report approved, anyhow. The last thing they ever want to do is reject a shop, upset the shopper, and have to reschedule it. So, if you do a restaurant shop with required photos of your food and the restroom, but miss one, it's always worth a try to submit the shop anyhow -or at least check with the scheduler. A missed shop of the food is likely fatal - the client almost certainly wants to see how the food is presented to the customer, making this one of the most important aspects of the shop. However, if you forget to get the beverage into the picture, you *might* be okay. As for the restroom, the client likely has very little interest in assessing toilet photos. You are likely going to be just fine if you explain that the restroom was in great shape. Of course, if the restroom has issues, it might be different.

Every experienced shopper has missed photos and/or observations and had shops approved anyhow. If the missed photo or observation is not part of the client's primary objective of the shop, there is a strong chance that the shopper will be okay and get paid anyhow. (Of course, we don't get told whether specific observations are a primary concern or just a "you're-there-add-on," so we don't dare miss something intentionally.)

@Equine24 wrote:

I don't think the restroom photo is ever optional with ACL. It is one of the reasons I do not take some of their retail shops

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I did a report for Maritz recently and in 3 cases it had yes/no answers and a comment section that says "optional". I didn't fill it out. Of course the editor came back and said "the client NOW requires a response" and to fill it out. Ok, but change the guidelines if you require it!
I’m sure you’re fine. I did a dinner shop with this company one night and I must have been having a really off day, because I forgot to take a pic of the outside of the restaurant and the bathroom (which were both required). My shop was still accepted.

I always interpreted the guidelines as: If you see something “amiss” take a photo of it. If you don’t find anything “amiss” you don’t need any additional photos beyond what is stated in the guidelines. It is not required for you to find anything “amiss” but if you do find something “amiss” you should include a photo of it. (I hope that makes sense! It makes sense in my brain, but not so much when I try to type it out lol).
I actually found two photos of the "anything amiss" items. But, now I cannot see the same shops I saw a month ago.

Can any of you see the higher end shops for ACL? Steak house dinners, around $170? I can't see these anymore, regardless of the state. Either it's too early into April, or I can no longer see them. I checked FL, for example, nothing, whereas last month, I saw them.
We have them in south Florida but they are already assigned, except for the lunch one. I was really hoping to get a dinner one for April (either at the one 15 minutes from my house or the one 45 minutes from my house) but they were both scheduled before I even saw them posted.
I can't even see the dinner ones that are scheduled, only the lunch ones. Apparently I was lowered in their system.
The optional not optional picture just got me kicked out of the "nice" shops- even with sending in multiple pictures of the issue when asked. Or, they still believe I went with more than one other person. I will never know.
If you don't see the high end dining shops next month, ask them about the shops. At this point what do you have to lose by asking ?


@Niner wrote:

The optional not optional picture just got me kicked out of the "nice" shops- even with sending in multiple pictures of the issue when asked. Or, they still believe I went with more than one other person. I will never know.
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