When you arrive at the shop and find out a friend is working there..

I live in a smallish town and wondered if this would happen someday. In this town, you might go two years without seeing someone but when you do bump into them it is like 'old home week'. I didn't do the shop and have a message in to the scheduler. I don't think trying again another day is an option. Given the nature of the business and her position, the odds are quite high I will be directed to her again.

Have any of you had this happen and how was it handled?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2019 10:20PM by callinectes.

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The same thing happened to me in Seattle, storm. The scheduler acted in exactly the same way! No pay, but no embarrassment either.
I had an audio recorded apartment shop two summers ago with a former student. She recognized me, but I played dumb and got away with it. The shop was accepted and I was paid....

JUST NOW, I am doing a video valet parking assignment and, as I got out of my car, was greeted by the valet with a friendly "Hi Mr. Johnston!" There was no denying it - I knew the kid well having taught him for two years (just two years ago) and his brother previously. I am waiting out my time in a nearby Starbucks and waiting for the MSC to get back to me on whether or not to proceed. I may just have to visit again. This is an integrity visit and I have left some temptations in the car. I hope he's smart....

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I am unable to shop our local Hyatt Hotel as my good friend does Events and serving, sometimes is behind the bar and she talks a lot...sad smiley

Live consciously....
@johnb974 wrote:

I would have done the shop, if your friend doesn't know you're doing a mystery shop.

She doesn't know I am mystery shopping but the scenario I was given would make no sense at all to someone who knows me. It would have flagged me as a shopper or delusional. winking smiley

I still haven't heard back from the scheduler but I really don't see a viable way to do this one.
LOL! My husband was a teacher. It seemed everywhere he went he ran into former and current students.
It's happened to me. I completed the shop (no problem there), but found I could not write the report dispassionately and objectively. I e-mailed the scheduler and told her what happened. She cancelled the shop, and I was not penalized.
@johnb974 wrote:

I would have done the shop, if your friend doesn't know you're doing a mystery shop.
I was told in the past by more than one MSC that if you visit a shop where you know someone, you should cancel the visit with the explanation.
Back in the day, when Subway and Cinnabon were being shopped, I stopped at a truck stop to evaluate both, for different MSCs. A friend approached and said, rather loudly, are you here mystery shopping today?

Grrrrrrr. He worked there. I rescheduled for when he wouldn't be working.
@sbobgal wrote:

I was told in the past by more than one MSC that if you visit a shop where you know someone, you should cancel the visit with the explanation.
Johnb974 doesn't have any issue doing things that work for him that are against the rules. That's pretty clear.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/13/2019 08:09PM by SoCalMama.
Once at a car wash that was audio recorded a kid recognized me and called me by name. He didn't give his usual spiel, so that shop had to be thrown out. The MSC just asked me not to go to that location for a few months. I still try to only visit during school hours. Since I work at the school, it's not unusual to bump into someone who knows me.

Another time at a painting class, the instructor was someone I had known several years ago. I disclosed that, and there was not problem. I was able to be objective, and it didn't affect my report in any way. But I didn't want to take a risk by not disclosing this up front.
Depends on circumstances. If a friend knows you are a shopper, then absolutely not. If you feel you cannot be objective, then no.
I was at the end of a video shop while at the cashier counter of a high end retail outlet shop, when a friend loudly greeted me by name within the line. Not wanting to ignore her, I greeted her back, and mentioned that I'll come over to her after I make my purchase. After departing the store, turning off my camera, and reentering the store, I was able to have a conversation in line.

Turns out that I had a video failure while in line! The video cable may have come out slightly from the DVR, so the shop turned out to be moot anyway. I returned back to the same location a few days later. Luckily, its 4 miles away from my house.

Given the experience, this is the only time in my years of MSing that I've ever been exposed by a friend while on the job- and a video one at that!
For the sake of integrity, I would not do the shop. Some MSC reports ask you if you know anyone who either currently works, or has worked in the past for the client you're shopping.
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