Double Dipping

@Tarantado wrote:


As I stated earlier, would it still be unethical if the 2 separate shops that share the same expenses provided lump sum fees instead of separating reimbursements and fees? Still fraudulent in your view?

Of course not. If you are not claiming individual expense items, there is no deception to get a bigger payout. You can negotiate for a higher payout and no expense reimbursement. I have done this often with mystery shopping companies.

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@1cent wrote:

@Tarantado wrote:


As I stated earlier, would it still be unethical if the 2 separate shops that share the same expenses provided lump sum fees instead of separating reimbursements and fees? Still fraudulent in your view?

Of course not. If you are not claiming individual expense items, there is no deception to get a bigger payout. You can negotiate for a higher payout and no expense reimbursement. I have done this often with mystery shopping companies.

Same Proof of Visit’s. Still fraud, in principle?

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 29 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
@Tarantado wrote:

@1cent wrote:

@Tarantado wrote:


As I stated earlier, would it still be unethical if the 2 separate shops that share the same expenses provided lump sum fees instead of separating reimbursements and fees? Still fraudulent in your view?

Of course not. If you are not claiming individual expense items, there is no deception to get a bigger payout. You can negotiate for a higher payout and no expense reimbursement. I have done this often with mystery shopping companies.

Same Proof of Visit’s. Still fraud, in principle?

What do you even mean? Same proof of visit? It all comes down to the specifics of the shop. If a company wants a receipt for proof of visit but they are not reimbursing the expense, then it's not fraudulent. It's confirmation that you were at a given place. But if you are reimbursed for an expense, it is unethical to claim the expense twice. It is only an expense once.

If you are doing multiple shops at one merchant, you do run into potential conflicts. That's a different topic.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/29/2019 05:26PM by 1cent.
@1cent wrote:



What do you even mean? Same proof of visit? It all comes down to the specifics of the shop. If a company wants a receipt for proof of visit but they are not reimbursing the expense, then it's not fraudulent. It's confirmation that you were at a given place. But if you are reimbursed for an expense, it is unethical to claim the expense twice. It is only an expense once.

If you are doing multiple shops at one merchant, you do run into potential conflicts. That's a different topic.

What do I mean? There are companies like 360 Intel that pay by the fee with purchase guidelines. How is that fee structure ANY different from other companies that separate the fee and reimbursement? How is double dipping with a fee structure where they lump it to include your expenses, such as my example edited after you initially quoted?

The relevant example from many years ago was when Bud Light had a shop requiring me to order a beer. That shop required a beer purchase and gave me a lump sum fee to cover the beer expense and I was expected to pocket whatever was left. But I double dipped with a Buffalo Wild Wings shop at the same location, same meal, same beer and same receipt. The BWW’s shop paid a fee and reimbursement. How does the fee structure suddenly change your view, since double dipping on expenses with lump sum fees are okay to you, apparently?

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 29 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
@Tarantado wrote:


What do I mean? There are companies like 360 Intel that pay by the fee with purchase guidelines. How is that fee structure ANY different from other companies that separate the fee and reimbursement? How is double dipping with a fee structure where they lump it to include your expenses, such as my example edited after you initially quoted?

The relevant example from many years ago was when Bud Light had a shop requiring me to order a beer. That shop required a beer purchase and gave me a lump sum fee to cover the beer expense and I was expected to pocket whatever was left. But I double dipped with a Buffalo Wild Wings shop at the same location, same meal, same beer and same receipt. The BWW’s shop paid a fee and reimbursement. How does the fee structure suddenly change your view, since double dipping on expenses with lump sum fees are okay to you, apparently?

Quite simply, the difference is when submitting a receipt as an expense is increasing your payout. If it's all lumped in, then you are using the receipt to prove something else. Without knowing more details, it's not possible to know for certain. But in the sense of being reimbursed twice for an expense you incurred once, it's not the same thing.
@1cent wrote:

Quite simply, the difference is when submitting a receipt as an expense is increasing your payout. If it's all lumped in, then you are using the receipt to prove something else. Without knowing more details, it's not possible to know for certain. But in the sense of being reimbursed twice for an expense you incurred once, it's not the same thing.

I must dense then. The receipt serves proof of my visit but ALSO that I purchased the required items for each of the Bud Light and BWW projects....

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 29 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
@Tarantado wrote:

@1cent wrote:

Quite simply, the difference is when submitting a receipt as an expense is increasing your payout. If it's all lumped in, then you are using the receipt to prove something else. Without knowing more details, it's not possible to know for certain. But in the sense of being reimbursed twice for an expense you incurred once, it's not the same thing.

I must dense then. The receipt serves proof of my visit but ALSO that I purchased the required items for each of the Bud Light and BWW projects....

I was thinking the same thing. Again, the relevant difference is if you are increasing your pay by claiming an expense more than once. The beer company was paying you the same whether your expense was $2 or $6 or whatever. They were not reimbursing you for the expense. They wanted proof that you were at the right place. You were not submitting a receipt as an expense. The expense was paid for by BWW.

Maybe I am wrong because I am not familiar with the specifics of the shop.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/29/2019 06:32PM by 1cent.
@1cent wrote:

I was thinking the same thing. Again, the relevant difference is if you are increasing your pay by claiming an expense more than once. The beer company was paying you the same whether your expense was $2 or $6 or whatever. They were not reimbursing you for the expense. They wanted proof that you were at the right place. You were not submitting a receipt as an expense. The expense was paid for by BWW.

Maybe I am wrong because I am not familiar with the specifics of the shop.
The beer company also wanted proof that I made the correct purchase, where the expense was embedded into my fee. I don’t understand how you’re okay with my shops with Bud Light and BWW, but if Bud Light changed the fee structure to a fee plus reimbursement, I’m suddenly committing “something like fraud” and am dishonest.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 29 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
@Tarantado wrote:

The beer company also wanted proof that I made the correct purchase, where the expense was embedded into my fee. I don’t understand how you’re okay with my shops with Bud Light and BWW, but if Bud Light changed the fee structure to a fee plus reimbursement, I’m suddenly committing “something like fraud” and am dishonest.

It all comes down to understanding the words "expense" and "reimbursement."
@1cent wrote:

@Tarantado wrote:

The beer company also wanted proof that I made the correct purchase, where the expense was embedded into my fee. I don’t understand how you’re okay with my shops with Bud Light and BWW, but if Bud Light changed the fee structure to a fee plus reimbursement, I’m suddenly committing “something like fraud” and am dishonest.

It all comes down to understanding the words "expense" and "reimbursement."

So was I committing an act of fraud or being dishonest getting reimbursed $60 by American Express via a credit card offer and $15 via Rakuten, an online rebate site, on my Marriott shop that was reimbursed by another Mystery Shopping Company?

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 29 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/29/2019 06:52PM by Tarantado.
@1cent wrote:

@Capurato wrote:


Ethics and fraud are two different things.

They are not unrelated things. If you are accustomed to unethical behavior, you might easily cross the line. At that link, the lawyer stated that it probably is fraud as well. The cautious language when someone says that you might be doing something wrong is to be kind.

If I have to explain the basic value of business ethics to you, it’s kind of a lost cause.

I didn’t say they are unrelated. I said they are two different things.

As I stated before in a few posts, I investigate fraud (criminal not civil). I know a thing or two about fraud, fraudulent activities and have testified in court hundreds of times over the last 15 years in fraud cases.

Violations of ethics/morality are not always fraud.

In the example provided, the shopper did not commit fraud as defined by the courts.

@1cent - I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one. I respect your opinion and would act as you would (not submit the expense three times), however it is not criminal fraud.
@Tarantado wrote:

@1cent wrote:

@Tarantado wrote:

The beer company also wanted proof that I made the correct purchase, where the expense was embedded into my fee. I don’t understand how you’re okay with my shops with Bud Light and BWW, but if Bud Light changed the fee structure to a fee plus reimbursement, I’m suddenly committing “something like fraud” and am dishonest.

It all comes down to understanding the words "expense" and "reimbursement."

So was I committing an act of fraud or being dishonest getting reimbursed $60 by American Express via a credit card offer and $15 via Rakuten, an online rebate site, on my Marriott shop that was reimbursed by another Mystery Shopping Company?

The obvious answer is no. I’m curious if our friend will answer in the same manner.
I have no problem completing more than one assignment in a specific place.

I merely complete one, leave, and go back in for the next shop, so I have discrete arrive and exit times.

I have been known to go to my car, turn around, go back in and say, sorry, I forgot to ask one dumb question -- and that's when I'm NOT shopping, so it is natural behavior for me!

smiling smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2019 06:07PM by ceasesmith.
LIke fraud? Oh no!! What have I done? I need to tell El Pollo Loco that I cannot use the receipts towards my rewards. Great Scott! I need to contact Bank of America and tell them to never again issue me bonus rewards for this company or that company. In fact, I will never use the $280 bonus I have accumulated from shops I have completed. I am so glad I don't work for a company that reimburses me for gas or meals. I would be total fraud. I could get arrested!
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