"Fraudulent" Report

Has anyone had a report returned because it was considered fraudulent? Were you told what was wrong with it? I just did a shop and received an email stating "they reviewed video and audio surveillance of your visits, and have evidence that information reported in both shop reports is not accurate" but they don't tell me what I did wrong. I emailed the scheduler but she hasn't emailed me back.

I have been doing mystery shops for several years and this is the first time any of my reports were considered fradulent. The MSC has apparently kicked me out now. It isn't a big deal because I have only done a handful of shops for them. But it bothers me that they consider my reports fradulent. What I don't understand is if they have video AND audio surveillance then why do they need mystery shoppers?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/16/2015 12:40PM by cat5dog1.

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It's much more difficult than you think for the companies to just sit through hours of surveillance footage, match up transactions and follow the customer to see if they were given "acceptable service." Same goes for relying purely on audio and video to judge the cleanliness of the location.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 31 year old male and willing to travel!
I did a Post Office shop once where the clerk did not ask any of the HAZMAT questions. When she saw the report she told all sorts of lies. I had proof that what she said didn't happen because it just so happens that I record all my post office shops. I sent in the audio and then they said they checked the video and she was clearly right. It was interesting because firstly I doubt that the video has any audio and secondly the person they identified in the video clearly wasn't me. So I feel your pain! It's very insulting when they say that especially when they won't clarify it or tell you why.

Personally though, I wouldn't consider this company a great loss.
Ouch. I would be upset too. So sorry that happened. I would have asked what I had done wrong (like you did) so that I could get it right in future situations.
I had a shop where the restaurant client blatantly lied on me. However, I had the audio to back it up. Long story I was still paid but banned from the client. Although I don't know what happened in your case, I can vouch that some managers WILL LIE on shoppers.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/15/2015 05:38PM by audrialyn30.
I have worked with Goodwin for almost 5 years and never got one of those sent back.

Another famous Mystery Shopping Company is BIG on video from the client and comparing what you said, to what actually happened, making sure it matches 100%. They have numerous guidelines of colored photo surveillance, where they show a shopper missed the name tag, the sample sign and etc. (saying the associate did not have a name tag on ----when clearly you can see in the video that she did) That irks me because that seems like pure laziness on the shopper (or extremely bad eyesight) as we are paid to capture that nametag? Why? Because we are reporting what an associate did and they want to make sure credit/or punishment goes the right associate.

Recently another mystery shopping company report had another guideline stating shoppers were sending pictures of trash cans they found off the internet and NOT ones they took inside the restaurant.

This is serious business. If "ABC BBQ" (made up name) can't trust the shoppers, they are going to can Goodwin for not having accurate shoppers.

Think long and hard about that. Goodwin's reputation is on the line. Not sure what happened in OP's report but it did not jive with what happened.

To give credit, when a store gets a bad report, they can and DO challenge your report.

OP was your report a bad one?
I recall the guidelines in Sinclair's pretzel shops showing a photo of a video where the employee was clearly wearing a name tag and there was clearly a tray of pretzel samples...both of which the shopper had denied. Sinclair also mentioned that instead of taking a photograph of the purchased pretzel, shoppers were using photos from the internet.

I was stunned by this.
I haven't done a pretzel shop in a while (in most malls near me they have the storefront and kiosk and you have to do both---teh pretzels do reheat good..but they are too tempting to eat all at once!).....i don't recall taking a picture though....is that new? It was the company that had the pictures showing the shopper missing the tag/signs.
@Phoebe70 wrote:

I recall the guidelines in Sinclair's pretzel shops showing a photo of a video where the employee was clearly wearing a name tag and there was clearly a tray of pretzel samples...both of which the shopper had denied. Sinclair also mentioned that instead of taking a photograph of the purchased pretzel, shoppers were using photos from the internet.

I was stunned by this.

These supposed "shoppers" are not professional and I hope they were banned not only from Sinclair, but that it gets back to the Schedulers Forum and they are banned from ALL MSC's. I get so tired of the fraud shoppers making life tougher for GOOD shoppers smiling smiley
We had a shopper on the forum who ratted her own daughter out to the MSC when the daughter bragged about lying on reports based on whether she thought the associate was nice or not.

we've had shoppers on the forum who bragged about lying on reports and encouraged others to do the same.

It is any wonder they check the video footage? There are a lot of cheaters out there and they make it rough for all of us.

But ... gotta wonder... as many register receipts that we run onto with inaccurate time and date stamps, I wonder how accurate the time stamps on the security cameras are? It's entirely possible that the shopper was there at 1 p.m. DST and the camera was still on standard time because nobody remembered to change it. So the 1 p.m. video feed they were watching was from a full hour after the shopper entered the store (or is it an hour before? i don't have the brain cells right now to work that out, but you get my point).

Time to build a bigger bridge.
@SunnyDays2 wrote:

@Phoebe70 wrote:

I recall the guidelines in Sinclair's pretzel shops showing a photo of a video where the employee was clearly wearing a name tag and there was clearly a tray of pretzel samples...both of which the shopper had denied. Sinclair also mentioned that instead of taking a photograph of the purchased pretzel, shoppers were using photos from the internet.

I was stunned by this.

These supposed "shoppers" are not professional and I hope they were banned not only from Sinclair, but that it gets back to the Schedulers Forum and they are banned from ALL MSC's. I get so tired of the fraud shoppers making life tougher for GOOD shoppers smiling smiley

I agree ...... of course, when they are not paid for the shop and deactivated, they will probably register on the forum so they can tell us that the company is a scammer that deactivated them unfairly.
It seems like way too much trouble to fake a report but you know cheaters gonna cheat, cheat, cheat, cheat cheat....pretty silly to commit fraud for $5.00.
If I remember correctly, a picture of the pretzel is only required if it isn't cooked properly.
I haven't done the pretzel shop in over a year but I have done a trash can picture shop and it was not so bad...smiling smiley
Video is so cheap that there is no reason to not use it IMHO. If a manager lies, you can send the video to prove they are doing so. If the MSC refuses the facts, and refuses to pay, then that is the last time you should work for them. If they reject a valid shop with video to back it up, then they are morally and legally defrauding you and you have recourse if you choose to never work for them and any scheduling company that they use.

You have to pick your battles, and the best answer is to simply log in and stop emails from being sent and bever work for them again.

There are many one post wonders that know WAY too much information and are warning of a company that defrauded them, and others that are new shoppers that are doing the same.

If you have been around a while, you can tell the difference between a one post wonder and a long time member who creates a new account to not trash their reputation and still vent when they are wronged.
I was finally given a reason for considering my report "fraudulent". They are trying to tell me my times were off by 7 minutes which is not true. I did check the clock in my car immediately before I walked in the store and my cell before I left but there is no way they are off by 7 minutes. They must have started timing from the moment I was helped instead of when I entered the store. There also was an apparent misinterpretation of one of the questions. I consider showing me phones to mean physically showing them to me or at least mentioning a specific model. I don't consider just stating I like X brand when I asked what phone they would recommend.

If the manager of the store does not want information that can help them better train their associates then that is their problem. Sorry but based on the service I received I did not consider this associate to be doing a very good job and I wouldn't have used their services. I have done many cell shops and there are much better associates out there who gave me more information and made me feel like they wanted to help me. This associate made me feel like I was interrupting them.

Oh well I have only completed two shops for them so it isn't a big loss. There are many more companies that I shop for. Only problem is now I feel insecure and afraid to do any shops. I consider fraudulent to mean I never went to the location or just went in and grabbed a business card and left.
I think the Sinclair pretzel reports now require a photo of the pretzel even if it's not burnt? I just did two over the weekend. One kiosk had burnt pretzels, the other one didn't. I submitted photos on both, just to be on the safe side.
Sinclair now requires a photo of the pretzel in all cases. If it is overcooked or burned on the bottom they also want a photo of the back side so that there is photo evidence that it was over-baked.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
Did they flunk or pass? That is often what calls it into question.

@cat5dog1 wrote:

Has anyone had a report returned because it was considered fraudulent? Were you told what was wrong with it? I just did a shop and received an email stating "they reviewed video and audio surveillance of your visits, and have evidence that information reported in both shop reports is not accurate" but they don't tell me what I did wrong. I emailed the scheduler but she hasn't emailed me back.

I have been doing mystery shops for several years and this is the first time any of my reports were considered fradulent. The MSC has apparently kicked me out now. It isn't a big deal because I have only done a handful of shops for them. But it bothers me that they consider my reports fradulent. What I don't understand is if they have video AND audio surveillance then why do they need mystery shoppers?
@Phoebe70 wrote:

I think the Sinclair pretzel reports now require a photo of the pretzel even if it's not burnt? I just did two over the weekend. One kiosk had burnt pretzels, the other one didn't. I submitted photos on both, just to be on the safe side.

It is "because" of the crappy, lazy shopper and deceitful shopper, that we have to do so much to "prove" we were there at the pretzel kiosk...(and other shops)... I have not done the pretzel shop in over a year but I will still do them, still provide what the client wants.... because it is not Sinclair's fault, nor is it the clients, that they have "shady shoppers" and they need to feel we were really there, performing the shop. They pay good money to Sinclair and Sinclair does not want the pretzel client to pull their business. ...That's why they are harder on the shopper, making us prove this and prove that.... It's all part of being a shopper now, in a small world of cheaters....(wow, if this post sounded negative, and it does, I am sorry, just venting!) smiling smiley
I was surprised at how far Harris Teeter is planning to go to combat fraudulent shoppers. They will be reviewing video from a random shop for each shopper each quarter. Plus reviewing the shops that are problematic for reasons like a missing name tag, times that end in 5 or 0, not being able to buy organic produce that was .99 cents or more each and more.

If the volume of fradulent shops is so problematic, then why aren't they looking at other MSC. Or revising the shop guidelines--they haven't change in years.
The IMSC could provide background checks for us. Maybe it would make the MSC's more comfortable knowing that we have never been caught in any crime. For my other job, I have to have frequent background checks and sometimes with each company that calls me. I keep copies of current ones to upload for them.
@Jennniferml wrote:

I was surprised at how far Harris Teeter is planning to go to combat fraudulent shoppers. They will be reviewing video from a random shop for each shopper each quarter. Plus reviewing the shops that are problematic for reasons like a missing name tag, times that end in 5 or 0, not being able to buy organic produce that was .99 cents or more each and more.

If the volume of fradulent shops is so problematic, then why aren't they looking at other MSC. Or revising the shop guidelines--they haven't change in years.

Because you will always have folks who like to make "easy money" I think easy money for them, is to fabricate a shop they never visited, or do things like: get what the client wants, but not in a honorable way. (fake pictures, false reports)

Just like scammers, who now use a computer to rip millions of dollars from people,.... [it has become a jackpot for them]..the same goes for folks who get into mystery shopping, not as a serious business, but as just another way to scam the system.

"This" is what you have now....and all honest shoppers have to pay for it...
Cat,

The timestamp on their video might be off. That being said, a 7 minute discrepancy over when you started the shop should not in itself be a basis for fraud.

As far as you subjective remarks as to the service provided, is that what you were asked to provide? I thought those shops were purely objective. Report the facts and let the client draw their own conclusions?

My posts are solely based on my opinions and for my entertainment, contact a professional if you need real advice.

When you get in debt you become a slave. - Andrew Jackson
There were questions whether I would recommend this location to a friend and if I would want this employee to help me in the future. I answered honestly yes to recommend and no to wanting this employee to help me. When I asked what the problem was with the other location I was told my times were off but nothing else.

I have made mistakes on other shops in the past, was told what I did wrong and just didn't get paid. I made sure I did them correctly the next time. This time it just hurt to have a report called fraudulent and be told that the client requests that I never do another shop for them. Then to be basically banned from the mystery shopping company just added salt to the wound.

I don't do mystery shops to make a living but as a way to make a couple dollars for extras. I usually enjoy them and started doing them because I believe in giving the best customer service possible. Most of the time the employees are great but when I have a bad one I report it honestly. Guess in the future if I know I will be giving a bad report I need to make sure everything is in order. I would think the manager would be happy to find out where the store's weaknesses were but I guess not. Maybe I got in the middle of something between either the "company" or the owner and the manager. Who knows but I do know I am feeling very hesistant to do any shops for a while.
When you fall off a horse, you need to get right back on.

Go do a shop this week. Don't let this one incident turn you off from something you have been enjoying. Just take a little more time with the reports for awhile, double check everything, make sure you are being objective and not overly critical.

Time to build a bigger bridge.
That is some lovely advice Dspeakes. I am having an uber frustrating week and need to go follow it.. Helion cut my payments in half as they disagreed with the data, and I had a gas station rejected, although the scheduler agreed with me. There was nothing to purchase but automotive items that were double the reimbursement amount and I was torn on what to do. I deactivated myself with Helion, and the rest of my shops this past week got 10s.. but it's made me a grumpy girl this morning.
I think I have Helion flagged in my list as "do not shop for them" because of issues others have had here, so you're not alone in that.

Go find a shop for some comfort food you enjoy, DQ, Cinnabons, Pretzel shop maybe, do an easy report. Have some wine. Put your feet up with a cat in your lap. Tomorrow's another day. Soon this will just be an annoying memory. smiling smiley

Time to build a bigger bridge.
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