MarketForce Inquiry

Just thought people here might want to know.

I recently received an inquiry from MarketForce about one of the FF shops I had completed in the past few weeks. The email stated that MF had received an inquiry from the client. I was caught off guard at the amount of information that was being requested. The information being requested also seems to point to the fact that they will be reviewing video of my shop. I'm curious if MF reviews the video or if the client does? How else would they not share my identity?

Here is a cut out of the information requested in the email:
"For both the Walk-In and Drive Thru, please walk us through the points at which you recorded your times. When/where did you begin timing, when/where was your second timing point, and when/where did you stop timing?

Also, please re-submit both the Drive Thru AND Walk-In times in the same manner you entered them into the report (elapsed or actual). You can re-submit them by responding to this email.

Please provide a description of yourself including gender, race, age, hair color and length/style, approximate height and weight, and any other distinguishing features you may have such as glasses, piercings, tattoos, or facial hair. What were you wearing during this shop? What model/color vehicle were you driving during this shop? Please note that no information about your identity will be shared with the client."

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MF could ask the client for the same information and then see if the information matches. Personally, I would be hard pressed to say what I was wearing more than a day or two ago. And this summer I have ranged from clean-shaven to slightly scruffy. The rest I would know either because it is about me or it would have been recorded in the notes which I would have kept (times).

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
It happens. There must have been too long a time and the client challenged. And yes, the client does want to check their video to confirm the timings. Think about if there was something unusual in the shop that might have slowed the timings. It is possible that you inaccurately reported your times when you put in the original shop (typo). In any event, you need to dig out your notes and respond ASAP and in as professional a manner as possible.
I have no idea what color shirt I was wearing, but I always wear the same style of shirt. So for you fast food workers out there that want to identify the mystery shopper, look for the guy wearing a t-shirt and blue jeans.

I did report the information right away. I know exactly why the client is challenging or questioning this shop. For whatever reason, it took over 5 minutes to make my burger. They were not busy and no orders ahead of mine, aside from the guy who ordered after me and received his meal before I did.

This post is mostly meant as a heads up for shoppers that work with this MSC. In the hundreds of shops that I have done with this company, this is the first report that I've had challenged. In the email, the MSC did say that you should keep your notes for 60 days. That means keeping them past the date you get paid for the shop. Aside from keeping good timing notes, a shopper may want to also note what they were wearing.
For years in the 'notes' section on my spreadsheet I put in 'blue stripe' or 'Kelly green' or 'pink daisy floral' or whatever the top is I wore that day. I have not yet been asked for it, but I can tell you what I was wearing on a shop day 3-4 years ago quickly.
This means the client is contesting the information. You said your burger took 5 minutes and said no others were in line (except one man who ordered and received his order before yours) This location is challenging your 5 minutes. They may be sensitive and might have had previous reports of slow service. They want your description and your car make/model/year/color. I had this happen once. Thankfully, it had just occurred the day before so I had a good memory of what I wore and my times. (it was not my times they disputed but the wrong order was given to me) I provided all information and was paid. smiling smiley The funny thing is, their report was great with the exception of giving me the wrong sandwich. But they fought it and lost.
Flash, I would never have thought of noting the clothes I wore in the spreadsheet but I will now. I have never needed it but maybe I will in the future.
I think I'll just take a selfie before I walk in next time. Then I can just attach the photo to such an inquiry.
I once received such a request. I had no idea what I was wearing, with the exception of the cast I was sporting. I answered that they should have no trouble spotting me. I was thanked, and that was the end of that.
I had a FF shop challenged once because the person at the window, gave me a drink and then slammed closed the window. She was surprised I was still there waiting for the rest of my order. The problem was the first window messed up on the food order and they gave my order to the car in front of me. Also, the cashier wrote down there were two people in my vehicle who ordered one drink. It was a Corporate training FF restaurant. I documented all my timing, told them the color and type of vehicle I was driving and I ask them to pull the video, so they can see there was no one else in the car with me. I was paid and all was well. There was no problem with the dine in portion, just the DT. I ended up exchanging 10-12 emails to answer all their questions. I decided to NEVER shop a Corporate training restaurant again.

Not my circus - Not my monkeys @(*.*)@

~Polish Proverb~
Thank you, 2ndchance. I will start noting what I was wearing during assignments, and will only hope that if they ever want me to resubmit information it is within 2 weeks. The six month waiting period has always worried me.

Just completed a FF for this company. It was a long one, taking over 45 minutes write and upload the report.
I like the idea of taking a selfie. Wouldn't be too hard to do while I was taking pictures of the receipts.
@Flash wrote:

For years in the 'notes' section on my spreadsheet I put in 'blue stripe' or 'Kelly green' or 'pink daisy floral' or whatever the top is I wore that day. I have not yet been asked for it, but I can tell you what I was wearing on a shop day 3-4 years ago quickly.

Wow!
If someone wants to know what I was wearing last week, I am likely going to forfeit my fee on that shop!
I got the same e-mail as OP did for a ff shop in July. The client refused the report, stating that the timing delay was due to shopper action. That is, the drive-thru had multiple lanes, and I "allowed" other cars to merge into the window line, without keeping my proper order in line! Well, d'oh. Had to give them all the same detail - car make, model, etc., what I was wearing, all that. So, the client refused the report. However, this is the first report of hundreds that I ever heard back from the MSC that the client refused my report.
I makes notes on my computer after every shop. Since reading some of the threads on the forum, I have started including what I wore, whether my hair was down or in a ponytail and whether I wore my glasses or contacts.
I had this happen twice once from MF and Stericycle. Both shoppes I had done for these company's for months then i get the emails as you talk about. The first one was a bath shop and I had given a bad report on the associate to which is claimed Sexual harassment. That ended that with Stericycle. MF was a Golden Arcs and was a shop in the middle of the Navajo Res that had to be done that day. I had taken someone with me and had given her the food from the Drive thru as I made the inside shop. Again a bad report on the shop and the following month the emails as you describe. Because I had given the food to the party in the parking lot it was caught on camera and was given that I had taken someone with me. I have done anymore for I am blacked balled. One person from Maritz had given the advice at one time not to talk or talk more than required, don't get close to them or get into places that the camera can't see and remember that they will come after you to get the report numbers up.
tinman,

Can you clarify if you went through the drive-thru with a passenger or just gave her the food after going through the drive-thru? I thought the instructions were pretty clear on this, as they say no one is to go through the drive-thru or to go inside with you. They don't say you're not allowed to have a friend outside of those portions.
Thanks for the heads up. Luckily, I have a shoppers uniform - navy top over jeans for the golden arches.
When I USED to do shops for them I would get those inquiries, give them the information they wanted, and they would use that excuse to say that the shop was invalid and I wouldn't be paid. In the case of a fast food shop, the managers look at the report, see that is is a negative report (or not a perfect shop), and challenge it. I would hold strong and tell the MSC that they need to get the videotape and have THEM prove that something was wrong. Invariably I would get paid without any further questions.
I'm going through this right now.Not the arches though.First round of follow ups were asking about my timing and cars in the parking lot.Second 3 different ways of asking me if I ever in my life knew anyone who ever worked there..I think they are grasping because of the 10+ minute wait on food..
Considering the amount of reports this client receives, it could just be a random sampling to QC the batch of shops. Who knows?

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.
Based on the various experiences of everyone, I've modified how I do an arches shop. Now I create an index card for the drive in, and one for the dine in portions. My times as well as the special questions like customer service numbers as well as what I was wearing. Since I like to watch an instructional YouTube video on the dine in portion, to pass the time, it is natural to take "notes" on my index cards. I always keep an extra card as a cover, in case a crew member comes over. I also take a selfie in the restroom.
@Flash, @scanman1 (with editing to say something a little different), and @pampet were all quoted straight from this thread for the MarketForce Message Posted on Shopper Portal October 14, 2015. Just thought I would let you know I logged in and saw it. The quotes looked familiar so I came back here to see.
@SouthernCharm wrote:

@Flash, @scanman1 (with editing to say something a little different), and @pampet were all quoted straight from this thread for the MarketForce Message Posted on Shopper Portal October 14, 2015. Just thought I would let you know I logged in and saw it. The quotes looked familiar so I came back here to see.

MF does read our posts here. The shop instructions have changed to clarify many of the questions asked here on the next update to the shop instructions.

I'd be willing to bet they have my nickname in my user profile area under my account.
@Kr wrote:

Based on the various experiences of everyone, I've modified how I do an arches shop. .
Me too. I don't do them anymore. It's not worth the hassle of being challenged for a crappy burger. It seems that these shops get challenged more often than most.
@TeriW wrote:

@Kr wrote:

Based on the various experiences of everyone, I've modified how I do an arches shop. .
Me too. I don't do them anymore. It's not worth the hassle of being challenged for a crappy burger. It seems that these shops get challenged more often than most.
I think the shop is "challenged" because of the long wait times. There is a certain expected time frame to get your food, based on customers in line, registers open and so forth. Anytime the computer gets an extra long time frame, you get the, "the time to get your food exceeds the time this clients thinks you should have received it, please explain?" (words not exact) but when that happens, the store might get chided for their long delivery times, in which case, some of the stores "dispute" your report.

That's why you make sure to the second, all your times, so if you are challenged, you can show what happened.. Of the one time I was challenged, I won. smiling smiley Why? Because I kept strict records of everything. smiling smiley You really have to for this client. They are time sensitive and they really want to know why it took a long time, from shoppers talking on their cell phones in line to customers counting their food total all in pennies tongue sticking out smiley
I will not do [client name deleted] because of these problems. The food is horrible and the service is right behind the food, terrible. No wonder [client name deleted again] is having all of the problems it is now experiencing. Does not take a mystery shopper to figure those out. I expect [and here also] will be going out of business in the near future.

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