International Service Check - Refused My Report

I recently did a mystery shop for International Service check at a high end purse store. It was a lengthy, very detailed report with a long narrative. The were specific questions to ask and objections to raise with the associate. I have shopped at this store several times and the customer service has always been outstanding. This time is was very poor. As a result of the poor customer service, I was unable to ask any questions or raise any objections. I detailed the entire shop in my narrative. I received an email from the MSC stating that my report was incomplete because I could not raise the objections and it could not be used. I have emailed the MSC and the scheduler three times to plead my case and have received no response at all. Has anyone else had any problems with this MSC? Does anyone have any hints or comments to help me on this? Thanks!

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I've never had any issues with them, but I have not done the shop you are referring to, either. Have you tried reaching out to a different scheduler? Sometimes that helps.
Here's my no-fail strategy: if I'm told the MSC can't use the shop, I apologize and offer to redo it.

My philosophy is that I stand behind my work and if I'm assigned a shop, they'll get a usable shop from me even if it takes me a second try to get there. I feel like this is a better long term business strategy than nitpicking over whose interpretation of the guidelines is correct.

We are all here on earth to help others....What on earth the others are here for I don't know.

--W. H. Auden
The purse store is over an hour away and I did offer redo it and was told that it was not needed. I finally did received a response from the MSC and they stated I should have followed the sales associate around until I could have made the objections. I felt this would have exposed me as a mystery shopper. Oh well, Live and Learn!
Follow the sales associate around until you could have made an objection? Do they want an accurate report of what truly transpired? If I owned the business that report would be gold to me for training my sales person to at least ask for the sale. The next report would show me if this is a pattern with this salesperson or if they learned from the coaching to ask for the sale and handle objections.
It doesn't matter that you could be have to follow the instructions..If the MSC says stand on your head and spin do it if you want to get paid
Ok. From what I am gathering from the different posts is some shoppers think I made a mistake and others see my point. I have been doing mystery shops for over a year and this is the first one that was rejected. I will learn from this and move on. However, no standing on my head and spinning around. (LOL). I would definitely break something!
@LoeyAug wrote:

Ok. From what I am gathering from the different posts is some shoppers think I made a mistake and others see my point. I have been doing mystery shops for over a year and this is the first one that was rejected. I will learn from this and move on. However, no standing on my head and spinning around. (LOL). I would definitely break something!

I think we all see your point. Even though some think you might have handled it a little differently, we can all relate. Some posters have pointed out that, regardless of the reason, you didn't follow the guidelines. Sometimes you just have to choose between being obvious (and maybe getting noticed as a possible mystery shopper - or more likely, the associate would just think you are a pushy weirdo) and not doing the job - which means not getting paid.

The customer (MSC) wants what the customer wants. The customer is always right. Even when the customer is wrong, the customer is right. It's our job to make it happen. Sometimes we have to go over and above to give good customer service and make it happen to meet the customer's expectations. If we can't make it happen, we often don't get paid.
Without knowing the instructions I will still make a general observation.

I would have picked a purse and stood in the check out line. When the associate was ready to assist me, I would have then informed them I have questions I need help with before I can make a purchase decision. Better than following them around. If my instructions required I spend x amount of time waiting for assistance, I would not shortcut that.

I had a candy store shop last month. It required I have an associate answer questions, on the floor. There was one associate. He stayed behind the counter, customers were waiting in line, he assisted them in order. I joined the line, 20 minutes later it was my turn. I asked a question that he tried to answer from behind the counter, I moved towards the items on the floor and pretty much forced him to come from behind the counter to assist me.

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
I had an apartment shop yesterday where I literally had to pull the associate through the entire process. That report was a real pain to write, but it will be accepted because everything was followed, and the client will know that the associate needs retraining.

"To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful." Edward R. Murrow

Thou shalt not steal. I mean defensively. On offense, indeed thou shall steal and thou must.--Branch Rickey
It certainly is a matter of live and learn on many of these shops. I was worried about one shop I did on the weekend. The employee did not ask for the sale so I couldn't raise an objection. In fact they told me the person I needed to talk to didn't work on weekends and I should come back. So, several questions on the report were not easy to talk about. I reported what happened and fortunately for me the MSC accepted it.
Yeah, the raising an objection thingee can be difficult when the person handling your inquiry doesn't want to go in that direction. However, you have to get him or her in position for you to raise an objection.
Be polite yet stubborn and remember you'll get paid only if you ask required questions.

I don't think there are any Russians / And there ain't no Yanks
Just corporate criminals\ / Playin' with tanks
@pony123lucy wrote:

I have learned this the hard way. Don't think logically. Do what is required of you.

That sums up what I was going to say. Just follow the guidelines and do/ask what is required even if will out you. I would rather be spotted as a mystery shopper than not get paid especially if it's an hour away like you said. Hopefully you get paid. Good luck!
Hard to know what one would do in this case without having been there. I think I would have pushed the interaction as far as I could without risking being outed as the shopper. Because this MSC is adamant about that fact that if you even suspect that the staff thinks you're the shopper, you're to abort the shop. Getting in line with the item in hand is a great idea, but it might be hard to think of doing that "on the fly." I'm a naturally pushy shopper if I see something I want and need to ask a question about it. But I'm not sure I'd have been alert enough to do that!

It seems to be a catch-22 situation. It sounds like, in this case, better to just continue withe the shop, even if you know they suspect you of being the shopper.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
If this is the store I'm thinking of, I have done three of these shops for this MSC. And yes, my first one was rejected too, due to my mistake of shopping for a jacket instead of a handbag. Live and learn indeed.
But getting back to your statement about the objection...the specific objection is to the price. It's not that hard to object to price. Ask for the cost, then when the sales person tells you, respond by saying that's a little expensive or something. Even if the sales person won't answer you, look at the tag and then comment on the price.
Since they replied that a reshop was not needed, I would ask them to issue me a statement that the report was not going to be used in any way.
@east wrote:

Since they replied that a reshop was not needed, I would ask them to issue me a statement that the report was not going to be used in any way.

I would not ask the company to issue anything additional. They have told LoeyAug that his shop was not done according to the guidelines. Based on what he told us, it appears that he indeed did not follow the guidelines. Having not followed the guidelines, the report submitted is not usable. The company informed him that it was not necessary for him to re-shop the location. Because of rotation requirements, many MSC's (and ISC is one of them) often do not allow a shopper with an unsuccessful shop to re-shop the location. The location will be re-shopped by another shopper to get a usable report.
I had a shop with this company that stated a location an hour away was open on Sunday. It was not. They paid me for the first visit (which included a very generous bonus) and then paid an additional $45 to return to the store. I have never completed the shop that you refer to, but I have been mystery shopping for 9 years and the only complaint I have with this company is that they do not have many shops in my area. Just my opinion.
Well I do have empathy for your situation however I was once denied payment when doing a mystery shop at a theater because i made the observation that the interior of the theater was too cold and incoming ticket payers were sitting through the move wearing coats, hats, scarves and gloves !! In all honesty if you decided to give up mystery shopping and drive a cab considering the mileage driven to and from most shops your better off driving a cab..
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