Burned by Sentry

A scheduler begged me to do a shop at a popular burger/chicken restaurant and added a rare $5 bonus. More to help the scheduler than for the $22 payout, I did the takeout shop, which required a restroom visit. I ended up getting dunned because, according to the proofreader, I was supposed to use the restroom upon entering the store--before even giving my order! Now here in New York, you just don't do that sort of thing. They expect you to make a purchase before using their restroom. So, I ordered my food, waited for it to be delivered to me (I had to time that), and was going to leave it on a table while I used the restroom. A crew person standing by the kitchen offered to place my food under the heating lamp while I was in the restroom. I agreed. I was in the restroom a total of a minute. I grabbed my bag, thanked her, left, and tasted my food in my car before leaving. Sentry is not giving me my promised bonus because I didn't use the bathroom first, and claim they found errors in my narrative. The mistakes were easily and quickly corrected (I checked N/A in error), but in no way should have resulted in my losing my promised bonus. They also have one of the most redundant, annoying reports out there.

What do you all think?

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A scheduler begged me to do a shop at a popular burger/chicken restaurant and added a rare $5 bonus. More to help the scheduler than for the $22 payout, I did the takeout shop, which required a restroom visit. I ended up getting dunned because, according to the proofreader, I was supposed to use the restroom upon entering the store--before even giving my order! Now here in New York, you just don't do that sort of thing. They expect you to make a purchase before using their restroom. So, I ordered my food, waited for it to be delivered to me (I had to time that), and was going to leave it on a table while I used the restroom. A crew person standing by the kitchen offered to place my food under the heating lamp while I was in the restroom. I agreed. I was in the restroom a total of a minute. I grabbed my bag, thanked her, left, and tasted my food in my car before leaving. Sentry is not giving me my promised bonus because I didn't use the bathroom first, and claim they found errors in my narrative. The mistakes were easily and quickly corrected (I checked N/A in error), but in no way should have resulted in my losing my promised bonus. They also have one of the most redundant, annoying reports out there.

What do you all think?

Mod note: There is no need to start two threads on the same thing. Your threads have been combined. Please only start one thread in the future.
In all honesty, living in New York does not mean that you get to override the client's requirement. It sounds like they are accepting your report and paying you for the shop so you are just losing out on the measly $5 bonus, correct? If that is correct, I would consider yourself lucky. Some MSCs would throw out the entire report and you would not be paid anything.
In all honesty, living in New York does not mean that you get to override the client's requirement. It sounds like they are accepting your report and paying you for the shop so you are just losing out on the measly $5 bonus, correct? If that is correct, I would consider yourself lucky. Some MSCs would throw out the entire report and you would not be paid anything.
Did the shop instructions specifically say to visit the restroom first? I agree that can be awkward in many places. I don't do my restroom visits until after ordering or eating. Unless I've just finished checking the oil in my car or something! winking smiley

If that's their requirement, that's what you have to do, though. I haven't done a shop for them, but I might just smile at a staff member (if anybody saw me) on my way to the restroom and say, "Oh, my hands are filthy. I'll be ordering as soon as I wash them."

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2016 06:27PM by BirdyC.
Sorry to say that, in this case, I agree with Sybil. I do a lot of shops in NYC so often grab a meal there (not as a shopper). I 10 years I have never been denied the use of the restroom prior to ordering. I would not order before washing my hands in just about any setting, so that is a lot of visits! And, yes, those visits were in establishments with huge signs stating that restroom were for customers only and even some where I needed to get a token from the counter in order to enter the restroom.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Always read the guidelines and properly follow them. If performance and adherence to a process was not important, our services would not be necessary. If we can not follow instructions, our observations are going to be questionable.

By the way, Sentry is very clear the bonus is contingent upon proper and successful completion of the shop. They do not list the bonus on the shop, it is a unattached addendum.

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
@walesmaven wrote:

Sorry to say that, in this case, I agree with Sybil.
Wow! The Earth must be coming to an end. Trump wins Super Tuesday and walesmaven agrees with me! Time to stock up the underground bunker!
Heck, I have even been known to agree with bgriffin.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
There's nothing awkward about using the restroom first. I do that, even on non-shops, to wash my hands before eating. If the msc guidelines specifically state to evaluate the restroom first, that's what you need to do. Whether or not you live in New York makes no difference smiling smiley
I'm sorry you had a problem and I understand your disappointment but I don't agree you were burned. I agree with Sybil and Wales you're lucky they paid the shop and only deducted the bonus.

I do some bonus work for Sentry now and then and they make it perfectly clear that all guidelines must be followed and the report must be in by midnight for the bonus to be paid.

They also state there must be no issues with the report but I've actually had the experience of being contacted on a report and still getting the bonus. I considered myself double whiz bang lucky when that happened.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
There is nothing awkward about using the restroom first.smiling smiley There are times when that is the only reason to enter the establishment. Some restaurants post---->Restroom for Customers only, but the don't deny you entrance. While the Client Retail does not post this sign, it also is not something you have to clear with the ordering counter.

OP sounds like it "burned" themself .smiling smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2016 04:00PM by sojo917.
I agree with the others. I did a burger place once and needed to visit the restroom. I did that before placing my order because I had to go. The MSC questioned why I didn't place the order first. I explained the "urgency" of the situation and the shop was accepted.

"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
Well, not to beat a dead horse....but, I concur with the consensus. You're lucky they are not rejecting the report entirely. I do these same shops and one location is so uncomfortable. The bathroom doors are literally next to the cash register. It's embarrassing to have to run in there. Might as well shout out to the entire restaurant.....I gotta pee!! But, that is their requirement so I do it.

Shopping up and down the Colorado Rocky Mountain front range.
I often check the restroom first. It is easier to concentrate on my work when I don't have to pee.

Plus, going later adds complication. I can't go while waiting for the food or I might miss it and the timing will be off. Don't want to leave my food on the table or it might disappear while I'm gone. Don't want to wait until the end because it might be occupied or in the middle of being cleaned and I would have to wait around until it was free.
@COMystery wrote:

Well, not to beat a dead horse....but, I concur with the consensus. You're lucky they are not rejecting the report entirely. I do these same shops and one location is so uncomfortable. The bathroom doors are literally next to the cash register. It's embarrassing to have to run in there. Might as well shout out to the entire restaurant.....I gotta pee!! But, that is their requirement so I do it.
What is embarrassing about having to pee? Pretty much everybody has to do this.
Am I imagining things, or is this thread duplicated on the MS company discussion? If I'm not, hopefully a mod can merge them....

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
I like to leave with a cup of soda, and I don't want to take it into the bathroom with me at the end of a visit. Whenever feasible, I always visit the bathroom first in any FF or fast casual food establishment, regardless of whether I am on a shop or not.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
It does seem like the bathroom timing shouldn't make a difference, but for some reason it does......and if you want to leave with a drink or food..you can always put it in your car and run back in to use the bathroom (assuming you are driving and not taking mass transit)
Is going to the bathroom a timing issue? Some bathroom issues take longer than others, so are we being reported on how long we use the bathroom. or observing the bathroom as a part of the guideline requirement?
Hemmoroids?!?! grinning smiley that's being "burned"
@MDavisnowell wrote:

I'm sorry you had a problem and I understand your disappointment but I don't agree you were burned. I agree with Sybil and Wales you're lucky they paid the shop and only deducted the bonus.

I do some bonus work for Sentry now and then and they make it perfectly clear that all guidelines must be followed and the report must be in by midnight for the bonus to be paid.

They also state there must be no issues with the report but I've actually had the experience of being contacted on a report and still getting the bonus. I considered myself double whiz bang lucky when that happened.

So you had issues with a Sentry report, were contacted about them and STILL got your promised bonus? So I guess they only treat some of their shoppers with no respect (me) and others (you) get their mistakes overlooked? How do you think that makes me feel? I have done many other shops for them. Obviously, they don't really care about me and don't want to keep me as a shopper.
@jmitw wrote:

It does seem like the bathroom timing shouldn't make a difference, but for some reason it does......and if you want to leave with a drink or food..you can always put it in your car and run back in to use the bathroom (assuming you are driving and not taking mass transit)

I know this shop. The instructions are only like this for a takeout shop. They don't want you to order, go to the restroom, and miss when your order comes up. It is both sensible and explained in the instructions pretty explicitly.
@proudlyshopping wrote:

So you had issues with a Sentry report, were contacted about them and STILL got your promised bonus? So I guess they only treat some of their shoppers with no respect (me) and others (you) get their mistakes overlooked? How do you think that makes me feel? I have done many other shops for them. Obviously, they don't really care about me and don't want to keep me as a shopper.
Did whole report got denied or just $5 bonus? U clearly didn't follow guidelines per other posts so u r lucky if u get paid anything.
That's why I waited until AFTER I ordered and received my food before going to the restroom. See, my problem is that I have encountered difficulties walking into restaurants and bypassing the ordering process to run to use their bathroom. The only time I got away with that once was racing in, muttering, "Can't wait, gotta go badly," and rushing to the restroom like my pants were on fire. Sentry makes a big deal about not standing out during their mystery shops, and doing that would have surely made me a standout. So, remembering my past difficulties, I did the restroom after I ordered and received my food. I guess I will just stop doing shops for Sentry from now on; we're not a good fit for each other.
@proudlyshopping wrote:

That's why I waited until AFTER I ordered and received my food before going to the restroom. See, my problem is that I have encountered difficulties walking into restaurants and bypassing the ordering process to run to use their bathroom. The only time I got away with that once was racing in, muttering, "Can't wait, gotta go badly," and rushing to the restroom like my pants were on fire. Sentry makes a big deal about not standing out during their mystery shops, and doing that would have surely made me a standout. So, remembering my past difficulties, I did the restroom after I ordered and received my food. I guess I will just stop doing shops for Sentry from now on; we're not a good fit for each other.
I think peeing your pants would make u more memorable.
Well, this client apparently does not stop people from using the restroom. Your concern was unfounded. The real problem is that you did not follow the requirements. Was this by choice, by accident or by negligence?

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
proudlyshopping, I didn't do anything wrong and I followed the guidelines. They contacted me for a clarification and I expected to lose the bonus but I didn't. You did something wrong when you did not follow the guidelines. I don't believe the circumstances of your report and my report were the same.

I'm sorry this happened and I regret you lost the bonus on the job. I'm inclined to think most of us have screwed up a shop at one time or another, and if we haven't just give us more time and we will. I don't think I get special treatment. On my very first shop with them, I reported late and they dinged me some money. They had made it perfectly clear in initial training that if I reported late there would be a financial penalty. It was not a shock and I didn't feel mistreated.

I've been with them for several years now and while I don't work for them every day, I do work for them several times a month. It's been good for me.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
For what it is worth now that I am reading this thread I want to come out in defense of the idea that Proudly shopping evidently had in her mind. I do not know the rules for this particular shop but I grew up in New York and there are many places that will not let just anyone use the restroom. I would not have attempted to go in and use a restroom at a place I was not buying something at. I moved away from New York many years ago but still live in a big city and there are some neighborhoods where restroom use is strictly enforced. Many restaurants here require you to get a token before you can enter the restroom. I suspect this is still the case in New York but since I have not been there lately I do not know for sure. But when I grew up New Yorkers I knew knew not to expect to be able to just walk in somewhere and use a restroom. I guess as a mystery shopper with assignments like this requiring using the restroom first I would check out the location (or chain) first before accepting any assignments and/or contact the scheduler for help with getting around this situation before doing the job if I see it in a job. I have had many jobs where I have contacted a scheduler about what to do in the case of this or that. Just a few days ago I had a high end lunch shop where I had to sit at the bar and record 4-6 other drink requests while I was there. I suspected the lunch alcohol crowd would be sparse so I contacted the scheduler and asked what to do if there were not 4-6 other interactions. Good thing I did as there were no other bar customers for the 45 min -1 hour period I was required to sit there. luckily I knew ahead if that happened I could safely leave by permission and not stay until happy hour several hours later to get these interactions.
So my advice proudly shopping is not to be so proud and ask what to do if they will not allow you into the restroom "before" you are a customer. And off the record in both NY and LA I think I may not have an issue as an older obviously middle class white woman entering a food place however others who do not look like I do may have more problems with this scenario.
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