Market Force Shopper - Fraud

Hello, I'm new here. This is my first post. I came here because I wanted to see if anyone had experienced this same issue with Marketforce.

I recently did a shop for this company. It was a late dinner shop at (burger shop). My experience there was fine. The place was a bit of a mess which and in the end I gave the experience a 4 out of 5.

However the next day I got an email from MarketForce asking me to change an answer to one of my questions. They explained that the location I went to had its own dining area so I had to answer "Yes" to a specific question. I thought this was odd. I've done many shops for (burger shop) and different locations. So I know when to answer Yes or No for these questions. I'm positive that I answered it correctly.

So I went to redo the report as they requested. I changed my NO answer to a Yes. Then when I scrolled down to click "Save" I noticed there were a few more questions that didn't have a Yes or No answer selected. I thought this was odd because I'm not sure how the shop could have been submitted without the questions being answered. So I clicked on the "Summary" button to view all of my questions and answers on one page. I figured this would be the easiest way of finding out if I missed any other questions.

Then I noticed something. There was a question that asked if all the employees were in the proper uniform. I remember selecting NO and I even wrote a long description explaining so. While I was there doing my shop there was a young female in blue jeans and a white t-shirt that read "Seniors". I explained about how she frequently went from one of the tables in the store to the kitchen area and to the back a few employees where they couldn't be seen. I also mentioned that she was counting down the cash register. I used exactly 500 (the max) characters to explain this.

But my write up was gone and for the question "Were all employees wearing the proper (burger shop) uniform" a "Yes" was selected.

When I noticed this I immediately called market force and was forwarded to the auditor handling this shop. Once I explained this to him there was dead silence on the phone. I was told that they would call me back in an hour. That was 10 hours ago.

This seems like fraud. I know what I wrote and see that my answer had been changed. I didn't do any other (burger shop) shops during this time frame so I know I'm not confusing this shop with previous ones. Like I said this seems like fraud but the more I think about it I have to wonder why. Who would stand to benefit from something like this?

Once I get paid I'm thinking about contacting (burger shop) corporate location and explaining this but I really dont have a way of proving it unless they're able to review security camera footage from the place. But then I risk exposing my face to them as a secret shopper.

Has anyone else experienced anything shady like this?
What do you think I should do?

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Contacting (burger shop) corporate would violate your contract with MF. It sounds to me as if the editor was cutting corners for time, and it appears that he's been caught. I hope that you kept a copy of what you submitted. I would go up the chain at Market Force, all the way to the top if you have to. This hurts their business and their brand.

And, no, have never heard of something like this before (which is why it makes me think it's on the editor rather than a company-wide problem.)

Mod note: Name of burger shop removed so post conforms to Forum rules

Now scheduling travel shops for the day after Christmas through mid-January.
@sfmf wrote:

Hello, I'm new here. This is my first post. I came here because I wanted to see if anyone had experienced this same issue with XXXXXX.

Has anyone else experienced anything shady like this?
What do you think I should do?

sfmf, welcome to the forum. The first thing I think you should do is edit your post.

When you registered with this mystery shopping company, you signed an Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA). That ICA contains a confidentiality clause that prohibits you from revealing the company's clients, which your post has done on an internet forum. The ICA also prohibits you from contacting the client.

The company's Help Desk staff read here on the forum although they are prohibited from posting. The scenario you have presented is very specific, and, if it is accurate, it would be very easy for company to identify you. Breaking your ICA is grounds for deactivation.
If this is real, why would they send it back for the OP to change one answer when they had already changed so many others?
Both the OP and PasswordNotFound need to edit their posts. ICA and forum violations throughout. PNF has been a forum member long enough that he/she should know better.
I've never known mf to return a report and open it for revision and resubmittal, that's my experience. I've received an email that says "please explain x, y & z. I have asked, out of nervous freakoutedness that a report be opened because I omitted something or entered something in error, but they never have. They (Simone) responds that she's made note of it for the editors.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/26/2016 01:38AM by spicy1.
This is a very interesting topic. I have never had a form (from this company) sent back for me to edit or change an answer. I didn't even know that was a possibility. I'd be very interested to hear what they said when they finally get back to you.

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
My understanding was that about 6 to 9 months ago the MF policy changed to QA not contacting a shopper at all for changes or clarification. The shop was accepted or rejected, period, end of story. So I'm having real credibility issues here.
@Flash wrote:

My understanding was that about 6 to 9 months ago the MF policy changed to QA not contacting a shopper at all for changes or clarification. The shop was accepted or rejected, period, end of story. So I'm having real credibility issues here.

I've done many shops for Market Force. They have contacted me about issues and requested more information.
Contacting the client is out of the question. It's not just your anonymity you should be worried about, you signed a confidentiality agreement that I am sure has a clause about contacting the client somewhere. You risk legal repercussions. I don't know what to tell you about the rest of it.
I do a lot of those shops for MF, and have never had one returned for anything ever. They are legit, and pay consistently. MF has only ever contacted me for a follow up one time, and it was due to my error in attaching an incorrect photo. They accepted the follow up, and paid me for the shop.
The housekeeping issues of ICAs and the forum have been dealt with, thoroughly.

sfmf, the experience you've relayed is remarkable. To answer your question, MF has not returned a report to me for editing. Don't know if you've heard back from them or not. I think they record phone calls for reference. Not long ago, there was a snafu with one of my assignments. I called the Help Desk. After a short conversation, they told me they would check the previous recording and call me back. They called me back and it was satisfactorily resolved.

If I were you, I would proceed with the Help Desk. If you don't hear back, I would drop it. Watch the status of your assignment to see if it's Cancelled, Incomplete, In QC, Approved or Invalid. It may take several days to shake out.
Thanks for sharing your experience. As several members have noted, MF is well known for not reopening reports for any reason. On the rare occasion they request a clarification or have a concern; like many other MSCs, the editor handles things by email then adjusts the report internally.

Based on the observation you made about an employee, in theory it appears to be an acceptable situation that the report is not asking about. The employee was not engaging customers, not preparing food, performing some kind of managerial responsibilities. Their presence and auctions, by the clients instructions, may not be an issue that needs to be reported as discrepancy.

Job listing sites; [www.msjobboard.com] - Shopmetrics; [www.mystshopsol.com]; [www.jobslinger.com] - Sassie; [www.volition.com] - Various links; [www.mspa-na.org] -MSPA Members; link at bottom of forum page to their extensive list of companies
In 3,000+ MF reports that I have done, I think 2 were returned (if we are talking about returned reports needing clarification) More like "Did you see the associate with rolling footwear?" or "Did you see anything unusual on your shop?" ...

So, yes, there was a more recent email that was sent out to everyone that said if you submit the wrong photo, enter the wrong report for that date or enter incorrect data, they will not be sending it back to you." Their defense is that you have the "summary" button and that you agree to check your report in summary before submission.
I don't see why you are calling this "fraud". All I see is perhaps some misunderstanding between you and the editor. I appears that the editor felt the "employee" not in uniform was not relevant. It might have been someone off duty or a manager departing after their shift. Just let it go and do not contact the client under any circumstances.
@Flash wrote:

My understanding was that about 6 to 9 months ago the MF policy changed to QA not contacting a shopper at all for changes or clarification. The shop was accepted or rejected, period, end of story. So I'm having real credibility issues here.

I had to send QC info just this past weekend.

smiling smiley

Last month, too.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/25/2016 11:50PM by ceasesmith.
I believe that the warnings are covering them for repeat offenders or otherwise poor reports. I too have received emails, a recent warning and once to ask why a food pic was not done inside my car.


@ceasesmith wrote:

@Flash wrote:

My understanding was that about 6 to 9 months ago the MF policy changed to QA not contacting a shopper at all for changes or clarification. The shop was accepted or rejected, period, end of story. So I'm having real credibility issues here.

I had to send QC info just this past weekend.

smiling smiley

Last month, too.

Job listing sites; [www.msjobboard.com] - Shopmetrics; [www.mystshopsol.com]; [www.jobslinger.com] - Sassie; [www.volition.com] - Various links; [www.mspa-na.org] -MSPA Members; link at bottom of forum page to their extensive list of companies
@kenasch wrote:

I don't see why you are calling this "fraud". All I see is perhaps some misunderstanding between you and the editor. I appears that the editor felt the "employee" not in uniform was not relevant. It might have been someone off duty or a manager departing after their shift. Just let it go and do not contact the client under any circumstances.

He said "fraud" because, while I suspect that he very well knows it is not, he is looking for shock value, something that will be picked up by internet search engines. He has a bone to pick and he wants it to be very public. He wants to catch the attention of everyone here and stir things up. Words like "fraud," "unethical," "ripped-of," "scammers," and other such flamboyant bashing terms never fail to raise a lot of controversy.

@sfmf wrote:

Has anyone else experienced anything shady like this?
[/i]

I have not experienced anything shady like this with Market Force or any other MSC. I find the OP's post shady. Beware of bashing newbies who register just so they can post a negative story about a company.
@roflwofl wrote:

He said "fraud" because, while I suspect that he very well knows it is not, he is looking for shock value, something that will be picked up by internet search engines. He has a bone to pick and he wants it to be very public. He wants to catch the attention of everyone here and stir things up. Words like "fraud," "unethical," "ripped-of," "scammers," and other such flamboyant bashing terms never fail to raise a lot of controversy.
I can think of better words to catch one's attention. Titillating, Stimulating, Enthralling, Provocative, Tantalizing and LIJake (aka Cyber Stud!)
To me, "Market Force Shopper Fraud" reminds me of the guy a few years ago who forgot to order chili on his hotdog and so he went and bought a can of chili and poured it on the hotdog and then snapped the pic, encouraging honest shoppers to do the same. To me this is fraudulent, like taking a picture from the internet and cutting and pasting it on your report, hoping the photo DNA and the QC department will not know you took the trash can picture from the internet. That to me is Shopper Fraud.
I have had something like this happen as I move through a MF report. They say things like "If you saw blank, then change your answer to Yes". I also recently had to correct a picture issue that happened with MF and it looked like I was having service issues (I use the app) and they did reopen the report for me to correct the issues.
@kenasch wrote:

I don't see why you are calling this "fraud". All I see is perhaps some misunderstanding between you and the editor. I appears that the editor felt the "employee" not in uniform was not relevant. It might have been someone off duty or a manager departing after their shift. Just let it go and do not contact the client under any circumstances.

The question was something like "Were all (burger shop) employees in wearing the proper uniform. Hat, apron, ect." I answered "NO". Then I explained the situation as you've already read in my first post. I don't see how my description of an employee not in uniform is not relevant when the question literally asks me if the employees were wearing the proper uniform.

@roflwofl wrote:

He said "fraud" because, while I suspect that he very well knows it is not, he is looking for shock value, something that will be picked up by internet search engines. He has a bone to pick and he wants it to be very public. He wants to catch the attention of everyone here and stir things up. Words like "fraud," "unethical," "ripped-of," "scammers," and other such flamboyant bashing terms never fail to raise a lot of controversy.

Dictionary.com defines Fraud as deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage. My answer was changed from NO to YES and my narrative was deleted by the editor. Am I misunderstanding the situation or the definition of the word "Fraud" and using it incorrectly when describing what happened?
@sfmf wrote:


Dictionary.com defines Fraud as deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage. My answer was changed from NO to YES and my narrative was deleted by the editor. Am I misunderstanding the situation or the definition of the word "Fraud" and using it incorrectly when describing what happened?

I think your dictionary definition is correct but I think you are misunderstanding the situation. You are an independent contractor. You work for Market Force. The burger client who you visited and assessed is Market Force's client, not your client. Market Force has contracted with you to perform a shop and complete a report for them. Market Force will be paying you. Any report you complete belongs to Market Force, not to you, and not to the client until Market Force submits the report to the client as their work product.

It makes no sense to me that Market Force's QA would have changed several answers before returning the report to you to change one yes/no answer. If in fact QA changed any answers, I can't imagine why they would need you to change anything. They might well have changed all the answers. But, no skin off my nose. and although I find this suspicious, it doesn't really matter. Regardless of changed answers, there is no fraud here. You provided a report as you were contracted to do, and Market Force now owns the report. Whether they change all the answers, submit the report as is, or do not use the report at all, it makes little difference. The report is theirs.

You have no contract with the burger client. You have a contract with Market Force. You may want to go back and read your Shopper Agreement so that you understand your contractual responsibilities.
@AustinMom wrote:

Regardless of changed answers, there is no fraud here. You provided a report as you were contracted to do, and Market Force now owns the report. Whether they change all the answers, submit the report as is, or do not use the report at all, it makes little difference. The report is theirs.

So if I understand you correctly you telling me that because I gave them the report it becomes their property and because it's their property they can edit it however they want to without it being fraud?
That is not true. Market Force cannot edit a report so that a report that an IC submitted, which states that an employee was not in uniform, is changed to that employee was in uniform. That would be breaking their contract with the client, and they would not do that. Something else entirely happened here.
In a word, yes.

Shoppers are most often not privy to contracts between MSCs and their clients making it impossible to know if a changed report is fraud or simply the MSC doing what the client actually wants. For all you know the MSC may be aware some of the employees would be dressed in a different manner that day or that week and it should be ignored for reporting purposes.

@sfmf wrote:

So if I understand you correctly you telling me that because I gave them the report it becomes their property and because it's their property they can edit it however they want to without it being fraud?

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Again. Untrue. As she stated there is a question that specifically asks if all employees are in uniform. So, it is imagined that Market Force has knowledge that a specific employee will not be in uniform while working that day during that shop and the client is aware of it and therefore wants it removed so Market Force is sending the report back to have the IC contractor remove it? That's a high jump.
@spicy1 wrote:

That is not true. Market Force cannot edit a report so that a report that an IC submitted, which states that an employee was not in uniform, is changed to that employee was in uniform. That would be breaking their contract with the client, and they would not do that. Something else entirely happened here.

How can you tell me its not true. Other people in this thread have even stated that they've been asked to change answers to reports. MF can and does change answers. This is what happened here.

@LisaSTL wrote:

In a word, yes.

Shoppers are most often not privy to contracts between MSCs and their clients making it impossible to know if a changed report is fraud or simply the MSC doing what the client actually wants. For all you know the MSC may be aware some of the employees would be dressed in a different manner that day or that week and it should be ignored for reporting purposes.

@sfmf wrote:

So if I understand you correctly you telling me that because I gave them the report it becomes their property and because it's their property they can edit it however they want to without it being fraud?

I don't need to know the contract between MF and burger shop. If Im said burger shop and I hire your company to produce reports for me and you fudge those reports in anway then I believe I have legal grounds to sue you for fraud.
Spicy, my understanding is the IC was not asked to change the report regarding the uniform question, it was done by MF before it was returned. And if you will read below you will see at least one possibility which could explain it or you can just continue to be yourself.

sfmf, I can think of several reasons why the employee may have been there in something other than a uniform which would be just fine as far as the client was concerned. Perhaps the closing manager had to leave for an emergency and she was called in unexpectedly to close. She could have been coming in for some type of overnight activity, like inventory, and was not required to be in a uniform yet while there performed some other managerial duties. The bottom line, the contract between the client and MF is not the same contract as the one you have with MF and it really is none of your concern nor do you have any rights to sue anyone for fraud.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/01/2016 01:55AM by LisaSTL.
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