Being Revealed as MS to dealership

FYI for anyone doing shops for Summit Scheduling, has anything like this happened to you? I did a shop for them at a dealership and the next day I got an email from the manager saying "Dear X, Thank you for taking the time to come out to X yesterday. 'X Car Company' has advised me that you were a mystery shopper.  I appreciate your feedback.  As a matter of record, do you care to continue the conversation regarding the X vehicle?
Sincerely, X"

So I Fwd to my scheduler and they say: "Hmm, I would not reply because they don’t tell them who the shoppers are. He might just be trying to get you to admit it. Please do not reply. Sincerely, X"

I wrote back and said, "I have not replied, nor will I, as I'd never reveal I'm a MS."

Then i get a 2nd email from the manager two days after my shop: "Dear X, As I wrote you yesterday, thank you for the feedback from your visit.  I spoke with X earlier, who complimented my staff and me for earning the score we earned.  This was my first experience in having a mystery shopper since I assumed the duties of the sales manager. What I'd like to know now is this: would you be interested in trading in your X for the X vehicle?  From both third-party sources and our own customers, the X has received a lot of praise. If you're interested, I'd appreciate the chance to continue working with you.  If you're not interested, please let me know and I'll close out your record. Sincerely, X"

So I Fwd this latest email to my scheduler and say "I have to be honest and say that I would have preferred X Car Company did not share that I was a mystery shopper so quickly, but I also understand I have no say in the matter. I took great care to not use anyone's name in my survey, yet it has already been divulged to the dealer that I was a mystery shopper in 24 hours? Now I feel an obligation to respond to X, but what can I say that doesn't make me look bad? This is really frustrating."

Scheduler replies: "Email him and tell him you found another vehicle that better suits you, and thanks. I have already spoke to them about this and they do not give out names.  This salesperson is, what I believe, trying to get you to admit you were a shopper.  Feel free to block his email. Sincerely, X"

Then i get an email from an editor that says: "We apologize that your identity was revealed.  We understand the position this has put you in. Sincerely, X Editor."

I won't be doing business with Summit Scheduling any longer. Thought I'd share as I would hate for anyone else to have to deal with this.

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That sounds as if it is not the scheduling company's fault. You do realize that Summit is only a scheduling company and cannot control what happens between the MSC and the client.
There's lots of things I don't know about how it all works. I guess I just have the expectation that just as they expect me to maintain anonymity, perhaps they could do the same for me. Is that wrong? Don't they do more than just schedule as they are the ones reviewing my reports and sending them in to the clients? Maybe I'm wrong, but as much as they jump all over us to not use the associate's name and only say Sales Consultant, why do I have to do all of that if they are going to say who I am anyway? Seems counterproductive. But, I'm new so I guess I need to lower my expectations?
Oh, gosh. Did you e-mail him back that you'd found another vehicle, as the scheduler suggested? I've really never heard of a scheduler (or an MSC, for that matter!) "outing" a shopper. It's self-defeating.
When performing sales related evaluations, assume that your report may be shared with the associate being evaluated. For my previous employer, I sell cars for a living, the reports were shared with us. The intent of our program was to help sales associates improve, as well as recognize good performance. Without knowing the shopper (the full situation) the management and sales associates could not properly assess and utilize the report.

That being said, we were not supposed to share this with the shopper. We just stopped trying to contact the customer after understanding they were a shopper.

In this situation, it appears that the dealership location was either not properly trained on how to use the reports, or otherwise free to use them as desired.

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As others have noted, please don't blame Summit for this. It appears the MSC's end client, either the automaker or the franchise dealer, "outed" you by naming you. Or, because the dealership was given the report to review in a fairly quick time frame, it simply could be that the manager easily figured out it was you and may have just asked for, and received, confirmation. But he's not supposed to contact you. I hope Summit gets word back to the MSC who, in turn, will advise the client. This really shouldn't happen.

This isn't the norm, so don't let it discourage you!

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
This is an interesting situation. I'm going to make a few guesses. It's highly doubtful the dealership got a report back the day after you shopped them. So one of two things happened.

1. They figured out you're the shopper. The call from the manager suggests to me this is the case since he still asked if you wanted to trade the car. This tells me they weren't sure and we're trying to sniff you out. Night you said yes or still thinking then you were a real customer. If you made an escuse you were likely a shopper.

2. They really did get the report back that quick and they simply figured you out. Any new car shop report will obviously have the salespersons name. If it was from the previous day they likely was able to narrow it down to just you. Perhaps you were the only person who test drove that particular car that particular day. Nor there were details that made it obvious who you were.

On top of that for a new car shop, they already have your name, address, phone number, etc. If the MSC gave them your information they already had it. I imagine sometimes they might give the information to have you removed from their database. I know for some apartment shops the MSC does this. I wouldn't be concerned about it personally. I will say I would probably contact the MSC and let them know as they would have contacts at the brand who would probably be interested in knowing their dealership was approaching shoppers.

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At the moment only demons come to mind


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/11/2018 08:19PM by bgriffin.
@SassyB wrote:

FYI for anyone doing shops for Summit Scheduling, has anything like this happened to you? I did a shop for them at

No. You did a shop for an unnamed MSC which was scheduled by Summit. That Summit would contact the MSC's client is highly improbable. That the MSC's client would be aware of Summit's existence is even less probable.
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