Mystery shop company nitpicking every little detail

I have been mystery shopping for over a year and have enjoyed my experience. I have many “go-to” shops but recently I have been expanding my shop repertoire. For the majority of my shops I have received many 9 and 10 scores as well as positive feedback. However, one mystery shop company consistently emails me after a shop for more clarification regarding silly details. It’s annoying but I answer back. Now, my last two shop for the company are “under discretion of the client” due to extremely small errors. One shop was a hotel shop I picked up last minute with extensive guidelines that I followed precisely except for a minor detail. I am feeling very frustrated and thinking of giving up shopping for fear of losing time and money and I’m not good at it. Are mystery shop companies able to deny shops? What are your thoughts?

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“Minor” details and “small” errors are subjective. What you deem insignificant may be important to the client. The MSC is actually being considerate of you by forwarding the report. If the client refuses none of you get paid.

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.
@Dinzy..I wouldn't quit after one disagreement..it sucks you are out the time,money and energy...if denied but now you have the choice to not shop that msc and or company again..I also have been shopping about a year and have 3 to 7 primary mscs I shop and have been trying new companies lately..a couple I have really enjoyed and a couple not so much..that is one of the nice things about mystery shopping..so much variety....
I would quit that company. They aren't the only one with that type of client.

When I shopped full time, I did a lot of apartment shops for two different MSCs. One MSC would rewrite my reports turning them into a flowery mess. The other MSC was very disorganized.

When I started shopping full time, I dropped the company that thought I did not give enough detail.

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
Absolutely totally depends on the "tiny detail". If it was something the guidelines specified, then it wasn't a tiny detail.

I understand your consternation at perhaps not being reimbursed. It could just be you weren't ready for this type of assignment yet (I've done thousands of shops, but basic insecurity keeps me from even TRYING certain shops).

Don't give up.

Best of luck.

And absolutely, yes, they can (and do) deny shops.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/10/2018 04:17AM by ceasesmith.
@Dinzy wrote:

Are mystery shop companies able to deny shops? What are your thoughts?

I guess that I'd need to know which company (not which shop you did for them) is consistently emailing you back for details.

I have a couple that do that to me as well. Service Check and CSE will do that if there are 100 questions and 30 "no's'; they want narrative on every single "no". For example, I could write, "The server took the payment and never returned to the dining room. I exited without seeing her again." They'd email and ask me to clarify if I was acknowledged and wished good bye by the server when I left.

A Closer Look will do that if I get lazy and don't spend 8-10 sentences on describing a restroom that has no issues.


Things happen. I had a shop denied at Disneyland once when they claimed that they had no cast member named, "Mark," at the venue. True, since he was hanging out and appeared to be from another area, but whatever. It happens. I did 1000's of shops there for over a decade.

Summary: don't give up too soon.
Service Check and Confero always seemed to send questions back to me about my shops. Rarely other companies do it, just those two. tongue sticking out smiley
I hate it when the companies make you restate what was already in the checkbox question. If I checked off the box that says “was the server wearing a uniform,” why do you need to come back and ask me to restate it in my narrative? 80% of the report becomes a copy and paste of the questionnaire.
hotsauce1, in some cases the client does not see the questionnaire at all. It is there for the shopper to use as a template for the narrative and the MSC to verify the narrative is consistent.

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.
Boy! Been there - no fun at all. There's always so much drama (in my mind) when I see a report that got kicked back. I find that if I just suck it up, read the comments w/o getting emotional, and get it done, it's less painful. Too many of those and I don't pick up their shops anymore, though.
@hotsauce1 wrote:

If I checked off the box that says “was the server wearing a uniform,” why do you need to come back and ask me to restate it in my narrative?

So they know you didn't accidentally check the wrong box when they go back to the manager wanting to know why their employees weren't wearing uniforms.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
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