ACL a closer look reimbursement and pay

I did a dine in shop the other day for a closer look. The shop was rejected because I had some errors. I was requested to return and redo the shop which I declined. I was then told that I would not be reimbursed because I did not accept the shop for a redo.. I would assume that since my shop was rejected the first time I would not be reimbursed at all. Also I noticed most of these shops are for two people two people not just for one person.. Bummer. Also I thought it was close to impossible to take all the required pictures and not have the server be suspicious of the shop being a mystery shop.

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If you look up a restaurant online there are a ton of pictures people post so I don't think they get suspicious.
If you don't reshop it and then complete the shop correctly, you will not get paid. Yes, most of their shops require two people. You can take the pictures without drawing much attention to yourself since many people photograph their food for social media. Some of the photos are unusual though. You have to take those anyway if you want to get paid.
I did a dinner shop last night for A Closer Look at the bar. I wasn't going to do these shops because of the picture requirements, but the scheduler texted me and asked, and I did not see "at bar" in the text, so I accepted. I did not want to do it because who takes pictures at the bar? I've done dining room shops for this chain without any issues. Well, I did the shop last night, took the pictures, and I don't think they suspected a thing since the bartender failed to do some major things she was supposed to do.
Most dining shops do seem to be for two people rather than one. Fast food shops tend to be for one person, and ACL doesn't really have fast food. (Market Force is a good place to go for fast food or fast casual shops for one person with very, very easy reports.) There are a couple of casual dining shops that are for one but most of ACL's dining shops require two people. I wouldn't worry about taking pictures. EVERYbody takes pictures these days. It isn't even unusual to see folks snapping photos and it isn't just selfies. It's photos of the place they are eating, the food they have ordered, their drinks, the bar, sometimes even the servers. They text photos to others, Facebook them, who knows what else. Nobody notices. Nobody cares. It's so common that you don't stand out and it doesn't really make anybody suspicious.
I did a dinner shop for them last night and had quite a lot to say about the service and food. I was pleased to see an email from the editor this morning thanking me for the report. No questions or clarification needed. Really appreciate the quick edit.
Sometimes education is expensive, as my mother always taught me. Pictures at the bar or in a restaurant are no big deal to anyone. The two diners requirement is absolute unless you get written permission to dine alone. That is rare but may happen when the scheduler and the client are BOTH desperate to get the shop done.

The more you read here and ask questions, the more free education you can substitute for the expensive kind, lol.

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.
Some shops say 2 diners but if you check the guidelines it mentions dining alone. There is one restaurant in that I do quite a bit for them and I do it alone.
At least from what I've seen, if it is dining at the bar you can normally do that alone. The western-style steakhouse is that way, and I do that quite often alone. The bar dining shop I did last night for ACL could have been done alone.
@lisaromie wrote:

I did a dine in shop the other day for a closer look. The shop was rejected because I had some errors. I was requested to return and redo the shop which I declined. I was then told that I would not be reimbursed because I did not accept the shop for a redo.. I would assume that since my shop was rejected the first time I would not be reimbursed at all. Also I noticed most of these shops are for two people two people not just for one person.. Bummer. Also I thought it was close to impossible to take all the required pictures and not have the server be suspicious of the shop being a mystery shop.

This has not happened to me with ACL but I am fairly certain if you did the redo and your report was accepted you would only get reimbursed for the redo and since ACL usually has no pay or minuscule pay you would not be ahead monetarily. The first attempt would be out of pocket for you. The main reason to do a redo is to make sure you stay in good graces with the company. Hopefully they will give you another chance to redeem yourself.
good luck.
@pegleg2000 wrote:

The one I do alone is not a bar shop. It has a salad bar.

If it is the one I am thinking of I really think they should allow two people. The reimbursement could easily cover two if you are careful but if you wanted to order a more expensive entree then you could choose to go alone. I think if they allowed two more shoppers would take it. I just happily booked one of them as a way to get one of their what they call desirable jobs. I actually prefer the salad bar place to the desirable place but I do like to do the desirable one once every year or two.
How quick is ACL to cut someone? I'm fairly new to mystery shopping in general and did a shop for ACL last week. I kinda flubbed it. My narrative was very detailed and I didn't get any questions about it specifically. However, there were several questions that required a Y/N/NA with an explanation. The explanations were thoroughly covered in the narrative but I guess I was supposed to answer the question as well as in the narrative. I was also flustered because the scheduler told me she would give me 24 hrs to turn the report in since I was catching it while on a road trip. But, in the wee hours of the morning got an email saying it was late so I was rushing to complete it. In my haste, I missed a couple of things. I responded to the editor's questions right away.

Ugh, now I am worried that I'm out before really even getting started. sad smiley
Most MSC's are pretty forgiving with their new shoppers. They key is to be responsive to the editor.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
ACL is great to work with. I've noticed their questionnaires are longer than some others but straight forward. As long as you follow the guidelines you will be fine. I did forget to take one picture on a past shop and they noted it in my response email but it was still accepted. The schedulers are flexible and very responsive.
I love working with ACL! Just remember the Shops/Reports are detailed so you want to make sure you have time to complete the Report.
For ACL, there is a certain client that they shop in the Southeast that allows you to do lunch alone if you chose to. I like to do that one because the reimbursement is standard for lunch and is GREAT if you dine alone.
In the DMV metro area they have a lot of lunch shops that can be done solo. And, the swag from one of their Middle Eastern carryout lunches will make 3-4 suppers for me! (And, I love that food!)

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.
ACL has a pretty good variety as far as requirements. The ‘at the bar’ are often solo (but not always), as are lunch shops. All the dinner shops I’ve seen for their clients are for two. There are exceptions-usually when they’re having trouble filling the shop or the time frame is difficult-and you can ALWAYS ask a scheduler if it’s an option. A lot of those will be as flexible as possible because they need it scheduled, so if it’s a reasonable request they will try to accommodate.
Not a big fan of ACL. They take too long to pay, and issue pages of guidelines. I made a slight error the other day, and explained why..now the whole shop is in jeopardy. I told them I needed to be paid, or I would not do any others. Any other industry you would be paid whether it was error free or not! There are wage and hour laws people.
I do a lot of shops for ACL. The last one I did I got an e-mail from the reviewer asking several questions that I had to answer. I did it and heard back later that the shop was accepted. The reviewer gave me some pointers on what I need to do in the future.
I really like ACL but am done with being paid by check so I no longer work for them. I travel too much for work and am sometimes overseas for months. Why some companies still pay by check is a mystery to me.
I've worked with ACL for years. They are a great company to work for, and I do like their clients. Don't worry about taking photos -- I do it all the time and no one pays any attention. Even at the bar. I just pretend I'm texting someone or checking something on my phone. They have been forgiving in the past and most of the time will change the due date if I get in a bind and ask them politely.
I agree so many people take pictures of decor, food, friends, selfies nobody will care. Unless you are using an iPad or something else, people might think it's odd, but if it is on the cell phone it's such common place in our society now I think it's quite normal. I rarely shop for ACL because of the no base fee. I've done just a couple shops for them and mainly I delete the emails more out of principal. However, I did sign up for one yesterday because it is a poke restaurant and I really like poke and I looked at the menu and it comes under the reimbursement if I went alone which is allowed. The last one I did for them was a popular juice chain the order requirements with taxes went over the max reimbursement! Why can't they at least cover the whole total?
Ok I have done the juice chain several times and no clue how you could go over if you order the requirements, perhaps you ordered extras?
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