A Closer Look saying they may not pay

I just did a restaurant shop with A-Closer-Look for the first time and I spent $95. The reviewer sent me a message saying that I may not get reimbursed (paid) because I ordered a small salad instead of a regular salad. I missed it in the instructions, but I have made mistakes before when working for other companies and I have never not been paid. I've been mystery shopping for about 7 years! Has anyone else not been paid because you did something wrong?

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I have made several mistakes with A Closer Look and have still end up getting paid. The client usually will accept the report as long as its not a HUGE error. And your error was definitely not huge. Have you gotten a message saying they forwarded it to the client? I think you should be fine.
I too expect you should be fine and get reimbursed. I have made small goofs with them in the past and received notification that the client may not accept the shop due to my error and that could keep me from being paid. They have never not been paid/reimbursed by ACL. I do make sure I don't make that mistake again.
Once, I did not take a picture of a dessert. I did everything else right. They threatened to drop me as a shopper. This was after many succesfully completed shops. They paid for that shop. I think if you fill out their disclaimer and you actually forgot something, your shopper status could be in jeopardy. Even with that, ACL is one of my favorite MSCs.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/19/2019 11:39PM by Niner.
I would much prefer catch and 'confess' my mistake in their disclaimer section rather than have them catch and complain.
A Closer Look tries its best to get reports accepted and shoppers paid. After all, if the report is not accepted, they don't get paid, either.

My first sit-down restaurant shop for them, I was to order an appetizer OR soup or salad, an entree, and dessert. I hadn't been in the restaurant before, and when I looked at the menu, they had a "special" which included a choice of appetizers, entree, and dessert for a set price well below my reimbursement. So I did EXACTLY what I would have done on my own dime -- ordered the money saving "special".

YIKES! Big mistake!

This took many e-mails to straighten out. I had to, for some reason, convince them that I received the exact same table service as if I had ordered the items separately. Yes, I received my salad at XX. XX; offered a drink refill at XX: XX; received my entree at XX: XX, my dishes were cleared at XX: XX and dessert delivered and another refill offered at XX: XX.

I was paid in full. I do believe that if the client accepts your report, you will be paid. ACL is a company with integrity.

The following month, the guidelines clearly stated that the shopper was not to purchase the "special" LOL!

Edited because XX: followed by two more Xes shows up as an angry face!!!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2019 12:49AM by ceasesmith.
xxxx had to see for myself XXXX

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2019 02:39AM by BuffaloNY101.
its just comes up as 4x's either lowercase or uppercase. No angry face for me

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
Two XX’s plus spacebar on my iPad produce a ? That’s a new shortcut for me. Who knew ?
That's irony, LOL. It took 3 keystrokes instead 1 to create a "shortcut" LOL!

@kenasch wrote:

Two XX’s plus spacebar on my iPad produce a ? That’s a new shortcut for me. Who knew ?
Yes, she said that she would forward my report but wasn't sure they would pay. I'm glad I asked on here because you guys have made me feel like I will get paid. I feel better!
@JASFLALMT wrote:

That's irony, LOL. It took 3 keystrokes instead 1 to create a "shortcut" LOL!

@kenasch wrote:

Two XX’s plus spacebar on my iPad produce a ? That’s a new shortcut for me. Who knew ?

Actually it’s faster for me on an IPad. To get to the ? I have to pull down on the “period” or switch the keyboard to symbols. . Using two x’s seems faster and let’s me continue with the flow of my typing.
I do their regional gas stations regularly. Today, I forgot to get a receipt for the gas. I noted it in the report and the disclosures.

@Flash wrote:

I would much prefer catch and 'confess' my mistake in their disclaimer section rather than have them catch and complain.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I have done MANY shops with ACL. The editor found an error and brought to your attention. Client accepts report or doesn't.
I have never not been paid after making some errors. One thing to watch, a salad is not an appetizer . Only order appetizer from actual appetizer section on menu.
I think you will be paid.
I was once offered a "first dibs at a reshop for your rejected shop" by ACL. I honestly can't remember the issue but I think it had to do with fairly vague guidelines for a new client. I politely asked if they could submit it to the client before rejecting it, which they did and I got paid. I've occasionally been chided by editors for things like forgetting to take a picture of a beer can but I still get offered promo shops, upscale eateries, etc.
It is a good idea to look at the menu online ahead of time and check with the scheduler if you find offering headings that are not the same as on the guidelines..such as a menu having a section called small plates and/or starters but no section called sides or appetizers which you are required to order from. Salads are tricky too as there are often entree salads and small side salads and it is not always clear what they want. Specials are special. Many msc have allowed me to order a "special" that includes a required dessert or side but it is a good idea to clear it first. I would imagine if you order the special they may not like that because the server might not then suggest, as required by the server, a side with it or a dessert since you already have one coming.
But all in all I find ACL to be more fair and forgiving for slight issues than the average company and even tho they have a small or no fee that goes a long way in my book.
I have done my share of restaurants, and never (never) had a shop that didn't say not to order the special.
Never order the special, your lucky they paid you. The first job with MF, I had to order a milkshake and I did, bur I didn't order a soda...who orders both, well, I didn't get paid.

Live consciously....


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/22/2019 12:14AM by Irene_L.A..
I have been allowed many times to order...not the special necessarily but a combo on the menu that would satisfy the appetizer or dessert or drink requirement or all three. Also the soup instead of an appetizer is often allowable when I ask and that saves lots of money for use on ordering the entree. Every job is different so you gotta ask!! Even if it is the same msc but a different client.
My original post wasn't clear.

The "special" wasn't a special like I would expect.

It was a list of appetizers, a list of entrees, and a list of desserts.

The "special" was order one from each list, and the price was significantly lower than ordering the items "a la carte", so to speak.

It wasn't covered in the guidelines (but "don't order from the senior or child's menu" was).

And like I said (I think), the next month the guidelines were corrected, and clearly stated NOT to order from that selection.

So there's a really good chance I was not the only shopper who made this choice. I doubt one shopper screwing up would cause a correction to guidelines.

@Irene_L.A. wrote:

I have done my share of restaurants, and never (never) had a shop that didn't say not to order the special.
Never order the special, your lucky they paid you. The first job with MF, I had to order a milkshake and I did, bur I didn't order a soda...who orders both, well, I didn't get paid.
ACL said they wouldn't pay me for a similar small error, but they used my shop, so I insisted that I get paid. They will find reasons to not pay you, IMO. So be careful. They can submit the shop and get paid by the client and not pay you, since they are different agreements.
How do you know that they used your shop?

@rothers27 wrote:

ACL said they wouldn't pay me for a similar small error, but they used my shop, so I insisted that I get paid. They will find reasons to not pay you, IMO. So be careful. They can submit the shop and get paid by the client and not pay you, since they are different agreements.

Shopping the South Jersey Shore
@ceasesmith, it sounds like you ordered off of a prixe fixe menu? I don't see a problem with that. Before ordering, the server still could suggest/upsell. Your meal is being served the same way? App and then entree, finally dessert? What was the MSC's problem?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2019 04:24AM by Madetoshop.
I think the problem was no other shopper had ordered the way I did. I did order an app, an entree, and a dessert; in my view, yes, prix fixe. Meal served the same way as a normal order. My servings were the same portion sizes as the people being served at other tables.

Part of the problem was, IIRC, they wanted the separate prices for each part of the order, and there were no separate prices, just a total. Like they wanted to know if the app (onion rings) were $4.99 or whatever, and I couldn't tell them. It was just one price, and it was a terrific savings over ordering the items separately, so I did exactly what I would have done if I'd been dining on my own dime -- I took the money-saving option!

It all worked out in the end, though -- client accepted report, and I was paid in full.
My shop was alslo approved. The QC team asked for a screenshot of the gas transaction. That surprised me.

@HonnyBrown wrote:

I do their regional gas stations regularly. Today, I forgot to get a receipt for the gas. I noted it in the report and the disclosures.

@Flash wrote:

I would much prefer catch and 'confess' my mistake in their disclaimer section rather than have them catch and complain.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I quit shopping for them years ago. They have never paid me for a shop that I've done for them, any little thing, or excuse, and then they say that no matter how good your report is, they may not pay you anyway.
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