By Adrienne Dobson, VP of Operations

Warning… brief rant ahead.

Does anyone actually like being told what to do?  Most likely, no.  But that’s the way life works.  From kindergarten to retirement, we are constantly given rules and being told what we can and cannot do.  The alternative to having no rules?  Chaos.  And mystery shopping is no exception!   This month we’ve been faced with an absurd amount of shoppers who did not follow instructions.  Whether it was intentional or not, unfortunately it does not always matter to our client.  If the client’s rules aren’t followed, we don’t get paid.  That means the shopper doesn’t get paid either!  Everyone loses.

Of course, accidents happen and things come up.  For shoppers who do their best and make honest mistakes, and then are up front about it, we understand!  No one is perfect, and we are grateful for your honesty and will do our best to help you.  We appreciate your willingness to work with us on an appropriate resolution to the issue.

Unfortunately, there are occasionally shoppers who either a. read the instructions and decide somewhere along the line to not follow them, or b. decide just not to read the instructions at all.  Yes, that has happened.  A very irritated restaurant shopper called to complain that a shop had been rejected.  Why?  Because the shopper didn’t do what was required.   And why?  BECAUSE THE SHOPPER DIDN’T READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!  Were we sympathetic in this situation?  The answer is no.  If you make the decision to wing it and ignore the instructions, we cannot be held responsible for your not being paid.  In signing up with us, you promise to abide by our independent contractor agreement, which means that you agree to follow all of the guidelines and requirements and complete your shop properly.

If you don’t want to do the shop the way it’s supposed to be done, or if in some form you don’t plan on following the instructions, then please don’t accept the shop.   I know you may have a desperate scheduler begging you, but we would much prefer you to just say no, instead of doing it wrong.  Though a few cynical shoppers may disagree, we really don’t like having to tell shoppers that we can’t pay them for their work.  Follow the instructions = GET PAID!   Another option regarding the instructions is just to ask us!  If there is something that you are concerned about, or maybe something is just unclear, please give us a call or email any of us.  We want you to feel comfortable and prepared, and we want you to do well!  We are always happy to help and answer questions, especially if it means you completing the shop correctly.

For the shoppers who DO read and follow the instructions (and there are plenty of you), WE CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH!  Really, thank you!  You give us hope and keep us going!  Keep up the great work!


Featured Image by Pixabay