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 Mystery Shopping in the news: Employee fired for poor report
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MichelleWA
Member

Sammamish, WA
USA
23 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2004 :  7:22:58 PM  Visit MichelleWA's Homepage  Send MichelleWA an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I came across this article today citing mystery shopping as the reason a fast food employee was fired. While I assume that someone reads my reports and someone gets talked to (or worse) for poor performance, it's interesting to see it referred to in a newspaper article. The girl was hired by another fast food company soon after.

Wrong coat lands cold employee in hot water

"Holly got busted by what's known in the trade as a "mystery shopper" - a sort of quality-control spy posing as a regular customer.

Swank explained that Taco Bell employs an outside company for that purpose.

"They come through from time to time and make sure our portioning is right," Swank said.

These "mystery shoppers" also critique the general operation. Holly's non-Taco Bell coat, spotted Sunday, cost the restaurant a major deduction.

Holly said her manager told her that the restaurant lost 28 points - out of a possible 100 - because of the unauthorized coat."

AdAora
Star Contributor

Deep in the heart of, TX
USA
3770 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2004 :  7:33:51 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
This just re-emphasises to me how seriously we need to take our assignments, and how seriously some of the clients take our reports.

Gold certified in TX
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PatriciaK
Valued Contributor

NJ
USA
119 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2004 :  8:04:12 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I think it was wrong for this young girl to be fired for not having the correct coat on. These companies should be using shopper reports as a training tool to help employees see what needs to be corrected. I am even more shocked that they would use this to fire her considering her age. There must be something more behind this and the manager was using that as the reason for letting her go. People are fired for stealing and they are corrected if they wore the wrong item of clothing.
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Arlene_HI
Star Contributor

Lawai, HI
USA
676 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2004 :  8:04:30 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I would suspect there was more to the "real" story. The coat incident may have just been the final straw.
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MichelleWA
Member

Sammamish, WA
USA
23 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2004 :  8:11:27 PM  Visit MichelleWA's Homepage  Send MichelleWA an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Here's the follow-up article about the fired employee:

McDonald's gives job to student fired from Taco Bell
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LindaCulp
Star Contributor

Portland, Oregon
USA
2339 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2004 :  8:39:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
There goes Holly's once-in-a-lifetime fifteen minutes of fame! All for 25 cents an hour!

Wait until she gets evaluated at McDonald's by a mystery shopper! Heaven forbid!

I hope she's wearing her nametag, or heads will roll!

Happily shopping the Portland, Oregon metro area!
~MSPA *Gold* Certified, 2003~
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1761 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2004 :  11:30:25 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I highly doubt that TB lost 28 out of 100 points just for one employee having a non-TB coat. Obviously, he wanted her gone and used the MS report as an excuse.

Julie
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MPresley
Valued Contributor

Lake Mary, FL
USA
155 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2004 :  04:10:00 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well, the article on Fox states they had talked about "it" before. I'm assuming she'd been warned about being out of uniform and thought she was getting away with something since management wasn't in. Sounds like an attitude problem to me. That's why I don't do FF. Why bother critiquing 17 year olds who could care less.

GOLD Certificate hxxy4v shopping Orlando, Winter Park, Sanford, Lake Mary, Orange City, Deltona, Deland, Oviedo, Altamonte Springs, FL
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6492 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2004 :  08:14:31 AM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I don't remember that question being on the reports. Did anyone back east have that question on their reports?

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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SoCalColleen
Valued Contributor

Ca
USA
128 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2004 :  10:49:16 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hold on a minute! This looks like a deeper issue than the poor, cold, Holly. There is one large portion missing out of this "unfair" story. ---What--- jacket was she wearing? Did it have some sort of advertisement for Coca-Cola on it, or a competitors company jacket? Beads, dangles, or glittery flakes that would get into the food? I know as a one time manager for YUM, Coke is a 4 letter word, and treated as such! Even to the point of stating "We have Pepsi, is this alright?" when someone would order a "Coke". Working in a snowy region for YUM, they had clean loaner company jackets on site for PT/DT employees, or FT employees had one issued to them as part of their uniform.
I agree, this appears to be the last straw, as mentioned before by Arlene.
Look who was happy to lure her over to them, and even a .25 raise to boast that they hired Taco Bell's bad employee. (Or again, Coke vs Pepsi.) Looks like free publicity for them, huh!

:-)
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SharonInCO
Valued Contributor

Conifer, CO
USA
218 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2004 :  1:11:39 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Colleen - when I worked for TB back in the "dark ages" we were supposed to correct the request for "Coke" because it was a trademark and TB could get in trouble for giving Pepsi when someone asked for Coke....

Sharon
MSPA GOLD Certified Shopper
Shopping the South and West suburbs of Denver
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SoCalColleen
Valued Contributor

Ca
USA
128 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2004 :  2:10:09 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Sharon. LOL. Dark ages... It seems that way sometimes, huh!(Thinking back now, it HAS been almost 10 years!) Yes, the issue of Pepsi VS Coke is a big one! Good to see another "Triconian" on the message board.

:-)
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SharonInCO
Valued Contributor

Conifer, CO
USA
218 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2004 :  3:21:06 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Colleen - I'm talking more like 25-30 yrs ago :)

Sharon
MSPA GOLD Certified Shopper
Shopping the South and West suburbs of Denver
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TraMartin
Member

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2004 :  5:10:28 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I wonder how the person who did the shop felt. After hearing she was fired. After reading the whole article I think the manager needs to go for firing her. It said that the month before she was given a pin for doing so well in drive thru. I think her past preformance speaks for her. I worked at a fast food place for 5 yrs and yes they had 3 coats in the store for drive thru, but the coats often disappeared for days at times. Many times I wore my high school coat because others would have the store coats or they would just stink from people wearing them out to do the trash. I figured someone didn't want to come to the drive thru window and me open it and they get knocked back by the spell of garbage. I place that spells like trash, truely somewhere I'd want to eat.
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MPresley
Valued Contributor

Lake Mary, FL
USA
155 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2004 :  5:22:45 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well 28 points didn't come from one girl out of uniform. Sounds like there was a ton of problems with no management in sight. The article was extremely slanted and I wrote the guy at Fox News about his article. Manager was taking out his frustrations. He should definately be the next replaced. Makes us MSers look like bad guys.

GOLD Certificate hxxy4v shopping Orlando, Winter Park, Sanford, Lake Mary, Orange City, Deltona, Deland, Oviedo, Altamonte Springs, FL
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VickiC
Star Contributor

Placentia, CA
USA
455 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2004 :  7:15:16 PM  Send VickiC an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yep. I worked for another FF place and the shared coat was nasty. I occasionally wore my own plain black one.

I was fired for an entirely different reason. I was the shift supervisor, left alone with only 2 other employees on a night shift. Neither one spoke English. I was trying to do the drive thru cash register, the inside cash register and check in the order which had just come in on a truck. I didn't even have someone to cover the microphone when I had to go to the restroom! The district manager showed up at midnight and fired me because the store was a disaster. He had driven by and seen the line at the drive thru. I said good riddance and never regretted it!

Shopping North Orange County, Gold Certified
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LisaOV
Star Contributor

MN
USA
2656 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2008 :  11:46:01 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
As an often cold person (as in my body is cold, I don't believe that I am cold), I feel bad for poor Holly!! However someone else pointed out that it might depend on what kind of jacket she is wearing. Most certainly if it said coke when they serve pepsi she'd be in trouble. My husband works for Frito Lay, owned by Pepsi and we are told that if they ever see him drinking a coke, on his day off or while working, he can get fired.
So silly.
Seems like Holly could have just had a warning and maybe Taco Bell could have supplied her with a jacket OR turned up their heat.
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SherryDG
Star Contributor

Chicago Burbs, IL
USA
364 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2008 :  05:36:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
How many times do companies have to tell their employees to wear such and such a coat, to wear name tags???

Too dumb to live

I'm curious why local management didn't tell her to go put the right coat on??? Imagine the company having to call a shopping company to make sure their employees have the right outfit on??

Is local/on site management asleep at the switch???

Then again, how many managers do I see that don't feel they should have to wear name tags, etc

Some days, I would fire the world

If I see an employee in the wrong clothing-I send them home to get the correct clothing, duh. Works like a charm

SherryDG
MSPA Silver
Happily shopping the Chicagoland area
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MariaPec
Valued Contributor

PA
USA
178 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2008 :  05:38:15 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Back in the Eighties, when there were "cola wars," I worked for a computer consulting firm. We were working at a law firm that represented Coke in Atlanta (where everything's Coke, it seemed to me). One of my friends brought a can of Pepsi into the building but ditched it before we got to the offices. Well, our boss got a call that day that the firm didn't want my friend on their account any longer. So logos can matter more than people...

Maria
Silver certified
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ShopperDee
Star Contributor

USA
416 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2008 :  11:45:25 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
This topic makes me wonder if I had been mystery shopped when I worked in a convenience store almost 30 years ago.

I was to wear a jacket, like 7-11 employees used to (but it wasn't a 7-11), but it was summer and hot, so I stopped wearing it after a few days. As far as I remember, no one ever complained about my not having it on.

The mgr. loved me because I worked 6-7 days/week and double shifts sometimes. (It was easy work, I wanted $, and I had nothing better to do.)I rarely had contact with the mgr, but when I did, it was positive because she knew she could count on me to pick up shifts. Most other employees did not like her.

Well, one day, she came in and yelled that I had better wear my jacket. She didn't care if I wore anything under it, she screamed, but I had better put it on. I had never seen her like that and couldn't figure out what the big deal was. Well, now I suspect I had been shopped and she got marked down.

Live and learn.

Dee
MSPA Gold
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