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 Shops you wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole?
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FranS
Star Contributor

Estero, FL
USA
461 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  09:29:53 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I did a restaurant in a hotel shop last year. We had to sit at the bar for 1/2 hr and then move to the dining area in the same room to dine. OK, so we get this kid who is bartender, server, and manager all in one! He handles the bar with huge amounts of overpouring. He tells us all kinds of information about hotel and restaurant management that is none of our business. Right there he loses lots of points. We have been there before with no problems but with different staff. We go to dine, and see they have limited their menu to sandwiches and a few entrees. We only asked where certain entrees disappeared to, and he offers that the hotel management is stingy and hates losing money so they cut them menu down. He continues to blister the management about being cheap. Then he offers to have the chef cook us up some special items; stuff they served on certain nights but not that particular night. We decline several times till he insists that he does it all the time, and it is no big deal. He really high-pressured us. OK, we order from the 'special night' menu. There were dozens of issues with the meal. Cold food gets sent back. Wait times are long. Table maintenance is awful. Etc. Needless to say, he scores low all round. The narrative report on my end is long. This firm requires looooong narratives. I document everything. Weeks later, I get a call from the MS company. Seems our boy says we insisted on the special meals and because we did, the chef was unprepared and that is why they scored low. Forget the table issues, the overpouring on bar drinks, etc., this kid refuses to accept responsibility. He says he knew we were the shoppers and that is why he tried to please us. Fortunately, the MS firm is one I have worked for for a few years, and they are responsible people. They asked me to explain in detail step-by-step what happened (most was in the report but I elaborated some more). They agreed that his pressure to order non-menu items was his fault, not ours, and accepted my report and reimbursed me in full, along with the fee. Many MS companies would not have paid us in full. Many cannot deal with the clients who complain. You know, the client is always right; unfortunately the shopper is not. I truly think that the fact that this young man bitched about the hotel owners and managers verified our report. I refuse to shop there again. I will accept other jobs from this MS company, but not that place.

FranS
Silver Certified
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BetteNan
Valued Contributor

Newtown, PA
USA
127 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  09:31:31 AM  Visit BetteNan's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VickiC

Some shops scream "I'm a shooper", but they are so nice and easy I do them anyways. If I'm spotted, then so be it, it's not my fault the scenarios is so badly written. Does any real customer inquire about the catering programs, then ask a stupid question about gift cards, then casually ask if there are any new menu items they should try, all during the lunch rush with 10 people in line behind them?
Just did that shop, at a location that just opened..the cashier, a sweet, but not the brightest bulb on the block, young thing said....not really...like everything is kind of new here and then I launch into the gift card question . It was interesting

Bette Nan
MSPA Gold M1anhz... shopping Beautiful Bucks County, PA and Center City Philly
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BrendaJM
Contributor

OH
USA
93 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  10:02:39 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I did this shop a while ago, leaving a $20 on the floor of the car. The valet followed me into the restaurant to return it to me. I called for the Manager & got him a bonus as I revealed myself to him in front of the Manager & boy was he shocked, happy & hugged me.

These shops I really like!

But then you get a shop that is to reimbuse you for your meal (for 2 people) for $16 and nothing on the menu is cheap enough to order totalling $16 with no tip! And the chain did not seem like a rip off place. But we lucked out on just pancakes for both of us, no eggs, toast, etc. So that was $5 each + tax & a tip = $16. The waitress brings the tray with 2 plates, is cornered by a woman who didn't get a coffee refill & as the gal goes to walk to us she tripped & away went out pancakes into the iar & then the floor after a 20 minutes wait. NEVER AGAIN! We'd never to to the restauant again either...........

Brenda JM
MSPA Silver Certification
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BrendaJM
Contributor

OH
USA
93 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  10:06:31 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I did a couple of them for $30 each, first one I walked the store tho my letter to the Manager tells her/him that they work with me or they get someone. She didn't & it took me 3 hours.

Next shop for $30 I get a great manager who was laughing that I am coated in mud from dogs who love me in his store. Then he pulls out his computer & enters UPC # & it tells him if in stock & price, so we did 150 items in under an hour.

So I took all 10 shops in Ohio & did them all in the same way having Managers use their computers telling them "I know a secret that saves you time". They all oved it & me and I some nice cash!

Brenda JM
MSPA Silver Certification
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Elizabeth36
Star Contributor

Greenville, NC
USA
566 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  10:11:19 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Brenda- I have done several of these Pet Store Audits as well.. But my understanding is that you are supposed to WALK the floor and view each item to be sure it is there.. Just because it is IN STOCK does not mean it is on the shelves (and not the endcaps or sitting in the back stockroom).. Be careful doing your audits the way you are, if you get caught you might have them all invalidated and not be allowed to do them anymore...

I can do my audit in just over an hour now because I have done them so much I know where everything is.. LOL

Elizabeth
Shopping Greenville NC and surrounding areas!
I WANT MORE MERCHANDISING WORK! Call me, ok?
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BrendaJM
Contributor

OH
USA
93 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  10:20:41 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
They did a hostile takeover of Princess & destroyed a wonderful cruise line. We were Platinum members with 15 cruises, then the takeover. No Butlers in suites, no free booze, no robes for the first 3 days or slippers and the balcony is coated with some cheap plastic that feels like razor blades (anti slip they say). All the great stuff Princess had was gone for our last 2 cruises, then we were also! I hate ads stating Carnival's newest ship & it is Princess!

No air, they paid for me and they were to do my tips, my DH did his.
I sold my review to Travel & Leisure also........... ship was Miracle. At the first port I phoned the co. that hired me to inform them, we did get a phone message that we had an $800 onboard credit for my DH's fare refunded. So we got ear plugs to sleep with & enjoyed the ports with the $$$. E Carib is quite boring to me.

Brenda JM
MSPA Silver Certification
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BrendaJM
Contributor

OH
USA
93 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  10:27:48 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I did a walk thru with the Mangers before I left, since I knew where everything was by Month 3 & they green dot it all for the sale that weekend.

Brenda JM
MSPA Silver Certification
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Cynthia MT
Contributor

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
USA
95 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  12:59:58 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just did the coffee shop with the smells like a shopper question. The employee replied, "I don't drink anything here while I'm working. I hear you can gain 10 pounds, if you do" Something tells me she hadn't figured out I was a shopper.

Silver Certified (i2zcfj) and Shopping Southeast Wisconsin
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BrendaJM
Contributor

OH
USA
93 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  02:58:35 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
A MESSAGE TO NEW SHOPPERS.

You will see ads for companies advertising GET PAID TO CRUISE but they charge you $150 for info. Forget it! They take your money & are gone with no cruise info. You do not have to pay to MS. Just view the shops posted here, all free, all reputable companies.

After you are working MS for 5+ years, you will hear from new companies as I believe companies pass good employees to other good companies as I get emails stating I was referred to them.

Even funnier was emails I got from folks who had my stateroom on a guarantee they bought. It is NOT employee floor, so can you picture paying for it?

Brenda JM
MSPA Silver Certification
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Christy_LC
Star Contributor

Lake, Illinois
USA
370 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  2:03:33 PM  Visit Christy_LC's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I used to do a lot of the weight loss shops - no more. Make an appointment, spend time and gas money getting there, spend an hour in a high pressure (and demoralizing) sales pitch, and write a lengthy narrative. This is followed up by phone calls from the salesperson. The fee? $15.00. It is really pretty machochistic.

Christy
The shopper formerly known as ChrisLC
MSPA Gold
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GVargas
Valued Contributor

WA
USA
163 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  3:10:00 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I signed up to do a competitve grocery pricing shop once. I thought it would be fun going through and getting the prices of items, then checking at my normal grocery store which lists the prices of its competitors to see if they used the values I had reported. But it was so hard finding all those items at a grocery store that I don't normally go to, and I hated having to get out my list and write prices down all over the place. Not to mention that every department I went to someone approached me and asked if they could help me find something. It was just wasn't as fun as I thought it was going to be...

Garrett
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Quinn
Star Contributor

Atlanta, GA
USA
50245 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  3:16:19 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I agree, grocery store shops in no way excite me. Im a quick shopper. and the thought of spending 30 minutes or so in a grocery store asking inane questions does not excite me.

I have also read of those shops that require you put some big item under the cart and report if someone picks it up for you.

I am 6'1 and my fighting weight is 200, however I am at 215 now, no one is going to pick up some item I put under my cart.
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BrendaJM
Contributor

OH
USA
93 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  05:02:12 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
If you are like me think back 5 years. A Market Research firm I had worked part time in the holidays for spare cash asked me to start MS for them. I did drive thrus, health spa memberships, gas stations, grocery stores, and worked up to cell phone sales to new user. I had plenty to do from one company. So I ventured out to MSPA (who I learned about from a Yahoo search) and found more companies with better jobs for more $$$. Guess we learn as we do since I am so picky now since I know I have time to play as well as time to do my normal stuff.

Vacation in 20 days - Transcanal cruise on Celebrity Summit & I plan to be spoiled rotten since we are Elite with them. Gosh, I'd love to work for them on a cruise since everything is perfect!

Brenda JM
MSPA Silver Certification
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.Michele@ SpiesinDisguise
Inactive

Grand Rapids, MI
USA
94 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  05:09:46 AM  Visit .Michele@ SpiesinDisguise's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Quinn - we don't offer these shops, but just a thought. . .maybe you have a bad back and CAN'T pick something up. When I broke a vertebra, I couldn't pick up tissues, let alone a bag of dog food etc.

Michele F. Leads at Spies in Disguise http://www.spiesindisguise.com/
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CorrieS
Star Contributor

Briarwood, NY
USA
932 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  06:41:17 AM  Send CorrieS an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BrendaJM

They did a hostile takeover of Princess & destroyed a wonderful cruise line.
I'm so disappointed to hear this. We took Princess for our honeymoon (my very first cruise) and it was out of this world. We have said we are going to go again for our 10 year anniversary (2007) but after hearing this we'll probably stick with Norwegian... great cruise line though not nearly as upscale as Princess was... but better than Carnival, any day.

Corrie S.
MSPA Silver Certified
shopping NYC & Nassau County... and willing to travel...
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RobertaP
Apprentice

Chicago, Illinois
USA
4 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  07:47:45 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The job I will not touch with a ten foot pole again is the Swisher Hygiene shops. They ask you to take photos of the air fresher,urinal, toilets and something called flush holes. These are under the rim in the back of the toilet. Yuck.
They tell you to use a mirror, but the choices are stick your hand with mirror down there or stick your camera down there. Neither are appealing to me. After all, these are public toilets! They need to send rubber gloves and a camera. This has got to be the worst shop I have done.

Roberta
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Quinn
Star Contributor

Atlanta, GA
USA
50245 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  08:10:49 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thank you Michele, I never thought of that. Since this is one of my 10 foot pole shops, I may be able to use that idea if I ever need it in another venue.
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ChrisT
Star Contributor

USA
1513 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  11:26:44 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
This job posting made me laugh and one I wouldn't touch with a 10 ft pole at the shop fee listed.

A shopper would have to be to take this for a mere $8

here is an excerpt: "you will have to make a purchase AND return an item on the same day. The form requires several narratives....required to interact with a sales associate in the assigned department."

At least they're honest

ChrisT
Deliriously Happy Shopping Uncertifiable
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Elizabeth36
Star Contributor

Greenville, NC
USA
566 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  11:56:20 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RobertaP

The job I will not touch with a ten foot pole again is the Swisher Hygiene shops. They ask you to take photos of the air fresher,urinal, toilets and something called flush holes. These are under the rim in the back of the toilet. Yuck.
Roberta- I used one of those mirrors that is on a stick, sorta like an antenna with a mirror attached to it... No hands or cameras anywhere near the toilet... :)

Elizabeth
Shopping Greenville NC and surrounding areas!
I WANT MORE MERCHANDISING WORK! Call me, ok?
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Mike Krieger
Star Contributor

USA
294 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2005 :  11:05:29 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Tuxedo shops for $12. I was like this: when I first accepted it since you can keep what you purchase if it is under $25. However, the scenario says that you must buy a shirt and the only one they sell was going for $35. Well, even though the instructions say that 75% of the items that this store sells is under $25, that's not true. So, I have to return this tuxedo shirt in a prepaid envelope to get reimbursed for the shirt and payment for the shop.
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