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 Is it ethical to do two shops at the same time?
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Cheryl_In_NC
Member

Raleigh, NC
USA
22 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2004 :  07:09:19 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
If I am scheduled to do a price audit for a ff store and have the opportunity to also shop them for another company, is it ethical to do the two shops on the same trip or should I do them at different times?

My thought was that it would be ok because one was merely a price audit and the other was a quality audit. I have not run into this before and would love to hear from some of the veterans.

Thanks !!
Cheryl

~~~MSPA Silver Certified~~~
Shopping the Raleigh/Durham area

.ShannonPA
Inactive

PA
USA
415 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2004 :  07:41:39 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
If the price audit is where you have to collect prices from their menu board, I would say it isn't right to do both at the same visit. Even if you are to collect the prices from the drive thru menu board, you might still call attention to yourself. I've done DTPs before, and have had employees come out and ask what I was doing. Even if they don't come out and ask, they can still notice you on video surveillance camera monitors.
When you are doing a regular mystery shop you must do nothing to call attention to yourself. The price audit, should your activities be noticed, will do just that. Therefore, you would compromise your mystery shop.

MSPA Gold Certified uwjrsy
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VickiC
Star Contributor

Placentia, CA
USA
455 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2004 :  07:48:22 AM  Send VickiC an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Does anyone do the DTP audits by snapping a qick pic of the board and reviwing it at home?

Shopping North Orange County, Gold Certified
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Cheryl_In_NC
Member

Raleigh, NC
USA
22 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2004 :  08:15:30 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VickiC

Deos anyone do the DTP audits by snapping a qick pic of the board and reviwing it at home?
What a wonderful idea!! I hadn't thought of doing that but I guess that explains why you are a Valued Contributor and I'm just a Trainee!! I've got 14 of these to do by Wed -- taking pictures will certainly allow me to better manage my time.

Thanks for the help Vicki.

~~~MSPA Silver Certified~~~
Shopping the Raleigh/Durham area
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.ShannonPA
Inactive

PA
USA
415 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2004 :  08:16:38 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
That has been discussed before, and yes, people do that. Make sure you get all the prices in your photo before you leave, or you'd have to make a second trip. I'd suggest taking the photo, driving a short distance away, and then filling in the prices on your sheets before you go all the way home. That way if anything is missing, you can go right back. Watch out for glare on the boards.

MSPA Gold Certified uwjrsy
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MarteeC
Star Contributor

Tampa, FL
USA
1352 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2004 :  09:07:59 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
"Double dipping" has been discussed here before with numerous opinions. I personally do not have a problem with it. On multiple occasions I have been asked to complete shops at the same location for two different purposes. One may be a competitor shop, one might be a vendor, compliance or franchise shop. I inform both schedulers that I am completing a shop for both and have never had anyone balk. Two completely different reports are completed usually focusing on different aspects of the shop and based on client needs. It makes sense fiscally to do so.
I would complete my straight MS shop, then do the price audit (photos are an excellent way to do these BTW) as I was departing the location. Both are covert.
Obviously this would not work on a revealed audit-that would certainly cause problems and bias issues would arise.
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VickiC
Star Contributor

Placentia, CA
USA
455 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2004 :  8:01:04 PM  Send VickiC an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
You are welcome for the suggestion Cheryl. I've never actually done a DTP audit, just got an email about a bunch today that I dave no time to do. (darn kids and their ear infections) As I was reading the email I just wondered out loud if you could use a camera so I posted it here. If I ever do one I'll keep it in mind for me too.

Shopping North Orange County, Gold Certified
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AnneMKat
Contributor

Medford, NY
USA
64 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2004 :  7:26:17 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I was just wondering the same thing about "double dipping"! I decided to not do it, and went to the movies twice (oh, what a shame for me!), but I could have doubled up on it sooooo easily! One shop was a "regular" movie theater shop - evaluate the ticket seller, concession stand, theater, etc. The other was a "Reward" shop, where the concession person had to do the SAME things as the other shop. Of course, I had to reveal myself for this part, but it was AFTER the sale was completed, so my revealing myself did not change the service I received. I also had evaluated all of my other areas already, so those comments wouldn't have changed. What do you guys think?

Proudly Shopping Suffolk County, NY and Beyond! MSPA Silver Certified #ysxh9d
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MarteeC
Star Contributor

Tampa, FL
USA
1352 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2004 :  3:39:04 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
In this case it would not have been feasible. Even if you feel you were able to gather the information without compromising your service prior to revealing-Unless you are completing a revealed shop, MS companies 1st rule is: Do not reveal yourself as a MSer. It would make it pretty hard to follow that rule if you just got through announcing that you are in fact their MSer. You made the right call!
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ElaineHN
Star Contributor

Georgia
USA
462 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2004 :  07:06:56 AM  Visit ElaineHN's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
This was a very different scenario ... but I did three shops in one once ... shop #1 - the membership desk of a wholesale club, shop #2 - a fastfood restaurant located w/in that club, shop #3 - a product demonstrator in the Health & Beauty area of the club.

Each was for a different MS company ... none of the required observations or time frames overlapped or interferred with one another ... none required that I reveal myself in any way. I just stopped in the FF and had lunch (1 down) ... proceeded to the membership desk (2 down) ... and then wandered the store till I came upon the product demo (3 down). I've seen cell phone shops in that same location, but unfortunately I didn't happen to find one of those for that same day.

Elaine

~*~ Shopping West Georgia (Carrollton, Douglasville, Newnan, etc.) & Metro Atlanta ~*~
MSPA Gold Certified Shopper
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MarteeC
Star Contributor

Tampa, FL
USA
1352 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2004 :  07:16:16 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Go Elaine!!! Makes those lower paying jobs much more palatable when you use your noggin!
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JamieDurain
Trainee

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2004 :  10:20:27 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I do not feel that it would be fair to the client that you are shopping if their jobs are being completed at the same time. They order both jobs for a reason. I think you should give your full attention to the one shop and then you can go back later and complete the other shop.
You are cheating both companies that you are working for by shopping the same client at the same time.

Thanks!
Jamie D.
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MarteeC
Star Contributor

Tampa, FL
USA
1352 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  09:07:47 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jamie, I admire your integrity, but if you note in my first post, this is done regularly and one should notify both companies that you are doing so. Most of the time when these can be completed, you are referring to low paying, minimal observation shops. Jobs that are not overly desirable on their own. They do not require a whole lot of effort, although I have completed new car shops that did require much more effort and still completed them both satisfactorily. The companies were both aware I was doing so. They were similar in need, one was for the dealership, one for the manufacturer. Frankly, It would not have been worth my while to have completed just one and I took them only because I could complete both and make $80.00 total Vs $35 & $45 for a two hour test drive to close shop. Certainly you must use common sense and be realistic, but I see nothing inherently wrong with combining two shops. I respect your opinion, but think the term "cheating" the clients is a bit harsh.
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Angela Burton
Valued Contributor

Schererville, IN
USA
197 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  10:01:43 AM  Send Angela Burton an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
So what is the opinion of the shops I completed the other day:

I had a large mall observation shop - not a reveal - where I had to evaluate the customer service desk, housekeeping, security, cleanliness, etc, etc.

While I was going to be at the mall for a few hours anyway to make all of the required observations, I picked up a few cell phone kiosks, lunch shop, and retail.

I don't think this was wrong as all of the shops had their own time frame and my dedication. I just evaluated the mall and the mall staff as I wandered from store to store.

Shopping NW Indiana
MSPA Gold Certified #7cw9pu
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Sandi In Mississippi
Star Contributor

MS
USA
1285 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  10:23:54 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
There have been a few instances where one shop provided me opportunity to see things I might have missed on the other shop! I consider shopping a convenience store AND the fast food chain within it perfectly permissable provided schedulers have no problem with it. You end up spending more time and may be able to add details observed. For instance, I completed a store shop with a clerk who was merely indifferent to me. Then I shopped my fries and greasy-burger. Outside the connected store, as I departed my fast food shop, was the store clerk smoking, throwing butt in parking lot and arguing and cursing loudly over her cell phone. I added that to my convenience store report. That was a negative impression I would not have seen if I had just shopped the store!
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Shel
Star Contributor

MI
USA
474 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  7:30:24 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
In this hectic world, I like to think of shop combinations as
"multi-tasking".
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NatalieH
Contributor

USA
8291 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  5:04:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I don't see any problem with completing two shops simultaneously, as long as each report is individual and written specifically for each client. I've completed shops in this manner before. It's pointless and a waste of time to do them separately.

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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  9:50:39 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I don't agree with doing this. I have had several opportunities, but did not feel right about doing it. Can any companies or schedulers offer us on your feelings about this?

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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Dar-L
Star Contributor

USA
1031 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  9:59:59 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Can save lots of driving when "doubles" can be done with all due diligence to each client.

Did three of them today; double the pay for only about 50% more work/time. Saved me 150 miles of driving on a return trip.

Agreed though that we each must be honor-bound to give each client their money's worth. As far as the OP, I see nothing wrong with ordering the food and getting all necessary observations for the MS, then sitting down to eat while she jots down menu prices for the other job. More power to her!
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Pat S
Valued Contributor

San Ramon, CA
USA
142 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  11:18:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have to agree with Dar-l about the food shop and then prices. That isn't the same information.

A good analogy would be:

You hire 2 estimators to get a quote to see how much it would cost to get your car fixed after crashing it (probably while mystery shopping ). They ask you to bring it to their office and leave it for the day. The company then asks their employee, Josh, to take it to the body shop. The thing is that Josh works for 2 different estimators. It just happens that the other estimator you are taking your car to is Josh's other boss. He figures that he will take a long lunch and just make a copy of the report from the first visit.
Would you like to get the exact same information twice? Especially since you paid for 2 different opinions?

Unless each scheduling company okays it, I wouldn't do it. Not only might it get you in bad standing with one company, it might happen with both companies. There is no reason to bite the hand that feeds you.
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Karen A.
Star Contributor

Hudson, NC
USA
297 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2006 :  10:53:30 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I see nothing wrong with completing multiple assignments at the same location as long as the ms is not revealed.In merchandising I do this as often as possible and have not had alot of opportunity for this in mystery shopping.We are all in this to make a profit.When you consider printing costs, milage, plus purchase it pays to get the most out of it.All marketing companies certainly do.I have a demo friend doing a demo on 5 items.Why?The company doesn't want to pay for 5 seperate demos.Look how many extra things are put on merchandising assignments.Yes I will multi task.

Karen A.
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