Things that grind my gears: Communication fails

You might have seen my tweet earlier this week: “This is the third time I’ve gone to do a mystery shop and the damn place has closed down.”

Someone promptly replied, saying that I should get paid nontheless.

And it’s fair enough. I DO still get paid my fee (or most of it. And if it were simply a straight shop with fee, as opposed to an assignment where the key draw is the generous reimbursements, I wouldn’t be missing out on anything).

But that’s not the point. On one level, it’s incredibly unprofessional of the companies involved. Seriously. Can you not keep up with which of your outlets are actually in business?

Secondly, these assignments are food and drink related. I’m actually not doing them for the money. That’s nice, but what I get out of it is a meal out and, basically, a free date night for the two of us. And although I try to schedule assignments that slot easily into my schedule (ie, I don’t have to go out of my way to do them), it doesn’t always happen. This time, we spent ages walking around trying to locate the place, only to find it closed.It was, cold, dark and I was still somewhat sick that week. Had I known ahead of time, I’d have gone home to bed instead! This meant we had to do something else about dinner, which I had not bargained for, and was a waste of time and gas (which at least the $15 fee makes up for).

Yes, I am aware that complaining about not getting $60 of free beer and food after all makes me an ass. But I’m a planner. And planners despise it when others’ failures derail their plans.

My new plan of attack is to actually call the outlet before leaving to check they’re actually open. You’d think I’d have thought of this before…but, what can I say? For a smart person, I’m not the quickest off the mark.

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6 thoughts on “Things that grind my gears: Communication fails

  • Reply debbie July 23, 2010 at 03:00

    I can see that would be so frustrating. We’ve been car shopping for while and you wouldn’t believe how many cars we have driven to see to only find out they weren’t there anymore.

  • Reply Kara July 23, 2010 at 07:42

    Ahh! I had a secret shopper come through my check out once at my grocery store job and I was having an off night apparently. My review was horrible and completely uncharacteristic of me. At least my boss knows my personality and let the incident slide.

    I would definitely start calling ahead though. How can these companies not know which places are still in business? I’d be cheesed too. 😛

  • Reply Aspiring Minimalist July 23, 2010 at 10:56

    I’m a planner, too!

    I start looking forward to things as soon as the plan is set, and I can get upset when things change at the last minute. Only if I have been looking forward to it for a while, though and I have my heart set on something.

    I wonder if they have secret shoppers in Canada! Sounds like a fun job (most of the time) with some good perks 😉

    • Reply eemusings July 23, 2010 at 11:22

      I have been known to get overly upset upon getting to a restaurant that I really want to eat at and finding no free tables.

  • Reply Stephany July 23, 2010 at 13:11

    This mystery shopping sounds like such a fun job! But, yeah, I can see how it would get annoying to find a place that’s closed. Especially when you’re expecting dinner!

  • Reply SassyGirl July 23, 2010 at 16:18

    That is frustrating! It’s happened to me before too, and during operating hours, so the store had no excuse to be closed. I think it’s incredibly frustrating to find any store closed when they’re supposed to be open, especially when it’s a “destination” – like you’ve spent time looking specifically for that store.
    It happens way more often in Europe, where stores will be closed in the afternoon for an unscheduled “siesta.” I often wonder how European economy carries on at all.

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