Secret shopping and confidentiality


This is called “secret” shopping for a reason. It is very important to maintain confidentiality not only during mystery stores, but before and after the store as well. Confidentiality requirements require that buyers also do not share confidential information and the property of the mysterious shopping company and client. This is clearly visible, but many buyers seem to have difficulty understanding the need for confidentiality.

I was always surprised when the buyer openly revealed the names of clients, the costs they received, shopping requirements and other information. I hear a mystery buyer saying these things in the shopper meeting-up, and I read inappropriate comments on public forums and blogs. Which part of the “secret” that is not understood by this buyer?

Almost every mystery spending company includes confidentiality clauses in the Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA) which is completed during the application process. Prohibited activities usually include:

Share information about the operation of a secret shopping company and its clients.
Discuss compensation and details of other store assignments with third parties.
Direct contact the client, without special permission from a mysterious shopping company.
Share empty or complete report forms, guidelines, and other store materials with others.
That means you can’t talk about it:

How many tasks are paid.
Which mystery shopping company is shopping for certain clients.
Special store requirements (eg, service standard, purchase requirements, etc.)
Which company (eg stores, restaurants, banks, etc.) is a mysterious shopping client.
A good rule is never to say anything about secret shopping clients to anyone, besides a secret shopping company. One exception for this is when you are required or allowed to ask someone to accompany you in a store, like a restaurant shop. In this case, you should tell your friends what they need to know to help you with a shop (or at least not mess up it), but you also need to emphasize them the importance of confidentiality. Tell them that they should not discuss any aspects of mystery stores with others. In fact, they should not talk about mystery shopping at all.

Do not make posts to public forums about clients or shops. Even though you can comment on shopping companies (eg., “Mystery Shopping Providers are great companies to work, even though I hope they will pay faster.”) Don’t gossip about secret shopping companies or express information about their operations you get while working while working for them.

When asked in the application for which companies you have done, can be accepted to name it. Don’t name the client you shop for them.

Provide confidential information to your best friend while drinking coffee, or in a private email, it is still a violation of confidentiality. If you are not sure if you should express something, don’t talk about it.

You may not see losses in sharing this information, but can cause damage to the business provider of secret shopping and their clients. You can be deactivated as a shopping if a company finds that you have violated the confidentiality. In extreme cases, maybe even you can be prosecuted.

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