The importance of anonymity in the mystery shopping business is much empathized and listed often in shop instructions. How can you expect the leasing agent, sales clerk or wait staff to act normally if they think they are being watched?
You can imagine how I honed in on a story on my local TV news station when I heard the words “Mystery Shopper”. The report of the suspicious incident in the parking lot of a Bay Area outlet mall identified the woman as a long time mystery shopper from Mesa, AZ. The co-worker and friend interviewed for the segment wore sunglasses and a scarf in her attempt to remain anonymous.
When I later reviewed the news articles posted on-line I found the names of two other mystery shoppers who seemed to know the Mesa woman and were identified as belonging to a mystery shopping association.
The more I thought about this incident the stranger it seemed. How often do you hear of the occupation of a victim in a new report? Okay, maybe if the person was a celebrity or well known, but, a mystery shopper!
I have been in this business for a few years and, while I enjoy the role playing and mystery involved while on the job, the secrecy when I am not working is the thing I like least. My friends and family are aware that I am a mystery shopper. Not being able to discuss what I am doing with them is like going on vacation and not being able to ‘bore’ them with the photos. Now I have to wonder about how bored they really would be. It seems the title Mystery Shopper holds great interest.
It would be good to hear other’s thoughts on this. Be assured, I will still remain anonymous.