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Letter Of The Day

The Toronto Star, April 17, 1995. D. Bruce Smith, Burlington

Retail mystery shoppers terrorizing wrong target

Your March 30 article, Mystery shoppers get paid to gripe , reminded me how much I detest that spy system.

I recently worked for a large, retail jewelry chain. In my opinion, all sales clerks are eager to give first-rate customer service.

Although management prates about customer service, it is too lazy to provide the necessary tools – high-quality products and services, product knowledge, how to handle customer concerns. You are lucky if someone will show you how to operate the cash register.

Retailers should initiate a thorough training program and then let the mystery shopper test its effectiveness, with the blame or credit going back to management.

At present, the mystery shopper is a device to terrorize employees and shift the blame for failure from managers to the lowest-paid, most defenseless employees.