Can an employee be given disciplinary action over a poor mystery shopper score?

I know someone who was recently given a poor mystery shopper score of 44%. They have been told by their employer (Marks & Spencer) that they are going to be given disciplinary action for it. Seems a bit harsh, especially considering a previous mystery shopper gave her 100% before.

I thought that companies weren’t allowed to do this any more. Please can you let me know if there are any policies preventing employers from disciplining their staff over mystery shoppers, or do companies have their own separate policies relating to this?

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5 Responses to “Can an employee be given disciplinary action over a poor mystery shopper score?”

  1. Kernow Lady says:

    Od course they can give a disciplinary, that is what Mystery shoppers are for to see if staff are doing their job. She might have been ok in the past but this time her service was not up to standards. Large stores like M&S want the same service given to everyone.
    They are quite within their rights.
    UK

  2. Seven says:

    It would depend on the reason for the low score.

    If she swore or was rude to the customer then yes it could be cause for a disciplinary. 44% is quite a bad score so if she performed poorly when she had no idea she was being tested, her manager may feel it is reasonable to assume this bad service a common occurrence.

  3. Georgia says:

    Yes indeed they can do it. A company like M&S is a highly respected high street retailer with a reputation to maintain. It doesn’t matter what she scored before, they will want their staff to be high-scoring all the time.

  4. gail says:

    Yes they can if their policies and procedures state that they can, but the penalty does seems a bit harsh and your friend is entitled to know exactly how the score was calculated, and the reasons why they feel it is necessary to conduct a disciplinary.
    I’m sure the mystery shopper was given a list of things to score on not just customer service.

    If your friend was rude she can deny deny deny Its the mystery shoppers word against hers.
    The mystery shopper is not going to give all the visits high scores is she ? she would be doing herself out of a job, and it would be unfair for your friend to be penalised on a report which is just an individuals opinion.

  5. stuie says:

    it all depends on the terms of the person’s contract and what the disciplinary offence is supposed to be. They won’t be taking action because it was a mystery shopper, they will be taking action because of the behaviour, standard of work etc of the person. Employers need to have evidence to take action so it would be worth finding out if there is a recording of the call or a written note from the mystery shopper. There is however nothing to stop employers taking action against employees if the standard of work is not up to scratch, no matter how that came to light. So just because it was a mystery shopper would not stop the process and previous scores would not prevent action this time round. Would also be worht checking how the employer is sure that the person being disciplined is the right one – how were they identified??

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