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Dental Care Centers
And Mystery Shopping

Dental Care Centers are another location where mystery shopping is done.  The assignment will usually allow the shopper to get some X-rays and their teeth cleaned.  Fillings and other problems with your teeth will not be part of the assignment.

For Dental Care Centers, a phone call was required to set up an appointment.  These phone calls are not recorded by you or through the mystery shopping company.  

 Before the assignment for Dental Care Centers, you'll be given some instructions about the mystery shop.  You have to read over the instructions closely for any special information that you need to know and possible questions that you are required to ask.  It also may require a specific doctor that you must ask for, if there is more than one doctor in the office.  

Hidden Video Equipment Required For Dental Care Centers 

I've done a few mystery shops for dental care centers in the past.  All have been with the use of a hidden camera and microphone. 

Once my video gear was in place, I started recording a few blocks away from the office.  I had to make sure that I got there on time.  I found a parking spot, walked into the dental care center, and approached the receptionist.  I made sure to get plenty of shots in the office when I was not spoken to.  When they were ready, I had an X-ray protector placed over me, and then a bib.  Normally, this would cover up the camera.  That was acceptable for every one of my visits.

The bulk of the mystery shop for dental care centers are with the dental hygienist and what they said.  The audio was the most important part at this point in the mystery shop.  The client wanted to hear what the hygienist said during the cleaning.  Eventually, the dentist will look over your teeth and give his/her recommendations.  When the dentist was done, the bib will usually come off and I tried to get a shot of the dentist before he/she left the room.

Again, the mystery shops for dental care centers only cover the X-rays and the teeth cleaning.  It would not cover any fillings.

When I was presented a bill at the end, I was instructed to tell only the cashier who I was.  I was given specific instructions on how to do that for every assignment.  The cashier would take the proof and not charge me for the visit.  For all of my visits to dental care centers, all of them were expecting a mystery shopper to visit.  The cashier should not say anything to the other employees until after I left.

Video mystery shopping is growing in the industry.

After the mystery shop, I would send the video files on a file share program to the mystery shopping company and submit a report.  The questions asked weren't extensive, but there was some narrative to write.  The client wanted to know anything unusual that you saw.

Once you do a mystery shopping assignment for one dental care center, you would not be allowed to return to do another mystery shop at that same location. 

Hidden Video Equipment Sent To You

When I first started video mystery shopping, I was fortunate enough to have the mystery shopping company send me the equipment to use.  It consisted of a recorder and battery, button camera, microphone, a video card and some wires.  It was a great way to do the assignments without making a major investment. 

Things have changed since then.  There are not too many companies that are doing that anymore.  Some companies might make an exception if you can convince them that you are the right person for the assignment.  Otherwise, you will have to purchase these items.

I would suggest to do some written mystery shopping assignments first to see if this is something you would like to do.  

Read more about the legality of  Video Mystery Shopping.

I received $50 for my first assignment.  For the other dental care centers, I received between $100 and $200 per assignment.  I was paid several weeks after submitting the video and the report.

More About Mystery Shopping

It's important to complete reports and meet deadlines in mystery shopping.  Any report that is incomplete, late, or missing a lot of details, may result in partial payment or NO payment for the work done.  

Not only does the mystery shopper lose out on the money, they may be banned from doing any more assignments with that company.  Mystery shopping is a legitimate business that wants people who are serious about each assignment.

When you're assigned a mystery shop, you'll be given an online questionnaire that you will use to submit your report.  Make sure to study it before you do the assignment.  Print it if you have to.  Take it with you to take notes, but don't leave it in plain sight for an employee to see it.  

Dental Care Centers

I wrote an book about my mystery shopping experiences for both written and hidden video assignments.  I include a list of mystery shopping companies that I have worked with and companies that I would consider reputable.  The paperback (and eBook) is titled Take That Job And Mystery Shop It!​ 

There should be no fee to join a mystery shopping company.  If there is, even if it's $2, stay away from them.  Mystery shopping companies should pay you after you complete assignments for them.  

Do not cash any checks before you do any mystery shopping assignment.  There is a popular scam where people are sent checks for as much as $5000 to perform mystery shops at check cashing locations.  These checks are fake.  If you cash them, you will have to repay the bank and all associated fees.  

Read more about mystery shopping scams.

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