Mystery Guest Terms and Conditions
The following information sets out what HGEM (We, Us) and you (as a mystery diner) can reasonably expect from your volunteering role as a mystery guest for Us. We appreciate you volunteering with us and we are committed to providing mystery guests with a supportive environment. We hope that you will find your experience enjoyable and rewarding.
- We are under no obligation to offer mystery visits and you are under no obligation to accept them.
- Acceptance of a mystery visit does not constitute a contract of employment between yourself and HGEM. Neither of us intends any employment relationship to be created either now or at any time in the future.
- If reports are not up to the standard we require, we reserve the right to retire your profile.
- We expect you to follow our procedures and standards, including health and safety, social media, data protection, harassment, and equal opportunities. You can expect us to deal with you in accordance with our equal opportunities policy. You agree to treat staff members and members of the public with respect. Abuse and rude behaviour will not be tolerated.
- You must not accept, unless authorised by us, any Mystery Visit if you or any of your family or associates have any material relationship with the client you have been asked to assess or with any direct competitor to that client. This includes working for that client, past or present.
- You agree to us notifying you by email of any available visits in your chosen location(s). (Added 06/19)
- You agree to ensure your profile information is up to date. (Added 06/19)
- You agree to carry out a booked mystery visit on the date agreed and to inform us of any difficulties before, during or after the visit. All of your party must arrive at the same time. Frequent cancellations of booked visits will affect your status and we reserve the right to retire your profile in such cases.
- If you need to cancel a visit, you agree to let us know immediately in order that we can rebook it to meet the client deadline. We ask that you give us as much notice as possible so that we can rearrange our rota.
- You agree to perform your obligations with reasonable care and to the best of your ability.
- You will not do anything to damage our business reputation and interests. We reserve the right to retire your profile in such cases.
- You are responsible for your own safety and must comply with any applicable laws. HGEM will have no liability to any third party for any claims arising out of your visit.
- You agree to complete all questionnaires fully, accurately and honestly and that, if you produce multiple reports, each shall be unique (in other words, you must not copy from other reports that you have written).
- You agree to use your own words to describe your experience and never to include text generated through AI (such as Chat-GPT). (Added 02/24)
- You agree that all photographic images submitted as part of your reports must be taken by you at the location and date of the visit. (Added 02/24)
- You agree that you will not pre-judge your report by completing any part of it before the visit has taken place.
- You cannot ask someone else on your behalf to complete a report that is assigned to you.
- You agree to submit your receipts and report online by the specified deadline. Unless otherwise stated, if you complete your visit on Sun-Thur, we need to receive your report by 12:00 UK time the next business day, so we can contact you to discuss the contents before sending to our client. Add an extra day for UK holidays.
- You agree to be contactable by email on the day your report is due (see above) in order that HGEM can follow up any detail.
- You agree to provide us with further information should we require more detail on your report.
- You agree to our quality control team applying their knowledge of our client’s visit reporting expectations and consequently amending some details in your report if and when required. (Added 06/19)
- You agree to follow the visit brief and to not exceed the daily alcohol limits.
- You agree not to make any complaint to a client following a poor visit before you have spoken with us first. You also agree only to make a complaint if it is regarding something that cannot be included in your report (such as being ill after the visit).
- You agree not to book tables or hotels through third party websites unless directed to do so by HGEM (as this does not test the client’s own systems and they would incur a fee for the booking).
- You agree not to carry out assignments with other mystery diners registered with HGEM.
- If completing more than one assessment on the same day, you agree to take extra care to avoid confusing the details from different experiences (as doing so may invalidate a report). (Amended 09/20)
- You agree that when completing a 'dine-in' visit you will not order food to take away. (Added 09/17)
- We will only reimburse your on-site expenses up to the limit specified at the time of booking, providing you have met the criteria, followed the brief and provided us with a receipt that clearly shows the amount spent.
- You will not use any vouchers that are not issued by the client to pay for your experience (such as Tesco Clubcard vouchers), unless otherwise agreed.
- For reimbursements in GBP, we will pay these directly to your bank account within 4 weeks of your visit. For other currencies, payment will be around the middle of the month following your visit and will normally be made directly to your bank account (for some unusual currencies, we will need to pay into a PayPal account). (Updated 03/18)
- We reserve the right to withhold reimbursements where the brief has not been followed, if the report is submitted late or contains misleading or false information, or if you have not fully abided by all of the terms and conditions of engagement.
- We do not refund travel expenses (unless otherwise specified).
- Occasionally, a client may ask us to cancel a visit at short notice. Please take this into account if pre-booking travel for a visit. Whilst we will let you know of such circumstances as soon as possible, this is out of our control and we cannot refund such expenses.
- Either party may terminate this agreement at any time with or without cause or prejudice.
- In the course of providing your volunteering services, you may have access to confidential information relating to HGEM or our clients and customers (this list is not exhaustive). All records, reports and documents relating to HGEM are strictly private and confidential. You agree not to disclose via any media, at any time, to any unauthorised person, any confidential information relating to the interests or business of HGEM or any of our clients or customers. We expect you not to use or disclose this information to any person either during your volunteering experience with us or at any time afterwards.
- You agree that neither you nor your guest(s) will make any reference to a specific Mystery Visit on any internet site or forum, regardless of whether it mentions the client or HGEM. This includes the brand's own direct feedback website.
- If you record any telephone calls on our behalf, we will take all reasonable efforts to delete any personal information from each recording before it is shared with our client, but cannot guarantee this.
- You consent to HGEM holding and processing data relating to you for legal, personnel, administrative and management purposes and in particular to the processing of any "sensitive personal data" as defined in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and any national implementing laws, regulations and secondary legislation, as amended or updated from time to time, in the UK and any successor legislation to the GDPR.
- You consent to HGEM making such information available to our clients where relevant for administration and management of the mystery dining visits.
- You will comply with our data protection policy when processing personal data relating to any client or customer of HGEM.
- Any reports in your possession and any original or copy documents obtained by you in the course of the mystery dining visits shall be returned to us at any time on request and in any event on or before your profile is retired. You also undertake to irretrievably delete any information relating to the business of HGEM or its clients or customers stored on any magnetic or optical disk or memory, and all matter derived from such sources which is in your possession or under your control.
Please see separate terms for the use of our website.
Please also review our policy on privacy.
About reward points
WHAT ARE THEY? Reward points are our way of recognising and rewarding your loyalty as a Mystery Guest. Each visit has at least 1 reward point attached and so the more visits you do the more points you gain. When you reach 1,000 points we'll send you ...
The HGEM Forum
The HGEM Forum is a place for diners to discuss their mystery visits and provide helpful, relevant content to one another. To help everyone enjoy our community, we ask that you keep the following guidelines in mind when posting: Treat all forum users ...
Updating your profile
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How to behave on a visit
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When a venue is closed during advertised opening hours
Sometimes, we may be unaware that a venue is closed during their advertised opening hours. Double check you are at the right location and then look around for possible reasons why the venue is closed and/or when they might be open again. Please take ...