Every industry has their own language. The world of mystery shopping is no different in that respect. It can be confusing to both experienced and novice shoppers from time to time. As this field expands, more specialty terms are developed. Each issue of ShopTalk will explain some of the more commonly used lingo.
CC = Credit Card. Self explanatory.
CSR = Customer Service Representative. Self explanatory.
CL = Chicken Little. Used to describe novices to the mystery shopping industry who illustrate a propensity to quickly grab up low paying assignments as soon as they are posted rather than waiting for them to be bonused.
DI = Dine In. Self explanatory.
DT = Drive Thru. Self explanatory.
DNR = Do Not Resuscitate. This term is used in conjunction with miscreants who cause dissention on forums. It is a warning to others on the forum to avoid or ignore an agitating poster in hopes that they cease and desist, or failing that, get booted from the forum.
ETA = Estimated Time of Arrival. Self explanatory.
FYI – For Your Information. Used to preface comments that are made for the sole purpose of being informative.
GC = Gift Card. Self explanatory.
IC = Independent Contractor. Almost all mystery shoppers are ICs rather than employees of a company.
MSM = Mystery Shopper Magazine. An online educational resource for mystery shoppers.
OOS = Out Of Stock. This refers to an item that a retailer normally carries, but does not currently have in inventory.
P&L = Profit & Loss. An accounting term used by businesses, including those run my mystery shoppers, to determine the financial status of their operations.
PBC = Pay By Check. Self explanatory.
PDL = Payday Loan. Self explanatory.
PM = Private Message. This is a feature on some online forums enabling contributors to contact each other outside of a public discussion.
PO = Post Office. Self explanatory.
PP = Previous Poster. Term used in forum discussions to refer to a contributor of a thread.
SHOPSTITUTE = Not an acronym or abbreviation, but a term that describes a spouse or significant other that goes along as a willing companion for some assignments requiring two people, most especially those involving dining.
TFH = Thread From Hell. This is used to describe a forum discussion that has completely departed from its original topic, and/or become volatile in nature.