Insights

How Mystery Shopping Can Help Identify Frauds at Hotels



Mystery shopping has always been a popular concept for hospitality businesses. While it is done majorly to evaluate consumer experience but also opens other areas of exploration. With business expansion happening through the franchise model which dilutes control and involvement of a human element in running the show, there arises the need to conduct fraud detection audits.

Mystery shopping can be very well utilized to anonymously evaluate staff integrity as well as detect financial frauds. Mystery shoppers enact certain scenarios or get into a comfort zone/conversation mode with the hotel staff and try to evaluate their stickiness to ethical conduct. Our trained professionals visit the predefined hotel properties, go through the complete check-in procedure, stay at the hotel and perform the following audit scenarios provoking process or financial breach:

  • Accepting payment in cash without generating bill to save tax
  • Providing room at lesser rates for a few hours without bill
  • Allowing late checkout and early check-in lieu of cash
  • Agreeing to provide food & beverages for cash (without bill)
  • Acceptance of payment by staff in their personal accounts
  • Agreeing to provide rooms to walk-in guest for cash without creating check in entry on the centralized inventory management & billing system
  • Providing superior category room to guests in consideration of cash
  • Agreeing to check-in additional guests without verifying relevant identity proofs
  • Providing additional service to guests which is not allowed as per brand SOP’s
  • Providing hotel inventory (like linen or toiletries) to the guest for cash

Such audits help brands prevent possible revenue loss, demote unethical culture which might influence ethic-abiding employees and keeps the brand image/trust intact among consumers.

Our mystery shopping programs are 100% customisable and necessary modifications can be done to suit the client's requirements. Through such audits, Channelplay provides the client with detailed information on possible frauds and help them avoid the scalability of such frauds by taking necessary action.

Topics: Mystery Shopping & Audits