Catholics/Is mystery shopping ok?


I have signed up to do secret shopping for some extra money, and was wondering about the morality of it.  Some of the jobs entail pretending to be interested in a product or service.For example, I saw a job where I would need to pretend I was interested in a car and go to the dealership to evaluate the service.  I would then report back to the company my observations and customer service experience.  Is this considered lying and deception?

I think it's nice that you would care and actually think about it before signing up.

Personally, I think this is a legitimate business practice. It's just quality control, provided it's the same company sending you there that is also selling the car. And if the salespersons are doing nothing wrong, then they should have nothing to worry about. But that's just my opinion. Haven't a clue what God would think about it.

But if it's some scammy independent research company, making money out of its data, and not connected to the product, then I think you might be wasting the car dealer's/salesperson's energy and time, which would not be very nice. But again, even this could be debated. The data company could argue that overall good comes out of its services. I wouldn't be so sure, however. And would be less inclined to take a job like that. As for God's view, again, I cannot say...

I hope this helps.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Michael Clark, Ph.D.


I'm a progressive Catholic--not a liberal, conservative nor a single-minded critic of Catholicism. I simply believe that adults in the 21C should use the mind God gave them and not just repeat ancient and medieval modes of thinking.

I can probably help with questions that intelligently and respectfully question those aspects of Catholicism that are not infallible. But if you're looking for someone to vigorously defend or perhaps refute Catholicism as a whole, that's not me. So please ask another expert.


I run an educational website and know what the web has to offer. I might suggest hyperlinks and/or book titles as I have a Ph.D. in Religious Studies and a considerable personal library.

Print Media:
My table from "Religions and Cults" at is reproduced with permission in L. Lindsey, S. Beach and B. Ravelli, Core Concepts in Sociology, 2nd ed., p. 157

World Wide Web:
My online article "Letter to God" coauthored with Buddhist monk, E. Raymond Rock, appears on several different spirituality-based websites, including

I've interviewed, as a Christian, a self-proclaimed mystic:

My articles appeared at the former New View magazine and are published at

Ph.D. in Religious Studies
M.A. in Comparative Religion
B.A. Hon. in Psychology/Sociology
For more info, please see my CV and letters of recommendation and my blog at

©2017 All rights reserved.