Catholics/Secret shopping ok?

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Question
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?

Answer
Usually such companies (as you work for) contract with for example, the manufacturer of the car, to evaluated whether the service in the dealership is up to their standards.  In order to do this well, the evaluation has to be secret, and the dealer has to know that someone might come looking at his dealership.  So when you pretend you are interested, you have to evaluate the overall situation to decide on the morality of the situation.  It's kind of like having a fire drill -- if the drill is done to evaluate a school's response to a possible fire, it serves a good purpose, even though it isn't real.  So don't feel that you are doing something immoral.  Also, keep in mind that there are lots of people who go to car dealers with no intention of buying a car but wishing to look the new ones over or maybe take a test drive.  This is a little shadier, but if you were to talk to a car dealer, he/she would rather have people come in who might be persuaded to buy a car, as opposed to not having them come at all.  So don't worry about it.  Good luck.  

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Donald Higby

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Most any question about Catholic teachings, the structure of the Church, issues related to Catholic teachings on sexuality and marriage; I also know a lot about biblical foundations for Catholic teaching, and apologetics. As a scientist and a deacon, I am conversant with the dialogue between science and religion.

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Deacon, 13 years; Religion minor, Catholic University of America. Self study.

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Deacon Digest

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Diaconal Formation, four years (college level courses) Catholic University of America, religion minor, philosophy minor. (AB)

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