Stacking pints of ice cream on the floor of the supermarket is bound to make the stocker mad. You can’t tell him that you’re a Consumer Reports secret shopper and that you just need to make sure you get nine pints that came from the same production line on the same date. So Jon goes into his “Rain Man” routine, and starts chanting, “Count the vanilla, count the vanilla, gotta count the vanilla,” and the eventually the stocker goes away. Such are the exciting times and lives of the 94 brave men and women who go undercover as everyday consumers to buy the products that get taken back to the Consumer Reports testing facilities, often concocting cover stories to explain, for instance, why they’re buying five different kinds of washing machines at once. WIRED has the story.
The Secret Lives Of Consumer Reports Secret Shoppers
By February 27, 2008