The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfactionResolved Restaurant.com — buyer bewart
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
You guys don't know how Restaurant.com works. I'll explain it from the standpoint of someone who owns a restaurant and works directly with them. Restaurant.com sells the Gift Certificates and keeps all of the money from said sale. Restaurant.com 'sells' their program to restaurants by giving them 'free advertising'. "We'll put you on our site, add your restaurant to our mailing list, and to our e-list and you'll see hundreds of new customers!"
The only money that the restaurant sees from these transactions is the money that is spent over and above the actual gift certificate. The reason many restaurants add an 18% gratuity is because you, the consumers, don't understand that when you're $50 bill gets reduced to $25 you should still tip on the $50.
This is also the reason that there are so many terms and they are different for different restaurants. The once a month rule is in place for the following reason: Restaurants don't make any money off of these except what you spend above the gift certificate. For example, you bought a $25 GC online for my restaurant for $2. Restaurant.com gets that $2. You come into my restaurant and spend your minimum $35. I add the 18% and take off the $25 from your bill. I gave you $35 worth of food and got $10 for it. You also tipped the server about $6.30. Factoring in the cost of the food, the cost of the server, the cost of the cook, and the cost of keeping the lights on in your booth, I made about -$1.27 on the entire transaction. Obviously not a good deal for me. We more than likely impressed you with our food, so you want to come back. If you can come back every day with a Restaurant.com gift certificate, I'll go out of business. If you want to come back every day but can only use a Restaurant.com GC once a month, you either come back in between and pay full price, or you wait.
To say that most problems come from the restaurants and not restaurant.com is completely false. In my experience, 95% of the problems come from the guests using the gift certificate. We as operators are put in a position every time one of you either didn't read the terms or didn't care and just wanted to take advantage of us. We either have to go with the 'customer is always right' and lose our balls, or we have to risk pissing you off and never seeing you again. What I've found in my experience is that you probably aren't going to come back without a gift certificate anyway, so we may as well piss you off and hold you accountable for reading a little bit. Here's what I see on a weekly basis:
Customer doesn't spend the minimum
Customer wants to use two restaurant.com coupons
Customer wants to use the 'gift certificate' with another coupon
Customer wants to use the gift certificate on a daily special that is already discounted
Two couples go to dinner, each has one
What is this 'service charge'?
Customer wants cash back for the unused portion
Customer spends $28, leaves the restaurant.com $25GC and $6 in cash in the book and leaves
We will not be 're-joining' Restaurant.com because for restaurants it is a profit eater.