The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfactionResolved Restaurant.com — Hidden expenses & restaurant denies coupon
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
Hidden expenses not shown until you pay for and print the online coupon. I had to type out what is on my certificate so that others can see BEFORE they make a purchase from Restaurants.com. They sure do not make it easy for you.
Certificate # XXXXXXXXX
Date Purchased 01/01/09
Validation Line: 1888-905-GIFT (4438)
"DO NOT CALL validation line unless you are a restaurant owner or employee. Calling the above number will INVALIDATE your certificate"
**********my thoughts...is this a Threat? wow! there is no number ON the coupon for the purchaser to call... you have to go back to the website and look it up... what good does that do when the restaurant isn't ACCEPTING the coupon?**********
Special Instructions: Valid with a minimum purchase of $35. 18% gratuity added to pre-discounted check amount. Excludes alcohol.
The issuing of the restaurant credit is at the sole discretion of the merchant unless otherwise required by law. *** um, did they not agree to this coupon, or what?******
Void to the extent prohibited by law. ***** whaaaat???? I pay for this and then it might be worthless?*******
Gift certificates can be exchange for Restaurant.com Gift Certificates within 90 days of purchase date.
No cash back on gift certificates **** meaning they will NOT give you your money back if you are dissatisfied?****
*****the following is understandable, but important to be aware***********
Limit one (1) redemption per party, per month, per restaurant.
Limit one (1) gift certificate per party even if seated at separate tables, and recieives more than one check.
Not valid with other promotions, coupons, or other certificates.
Valid for dine in only unless otherwise stated.
______________________________ now for my story...
I bought a 'coupon' for $10 using Paypal (for protection, thank God) good for a $25. After checking my email, I found the link to PRINT my coupon and only then saw that I had to SPEND $35 in the restaurant in order to use it.
The restaurant is one we frequent often and the staff knows us fortunately. It's not an expensive restaurant but we knew the food was good and thought... oh well... it's ok... even though we now have to actually shell out NOT $10, but $20 to use the $25 coupon.. we ordered 2 softdrinks, 1 appetizer, 2 entrees and 3 desserts (one to take home with the other leftovers we thought) just in order to get the bill high enough to USE the coupon.
Then we went to pay and the staff had never heard of nor seen this type coupon before. I decided to call the phone number on the coupon and then noticed the line that said I would be INVALIDATING the coupon if I did... so quickly I hung up and asked the staff to call instead. The two staff members poured over the coupon thoroughly and called one of the owners and he also had never heard of this coupon or website. I was put on the phone with the owner and he said it could not be used until he talked to his partner. I gave him the phone number listed on the coupon as well as the validation code on the coupon and insisted he call right away to verify, as I would wait. We had already spent more than we expected to pay, then PLUS the $10 to restaurant.com. what a ripoff... then I read the fine print that said we couldn't get any money back anyway... I was starting to get upset and my fiance was getting ticked off the longer this took.
But we waited to hear back ... this took about half an hour in total. The owner did call back and he told his staff to go ahead and accept the coupon as he wanted the copy to look over and let his staff know he "had a problem with restaurant.com as he had never SIGNED anything with them". Thankfully they knew were were repeat customers and wanted us to not be upset with THEM.
Suffice it to say that it caused stress on us, and with the hefty tip for their troubles, we still had out of pocket expense of about $30. I don't fault the staff... they were understanding. The owner ended up only making about $10 on the whole deal for a $35 meal. It turns out that the TEN dollars I paid goes to RESTAURANT.COM... the restaurant only makes the $10 on the back end (since you are forced to spend 10 more in order to use the $25 coupon) and the loss of $25 dollars ends up being an advertising expense for the restaurant. Maybe that's not a big deal to large chains.. but for small restaurants I think it sucks.
I highly recommend NOT buying anything from this company UNLESS you went through Paypal... (for protection that they don't get a hold of your credit card number.. now they DO have my email so I'm expecting potential spam now after this experience)... and EQUALLY as important... I recommend CALLING any prospective restaurant you MIGHT like to try out using one of these coupons before you BUY one from Restaurant.com. Lastly, only buy ONE coupon to try it out for yourself FIRST.
I hope this helps someone else before they feel scammed. It was NOT a pleasant experience, but one I will not repeat again.
Also be forewarned about the possible unauthorized charges if you should use a credit card to pay. I called Paypal to put a note on my account should it happen to me. I've read that a company called Shopping Essentials Plus might get a hold to your credit card and start billing you monthly, starting the month after you buy a coupon at restaurant.com in the amount of $14.95. I alerted Paypal and they say it won't happen to me after they looked at my account. I hope not, but at least I learned beforehand from THIS website to watch out for it. Thanks for reading and don't be a troll. If you have something negative to say to ME, then explain yourself fully please. I DID scan over the fine print before buying from the site, but they obviously don't make it easy because they seem to intend to scam people AND the restaurant owners.