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Beware - Restaurant.com Bait & Switch

Posted by xminion (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 16, 09 at 13:58

For $20.00, I purchased a GC good for a $50.00 meal at a local Mid-West restaurant through Restaurant.com.

In fact, the fine print clearly stated that the GC is valid if one spends $50.00 in food/drink. However,good thing I printed out that fine print!

Next, restaurant.com e-mails the $50.00 certificate and 'magically' the fine print now reads: Must spend $100.00 in food/drink to redeem the certificate!!

XM


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Beware - Restaurant.com Bait & Switch

This isn't bait & switch but nevertheless, did you contact them about it? Did it specify a 2 person requirement or anything?


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RE: Beware - Restaurant.com Bait & Switch

My suggestion - print out the website, copy the certificate, and write a cover letter to the Federal Trade Commission. Include the printout and the certificate copy with the letter. Copy the whole package and send to the company with a letter requesting a refund because of false advertising.

You could also send a copy to Consumer Reports.


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RE: Beware - Restaurant.com Bait & Switch

I've never had a problem with restaurant.com. I always read the information regarding how much a person has to spend to get that discount. It's always been up front, but maybe somehow in your case it wasn't there. I don't know, but every restaurant I've seen always has the clause that you "must spend" so much to use the coupon.


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RE: Beware - Restaurant.com Bait & Switch

I haven't had a problem with restaurant.com either but it is a good idea to call the restaurant before buying the coupon. Some places have added restrictions.


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RE: Beware - Restaurant.com Bait & Switch

I always notice how much you have to spend when purchasing coupons at restaurant.com. Sometimes the menu is so expensive that I really wouldn't want to eat there anyway. And once I heard of a person who was given a different menu when he told them he had a coupon. Unfortunately, I believe it, so that makes me nervous about some places. But generally I have had a very good experience with restaurant.com.


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RE: Beware - Restaurant.com Bait & Switch

I've only had good experiences. The discounts are usually for the more expensive restaurants. With three kids and two adults, it's pretty easy to meet the quota.


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RE: Beware - Restaurant.com Bait & Switch

I use the Restaurant.com coupons frequently and have never had a problem. I usually check for restaurants for our destination city when we are traveling. I'll do some googling on the restaurants to make sure they have decent reviews and check the location relevant to our itinerary before making the purchase. That helps a little on our travel expenses.


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RE: Beware - Restaurant.com Bait & Switch

Thought that those interested in the original post might like an update.

First, I took both my print-outs (one that said I ordered a $20.00 GC if one spends $50.00, and the one that said $100.00 must be spent) to the restaurant owners.

So, this husband & wife team, BOTH groaned when I presented them with the evidence. They stated they had been trying to get out of contracting w/ R.Com, but were locked into a 2 year contract and despised them for the following reasons:

1) R. Com ran coupons unbeknownst to them during Valentines Day which left them dishing out $20.00 in food costs for $5.00 to the same opportunists who were buying the coupons literally by the dozen.

2) It's nearly impossible to get a live person on the phone.

3)Can't cancel contract for two years.

In conclusion, the wife immediately made good on the original purchase - and I had informed them of yet another reason why they will cancel their contract at the end of 2 years.


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RE: Beware - Restaurant.com Bait & Switch

1) R. Com ran coupons unbeknownst to them during Valentines Day which left them dishing out $20.00 in food costs for $5.00 to the same opportunists who were buying the coupons literally by the dozen. If the restaurant owners did not stipulate that the offer was limited, then the offer was not limited. People can buy as many as they want.

Seems to me that everyone would benefit from reading the fine print. Did Restaurant.com REALLY violate the terms of the contract with that restaurant? If so, the restaurateurs should contact their lawyer.

And what makes other people opportunists for buying the coupons legitimately, but not you?


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I forgot to mention...

I meant to add that I, too, have had very good luck with coupons from Restaurant.com. Never had a restaurant substitute a menu or fail to honor the coupon. Usually they seem glad to see us present our coupons, and all the coupons I've bought clearly state the terms upfront.


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RE: Beware - Restaurant.com Bait & Switch

The deals have changed since I started using Restaurant.com. Now they add the restriction that you have to be spend a certain amount to get the discount. I don't think there is a limit on the number of gift certificates you can buy. Restaurant.com often runs $25 certificates for $2. If they didn't have additional limiting factors, then a restaurant could end up losing money on the deal.

In my area, it's non-chain food restaurants that participate. I've thought of the certificates as a way to get people in the door that might not normally eat there. I can see the certificates cutting into a big business night such as Valentine's Day where people don't have to be enticed to come out to eat. I can also see where the owners would see people as opportunistic because they have multiple certificates.


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