Living Social, Groupon, DoubleTake Deals: Warning for Consumers
Great Option for Super Deals
Are you one of the millions who have gotten a great deal from online sites such as Groupon, Living Social, or DoubleTake Deals? They have really given traditional coupon companies a run for their money. I love seeing in my inbox an email for a store I always shop at! Or, how about that splurge like a facial or a massage for a discounted price? These sites are great because they can be more current than a ValPak or Savvy Shopper because they are online.
Deal or NO Deal
I don't know about you, but when I find a really good deal, my heart races with excitement, feverishly reading to make sure the deal's as good as I think it is. One of my favorites was one for Old Navy where for $10 I got $20 worth of clothes! It was sweet because Old Navy has become stingy with their coupons online lately.
About a year ago, I began to purchase a DoubleTake deal from a local bar-b-Que place. It was close and gave me an economical way to feed my family. Then that company stopped advertising there. So I found another bar-b-Que place a little further away that was offering a similar deal. There's was for $15 you got 2 certificates worth $15 each. Sweet! I purchased it one time and redeemed both certificates for some carry out food for my family. Over the holidays I purchased it again and redeemed one of the certificates while we had relatives in town.
So this week, I went to redeem my second certificate. The lady at the counter, obviously some sort of manager, said I could not redeem this for carryout. What?! She said it was only good for dine-in. I asked her to show me where on the paper it said that. She proceeded to point to the line where it states, "Only one certificate may be used per table." That phrase signifies that these certificates are ONLY good for dine-in.
Nowhere on the certificate does it actually say dine in only. This woman said they were wrong in the past to accept this coupon and refused to take it for my carryout order. So I turned around and walked out.
I got on the phone with customer service from DoubleTake Deals. Bottom line, there's nothing they could do. It's all at the discretion of the vendor. She said they are trying to encourage vendors to specify dine in only be spelled out. This customer service said that the phrase only one certificate per table should be implied as meaning it is for dine-in only. Really?
I've been couponing for a long time and try to be very careful to follow all that is written on the paper. Companies, professional ones anyway, usually spell everything out. Apparently, companies like Groupon, Living Social, and DoubleTake Deals do not require this. I accuse Groupon and Living Social because I know they are guilty of this misleading advertising.
As a consumer, I want to know up front any stipulations or restrictions. Otherwise, I feel cheated.
As for this unused bar-b-Que certificate, I plan on giving it away. It is worthless to me now. I do not like this restaurant's side dishes or sauce so why would I want to dine in. It was only their pulled pork I was after.
Warning: before you purchase that great deal from one of those online companies, try to read between the lines of all of the fine print. Otherwise, you'll end up with a worthless piece of paper and a few less dollars in your wallet!