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Half generous

  1. Dec 17, 2011 #1
    There is a common practice among marketers that I find aggravating. They offer you a coupon, a discount, a rebate or whatever, but with restrictions on it. As a result you find that you cannot use whatever it was that they used to entice you. From this inability to use comes frustration and aggravation. These ad compaigns don't write themselves. There is expense involved. That is to say, these companies pay money to drive customers away.

    Last night I experienced a particularly egregious version of this practice. Our family ate at a restaurant and I was told that if I bought a $25 gift card, I would also receive a $5 bonus card. Also, I could give the card to someone as a gift, or I could use it to pay for my meal. As the meal came to a little less than $60, I bought 2 gift cards and went to pay the bill with the cards. That's when I was told that although the $50 card was good, the $5 bonus cards would not be usable until next month. What's more, there were a bunch of restrictions. They have to be used before April 2012, they cannot be combined, so that if I go alone an order a $10 item, I can only use 1 card. There is no change given so that if I buy a $3 item I do not get $2 change. etc. As a result of this flim-flam, I have decided that I will no longer eat at this restaurant and they can keep the $10. I didn't lose any money by it, but they lost a customer.

    Here is what I recommend. There is a way of gathering statistics in order to find out the expense involved in handing out these $5 cards. Some will get lost before they are used, some will be used for $3 items with no change given, some will drive away customers, some will be used to buy more food than would otherwise be bought. Just to pull a number out of thin air, say the restaurant can expect to shell out $4 for every card given. In that case, instead of printing $5 on the card and putting those aggravating restrictions, print $4 on the card and remove all restrictions. In otherwords, don't be half generous.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2011 #2


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    You give them too much credit. I would say they're being half selfish.
  4. Dec 17, 2011 #3


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    I bypass anything that has a rebate attached to it.

    By the way, I heard on the radio that a recent survey ( conducted by who I do not know ), concluded that most people would rather receive a gift card for Xmas ( than some crappy gift I suppose ). Your $5 card is a little low as a gift, but still ...
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