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Abused over Entertainment Book ticket at Cuckoo Habibi

By lionelve 11 September 2011 48

I drove from Dunlop to the Isaacs shops with the family yesterday to have some lunch at Cuckoo Habibi. We were joined by friends that live near by.

I had a ticket from the Entertainment Book. The ticket reads ‘one complementary main menu item when another complementary main menu item is purchased’. On the top right-hand corner: ‘Up to $20 in value’.

I ordered a ‘fahita’ (sic) and asked if I could use the ticket. No. You have to buy something $20 or more. Hmmm. But that’s not what it says here.

It all went down hill from there. I  tried to explain to him what the ticket says and he got very aggressive. Fair enough the ‘fahita’ is not a main menu item. I told him I would not use the ticket but it was wrong for him to say I had to buy something $20 or more. The more I tried the higher he raised his voice. He told me that’s the deal he made with the book company and I could ring them up and check. What? Sorry that’s not my problem; that’s between you and them. Suffice it to say he told me to F***off in the end.

And I did. Together with the other 3 adults and 4 kids that were there with me. We had tried to eat there before on a Sunday but found it closed. They don’t open on Sundays. We arranged to go on a Saturday this time and when we got there we found a sign on the door: “Sorry we’re closed. We’ll be back at 2:30”. And we did go back at 2:30 only to be told to f***off. I mean we were really keen to have their bloody wraps (we tried them once on a public event at Glebe park) and would have returned regularly. Not any more.


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48 Responses to
Abused over Entertainment Book ticket at Cuckoo Habibi
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Venus 9:58 pm 15 Aug 15

navarm said :

I had a similar problem with CUCKOO HABIBI. You go there and it is closed half the time (luckily we live close by and just see if they’re open). When we finally found the place open, the attitude we got made us wonder what was wrong with the guy (maybe he just doesn’t care much for customers?). I commented to a friend that I didn’t understand how they kept in business, as they rarely open and then treat people poorly. I suppose all the catering they do for the embassies is enough to keep them afloat (they probably don’t use entertaining vouchers and probably get treated with some respect). After going there once, we decided it wasn’t worth the stress.

sounds like the owner is a bit ‘cuckoo’!!

Venus 9:51 pm 15 Aug 15

The main reason businesses advertise in these books is to get publicity. I don’t think they actually want people using them. My workmate said you get treated like a pariah as soon as the voucher is presented. I got a buy one get one free at The Coffee Club and I’m pretty sure I detected some attitude.

can_man 8:43 pm 12 Oct 11

Also be careful I have gone on their website and they are advertising under ‘offers’ 10% off all orders of 50 or more people from our set lunch and dinner menus’. If you look at the fine print – this expired midnight 31 May 2010…….

can_man 8:36 pm 12 Oct 11

I will be sure to pass this experience on to as many people I know. Again another example of the poor customer service in Canberra. Unfortunately restaurant owners and restaurant staff have underestimated the importance of actually valuing their customers. It’s a shame but with such little competition these people actually get away with it. Had the owner politely explained this or even offered to honor the deal in this instance it would have made for a very happy customer. Now we’re all sitting here talking about how bad this place is and I for one will not ever eat there.

JA85 5:05 pm 20 Sep 11

Entertainment books are awful! Ive worked in a few restaurants and they have never worked. I think the biggest problem is that the entertainment book people pitch their voucher system to resturanteurs as a way to get people in their door and get them spending money…give them a free main and theyll buy dessert… but in reality 95% of the voucher users are so tight they only have the main meal. This annoys the restauranteur and the poor people with the voucher cope it. This is even worse if the voucher holder dares to question the terms and conditions.

My best example was a customer presented me with the EB card (i dont know if they do those anymore) to use but the restaurant in question was not even in the book!! It was decemeber and the restaurant, despite being the pervious financials year book, did not feature in her addition. After trying to explain we were taking no part in the book and she could not use it for ten minutes she did not want to take no for an anwser.

Biggest problem, it was a saturday and we could not call entertainment…it all got very heated and in the end an angry customer left telling us she would never come back… not that I cared much, she was a tight@rse and only bought main meals…

Angelina 8:49 pm 12 Sep 11

I was just looking at their website and reading about their specialising in mediterranean, french, italian, greek and lebanese cuisine. Can’t help but think of Babu Bhatt’s Dream Cafe.

Very bad man, very very bad man.

Postalgeek 6:55 pm 12 Sep 11

lionelve said :

We arranged to go on a Saturday this time and when we got there we found a sign on the door: “Sorry we’re closed. We’ll be back at 2:30?. And we did go back at 2:30 only to be told to f***off.

Did he actually use the words ‘Fuck off’ on either occasion?

lionelve 5:30 pm 12 Sep 11

what_the said :

I’ve had quite pleasant experiences with Cuckoo Habibi when I lived down the road from them. It’s only a little family run business at the local shops. If the deal says main menu item, then it’s main menu item, simple as that.

Agreed. His position was that it had to be a main menu item $20 or more. That’s clearly wrong.

Once he told me that my order did not meet the ‘main menu item’ criteria I was prepared to pay the full price (it wasn’t much but that’s not the point). I just tried to explain to him that the voucher did not required a main menu item to be $20 or more.

At some point he said that I was the second person to bring this up. He was predisposed and reacted defensively from the start.

what_the 5:10 pm 12 Sep 11

navarm said :

that’s true, the guy probably deserved to be told to f- off, for suggesting that the advertisement was misleading… after all as they say “the owner is always right”

Well we wont know will we, as we were’nt there and wont get to hear the other guys version of events. Could have been a complete arse hat, i’ve no idea. I just know that I’ve had good service there, had chats to them about travelling through Egypt etc and no dramas.

hominoid1 4:56 pm 12 Sep 11

I’ve got an ANZ Edine card which is equally useless in Canberra. Hudsons of Dickson are supposed to honor 20% discount up to $25 total off a meal, but said they will only honor 10% off a coffee. Why aren’t these discount cards/books/living social websites reported to the ACCC or Fair Trading if they are so problematic as is appearing in these comments? There are laws against false advertisement or misleading statements that are used to get your business aren’t there?

navarm 4:48 pm 12 Sep 11

that’s true, the guy probably deserved to be told to f- off, for suggesting that the advertisement was misleading… after all as they say “the owner is always right”

what_the 3:45 pm 12 Sep 11

navarm said :

that is all nice and true… but what about the attitude and the rudeness? a simple “I’m so sorry, we had to cancel that because so and so” or “sorry, we made a mistake” would have worked, instead of telling somebody to f– off.

I dont know, i’ve never been in the situation where I’ve had a restaurant owner telling me to f-off! And I imagine that’s got more to do with me than anything else. I can imagine I wouldn’t take it too well if someone told me how to run my business.

chewy14 2:05 pm 12 Sep 11

DUB said :

Trololo,
All that crying.Why be so cheap?I will never buy that book.And if you can’t afford to eat somewhere-don’t.

Yeah, saving money is for suckers
When I go to a restaurant I pay double what they’re asking just to show I’m not a cheap tightwad.

DUB 1:31 pm 12 Sep 11

Trololo,
All that crying.Why be so cheap?I will never buy that book.And if you can’t afford to eat somewhere-don’t.

Mysteryman 1:29 pm 12 Sep 11

Stevian said :

If restaurants don’t like, or have no intention of honoring, these vouchers, why do they sign up for them. Is it because their food and service is so bad that squeezing the maximum out of a single customer is worth the lack of return custom and negative word of mouth such actions generate?

Good question.

Frankly, I couldn’t care less if a business is losing money on each voucher that’s presented. If a business owner isn’t smart enough to estimate/calculate the risk of having a coupon in the book, then they probably aren’t fit to be running a business. If you commit to being in the book you need to commit to honouring the offer, simple as that.

lionelve 1:18 pm 12 Sep 11

Grrrr said :

I’m pretty sure the conditions are make clear to all parties. If the restaurant doesn’t like it, they shouldn’t agree to being in the book in the first place.

I pointed that out to him and the answer was ‘You don’t tell me how to run my business’.

Stevian 12:59 pm 12 Sep 11

If restaurants don’t like, or have no intention of honoring, these vouchers, why do they sign up for them. Is it because their food and service is so bad that squeezing the maximum out of a single customer is worth the lack of return custom and negative word of mouth such actions generate?

Grrrr 12:34 pm 12 Sep 11

This is poor form on the restaurant’s part.

The Entertainment Book states that diners don’t need to tell the restaurant before paying – they simply present the voucher or card at the time. Offers are not restricted to certain days, etc. I suggest not asking about it beforehand, and simply presenting it when paying.

As I understand it, Entertainment Book isn’t a voucher that results in a cut for the book sellers. The cost of the book is effectively a donation to the charity that produces it, and the people in the book are promoting themselves and effectively giving to the charity.

I’m pretty sure the conditions are make clear to all parties. If the restaurant doesn’t like it, they shouldn’t agree to being in the book in the first place.

For the record, I’ve owned a couple and have saved more than the purchase price on the book easily. I have found some good new restaurants, and only had a issue once – which was with take-away from a place who wanted to argue over several dollars..

navarm 11:59 am 12 Sep 11

that is all nice and true… but what about the attitude and the rudeness? a simple “I’m so sorry, we had to cancel that because so and so” or “sorry, we made a mistake” would have worked, instead of telling somebody to f– off.

what_the 11:53 am 12 Sep 11

I’ve had quite pleasant experiences with Cuckoo Habibi when I lived down the road from them. It’s only a little family run business at the local shops. If the deal says main menu item, then it’s main menu item, simple as that.

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