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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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trevar 7:21 am 12 Sep 11

I was impressed with a Living Social deal that offered a voucher for $50 of dry cleaning for $19. When I went along with what I guessed might be $50 worth of dry cleaning (based on the prices at my usual dry cleaner), only a third of it fitted within First Choice’s $50 worth!

This, of course was not worth complaining about; for my $19 I got the same job I normally pay $21 for. Still, for the effort First Choice made to get my business, all they succeeded in doing was demonstrating that they’re more than twice the price of my usual dry cleaner!

I have an almost identical Living Social story about a butcher…

lionelve 7:01 am 12 Sep 11

ImagineThat said :

Although it is obvious that the OP has not met the criteria for ‘the offer’, wouldn’t the venue actually be better off if the EB voucher holder doesn’t purchase a ‘main meal’ as per the deal?

That’s the absurdity of the situation. I accepted I couldn’t use the voucher for what I wanted. But I tried to explain to him that the condition on the voucher was to select a main menu item not an item over $20. He could have just said ‘I’ll have to talk to them about that’ or something. Instead he chose to start an argument about the whole thing. It was unnecessary and extremely rude.

dvaey 2:41 am 12 Sep 11

I worked for a franchise several years ago that accepted EB vouchers (buy one get one free). It was never a problem and for some repeat customers we’d even honour the voucher and let them keep it to use at another location. Giving away a single meal on a voucher is worth it in the long run to gain a repeat customer. Businesses always last longer with repeat customers, even if you make a small loss on them up-front.

MudLark 11:30 pm 11 Sep 11

My EB voucher for Cuckoo Habibi says: “one complimentary main menu item when another main menu item of equal or greater value is purchased”

The fahita might appear in several of its menus, but I found it in the takeaway menu for $7.50 (medium) and $9.50 (large).

So unless one of the other adults (or one of the kids) ordered something from the main menu, you were probably always pushing your luck.

dungfungus 11:27 pm 11 Sep 11

ImagineThat said :

This is the first year in ages we haven’t had an Entertainment Book (only because this year we have an ACTEWAGL Privileges Card instead). The EB was a great way to choose a dinner venue. Typically when we found somewhere nice they got our repeat business and we also talked it up to friends who asked our advice on somewhere nice to go for dinner.

Although it is obvious that the OP has not met the criteria for ‘the offer’, wouldn’t the venue actually be better off if the EB voucher holder doesn’t purchase a ‘main meal’ as per the deal? You only get one voucher for each venue and if you use it to purchase a $10 item and get a $10 similar item for free, this is less outlay for them than if you purchase a $20 item and get a $20 similar item for free. The venue still gets the chance to dazzle you with their food, ambience and customer service. Sometimes people get so caught up in ‘the rules’ they can’t see the wood for the trees.

I use “cash” vouchers (several $50 notes). Never have any problems, no splitting hairs or calling a solicitor for an opinion. I used to go out with friends who were fanatical about rewards points, and these Mickey Mouse vouchers. It gave me indigestion so now I give them (the friends) a miss and enjoy a hassle free meal and pay accordingly with cash.
Remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch and one should ask for no concessions and expect no concessions. Life is too short to stuff around with these worthless “ration coupons”

M0les 11:05 pm 11 Sep 11

Sorry, comments are TL:DR.

I’ve experienced 3 or 4 of these restaurant voucher/card schemes (scams) in the past. Every one has resulted in unpleasantness between the restauranteur and myself (A similar thing is happening with the many “social deals” websites proliferating right now).

Usually both parties are the victims of the stuff-ups of the voucher people. However it sounds like his people skills were somewhat lacking (sarcastic understatement).

My advice to restaurants and diners is have nothing to do with these voucher mobs. If the foods worth going there for anyway, don’t bother with the voucher. If it’s too expensive without the voucher, go somewhere else anyway.

2c paid.

ImagineThat 11:00 pm 11 Sep 11

This is the first year in ages we haven’t had an Entertainment Book (only because this year we have an ACTEWAGL Privileges Card instead). The EB was a great way to choose a dinner venue. Typically when we found somewhere nice they got our repeat business and we also talked it up to friends who asked our advice on somewhere nice to go for dinner.

Although it is obvious that the OP has not met the criteria for ‘the offer’, wouldn’t the venue actually be better off if the EB voucher holder doesn’t purchase a ‘main meal’ as per the deal? You only get one voucher for each venue and if you use it to purchase a $10 item and get a $10 similar item for free, this is less outlay for them than if you purchase a $20 item and get a $20 similar item for free. The venue still gets the chance to dazzle you with their food, ambience and customer service. Sometimes people get so caught up in ‘the rules’ they can’t see the wood for the trees.

Darkfalz 10:35 pm 11 Sep 11

Golden-Alpine said :

We did use our voucher at a place we regular and I did actually feel bad using it as the food was great and so was the service. We will reward them however with return business and a shout out here to the Italian Kitchen in Kaleen.

Lunched there on Saturday. Been there four times now, two with voucher two without. Any place that makes a good impression food/service wise, return business is a given.

imarty 10:05 pm 11 Sep 11

Sounds like an unfortunate situation. We’ve never had a problem but we use it to “trade up” with a better bottle of wine or similar up grade.
We also use it to try new places coupled with reading reviews etc.

Darkfalz 9:24 pm 11 Sep 11

Out of interest, anyone else got any negative experiences with it? I’ve had a few eye rolls and one rude “thought so” when presenting the card, but never had a refusal (I wasn’t able to use in Sunday night or perhaps it was a public holiday in 360 restaurant in Sydney Tower, but I checked this in advance and ate there anyway, it was good).

Darkfalz 9:19 pm 11 Sep 11

I always feel a bit dodgy using the EB, but I figure the place may not have got my business had I not got it there, and I usually tip (the EB itself is kind of a reverse-tip). I still haven’t figured out how to tell them I’m going to be using it before they calculate the bill so that they don’t need to recalculate it. I think if it says main menu item, then you shouldn’t expect to get a free side or entree. Of course, the guy was rude but I don’t see how you can report him to EB for not honouring the deal as what you wanted wasn’t quite what was printed.

Skidbladnir 8:50 pm 11 Sep 11

Complimentary and complementary mean entirely different things.

One is a thrown-in freebie, the other means “the outstanding or missing part of”.
Is the coupon really only offering you the rest of your meal?

Golden-Alpine 8:25 pm 11 Sep 11

My wife and I went out for dinner to a Civic based restaurant for our anniversay and used our Entertainment Book voucher. We overheard a comment between staff “plenty of entertainment vouchers tonight”. It may have been more of a comment than a whinge, either way those comments should our of ear shot. At the end of the day the only reason we went there was because of the voucher. I have recommend this place to my sister who is planning on taking our mum there soon.

This is pretty much how we are now trying new places, so at the end of the day it is a chance for these places to get new clients and they should recognise that.

We did use our voucher at a place we regular and I did actually feel bad using it as the food was great and so was the service. We will reward them however with return business and a shout out here to the Italian Kitchen in Kaleen.

lionelve 7:05 pm 11 Sep 11

eh_steve said :

“one complementary main menu item when another complementary main menu item is purchased” Sooo, you get two free items? Or it’s an unresolvable loop, as you can’t really purchase a complimentary item, so you can’t be given a complimentary item anyway!

Thanks for pointing that out. Obviously the second ‘complementary’ is wrong. It actually is “‘one complementary main menu item when another main menu item is purchased”.

Wily_Bear 5:51 pm 11 Sep 11

It is hard to understand this attitude, as I assume nobody put a gun to the proprietors head to force them to participate in the promotion.

I’m not surprised however, as I ate there once. Ok food, but the attitude that came with it gave me indigestion.

Jono 5:49 pm 11 Sep 11

We had a similar problem at Saffron restaurant in Manuka several years ago, when they refused to accept our Entertainmant Book ticket (it was a public holiday, but not one of the exemptions listed in the book) – and they also got extremely unpleasant.

I rang the Entertainment Book people the following day who confirmed that Saffron should have honoured the ticket, but said that there was nothing that they could do to compel them to do so. It left a very bad taste, so I’ve never purchased an Entertainment book again, and would also never go near Saffron again.

Cheap 5:43 pm 11 Sep 11

maniac said :

Wow, never heard of that place, but after what you wrote, I will never go there. I will be passing the name of this place around to warn others.

Before you go around telling people to avoid a place, remember that there are always two sides to a story.

zippyzippy 4:02 pm 11 Sep 11

I don’t understand why some shops take the aggressive approach on these type of things. It’s happened to me before too. When will they learn that good customer service makes things better for them as well?

eh_steve 3:46 pm 11 Sep 11

“one complementary main menu item when another complementary main menu item is purchased” Sooo, you get two free items? Or it’s an unresolvable loop, as you can’t really purchase a complimentary item, so you can’t be given a complimentary item anyway!

maniac 3:27 pm 11 Sep 11

Wow, never heard of that place, but after what you wrote, I will never go there. I will be passing the name of this place around to warn others.

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