Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Business

Australia's tier 4 data centre. Micron21 mission critical hosting services.

Ill Baretto and Groupon

By Cocohhm - 15 March 2013 20

Dig into a big breakfast of fried, scrambled or poached eggs on toasted bread, accompanied with sausage, bacon, roasted tomato, mushrooms and a hash brown, or the vegetarian option of sautéed spinach and ricotta.

Sounds alright doesn’t it? But before we could enjoy any of this at Il Baretto at 1 Hobart  Place in the city, we were told our Groupon voucher was void because we didn’t make a reservation before 11 March. The last day to consume the brekkie is 11 April.

http://www.groupon.com.au/deals/canberra/Blend-Cafe/716675243

Peckish and jaw dropped, we saw our scrumptious brekkie slipping away in the empty cafe early in the morning. The reason why we couldn’t eat what we paid for? Because Groupon allegedly ‘made’ Il Baretto fill in the “must book by” date when they advertised and they couldn’t possibly make an exception. Nope, not at all. Sorry you have paid, but it would be too inconvenient for us to seat you in our empty cafe and cook you breakfast without up to a month’s notice.

One has to admire the ingenious short-term business model – tempt customers to part with their money knowing the minimal likelihood of them reading the fine print and successfully claiming their breakfast. Combine this with the knowledge that to a Canberran of some 28 years booking a cafe for breakfast would seem more like a punch line than a requirement, it is no wonder  the deal has failed to increase business.

Of course, resolutely turning away potential new customers so as to pocket the princely sum of $19 seems an unsustainable business model. Yet even fully explaining to the staff their illogical stance was futile, even to the point of vowing to tell this story to everyone we could. So congratulations Il Baretto, you have permanently lost two customers and become the latest notorious example of incomprehensibly bad business sense and customer service.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
20 Responses to
Ill Baretto and Groupon
milkman 11:39 am 16 Mar 13

fromthecapital said :

thebrownstreak69 said :

fromthecapital said :

I had a similar issue with cafe pronto. I called twice and left messages to book. I never got a response so I turned up one day but I was refused use of the voucher because they only allow 2 a day. The cafe was 90% empty.

Cafe Pronto has now closed. Surprise.

Cafe Pronto was crap and slow, so they didn’t deserve to survive the natural selection that is hospitality.

Agreed… they couldnt take an order correctly, and I recall the owner / manager seemed unsure if the kitchen would be able to poach an egg.

I went to Pronto on a couple of occasions, and they were rubbish both times.

fromthecapital 9:22 am 16 Mar 13

thebrownstreak69 said :

fromthecapital said :

I had a similar issue with cafe pronto. I called twice and left messages to book. I never got a response so I turned up one day but I was refused use of the voucher because they only allow 2 a day. The cafe was 90% empty.

Cafe Pronto has now closed. Surprise.

Cafe Pronto was crap and slow, so they didn’t deserve to survive the natural selection that is hospitality.

Agreed… they couldnt take an order correctly, and I recall the owner / manager seemed unsure if the kitchen would be able to poach an egg.

bigfeet 8:13 pm 15 Mar 13

Cocohhm said :

I can’t agree more that we were to blame for wasting $19. So we will treat the $19 as tuition fee for Reading Fine Print 101. But the point is: Why does that matter? Why do we need to book in a month in advance anyway? And why would they be so idiotic as to not honour the voucher?

You entered into an arrangement with that cafe. You failed to fulfil your part of the arrangement, which was clearly spelled out to you, and yet you expect them to honour their part. And because they played fair, and you didn’t, you now want to have a whinge.

Try doing that with your bank..’Why does that matter? Why do we need to pay interest anyway? And why would they be so idiotic as to expect me to honour the contract?”

See how far you get.

Cocohhm 3:36 pm 15 Mar 13

thehutch said :

Whilst I think it makes bad business sense to unnecessarily not honour a voucher (especially if the cafe is quiet), looking at the voucher via the link you supplied, the requirement to book by the 11 March is hardly ‘fine print’… it’s pretty clear. Might be a stupid condition and something a business should overlook, but you probably need to take a little responsibility for losing your $19.00

I can’t agree more that we were to blame for wasting $19. So we will treat the $19 as tuition fee for Reading Fine Print 101. But the point is: Why does that matter? Why do we need to book in a month in advance anyway? And why would they be so idiotic as to not honour the voucher?

Bosworth 3:33 pm 15 Mar 13

any luck on having groupon refund your money ?

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 3:07 pm 15 Mar 13

Genie said :

I received a groupon voucher for a meal at the Wood Duck Inn for Christmas. Haven’t been able to use it despite the T&C saying everything had to be booked by Feb 11th. Voucher expired on March 11th. The owner/manager/whoever we dealt with were lovely, they didn’t care about the Feb ‘book by date’, Apologised and said they would honor the voucher , they had gotten slammed with the number of deals that were bought. Just have the person who bought the contact groupon and have them extend it….. That’s a whole other story.

From my experience, wood duck inn is great all around.

thehutch 2:59 pm 15 Mar 13

Whilst I think it makes bad business sense to unnecessarily not honour a voucher (especially if the cafe is quiet), looking at the voucher via the link you supplied, the requirement to book by the 11 March is hardly ‘fine print’… it’s pretty clear. Might be a stupid condition and something a business should overlook, but you probably need to take a little responsibility for losing your $19.00

Genie 2:28 pm 15 Mar 13

I received a groupon voucher for a meal at the Wood Duck Inn for Christmas. Haven’t been able to use it despite the T&C saying everything had to be booked by Feb 11th. Voucher expired on March 11th. The owner/manager/whoever we dealt with were lovely, they didn’t care about the Feb ‘book by date’, Apologised and said they would honor the voucher , they had gotten slammed with the number of deals that were bought. Just have the person who bought the contact groupon and have them extend it….. That’s a whole other story.

thebrownstreak69 2:21 pm 15 Mar 13

fromthecapital said :

I had a similar issue with cafe pronto. I called twice and left messages to book. I never got a response so I turned up one day but I was refused use of the voucher because they only allow 2 a day. The cafe was 90% empty.

Cafe Pronto has now closed. Surprise.

Cafe Pronto was crap and slow, so they didn’t deserve to survive the natural selection that is hospitality.

MonarchRepublic 1:26 pm 15 Mar 13

fromthecapital said :

fromthecapital said :

I had a similar issue with cafe pronto. I called twice and left messages to book. I never got a response so I turned up one day but I was refused use of the voucher because they only allow 2 a day. The cafe was 90% empty.

Cafe Pronto has now closed. Surprise.

Although the vast majority of businesses use these vouchers in the spirit they are intended

+1. The money saved over the years on these types of sites still more than makes up for an occasional bad apple, and have found some great places we would not have otherwise tried out (not just eateries).

fromthecapital 12:58 pm 15 Mar 13

fromthecapital said :

I had a similar issue with cafe pronto. I called twice and left messages to book. I never got a response so I turned up one day but I was refused use of the voucher because they only allow 2 a day. The cafe was 90% empty.

Cafe Pronto has now closed. Surprise.

Although the vast majority of businesses use these vouchers in the spirit they are intended

fromthecapital 12:51 pm 15 Mar 13

I had a similar issue with cafe pronto. I called twice and left messages to book. I never got a response so I turned up one day but I was refused use of the voucher because they only allow 2 a day. The cafe was 90% empty.

Cafe Pronto has now closed. Surprise.

AlanAllb 12:03 pm 15 Mar 13

I don’t use brekkie vouchers, but I have used Groupon vouchers for Wok ina Box in Bunda St and never had a problem. Admittedly the only time I use them is when I get a voucher because I don’t see the value otherwise in their food. BTW, the spring rolls are not worth trying.

EvanJames 11:53 am 15 Mar 13

Yowtch, noted. Another place on the “do not even try it’ list. WHY do businesses sign up for Groupon and suchlike, and then treat customers like scum who try to utilise the offers?

I’ll certainly never touch Groupon et al, you might as well wear a “kick me” sign to any business you patronise.

Madam Cholet 11:44 am 15 Mar 13

This cafe or rather, the venue that has been in this location for a while has been going downhill for ages. I work in this building and I avoid it like the plague. It has been sold numerous – probably 4 – times in as many years and no one can get it right.

Way back it was called Red Belly Black, and whilst the food was good, but nothing to write home about, the service and people who ran it were great. Coffee has always been average, and you can walk an extra 20 steps to another place and get a better one, but there was a vibe about it that made you feel welcome. You are right OP in that it is mostly empty these days. It used to be packed.

I’ve never even visited a website to even look at these ‘groupon’ deals that abound these days, but I have heard and read so many horror stories that I really would rather pay the full price and at least get the service you pay for (hopefully!).

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site