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Canberra Writers Festival
23-26 Aug 2018

The trouble with those voucher deals around Canberra.

By ellabella 10 August 2011 24

Be warned – Daily deal voucher redemption is not as straightforward as you might assume.

Recently, a problem has been revealed that involved a reputable voucher website offering a deal on behalf of a regional mobile mechanic. Almost two months ago around 3000 vouchers were sold nationwide for a Major Car Service plus cleaning through, but most buyers have not been able to redeem these vouchers.

The merchant responsible was The Go To Guys, and they advertised that the buyer would receive $405 worth of car servicing for $89- a bargain! However, buyers have not been able to contact the company to book their pre-purchased car services through phone or email. The phone is continuously engaged, and emails have not been responded to. Bookings made on the company’s website have resulted in no-shows.

According to staff at, an email was sent out to most of those who purchased the deal offering a full refund or credit for future purchases.

Clearly the merchant was overwhelmed by the sheer number of vouchers sold, and did not have the staff or franchises to cope with the deal they had advertised.

So what had happened to The Go To Guys? Well no-one knows, not even the voucher company, and that is one of the inherent issues with heavily discounted deals being offered by one larger company on behalf of local merchants.

Companies are looking for ways to survive the global financial crisis, and will clearly do anything to gain business, and may ultimately lose money in the long-run. The message here… support local merchants and just pay the full price!

What’s Your opinion?

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The trouble with those voucher deals around Canberra.
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thatsnotme 10:35 pm 21 Feb 13

Howaboutthat said :

I guess he is struggling to get work (not surprising) and showed his frustration in my 15 minute session.

Was your session 15 minutes because you cut it short, or because that’s what you’d signed up to? If you’d cut it short, how long was the session supposed to be?

fromthecapital said :

These vouchers can be good for restuarants. I think they need to approach it as a marketing exercise to try and attract repeat business. Some however dont understand customer service. A little cafe in braddon comes to mind.

Aside from the issue of customer service, I think the problem with using these vouchers to try to drum up repeat business, is that the customers attracted to these discounts have already purchased their next voucher for a different restaurant offering a bargain. For the business owner, the whole concept is flawed – ‘lets attract a heap of bargain hunters by selling vouchers through a web site that will soon afterwards sell vouchers for another restaurant, but hope that we’re good enough to convince our bargain hunters to come back again’.

Businesses like restaurants have fixed costs as well – from the food you’re eating, to the rent on the room you’re sitting in, opening their doors costs money. Also remember that the restaurant isn’t getting anywhere near what you paid for the voucher. They may be lucky to get any more than half what you paid.

So the bottom line is if they break even on the visit, they can probably consider themselves lucky, and if anyone that bought a voucher ever comes back to pay full price for a meal they can consider themselves even luckier. I just don’t see how marketing to people who are actively trying to grab a bargain can end up being successful for any small business.

LSWCHP 9:38 pm 21 Feb 13

Howaboutthat said :

We’ve also been enjoying a number of these L S vouchers. We’ve been to a number of great restaurants and overnight accommodation. I thought I’d try something different – I paid $50 for a recent offer ‘One-on-one personal and professional development consultation’ offered by a guy called M. It was valued at $165. Oh geez! Did I regret taking this one up!

The guy didn’t smile, was distant and abrupt.

Well that all sounds pretty lame. I wonder if the “What’s a public servant?” wisecrack indicates that he has issues with public servants in general. Or perhaps, as a psychological mastermind he was a little ticked off by your non-cooperation with the date of birth.

Whatever the case may it all sounds a bit odd for a guy offering counselling services to carry on like that. I reckon the advice from other posters about sticking to goods rather than services with these discount gigs sounds like a good idea.

rosscoact 12:03 pm 21 Feb 13

devils_advocate said :

qbngeek said :

I should also add, that with things like car servicing, I firmly believe that you get what you pay for. IF you only pay $89 for a full service, only expect it to be worth $89.

I personally would not gamble $60k worth of car on a $300 saving.

I wouldn’t gamble $60k worth of car by getting someone other than myself to work on it.

I wouldn’t gamble $6k worth of car by getting myself to work on it (or indeed 10x that amount if I ever get a car worth $60k)

fromthecapital 11:54 am 21 Feb 13

These vouchers can be good for restuarants. I think they need to approach it as a marketing exercise to try and attract repeat business. Some however dont understand customer service. A little cafe in braddon comes to mind.

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