The other night Amanda and I went out to dinner to take advantage of a present my sister in law to be gave us, a Restaurant.com gift certificate for a Cuban restaurant called ‘El Rincon Cubano‘.

It was actually located not too far away from where we live, and we were hungry. So we decided today was the day we’d take it upon ourselves to give this place a try.

When we first entered, there was one other person at a table, and I honestly didn’t know if she was a customer or a staff member on a break, she was there the entire time from our entrance to exit. Beyond that for the hour+ time we were there – nobody else showed up.

We ordered drinks and when the waiter came back, we have the gift certificate print out on the table.

SIDE NOTE : if you’re unfamiliar with restaurant.com. They offer a discount on gift certificates. So you pay $10 for a $25 gift certificate. these usually have a stipulation of ‘you must spend $35 + a gratuity will be added”

He instantly explained that they don’t accept those anymore. It was a bit hard to understand what he was saying, and I was too hungry to really make an argument, but it sounded like he was trying to say they were under new management. Annoyed, we decided we were to hungry too go anywhere else and ordered anyway. it’s not like we actually lost the money on the gift certificate. So we ordered.

(this is kind of how bait and switch works, cept usually you haven’t already given them money)

and then we waited.

And we waited.

and waited some more. It seemed like an hour had gone by, and honestly after the first 20 minutes I decided to start seeking out places to review this restaurant on.. twitter, facebook, yelp, plurk, tumblr, etc and now finally here on my own blog.

We ate – the food was fine and then we waited almost as long for the check to come.

For a restaurant with 1 customer in it, there’s no explanation to how horribly long this wait was.

As a final caper to the night – Restaurant.com still lists this restaurant as a viable place to purchase gift certificates from. And people on yelp have cited finding them from restaurant.com in the past, so they should be aware that this exists, new management or not.

 

And furthermore, if you buy a restaurant and you keep the name, then you’re agreeing to honor any previous debts owed by that establishment.

This is not the first time I’ve heard of such practices. My mother in law had several Restaurant.com gift certificates that became null and void. now in most of her cases the restaurants actually went out of business, though I still believe she should be able to get this money back it’s a least a little more understandable.

At this point I’ve emailed both restaurant and restaurant.com – though I expect little to happen in return. Restaurant.com will most likely explain that it is up to the restaurant to honor the gift certificate. Though I am hoping they take the listing off their website, and black list this establishment from posting any future deals.

in the meantime : I’ve posted a facebook ‘review’ on their places page that simply reads ‘Don’t Come Here’. Please click this link and gives my comment a like so that they can see they have a responsibility to honor people’s hard earned cash.

So be warned: while sites like Restaurant.com, groupon, social living, etc may offer deals – they have no authority to make these places comply. It may be a good deal, but in the future I will only use this service on places I know and trust.

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The other night Amanda and I went out to dinner to take advantage of a present my sister in law to be gave us, a Restaurant.com gift certificate for a Cuban restaurant called 'El Rincon Cubano'. It was actually located not too far away from where we live, and we...


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