Buying for Christmas is always difficult, especially if you are on a tight budget. So my wife scoured Groupon for deals and did very well!
So when she saw the above deal, she knew it was perfect for her mum and Step Dad and her Dad and his wife. A two course Lunch for two at the rooftop restaurant overlooking the airport runway. She wasn’t wrong either because they were very pleased with this and my wife was happy that she chose well.
So it’s now New Years day and my father in law rings to wish my wife a Happy New Year, he then says that he tried to book lunch for a date in February and was told that unfortunately The 1935 Rooftop Restaurant and Bar had stopped dealing with Groupon and they were only honouring the vouchers until the end of January!
Now it clearly states on the voucher that it is valid for four months after purchase date, so that is the 15th April. So I rang the 1935 Rooftop Restaurant and Bar to find out what was going on! The guy said that they hadn’t had a great relationship with Groupon and so they were ending the voucher at the end of January, I explained that I wasn’t interested in their relationship with Groupon, that had nothing to do with me, I had purchased a voucher, two vouchers that they had offered through Groupon but the terms and conditions printed on the voucher were a contract with the 1935 Rooftop Restaurant and Bar.
I explained that if I bought an Amazon Gift card through Clinton cards and that was valid for two years, it wouldn’t matter if Amazon stopped dealing with Clintons, my Gift Card would be for Amazon and this Meal voucher was exactly the same!
This type of dishonesty happens all to often and people just let it happen, but as consumers we have rights and when a company tries to rob us, because this is robbery, we should fight back and the way to fight back is through Social media, making sure that people know that this company despite its shiny exterior, is shit!
So basically if my father in law had waited until next month to phone the 1935 Rooftop Restaurant and Bar, he would have been told it wasn’t valid despite the fact that the voucher says its valid until the middle of April, is that fair?
So on Tuesday I will be contacting Trading Standards, one positive side of being disabled and stuck at home is that I have all day everyday to post this all over Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google + and Reddit and I will do until they accept that they are wrong and honour the vouchers with the Terms and Conditions written on them!
1935 Rooftop Restaurant and Bar, you have become my main focus!!!!!
So the 1935 Rooftop restaurant and Bar responded on facebook with this comment on my post
1935 Rooftop Restaurant & Bar Dear Sir
Firstly I would like to apologise for all the confusion. May I confirm that the groupon vouchers are valid till 3 months from the date of purchase. 03/01/2017 is the last day for the purchase of the vouchers. May I please ask you to get in touch with our operations manager on email@example.com , who will definitely resolve your enquiry and get you booked in.
And so I emailed them, I asked why they were saying three months when it is four as stated on the Voucher but I was pleased to have them admit that they were wrong. However I then received the following email!
Dear Mr Richardson,
Thank you for your email to IHG regarding your experience with the Holiday Inn Southend. I am sorry to learn of the problems you have experienced with a Groupon deal purchased for Christmas presents.
I can certainly understand why you will be disappointed that you are not able to take up the offer after the end of January when being advised by Groupon this expires on the 15th April 2017. As a frequent user of Groupon myself I too would be frustrated with this especially when this was supposed to be a nice gift for family.
Mr Richardson, while I appreciate why you would feel upset with the hotel, when a hotel terminates a contract with a company the company in question, in this case Groupon is responsible for changing terms and conditions on their offers and relaying this information to purchasers as they are the ones holding any money from you.
I would therefore invite you to contact Groupon directly with your concerns. I know this is not the answer you were hoping for and it is certainly not my intention to upset or frustrate you further and I do sincerely hope you get this rectified.
Once again thank you for taking the time to contact us, and we do hope to welcome you and your family back to IHG in the future.
All of this is over two vouchers for Two 2 course meals per voucher and they don’t care about causing negative publicity. Although I expect that there a quite a few people who have also been conned by this company!
I had an email from Deepak who is the manager for the Holiday Inn where the 1935 Rooftop and Restaurant and bar is housed, I can honestly say that he did everything he could to remedy the situation.
They had asked Groupon to remove the voucher and replace it with another deal, however things went wrong and the voucher stayed live on Groupon.
It has now been resolved and they are going to honour the vouchers that have been purchased. They also offered a free meal for me and my wife but due to my health I had to decline and so he offered to upgrade the vouchers for my Mother in law and her husband and Father in law and his wife.
My Father in Law has already been for his meal and he had nothing but praise for the 1935 Rooftop Restaurant and Bar and had a 3 course meal with drinks.
Dear Mr Richardson,
Thank you for updating us and I would like to update you with the latest correspondence I had with Groupon on Friday and Monday this morning.
I have personally looked into this matter as it goes without saying that any inconvenience caused to our guest is very disturbing and not what we stand for.
As Deepak has suggested, Groupon had sent the following email on Friday to every non redeemed vouchers explaining the new T&C. However as your in laws has already made the booking and voucher has been redeemed in our system Hence your family has not received the email from Groupon.
Despite of their new T&C’s, on the other hand I have briefed our team to honour the voucher till the validity (subject to daily availability) to make sure every guest is been served and I really thank you for bringing this to our notice. There was a system error please see the summary and this case as far as Groupon are concerned is now closed and they will be dealing with customer complaints directly.
Please feel free to contact me if you need any further assistance, I am still on holiday however I will endeavour to reply as soon as possible.
Groupon 1st message
There is an error as to why they are still live. The capacities were removed however when a voucher was refunded our system put the deal live again enabling a new customer to re purchase.
Groupon 2nd message: sent on Friday 6th
I haven’t received the email myself yet to forward to you.
On our last conversation you asked me to merely inform you when the email had been sent.
The email has been sent to all customers with a valid voucher for the Afternoon Tea.
The email contains the details of the offer.
The voucher Validity is now set to 28th February.
The Email will also include and re cover the details on how to book their table as per the original voucher booking.
This has now been sent and should be enough information for you to feedback to a local paper and let them know of the situation.
Details on the email below.
We’re getting in touch to let you know that some of the information on the Groupon that you’ve purchased has changed.
Thanks if you’ve already contacted us about this, and we’re very sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. We can confirm that 1935 Rooftop Restaurant and Bar has had to reduce the period of time this Groupon is valid for.
To clarify, this means that your Groupon is now available until 28.02.2017 only (No Fault of theirs)
It’s very easy to book; just follow the instructions on your Groupon (www.groupon.co.uk/myaccount) and they’ll happily schedule you in. Advanced booking is essential and subject to availability.
We understand that you may be disappointed by this news If this is the case you can contact us (see the contact details below) and we will happily process a refund for you. The amount will be transferred via your original method of payment, so please keep an eye out for it reaching your bank account within 5 working days (if you paid in full or in part using Groupon credit, this amount will instead be returned to your Groupon account).