Leaves Us Hungry

Reader Shaun writes us with a troubling tale of starvation and humiliation in the hinterlands. Okay, he got dicked over by It seems they like to sell expired gift certificates, but are fairly reluctant to issue reimbursement.

Isn’t it embarrassing enough to use a gift certificate without having to endure being informed by snotty waitstaff that they “no longer accept those?” One would think would be overcome with remorse, showering Shaun with replacement certificates aplenty. Not so.

Call and leave your information? They call back and tell you to contact them at the number where you just left your information. E-mail? They ignore you. And when you finally get your refund? It’s only half what it should be.

Read about Shaun’s ultimate humiliation after the jump.

I’ve come to realize that there is such a thing as a free lunch… but they ain’t gonna make it easy to stomach.

I’ve got a stash of gift certificates I bought when they were on sale some months back. If you don’t know, it’s a pretty good deal overall–I paid $3.50 each for $25 off at some decent restaurants here in Richmond. If you have a girlfriend who appreciates frugality and can tolerate sneering waitstaff (who act as though you’re stealing profits out of THEIR pocket), it’s not a bad deal.

I bought two for Zuppa, and later found out they were no longer accepting them. No big deal… I’d just contact the website for a credit, right?

I place two calls. I send an email. I get one call back, a message from
their call center employee. Even though I’ve given all the information they’d need to process a refund, she does nothing other than say “call us at 1-800-979-8985 if you need help”… the same damned number I called in the first place!

One more email later, I clearly explain the situation. I’d like a credit for two certificates, please. This is my fourth contact with no resolution, and I’m not a happy camper. Two days later… miracles of miracles, praise Jesus and Hallelujiah! There’s a credit in my inbox.

A credit for ONE certificate, not the two I’m owed.

I think next time, I’ll have to draw pictograms to get my message across.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.