When Is Dinner Time Not Dinner Time?

When is “dinner?” Josh had a Subway coupon with the words “Dinner Time” on it, but no time restrictions in the fine print. He went to use the coupon around 1:00 PM at a local Subway franchise, and their cash register wouldn’t accept it. He feels that Subway owes him a dollar, and now refuses to go back. Is he overreacting, or does Subway need to define when “dinner” starts?

[From Wikipedia:] “Dinner is usually the name of the main meal of the day. Depending upon culture, dinner may be the second, third or fourth meal of the day. Originally, though, it referred to the first meal of the day, eaten around noon, and is still occasionally used for a noontime meal, if it is a large or main meal.”

Now that we have that cleared up; my father and I attempted to utilize a coupon for two combo meals at a local subway (according to mint.com I’ve spent over $490 at this subway in the past 3 years). The coupon said “Dinner Time”. It was 1:00PM. No where on the coupon did they define what time dinner was. Nor in the store, any where in writing. The owner told me the computer would not allow him to use the coupon (which doesn’t actually scan), so he could not accept it.

I work IT for a living, if you can’t override or outsmart a computer, then you need to examine your life. In any case, we used other coupons that were “allowed” with a difference of $1.00 I still feel that as a loyal customer of almost $500 worth, who works with 100+ people close to this location, he should have just ate the $1.00.

I called subway corporate who was of no help since they do not own the stores, they have no power or legal obligations over them (quite convenient) and since the local owner did not produce the coupon, they also have no liability nor are required to accept them. I’m just glad I live in 2012, where no company anywhere has any liability and confusing coupons rule the land.

All I want is my $1.00 back. I’d have left if my father had not wanted subway… I’ll never go back. They just lost $150/year. It’s not much, but it’s all I can do.

That’s the nature of franchised businesses. Avoiding all Subways everywhere is an overreaction, but avoiding just that one is understandable.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Rebecca K-S says:

    I certainly agree that, from his description, they should’ve just tried to find a way to get him a dollar off, but you know what?

    I work IT for a living, if you can’t override or outsmart a computer, then you need to examine your life.

    Josh: you’re a dick, so I don’t care about your stupid dollar.

    • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

      Eh heh, I never thought “I work IT for a living” could be whipped out as a substitute for “do you know who I am?” when you can’t get your way.

      Not only do I also not care about his stupid dollar, I say everyone everywhere should charge him extra.

      (flashback to The Jetsons episode where George got black listed by all robots)

      • Unstable says:

        + P s slf nttld dch. Thr shld b f pd t t nyn wh hs t dl wth ths mrn..

        • ellemdee says:

          “OP is a self entitled douche.”
          Those are the exact words I was thinking. If the system could not be overridden by the cashier, well then it was designed well enough to do what Subway intended it to do…no need to pretty much call the cashier an idiot over it. And the “don’t they know who I am?” attitude just further confirms his douchiness.

      • drjayphd says:

        It didn’t help matters that he drives a Dodge Stratus.

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      A stupid dick, to boot. If he’d ever seen point of service software, he’d notice it’s not a wide-open space where people can put in whatever transactions they want. Since Subway changes very little from store to store, they more than likely have a Turkey Sandwich button, Extra Bacon button, so on.
      There’s probably also a Coupon button that asks for a coupon code. But this function most likely either:
      1) Is able to check against times and dates, so this would have failed because the only people who call lunch “dinner” are over 100 and from small towns in northern Wisconsin
      2) Was easily accessible but the end user chose not to do it because of the angry failed abortion that was screaming at him/her.

      • Legit Crypt says:

        There are nightshift workers and quite a few of them also where dinner happens at 8am. Having said that, I agree with you and this guy is just an asshole.

        • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

          Well, yeah. And I know that some people in the South use the word “dinner” for “lunch”. But a grown adult should know what the common term is nationwide by now and not get angry when that interpretation is used.

          I do wonder why Subway didn’t just write “redeem after 4:30PM” or something instead.

          • MMD says:

            Not condoning Josh’s behavior, but it’s absolutely Subway’s responsibility to clearly define the terms of the coupon.

            • dangermike says:

              I would be really surprised if it wasn’t defined in the fine print. There’s always fine print. There has to be. Otherwise, there’d be nothing to stop anyone from going into subway and redeeming the coupon itself for $1. I would be willing to bet a whole dollar that somewhere on the bottom of the coupon, in print so tiny that it looks like a little dotted line or shaded block, it would have said soething to the effect of “Coupon has no cash value. Offer valid from 5PM to 12AM in participating stores only. One time use only. Limit one per purchase.”

            • rob3912811 thinks this site is full of retards and assclowns with cats for friends. says:

              Subway is franchised. Individual stores don’t have to accept his coupons no matter what the piece of paper says. Moot point.

      • eomalley3@gmail.com says:

        I managed a subway for years, it’s both. The owner definitely could have gone into the coupon code settings and altered the time requirement OR just manually overrode the price and dealt with tracking issues later, but didn’t because this customer was acting like an entitled jerk.

        Frequent petty customers usually don’t recognize that their negative effect on employee moral can be more of a financial burden than the money they spend at the business. The fact that the owner was ringing him out makes me believe he/she is not removed enough from the day-to-day happenings to forget this.

    • Jawaka says:

      I agree. I also don’t care that he’s spent $490 at that Subway over 3 years.

    • pinkbunnyslippers says:

      Yeah, he had me in his corner right up until then.

    • absherlock says:

      He’s heading to the server farm in 26 minutes…

    • Cosmo_Kramer says:

      Josh is also admitting that he’s terrible at his job.

    • DerangedKitsune says:

      I agree. If it worked for IT for a living, he’d know terminals are intentionally locked down for the explicit purpose of preventing the user from donig whatever they want. Businesses control what the employees can do so the employee dosen’t break the software.

      Unless he works at a place with a wide-open computer policy, allowing users to run with full admin rights, put whatever they want on the systems, browsing wherever they please, etc. If so, I want to work there, as I hate a system as chained down as the one I have, though I understand why.

      • poehitman says:

        Last I checked, any manager on duty has the ability to override the computer. Usually with a manager’s key or user code. The computer wouldn’t be much good without it, since the computer isn’t infallible. Any business who hasn’t put this ability into it’s computers needs to re-examine it’s business practices, since they just lost WAY more than the $1 they would have by overriding the computer.

        They could have done what we cashiers at a grocery store do when a customer hands us a coupon too late. We take the coupon, give them case for the amount of the coupon, and make a note of it. The total between cash and coupons will still balance out in the end anyways.

        • DerangedKitsune says:

          *Checks article again* Huh… so I see it was apparently the owner that shot him down. Okay, I could see it from anyone below him being locked out to prevent those kinds of changes, but this just means that he’s cheap and will not let any dollar slip by.

    • spf1971 says:

      + Whr s th vt bttn fr “Th P s whn btch”?

    • StarKillerX says:

      Yeah that line plus the working with 100+ people show him to be an entitled dick who thinks everyone should bend over for him.

      After reading his letter above I would think that maybe part of the problem was that he acted like an entitled prick there as well, which of course wouldn’t really make someone go out of their way to help him out.

    • tooluser says:

      He has a legitimate complaint, and made a legitimate comment about the intelligence of someone. Or do you want to take back your insult of him?

      Otherwise, you’re a dick, by your own definition.

    • Kamrom says:

      Its not even about him being a jerk (though he was being a jerk, just to be clear.) It was that he completely ignroed anything about the job, which might not allow for that, or which might punish that.

      I cant say for sure. the person *couldve* been a complete moron..But theres at least as much chance they were worried about being penalized/fired for attempting to do that.

  2. CharlesFarley says:

    Josh should consult Jared.

    • longfeltwant says:

      Some people eat dinner at strange times. That doesn’t mean strange times are dinner time, it means that some people eat dinner at times that aren’t dinner time. If you want to talk about the original meaning of “dinner time” way way back in the past, then you need to use your coupon way, way back in the past. Almost all words mean something different today than previously.

      PS the solution to the problem is to prepare your own sandwich. Stop eating at restaurants.

  3. Coffee says:

    I’ll echo the sentiment of the last paragraph of the article. Because Subways are franchised, they were like little fiefdoms, and unless there’s a clear defiance of corporate ($6 footlongs, for example), they’re pretty much allowed to operate as they see fit. If you like Subway and still want to go, but don’t want to give your money to that dude, just hit up Subway when you’re not in the area.

    In regards to the coupon, unless a time is specifically written on is, I don’t think “dinner” legally binding in any way, and the customer should be able to redeem it whenever they happen to eat dinner. That said, getting your knackers in a twist over the $1.00 is…well…while I can understand the principle of the thing, it’s probably best to move on.

    • kc2idf says:

      The solution is obvious.

      Ditch Subway and find a small local deli. True, you could run into an arrogant, officious owner, but the likelihood of that is small, because those types don’t tend to stay in business long enough.

      Most likely, the owner of this small local deli will be thrilled to fill large orders for you, and your sandwiches will have a very important thing that Subway’s sandwiches don’t: content!

      Go on, give Subway the heave-ho they so richly deserve.

      • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

        As an added bonus, my local deli has swiss cheese. I like Subway well enough, but I’d like them better if they offered swiss cheese.

      • Coffee says:

        Oh, personally, I agree with you…I hate Subway and I’m not even that picky. Give my a deli sandwich with freshly cut meat any day.

        • bluline says:

          I’d take that too, except that the nearest Subway is a mile away and the nearest real deli is at least 10 miles. And it charges outrageous prices.

          • kc2idf says:

            Well, sure. In my case, it’s easy because the nearest Subway to my workplace is immediately next door to an awesome Italian deli called Roasted Red Pepper.

  4. GMFish says:

    utilize a coupon for two combo meals

    You use a coupon to redeem for products or services. You utilize a coupon to clean your teeth or to fold up and prop up a table leg.

  5. Admiral_John says:

    If OP came of as condescending and full of himself to the employees at Subway as he did in this post, no wonder they wouldn’t budge on the coupon.

    • Taliskan says:

      I was thinking the same thing. It’s a dollar. Sometimes coupons don’t work. Should Subway make an effort to take a dollar off? Yes. If they have trouble with it, eat yours and everyone elses time trying to figure out a system designed by howler monkeys, should you forgo the coupon? Yes. Just use it next time.

    • Pella says:

      This. So much. God, what a dick.

    • Costner says:

      If I was a business owner, I’d gladly pay $500 every three years to not have to deal with customers like Josh.

      I mean seriously… Subway should have just accepted his coupon – I don’t disagree with that, but getting all pissy and claiming he will NEVER go back over $1? Seriously… a dollar?

      Me thinks “NEVER” means “until I am in the mood for a cheap BMT on Wheat”.

    • synimatik says:

      I concur. Also, he acts like they should kiss his ass because he goes to their place and spends $6 every two weeks. Seriously, do that math, by his numbers, he goes there and buys one sandwich (and tax) every two weeks. Good riddance, asshole.

      • poehitman says:

        I’m not an IT guy and I think Josh was exactly right in what he said. I used to be a cashier for a living and I KNOW he’s right. There’s ALWAYS a manager’s override. Business computers would be useless without it.

  6. tky says:

    Consumerist needs a tip jar that allows some pay-for-play; in this case, I’ll put a dollar in the jar to make this story — and Josh — go away.

  7. The Upright Man says:

    Dinner at 5 PM is weird to me.

    Throughout my entire life, I’ve always considered any time before 8 to be too early for dinner. Thanksgiving and Xmas are the only exceptions.

    • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

      I grew up on a farm, so the evening meal was rarely before 7 or 8 – because the work was never done much before then. My wife came from a background where 5 PM was normal – and that seems absurdly early to me :)

      Of course, we called the noon meal dinner and the evening meal supper. These days, unless I’m sure of how someone refers to the meals, I’ll use “lunch” to refer to the noon meal and “supper” to refer to the evening meal. It’s more difficult to misinterpret those terms.

      • pplrppl says:

        re: “Of course, we called the noon meal dinner and the evening meal supper. These days, unless I’m sure of how someone refers to the meals, I’ll use “lunch” to refer to the noon meal and “supper” to refer to the evening meal. It’s more difficult to misinterpret those terms.”

        In the south a “sup” is a partial mouthful of liquid. As in “give me a sup of that lemonade” similar to how bakers might use a “pinch” of something. It’s an informal measurement of a liquid.

        The first time I heard a mid-westerner say “supper” I asked them if it was a meal for soup only or a meal for alcoholics.

        To me it’s Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night snack.

        Or if I’m in a hobbitish mood its 1st Breakfast, 2nd Breakfast, 1st Lunch, 2nd Lunch, 1st Dinner, 2nd Dinner.

    • Taliskan says:

      And for me dinner after 5 is late. Growing up we always had dinner sometime between 4-5. Even now as a full-time workign adult, I typically eat dinner before 5 (work 8-4).

      • TrustAvidity says:

        That’s how I am. I use to always eat dinner between 6:30pm and 7:30pm and thought only people older than 70 ate earlier but once I started working 8-4:30 it’s been 5pm dinner every week day.

    • RandomHookup says:

      In college, I went to the cafeteria for the 1st time for dinner at about 7 pm. It had already shut down. Dinner hours were 4:30 to 6:30 pm. That took some getting used to.

    • dks64 says:

      I work at a restaurant, dinner time starts around 5-6ish. Because that’s when our rush is, my body is used to eating later (between 8-10). I think this guy is a tool, criticizing the worker for being locked out of using a coupon on the computer and thinking a dinner coupon could be used at lunch time.

  8. zep says:

    The owner should have just forked over a buck, but this guy sounds like a douche so I’m not ruling out the notion that his personality may have come into play.

    Anyone else seeing Jimmy Fallon’s IT Guy from SNL as they read this?

  9. [redacted] says:

    I consider 1pm to be lunch time. I usually don’t eat lunch until at least 12:30. On the other hand, if the coupon fails to state a time frame, they should have honored the coupon.

  10. dush says:

    So did they tell him what time dinner started or not?

  11. bonzombiekitty says:

    While there’s certainly some vagueness about when “Dinner Time” starts, I wouldn’t think 1 PM is anywhere close to that vague area. That’s squarely in what I would call “Lunch Time”.

    I’d say you could start aguing for “dinner time” around 4PM.

    • Rachacha says:

      My grandfather used to work the 4PM – Midnight shift at a factory. He and my Grandmother would always eat their “Dinner” at around noon, and he would have “lunch” at around 8:00pm.

  12. framitz says:

    In some places ‘dinner’ is lunch while ‘supper’ is dinner.

    Subway should have honored the deal.

    • framitz says:

      But Josh is still a dick.

    • dolemite says:

      Those places are wrong. Lunch is lunch. Dinner is dinner.

      • Rebecca K-S says:

        I can’t tell if you’re serious. Are you serious?

        • dolemite says:

          As usual, I’m half and half.

          Here’s my question for people that think lunch is dinner. So…Dinner = Supper. Lunch = Dinner. Breakfast =….Lunch?

          Or do they have 2 names for lunch (lunch and dinner)? Or does lunch not exist in this strange universe?

          • Rebecca K-S says:

            Breakfast, dinner, supper. “Dinner”‘s actual definition is the main meal of the day, so if that’s the daytime meal, then it’s accurate. At the very least, that tradition is where the terminology came from.

            I guess they don’t have brunch there, which is the true atrocity here. :(

          • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

            Lunch does not exist. It’s just breakfast, dinner, supper in this case.

            I managed to grow up in the breakfast/dinner/supper universe and now live in the breakfast/lunch/dinner universe. The two universes aren’t terribly different :)

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            It goes —

            Breakfast –> Dinner –> Supper

            When I was in the Army, there was so much confusion as to which meal constituted “Dinner”, the meals were typically just referred to Morning Chow –> Afternoon Chow –> Evening Chow.

        • dolemite says:

          Oh, to confuse matters more, I just read breakfast was originally called dinner.

    • Tyanna says:

      I would agree to this, if subway didn’t have a ‘lunch special’. That kind of shows what language they are using.

  13. DJ Charlie says:

    The way I was taught: Breakfast, Dinner, Tea, Supper.

  14. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Is dinner after 4pm, or simply the 3rd meal you eat that day? Swing and Graveyard employees would truly like to know.

    • Kuchen says:

      When I work 7pm-7am, I usually call what I eat before I go to work dinner, what I eat at work lunch, and what I eat when I get home in the morning breakfast. I think I use those terms because they seem more descriptive of what kind of food I usually eat at each meal. Dinner is my biggest meal of the day, even though it’s my first.

      • Tyanna says:

        My husband is the same way. He works nights and eats the dinner I cook when he gets up. In the morning when he gets home he has a bowl of cereal or oatmeal before going to bed.

    • flychinook says:

      I’ve actually pondered this question for some time. Another variable would be the food eaten. If I go to Denny’s and get a Grand Slamwich at 7pm, as my third meal of the day, is it breakfast or dinner? What if I had just waken up that evening and it was my first meal?

  15. George4478 says:

    >>I still feel that as a loyal customer of almost $500 worth, who works with 100+ people close to this location, he should have just ate the $1.00.

    Did you repeat these facts loudly, maybe a couple of times, to make sure he understood?

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      I’m more interested in what his 100+ coworkers are going to do.
      “Hey, do any of you guys wanna pick up some Subway?”
      “No way! Josh tried using a dinner coupon during lunchtime and the guy there said no!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
      “LET’S GET HIM!”

  16. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    When I was in the Army, I knew several guys who referred to a meal at noon as “dinner” and the evening meal as “supper”.

    But for the majority of the population, I would imagine the norm is lunch is the meal between 11:00am and 2:00pm and dinner is the meal from 4:00 – 8:00. Or that is at least the standard when it comes to lunch and dinner specials at most restaurants I’ve been to.

  17. sweetgreenthing says:

    I wouldn’t consider “dinner time” to be before 4pm. Isn’t 4 the old people’s early bird special time? However, if it doesn’t give an actual time on the coupon I don’t see how they can enforce it. It’s $1. Your time is worth more than that, let it go. Next time you get a coupon for a shitty chain sandwich shop with mysterious and vague meal time restrictions, throw it away and go find a local sandwich shop to patronize. Solved!

  18. penuspenuspenus says:

    Dear Josh,

    You’re a bit of a dick. We also have your $1.


  19. anime_runs_my_life says:

    Okay Josh. Let’s stop for a moment. Your snarky comment about examining your life if you can’t make a computer do something is completely uncalled for. I understand that you’re upset about not getting your precious dollar off your meal.

    You, sir, are what those who work in the service industry call an entitlement whore. Drop the attitude, understand that life is not fair and that you can’t get it your way and learn to accept it. It will make it much easier in the long run.

  20. belsonc says:


    If Subway is going to do something for dinner, then they really should say when dinner is.

    If OP is that worried about a dollar, then he needs to get a grip, principle or otherwise. If you don’t like what they did, don’t go back, but I’m with a few other commenters – if this is how you came across here, then if you were anything like that there and I was the manager, I probably wouldn’t’ve budged either.

  21. PHRoG says:

    All of our Subway’s offer a dinner special of 3 footlongs for $9.99, all of them also state it’s only valid after 5PM.

  22. Anathema777 says:

    Josh, if you can’t get over not being able to use a coupon once, then you need to examine your life.

  23. Stickdude says:

    And the best part of the entire post?

    He still got the $1.00 off by using other coupons that the system could accept.

    He’s not even complaining because he had to pay an extra dollar. He’s complaining, and calling Subway corporate, and posting to Consumerist and who knows what other sites, because the system wouldn’t accept one specific coupon that he thought it should have.


    • Bladerunner says:

      Please reread the post for comprehension:

      “In any case, we used other coupons that were “allowed” with a difference of $1.00″.
      In other words, the total discount was more than a dollar (say $4), but the original coupon was for $1.00 more (say $5.00). Thus, he was out his 1.00.

      • rob3912811 thinks this site is full of retards and assclowns with cats for friends. says:

        Please use your brain for comprehension: He’s actually out nothing (and came out ahead, even) because he STILL payed less than the original, advertised total using other coupons. He just saved less money.

        No, you’re not entitled to something you never had in the first place.

  24. SmokeyBacon says:

    While I personally think Dinner Time is after 5 pm I do know we have relatives outside the area who do the whole “Breakfast, Dinner, Supper” thing so 1 pm for them would be Dinner Time. So either they should specify the actual times or they should suck it up and honor it all day.

    • who? says:

      I eat dinner in the evening, but for my parents, dinner was always at noon, and supper was in the evening. I can still confuse my Dad by telling him that we’re going out to dinner tonight.

      If there’s no specific hours on the coupon, then dinner could be anytime.

  25. Stickdude says:

    I work in IT for a living as well. If you get this bent out of shape over a dollar, then you need to examine your life.

  26. mister_roboto says:

    I’m totally going to get on wikipedia and change the definition of dinner time now.

  27. fpage77 says:

    1 PM is not dinner time genius!

  28. Hoss says:

    I’m doubting that a sub shop owner programmed the register… Saying it’s a franchise decision is a cop out and it makes a business partner look bad over a dollar. They should have tried harder…or at least tried to respect the complaint. It’s not a dollar as much as the feeling that they got you in the store used the oportunity to give you a hard time instead of being happy that marketing actually works

  29. dolemite says:

    Dinner time is like…4pm until like midnight.

    Lunch is like 11-4.

    • Markitect says:

      Instead of just making stuff up, how about checking the dictionary? American Heritage says, “The chief meal of the day, eaten in the evening or at midday.”

      • dolemite says:

        Wiki says it is usually the largest meal of the day. Who eats their biggest meal on their lunch break?

        • Markitect says:

          On Sunday we always eat our biggest meal around noon-1pm. So the Sunday midday meal is called Sunday dinner, but through the week we call the evening meal dinner. When is Christmas Dinner or Thanksgiving Dinner? It’s whenever you eat, whether midday or evening.

  30. wasabirobot says:

    I’m gonna go with anyone that gets this bent out of shape over a dollar needs to examine his life.

  31. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    Supper is the meal you eat after 5:00PM.

    Dinner is a fancy supper – i.e. what you call a supper eaten with tablecloths and linen napkins.

  32. deezil says:

    In the South, dinner often seems to be lunch. In the North, I’ve more noticed that it’s supper. Due to this, I’ve never called a meal dinner in my life. There’s Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper.

    • mearow says:

      My husband sometimes calls the noon meal dinner and the evening meal supper. As a newlywed, I was so confused, wondering why he was asking about dinner when we hadn’t even had lunch yet.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      I’m from the South (Texas) and I’ve never heard lunch referred to as “dinner” in this region. I’ve heard “dinner” and “supper” used interchangeably to refer to the evening meal, but I’ve always heard breakfast/lunch/dinner or supper.

  33. SkokieGuy says:

    OMG – Multiple Dickishness, we so have to pile on the OP.

    1st, dinner, in American is generally considered to be the evening meal. 1pm is so NOT a reasonable time to expect to be served dinner.

    2nd, OP claims to be an IT professional. Assuming you make more than minimum wage, your time spent to rant to Subway corporate and write to Consumerist have eaten up much more than $1.00 of your time.

    3rd, “I work IT for a living, if you can’t override or outsmart a computer, then you need to examine your life” – oh give me a break. If you were a professional, then you would know that designing a system that can NOT be overidden by a store clerk is the mark of a well designed system. If you were the business owner, would you want a part time, minimum wage employee to be able to circumvent your pricing and accept coupons based on their own discretion?

    You deserve to be slapped with a FootLong – and not in a good way.

    • The Fake Fake Steve Jobs says:

      “You deserve to be slapped with a FootLong – and not in a good way.”

      And he don’t mean a hoagie either..

    • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

      “If you were a professional, then you would know that designing a system that can NOT be overidden by a store clerk is the mark of a well designed system.”

      True enough, but it’s a good idea to have a trusted person (manager) be able to override a system. You definitely don’t want a system that’s completely impossible to override.

    • MMD says:

      1) “Generally” isn’t good enough. Spell it out on the coupon.

  34. The Fake Fake Steve Jobs says:

    I’m going to be honest – if it all it took was one dollar to never have to deal with Josh again I think Subway got a great deal. I can’t imagine he was a pleasant customer given his attitude.

    “Oh, I see you’re trying to fill a soda Other Random Customer. Obviously you’re doing it wrong because you didn’t put the ice in first. Maybe you should examine your life. MOOOOVE, I’ll do it.”

  35. Lyn Torden says:

    Dinner is the meal that happens between 11 and 11.

  36. Jane_Gage says:

    Why don’t you open their window at 3:00 AM with a brick? Anytime is dinnertime in Joshland.

  37. Straspey says:

    So much time. So much effort –

    * Arguing with the store personnel

    * On the phone with corporate management

    * Writing the long description to Consumerist – including the Wiki research.

    * Not to mention the conversations with friends, family and co-workers.

    So many precious and irretrievable moments of your life – gone forever –

    And for what…

    To save one single dollar over the purchase of a fast-food sandwich.

    Oh my…

  38. speaky2k says:

    To me there are three separate meals at a restaurant, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. Breakfast is from opening (or 4am for 24hr places) till sometime mid morning (10-11am), Lunch is from then till mid afternoon (2-4pm), and Dinner is after that. Most sit down restaurants I go to have specials that are only available for “lunch” or “dinner” and the lunch meals typically are cheaper but also smaller portions. One of my favorite Hibachi restaurants has a lunch meal that is half the cost of the dinner but only 3/4 the size (3 instead of 4 large scallops etc). So 1pm is a little early for dinner in my book, but since specific times were not listed it should not have been a issue. I am also not sure how the manager couldn’t get the coupon to work, I have seen multiple times where a corporate coupon wouldn’t scan so they just put in a manual dollars off to equal the same price.
    So I am going with a little blame the OP for going too early, but mostly blaming the owner for not just giving the dollars off equal to the coupon or saying “sorry we aren’t a participating store”.

  39. SabreDC says:

    How does the fact that you work “with 100+ people close to this location” have anything to do with whether or not the manager of the franchise gives you a dollar?

    “All I want is my $1.00 back.”

    But you aren’t out $1.00. You aren’t out anything. You got $1.00 off through other coupons AND you got to keep the coupon in question to use another time. Even if your coupon didn’t say what time dinner started, I bet $1.00 that it did say something along the lines of “Valid only at participating Subway restaurants” or “Additional restrictions may apply”. It is your responsibility to ask if there are restrictions on using the coupon.

    “I work IT for a living, if you can’t override or outsmart a computer, then you need to examine your life.”

    I’ll see your insult and raise you a “If you get that pissed off over a dollar coupon, then you need to examine your life.” I’ll give you a god damn dollar to shut up.

  40. jspeciner says:
  41. ohiomensch says:

    My Pennsylvania relatives call the noontime meal “Dinner” and the Evening meal “Supper”

  42. InsomniacZombie says:

    Even if there is no time limitations listed on the coupon, if it says Dinner Time, what makes you think that using it at 1PM makes it a dinner time coupon.

    Don’t be a jerk. Don’t be Josh.

  43. elangomatt says:

    For me, dinner=supper=after 5pm. That being said, I used to get confused by my grandparents because they often called lunch dinner, especially on weekends when they usually had the big meal of the day around noon.

    I think the big issue with this post is that the coupon really needs to specify what time dinner is. I have a friend that complained to the BBB one time because a buffet place wouldn’t let them use a “lunch special” coupon on Sunday because they only serve the dinner buffet on Sunday. I noticed that the next time they redesigned that coupon, they said “not valid on Sunday” on the coupon.

  44. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    The coupons should state time frames for the discounts. When I grew up, dinner was at lunch time, and supper was in the evening. I would have made the same mistake.

    I suspect the OP has been to that subway before.

  45. einstein1486 says:

    there seems to be no indication that the coupon was rejected based on the time of day. the franchise has every right to deny use of a corporate coupon. period. it sounds like the manager went out of his way to try to scan the coupon anyways. he wasn’t maliciously handing down his own personal definition of “dinner time.” he was doing his job.

  46. jeffile says:

    Oh, Lord! What a petty person. This is no different than arguing over if midnight is 12 AM or 12 PM. For those who wish to know it is neither.

  47. marillion says:

    Josh must be a Hobbit:

    What about second breakfast? What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn’t he?

  48. Crymansqua says:

    Breakfast is before 11
    Lunch is 11-2
    Dinner is after 5

    This is a hard concept? I understand it’s different for cultures but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this is the norm (especially since every restaurant I’ve been to sells different menus based on these time frames).

    No dollar for you! If you’re really willing to end a relationship with a business over a $1 coupon (that states dinner only), then I wouldn’t want your business.

    • Crymansqua says:

      Typed too fast.

      “different for other cultres”**
      “the norm here in the US”**

    • SabreDC says:

      I agree; however, I don’t think it is correct in comparing Subway to most restaurants that serve different menus based on time. In most restaurants, the kitchen might close at 3 or 4 to prepare dinner service. So there is a hard and fast cutoff. In a fast food world, the kitchen doesn’t close for a switch between lunch and dinner so I don’t think it’s as easy to say “5:00 begins dinner” and have that be 100% applicable to fast food.

      The cashier would have been more correct to simply say “We do not accept this coupon”. Although, no where in Josh’s email does it say that the coupon was rejected because it wasn’t yet dinnertime or that the location simply did not want to accept the coupon. He simply said that the computer wouldn’t accept it, which means that it could have just been a promo code that wasn’t accepted by that location. So, it’s hard to tell.

  49. trimetrov says:

    if you’re 90 years old and live in the country, like my grandparents, “dinner” is served at noon, and “supper” comes after 5.

  50. itsdotcom says:

    It should say what time, but I wouldn’t consider 1PM to be dinner. I’d think maybe 3 or 4, but it really should say right on the coupon. And yes, he’s overreacting. Cashiers have no authority to override the POS, it won’t let them, and if it’s not reflected in the POS, they’ll be off at the end of the night. Where I worked, we were only allowed $3 variance, so even if someone was a penny short, we really couldn’t do anything for them. We’d get in trouble.

  51. ptkdude says:

    $490 over the past 3 years. That’s $13.61 per month, which is around two visits. You are not a customer they should make exceptions for.

  52. gargunkle says:

    I wouldn’t say 5pm (maybe 4pm) but it sure as heck isn’t 1pm.

  53. The Bunk says:

    So after consulting Wikipedia, researching purchases over three years (ooh…a Subway every two weeks), and berating Subway corporate, it appears the Sandwich Artist still has the IT Guru’s dollar.

    Sounds like Josh needs a course in history, to wit, King Pyrrhus of Epirus.

  54. canvai says:

    “according to mint.com I’ve spent over $490 at this subway in the past 3 years”

    $490/3years = $163/yr

    $163/52weeks = $3.14


    Assuming a foot long sandwich is $6 and constitutes one meal, he eats at subways about once every other week.

    Also assuming that a person has 3 meals a day…

    That means he eats a subway sammich about once out of every 40 meals.

    big spender.

  55. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    As noted by many, OP does seem to be a dick.

    However, it has been my general understanding that “lunch” is essentially a slang word for “midday meal.” I have always felt that the formal definition of “dinner” was meant to be the midday meal, and “supper” was the evening meal. I am told that in many parts of the country, particularly the south, “dinner” and “supper” are still commonly in use that way.

    How “dinner” migrated to the “supper” slot I don’t know…or why “supper” isn’t used anymore in many areas – outside of a “supper club.” At any rate, I don’t see how (in lieu of any actual notice of what Subway considered to be “dinner time”) Subway, franchisee or not, really had grounds to deny the coupon – but once again it certainly seems that OP is, verily, a dick.

    • dwtomek says:

      Is today the day that we start looking towards the South for eloquence and propriety in language? I’m starting to think that there might be something to this 2012 thing after all…

  56. chiieddy says:

    Sorry. Bad customer tag required. OP is a dick and being overly literal. Popular usage in the area he’s in? Dinner is the evening meal, generally after 5 pm.

  57. ThinkingBrian says:

    I’m not going to slam the OP, however he is simply overreacting in this case. Not going back to that specific Subway is one thing and would understand that, but banning them all, that is going way overboard and will only effect that OP.

    Now when it comes to the coupon:
    First, Dinner time is normally after 5pm.

    Second, I have to wonder if there is really a time restriction on this coupon or since there was NO signs up on this particular deal that maybe that specific Subway (since they are privately owned) doesn’t accept that coupon period. Coupons that work at one location, might not work at another location.

    Bottom line, the OP should give another Subway a chance, but bring another coupon in case that specific Subway also doesn’t accept that coupon.

    Again, the OP is overreacting, its not worth getting so mad over.

    • ThinkingBrian says:

      Just searched online for and found “Subway Dinner Time Special” and the ad says “Everyday after 4pm and all day Sunday”…there’s part of it.

  58. shepd says:

    I call lunch dinner. Drives my wife batshit crazy. I blame my British parents. Supper is the last meal of the day.

  59. The Porkchop Express says:

    “I work IT for a living, if you can’t override or outsmart a computer, then you need to examine your life”

    No I don’t, I pay you people to do these things. Granted, I can probably do it, but if I couldn’t I would never feel the need to examine my life. Now this horrible case fo the crabs? I should probably examine something.

  60. anti09 says:

    Here’s how I weigh in on this.

    1) Restaurant owner should’ve eaten the dollar, if only to keep a happy customer happy and prevent a scene like this. It’s definitely worth $1 not to have to deal with a complainer.

    2) 1:00 is not dinner, and both the OP and the restaurant owner knows this. OP automatically gets my “dick of the week” award for blatantly trying to exploit a loophole and then acting self-righteous about it and pretending like he isn’t.

    3) Regardless of what Wikipedia says dinner used to refer to, in modern day America, dinner is what we eat at night as our last meal of the day. Again, OP knows this and is acting like a self-righteous asshole.

    4) OP is also a presumptious asshole who clearly has never worked in food service. You can’t just “reprogram” a computer to do what you want. Many chain restaurants (including subway) use software that spoon-feeds an order to you step-by-step. You can’t just ‘hack the system’ to make it accept a coupon – if it doesn’t accept it, it doesn’t accept it. Tough cookies for everyone involved, and there’s usually nothing anyone can do about it.

    5) OP implies there is shady business by referring to Subway Corporate’s lack of authority as “convenient.” To this I merely remind him that Subway is a franchise, and that he is an idiot. A self-righteous, entitled, asshole, idiot.

  61. richard_toronto says:

    This guy is a dick.
    I don’t care what Wikipedia says – in North America, dinner is the third meal of the day, and it’s in the late afternoon/early evening.

    Tough cookies.

  62. dwtomek says:

    My Dinner Time coupons from subway had a stated timeframe where I could use them. I believe it was after 5pm. It was a little shady in that it was only mentioned on the header of the coupon sheet, not individually on the coupons themselves. This is all from memory though.

  63. Dr. Shrinker says:

    I’m just glad your time is so cheap that you could spend it phoning Subway corporate and then posting to Consumerist over A DOLLAR.


    • regis-s says:

      To be fair though, how many hours do people put in reading the Consumerist or other web sites and don’t even have the prospect of getting a dollar out of it?

      I’m assuming not everyone is doing it at work on company time.

  64. CalicoGal says:

    We recently tried to use a Restaurant.com certificate.
    The waitress told us it was only valid after 4pm. We asked where on the certificate it said this.
    She pointed to the mouse print that read “valid for dinner only.”

    The menu did not have any hours listed differentiating between dinner/lunch. We told her we were there for dinner, just at 3pm.
    Even the manager wouldn’t take the certificate until after 4.

  65. polishhillbilly says:

    Dinner is 11:00am till 1:00 pm
    Supper is 5:30 pm Sharp. You’re either there or you don’t eat..

  66. johnny_ryall says:

    has he written to Congress? retained legal representation? cried to his mommy?

    did his dad think he was a big man for putting up a fight over a dollar?

    i work in IT for a living, i’ve got more important things to concern myself with than discounted sandwiches.

  67. ovalseven says:

    Josh doesn’t say that Subway refused the coupon because it wasn’t “dinner time”. Maybe there’s another reason why it wouldn’t work.

    But, if Josh really wants his dollar I’m sure he could outsmart and override an ATM. It’s a just a computer, right?

  68. brinks says:

    Josh works IT, but obviously never retail or fast food. Those systems are designed to prevent coupon fraud, so no one can override them. A manager might be able to override it, but they’ll have to eat the cost. If Josh was being as much of a douche in the store as he is in this post, I wouldn’t override it either.

  69. richard_toronto says:

    This guy is a dick.
    I don’t care what Wikipedia says – in North America, dinner is the third meal of the day, and it’s in the late afternoon/early evening.

    Tough cookies.

  70. richard_toronto says:

    This guy is a dick.
    I don’t care what Wikipedia says – in North America, dinner is the third meal of the day, and it’s in the late afternoon/early evening.

    Tough cookies.

  71. joshla says:

    The coupon-maker and coupon-taker obviously interpreted “Dinner” as a night-time meal. This doesn’t sound like something meant to deceive the guy out of a buck. Completely irrational to demand that Your interpretation of dinner is the correct one, and to insult some cashier for not being able to “outsmart” his computer. The guy sounds rude and like a pain in the ass.

  72. oldtaku says:

    That is a lot of butthurt for $1.

    Especially when you need to quote Wikipedia to justify ‘dinner’ at 1 PM.

  73. LorgSkyegon says:

    “I still feel that as a loyal customer of almost $500 worth”

    Well I’m sure the owner is going to go out of business without your $3 a week

  74. jiarby says:

    There are bigger things in life to get this worked up about than $1 off a couple subway sandwiches.

  75. DrPizza says:

    1. “Dinner” is the main meal of the day. If you’re eating your main meal of the day at Subway, you need to examine your life.

    2. It’s amazing that there’s an educated person who seems to have no concept in how franchises work. They don’t all have the same price, they don’t all have to honor the same coupons.

    3. Mom & pop sub shops very often have far better subs and sandwiches, and for less money. The “footlong” marketing was amazing – I’m stunned at how people suddenly regarded $5 to be a great price for a 12″ sub with a miniscule amount of meat and cheese on it.

  76. Nonbuyer says:

    Where did you get these coupons? Was it online, through the newspaper, something in the mail? Because I’ve never seen a coupon that was for a time frame (i.e. Dinner Time) that didn’t include a specific time frame as to when you can use the coupon.

    Two, you’re an “IT guy”. Shut up. Go work for Subway’s IT department and fix their coupon system, because to enter in a coupon it really does suck. They may have had a button in their discount section, but the system could have been set up so that there is a specific time the deal is good for. Or it might not be set up nearly as conveniently and so you get to pull up a big huge long list of discount codes, most of which don’t work anymore due to it expiring or not being the right market, or whatever. Either way most of the codes don’t work and the average Subway worker isn’t able to do anything about it.. or even the owner, because all of that information is downloaded onto the computer from a central location.

    Could he have eaten the dollar? Maybe. But one thing I’ve learned from fast food is that you start giving people exceptions, and they’ll expect them all the time, because people have entitlement issues that mean that in the case of other Subway employees at other franchisees, they end up suffering.

  77. Spaghettius! says:

    Going by the “Lunch Special” portion of the take-out menus I just polled… lunch is from 11-4. So I guess after that is dinnertime. Though I think 4-5 is the dead space where lunch specials can still be negotiated (just ask nicely, they’ll sometimes still let you have them).
    That said, sometimes computerized registers cannot be outsmarted because they limit access to employees. Although it is possible the owner was not being truthful. But it is also possible that Josh is not a very pleasant person. $150 per year, at $5 per sandwich, means you go to that Subway 30 times a year, so you go there, at most, 3 times on some months (unless your cheap a$$ got in on those $2 5-inch deals, and you use coupons but go often, in which case you’re the cheap and possibly rude coupon guy). Going by those numbers, you’re not a regular customer.

  78. joshwillis says:

    In plenty parts of the south and Texas, “dinner” is the mid-day meal and “supper” is the evening meal.

  79. Blue Moonlight says:

    Y’know, I’d be in the camp of comping the guy a dollar due to the confusion, but if the guy called corporate over a dollar, I can’t imagine things going particularly well at the store itself.

    I’ve seen many an example of a franchise not honoring a corporate deal, and I frequently see disclaimers on the corporate advertising itself saying that it might not be available at all locations. Similarly, I’ve seen many corporate locations be unable to accept franchisee deals (though they often will to support their franchisees).

    Furthermore, possession of a coupon, even within its “terms”, isn’t some inalienable right. Businesses can refuse them for whatever reason they see fit. Businesses regularly stop honoring printable coupons if they go viral, for example. Sure, there might sometimes be some consequences to that (if they refused them only for black customers, or used them as some sort of bait-and-switch nonsense). But if a coupon isn’t recognized by the register? I’d love to see a lawsuit over that.

    If he truly got this worked up over the dollar, then I’d agree with his decision to not patronize Subway any more, but only for his own mental health, not fiduciary punishment towards Subway.

    And if Josh here works in IT, he should be very concerned if his IT policy is something that can be “outsmarted” by virtually anyone, or “overridden” by the lowest on the totem pole.

  80. GoldVRod says:

    Josh claimed to ‘work IT for a living’. Much like Coke, he is IT!

    I work in IT also but I tend to use a preposition when stating it – you know, like normal people. I don’t think doctors go around saying ‘I work Hospital for a living’

    When I read the OP I kept thinking ‘Yeah, Subway should have specified a time when the coupon would be valid.’ but then an overriding thought kept creeping in.

    And that was ‘Josh is a twat.’

  81. gman863 says:

    My solution:

    * Pay the dollar this one time.

    * Quit visiting this particular Subway location.

    If this franchisee treats his business as the Sub Nazi, he won’t stay in business.

  82. Not Given says:

    IME, country folk have breakfast, dinner and supper. City folk have breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    Country folk get up early, do a few urgent chores before daylight, then come in for breakfast. They then go out and work until the middle of the day when they come in and have their largest meal of the day, then rest a little, especially when it’s hot outside. Then they go back out and work until can’t (see.) They come in and have a light supper and go to bed after it’s cleaned up after and they’ve had a little down time. The population has shifted to more city (and country) folk with regular jobs, but the names have stayed in the language for the people who were raised hearing it.
    City folk may have breakfast, go to work, have a short lunch period where they wolf something down quickly so they can get back to work on time. Then after work they go home and have their largest meal of the day. My parents both had regular jobs and we ate our big meal at night but I notice now that they are both retired, they usually have their largest meal around noon. They both grew up in the country doing farm chores.

  83. Emtronics says:

    Dinner in some countries is lunch and supper is their dinner time so otherwise, who cares?

  84. Atherton says:

    “Dinner” at 1pm is acceptable only on Christmas and Thanksgiving.

  85. chrisgoh says:

    The correct list of meals is as follows –

    1st Breakfast
    2nd Breakfast

  86. jenniferrose76 says:

    So, while I agree that Subway should be more specific on when that coupon can be used, my guess is that he acted as obnoxious and douchey at Subway as he sounds in his letter. Just speculation, of course. If that is the case, then while they likely COULD help him get his sacred dollar off, they opted to not bend over backwards to do it. Maybe it’s just the snow making me bitchy, but Josh really comes off as a dick, and an entitled one at that.

    • jenniferrose76 says:

      And, based on what I have seen for Subway coupons, there’s a good chance that somewhere on that coupon it probably states a time. To reiterate, Josh may be utterly and completely wrong.

  87. 2 Replies says:

    It’s whenever the participating franchise says it is.

    Any individual store can choose to not participate in coupon deals.
    Hell, any store can choose whether or not it wants to do business with someone.

    And besides, did Josh even bother to ASK, before he got his panties in such a bunch?

  88. Weekilter says:

    Your real mistake is spending over $500 for Jared’s place food.

  89. 2 Replies says:

    Dear Josh,
    “I work IT for a living, if you can’t override or outsmart a computer, then you need to examine your life.”

    False logic.
    As an IT worker, sure… if YOU “can’t override or outsmart a computer, then you need to examine your life”, but they work at SUBWAY pushing fast-faux-food … sandwiches, salads and pizzas. Computers aren’t going to be a large part of their work.

    Now an IT worker that can’t handle that simple logic…
    that’s someone who needs to re-examine their life.

  90. vaguely says:

    I’d sympathise with this person if he wasn’t such a condescending, pedantic dick. :)

  91. dullard says:

    It would seem that 1 P.M. is not commonly accepted as dinner time, at least where I live…it’s lunch time. Come back late in the afternoon and at least you can make an argument. 1 P.M.? Forget it.

  92. dullard says:

    It would seem that 1 P.M. is not commonly accepted as dinner time, at least where I live…it’s lunch time. Come back late in the afternoon and at least you can make an argument. 1 P.M.? Forget it.

  93. mdoneil says:

    He spends 45 cents there a day (averaged over the past three years). I’m sure they don’t give a shit.

  94. mcgyver210 says:

    Avoiding all Subways isn’t over reacting because no matter how you sugar coat it the corporate office does have the power to take a franchise away.

    I haven’t stepped foot in a KFC over their Fraudulent offer a few yrs ago & have made sure nothing I am involved in with business even considers KFC for a group event.

    Don’t let a Franchise hide behind we don’t control our Franchises when they really do. I have looked at a few over the years & they always have a little clause where they can take your business away from you with very biased reasons.

  95. LloydDobler says:

    Not for nothing but the day before yesterday I was at Subway with a coupon that clearly said buy one get one free for non-premium 6 inch or footlongs. The employee told us they do not honor the coupon for footlongs, only 6 inch sandwiches. I said okay and just used it for the six inch sandwiches. Had I known about the plight of Josh I’d be on hour 48 of my letter, e-mail, telephone call campaign to get a free footlong instead. I have a better case to bitch than the op, but I have, you know, a life.

  96. msky says:

    for crying out loud. Its not dinner at 1pm. Get over it, you dick.

  97. Mac says:

    In some areas, the midday meal is dinner and the evening meal supper.

  98. kungfu71186 says:

    This could very will be dinner. I work on a 24/7 schedule, so when I work nights, this could very well be dinner. If it doesn’t have a time on there, then Dinner should be any time.

  99. prosumer1 says:

    Oh God, get over it! It’s a frickin’ dollar, you cheap bastard.

  100. swehrung says:

    As a matter of customer service, he should have received a dollar off. As a matter of principle, everyone knows 1pm meals are “lunch,” not “dinner.”

  101. akirabass says:

    Any feelings I have that the store should have to define when “dinner” is are completely outweighed by how unpleasant a person Josh comes across as here.

  102. Robert Nagel says:

    When I was a kid, in the 50’s, I had an Italian friend who insisted that dinner was what I called lunch and supper was what I called dinner. I never did get that resolved, but for his family that was the was it was. In the absence of a definition and due to the ambiguity of the offer the Subway restaurant has an obligation to honor the coupon. If they don’t want a problem then put the hours on the coupon.
    I would have walked away and left them with the custom made sandwiches.

  103. pamelad says:

    I think a big part of this is simple symantics. “Dinner”? “Lunch”? “Supper”?

    When I was a child in California, with a Kentucky mom and an English father, I grew up thinking the term “Dinner” was a more refined term for the evening meal. When we moved to Alabama, I remember hearing my little friend’s mom calling out around 5 p.m., “Beth, SUPPER!”

    Different cultures, even within the U.S.

    Subway should have made the coupon hours in which to use the coupon easily noticeable (hours within which to use it). They might have, might have not. Perhaps it was in the fine print. Either way, the manager should have been able to point even the fine print out to Josh. Or maybe neither really tried to solve the $1 problem and didn’t listen to each other. Somebody was rude here, and it probably escalated.

    Be kind,