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.

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