One of the key rules of using group buying sites (and, indeed, any coupons or discounts) is to pay attention to the fine print. Alex and his wife thought they did. The LivingSocial adventure he purchased for her birthday, a kayak tour, required 24 hours’ notice for a refund. What that fine print didn’t mention was that if you were too sick for an adventure on the day of the event, you wouldn’t be able to reschedule to a different date. That’s how Alex learned that employees of the group deal site weren’t quite accurate in explaining how payments to the adventure hosts work. According to the local paddling center owners, they would only get a couple of bucks if the couple canceled…but LivingSocial would still keep the entire fee.
If you were tricked into volunteering for a Big Brothers Big Sisters-style program, and you live in San Francisco, here’s an easy way to get out of the job. Take your kid to the Humphry Slocombe ice cream shop in San Francisco’s Mission District and order her some Coconut Candy Cap Caramel sorbet–the “candy cap” is mushroom! Or try the Salted Licorice, which Elizabeth Weil in the New York Times says her kids threw on the sidewalk. Or leave the kids at home and try the Secret Breakfast, which contains so much bourbon that “the scoop always runs soft.”