Christopher Parker (cparker) wrote,

Restaurant.com Certificate Limitations

I received four $25 restaurant.com gift certificates earlier this year and rediscovered that I had them today. I decided to start using them while they're still valid, as they seem to expire in two months. I found a restaurant I would like to use them at and called them to verify I could combine multiple certificates there before redeeming all four. The person on the phone said I could.

I then decided to redeem two of my four certificates for this particular restaurant (Mt. Vernon in Somerville, MA). After going through the redemption process for one, I noticed the following in the GIFT CERTIFICATES TERMS & CONDITIONS on the printed certificate:

* Limit one (1) redemption per party, per month, per restaurant.
* Limit one (1) gift certificate per redemption. Only one gift certificate can be used per party, even if the party is seated at separate tables and/or receives more than one check.

Given these two limitations, I've realized that it would be impossible to use all four of these certificates before they're scheduled to expire.

My questions for restaurant.com:

* Why am I not allowed to redeem multiple gift certificates in one month? This restriction alone will make it impossible to redeem all of my gift certificates.
* Why would restaurant.com set these limitations in place knowing that their customers would potentially throw money away with expired certificates?
* Is it possible to extend the expiration of the certificates, so I would be able to use all four?
* Why am I not allowed to combine multiple certificates on an order? Any other restaurant that offers certificates directly would let me pay for the entire bill in gift certificates. I started the redemption process expecting to be able to treat restaurant.com gift certificates just as any other restaurant gift certificate. Considering the current financial crisis, I do not have extra money to spend on dining out. I am only able to use one $25 gift certificate at a restaurant that has a minimum order of $35. That's $10 that I just don't have that I'm now stuck paying if I want to use this gift certificate.

Considering the above points, if these concerns remain unresolved, I consider the value that restaurant.com provides to be poor. In this case, it's not just "the thought that counts". I will be recommending against the purchase of restaurant.com gift certificates to anyone I know thinking of doing business with restaurant.com.
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