What do I expect: when I use my Entertainment Card?

by The Masked Barfly on June 30, 2008

Yeah I know, I’m a disgusting pesky fly. But just because I slurp food off the plate with my proboscis doesn’t mean I should have to pay full price when I have a handy-dandy gold entertainment card to get a free meal.

Here’s how it went down… we went to Finc on a Friday night – for the simple reason that it is in the Entertainment Guide. We ordered two mains both worth around $34 each and an entree for $8. The deal in the Entertainment Guide is:

“you and your guest are invited to enjoy one complimentary main course when another main course of equal or greater value is purchased. Up to $30.00 value”.

We were told that as our mains were both over the value of $30 we would receive NO discount. When we also asked them why was the entree not taken off we were told that we did not intend to have this as a main so they would not discount that either.

While we were trying to discuss with the owner he was rather rude and tried to put the blame on me not reading the terms and conditions of e-book properly or pass the blame onto e-book not making the rules clear enough.

This was, however, balls. We used the gold card last year at Finc and we received the discount in the same situation.

When we asked the owner why this had changed he said he decided this year he would change how he interpreted the offer and it would be different. He also told me I had to see it from a business point of view and that if everyone came in with an entertainment card in one night he would go out of business. (Cue violins)

Perhaps he’ll go out of business faster by pissing off folks (and flies).

In conclusion, this Arthropod is not impressed with Finc and their cockdiscount-blocking. I would warn Entertainment book users to be wary of being misled.

And if all else fails, we could organise a flash mob (do people still do that?) in which we all use our gold cards and see what happens.

Alex August 28, 2008 at 12:31 pm

I find the Entertainment Book handy to save a few dollars, but I too have had embarrassing moments with it.

MicheleConsalvo June 30, 2008 at 9:55 pm

oops double up

stephen clover July 1, 2008 at 7:58 am

You don’t have to tell the staff at before you order.

I know you don’t HAVE to, it just seems like a good idea to clear up any misunderstandings beforehand rather than when you have a belly-full of product you are compelled to pay for.

Alex July 1, 2008 at 8:48 am

Be aware, I think that there is a limit of 4 Ent Book discounts per booking. So if you flash mob Finc don’t do it in one table/booking πŸ™‚ I found this out the hard way as the 5th couple to use their discount at a large group lunch.

That was the only disappointing experience I had using the Ent Book which I otherwise thought was fantastic. I ate out so much more during that year and tried lots of new places.

Mr Reasonable June 30, 2008 at 6:36 pm

I had a business lunch at Finc about 2 years ago and both me and my guest got violently ill at around 4:30pm resulting in me having to drive 100 yds, vomit, drive another 100 yds, vomit…. The owner was damn rude about it and completely refused to listen to any complaint and denied that we even ate there. I haven’t stepped back in since. Vote with your feet!

MicheleConsalvo June 30, 2008 at 9:52 pm

I’ve had problems with the card at Flying Burrito Bros, Zico and Medina(when it was Medina).
I won’t bore you with the details (I was right of course haha) but just the whole point I want to make to these places is that the Entertainment card brings ALL of them in in extra business so why the frick piss people off?

Geesh! That one’s for my pal Frubakka..

Hadyn June 30, 2008 at 8:50 pm

With regard to the general gold card discussion: we’ve had the gold card for the last three years (maybe four) and we’ve had more issues with general bad service than we have with places refusing or disputing the discount.

You don’t have to tell the staff at before you order.

sue June 30, 2008 at 8:11 pm

well new owners since then i think

i just love their big tables, it’s great having a few coffees and spending time doing a bit of work there

sue June 30, 2008 at 6:18 pm

i always assumed you needed to say you were using your book voucher before you ordered

MJ July 1, 2008 at 8:08 pm

So different from my experience using the Gold card at Finc a few years ago – we were given a coupon for a free breakfast to encourage us to come back again. Seems things have changed drastically since then!

Joanna June 30, 2008 at 6:11 pm

I’ve had average service at Finc during the day, but fantastic service there at night, so this saddens me to read it. Then again, I’ve never seen a man behind the counter there, so perhaps that changes things a little, if he is the owner, as so many times staff are much much more capable than owners at doing the right thing.

Berry July 1, 2008 at 8:51 pm

I’ll never go there again. Simple

They were always rude bastards, now I know it.

Seby July 18, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Goog to know. I still had Finc on my list of places to go from the e-book. But I’ll leave that off my list now.

Thanks for the tip.

Guess this is one way to get a bad reputation.

missd July 1, 2008 at 4:13 pm

“Up the value of” would mean that you should have gotten $30 off and paid the remaining $4 – he has plainly misinterpretted it.

I’ve had misunderstandings before too – just misinterpretations – but we paid, and let the e-book people know, who quickly sorted it out with the restaurant, and were very apologetic to me about it (and we were reimbursed).

I now *usually* take the book with me (not ideal but just in case) – because sometimes I forget if the restaurant is on the gold card, or only a voucher in the book.

Read the T&Cs and be firm with wayward restaurants! They can always back out the following year if it’s not working out for them, but until then they are contractually obliged to give you that discount.


stephen clover July 1, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Yeah yeah, that’s the way.. ask something innocuous — “Oh by the way, do you still honour this card?”

Guess it’s horses for courses; I hate a fight after I’ve just eaten, you hate feeling like a cheapskate beforehand. You pays your money and you takes your choice. And other clichés πŸ˜‰

i think I’m using that word correctly

‘Fraid not.

Hadyn July 1, 2008 at 11:33 am

We had a problem once in that the restaurant thought that we were going to get 25% off our group’s bill and wouldn’t accept the cards. We were actually only asking for 25% off three of the group’s meals (a lesser discount). Again we relented and then complained to the E-Book folks.

Hadyn July 1, 2008 at 11:30 am

I totally understand the logic behind it, but it makes me feel like a shill* if I say it at the beginning. Although when we use the coupons (as opposed to the card) we often ask if they still accept them.

*i think I’m using that word correctly

Mike July 1, 2008 at 1:40 pm

I’ve had a couple of problems in the past with restaurants “creatively interpreting” the discount terms. The book sets them out pretty clearly, and if the restaurant tries to change them I’ve found a quiet word to the e-book people will get them to change their ways. πŸ™‚

Hadyn July 2, 2008 at 8:01 am

‘Fraid not.

phil_style July 1, 2008 at 4:15 am

Rule #6 for discount shopping: When using any kind of voucher present the voucher BEFORE your order and ask the staff what you have to do in order to claim the discount. Show them the disclaimer/ conditions and discuss any irregularities before you buy.

sue July 1, 2008 at 10:43 am

I’m with stephen it just seems a nice thing to mention when you arrive. it also means you are never in for a shock

hyip January 24, 2010 at 7:02 pm

I agree, it’s very location specific and it’s crucial that you look online to see if it has any coupons you’d use. If it forces you to change your behavior to make it “worth it”, then it’s not worth it.

Ashe December 23, 2010 at 4:20 am

Discount e-books are great but I’ve got into too many of these similair situations in the past. There’s nothing worse than having that feeling of content after a meal ruined by an argument over a coupon. What I do now is ensure I ask about the validity, and limits, of the coupon I intend to use when I call to make the table booking, and I make sure to take down the name of the person who gives me the info just to make sure I’ve got all the assurance I need my night will not be tarnished at the end.

Merrilee December 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm

i concur with the “vote with your feet” statement.
Finc have chosen to advertise in e-book, so if they don’t want to honour a (rather small) price to potentially win a loyal customer, then it’s not worth going there.
They clearly don’t value their customers enough to treat them nicely – with everyone’s feeback on here, I don’t think I’ll bother trying my Finc voucher, which is really their loss.

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