Campoli was in the mood for a good Italian dinner at reasonable price.
She bought a gift certificate from restaurant.com – a site that sells gift certificates to restaurants at a discounted price.
Family night at Gino's East was underway.
"I had the Restaurant.com certificate and she said, ‘We're no longer taking them.’ I said ‘pardon me’," Campoli said.
The dinner stopped there – the pizzeria wouldn't accept the gift certificate.
"I was very embarrassed,” she said. “Here I am trying to take everyone out to dinner and now we can't eat where I have the certificates at."
The Campoli's left the restaurant hungry, angry and confused. Restaurant.com was selling the gift certificate...why wouldn't Gino's East honor it?
"Needless to say, that didn't set well with us," Campoli said. "Everyone was very frustrated. We ended up at McDonalds."
Up until Thursday evening the gift certificate was still for sale on the site. But a sign on Gino’s East’s door told customers they were not accepting them.
We called Restaurant.com to get their side of the mix up. They sent us this statement:
“Restaurant.com’s goal is to ensure every customer is satisfied and has a wonderful dining experience. Restaurant.com is working through the current situation with Gino’s East to resolve any issues. This is a unique and rare situation. We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, offering exchanges for gift certificates at any time for any reason. Please call 800-979-8985 to speak with a customer service representative who will help you seamlessly exchange your certificate. We advise our customers to be aware of the restrictions for certificate use that are detailed on the site before purchase and on the certificate after purchase. If you’re still unsure, either call Restaurant.com or the restaurant to confirm terms and conditions of the certificate.”
By Thursday evening talk of our story seemed to fix the problem on both ends – and each business came through for their customers.
The Gino's East certificate is now gone from Restaurant.com. The site guarantees that anyone who bought the certificate from Dcember 21, 2011 to January 19, 2012 will be fully reimbursed.
If you bought the gift certificate before that time, Gino's East said bring them on in. They will now honor the coupons.
Restaurant.com is based in Chicago. They have contractual relationship with about 18,000 restaurants in the county. They would not discuss Gino’s East’s contract with us. The better business bureau gives them an A+.