On why you should boycott Livingsocial…

Who doesn’t love a discount?? Especially if it’s for an expensive fine dining restaurant which you would normally have to save for special occasions! Well let me tell you why the discount isn’t worth it. …Last year we dined with a friend at Moo Moo’s Restaurant located at the Port Office, Stamford Plaza, Edward Street, Brisbane. We had a very good meal (Thanks Tammy) and vowed to return again. So it was only appropriate that when we saw the livingsocial deal online advertising for the following that our friend Terry purchased x2 $70 LivingSocial Vouchers….

The first time we used this voucher….we already felt as if we were treated as second-rate citizens. When I rang through to make a booking..the staff at Moo Moo informed me that we could not reserve an earlier sitting, and that “people with vouchers” must dine after 8pm. Okay…so we went and ate there…..and the rump was more than mediocre. We were introduced to a few upgraded options and were persuaded into purchasing more sides…Anyway that was the prequel to this full blown rant that I’m about to embark on….So the deadline was coming up this evening…and we had been calling Moo Moo for over a week to try and secure a booking.

On this particular evening (hop into the time machine and rewind to yesterday)….I phoned expecting nothing but the worst.

Staff: Moo Moo restaurant please hold *3 minute hold* Pause….please wait while I transfer your call to the  maître d‘hôtel. Another 4 minutes later….the phone drops and they have conveniently avoided me again by hanging up on me.

All I had said was that I wanted to make a booking for dinner on April 19.

When I did finally call through and speak to this almighty Maitre D (henceforth known as Almighty asshole for the purposes of venting my frustration)….it went something like this:

Chad: “Hi I would like to make a reservation for 4 people tomorrow”
Almighty Asshole: Certainly.  We have a sitting at 8pm available. Do you have a voucher?”
Chad: “Yes, it is a living social…..” *rude interjection by the Maitre D*

Almighty Asshole: “Sorry we don’t have any seats for people with vouchers.
Chad:  “How does that work? You have seats…but not for people with vouchers?”
Almighty Asshole: Well we have 133 people coming in to use vouchers tomorrow, everyone wants a seat tomorrow with a voucher. It’s not just you okay?”
Chad: “So you’ve oversold the amount of tickets for which you have capacity for….????? What am I meant to do? I’ve already paid for my voucher!”
Almighty Asshole: “It’s not our problem. Call livingsocial”
Chad: “okay…and there’s nothing you can do about it?”
Almighty Asshole *beep* ….hangs up the phone.

So the next part of the story…is that I called up Livingsocial and spoke with a man named Christian. I know that there is no use in trying to shoot the messenger…and that he is a normal guy..trying to get on with his job…but I was really peeved and really needed to yell at someone. Christian explained to me that the restaurant has the “discretion to allocate seats to a particular volume of customers with vouchers per day”. So technically, they have the discretion to refuse to serve ANY customers with vouchers on ANY and EVERY given day that the offer is valid for. This was confirmed by Christian, who added that “Moo moo only gets paid for every voucher that is USED”. But what incentive is it? For a fine dining restaurant to receive a portion of $70 for 4 people breathing their oxygen, peeing in their toilets, playing with their Dyson hand-dryers….and eating inferior meat?? When on a regular day, people would pay much more than $70 just for a serving of mains for dinner? Christian also mentioned to me that an investigation into the matter would not be possible as it is too close to the expiration date of the voucher (which is synonymous with the termination of their contract with Moo Moo). WTF?!  So anyone who happens to miss out on a booking near the end of the deal...TOO BAD? GO EAT YOUR PRINTED OUT VOUCHER AND PRETEND IT’S A PIECE OF RUMP?! In 3 working days we will see if they will be clever enough to honour us a refund.

This is not fair. This is plain ridiculous. I am conjuring anvils and they shall rain like hailstorms from the sky…on Livingsocial and on Moo Moos. Thanks for ruining an awesome restaurant assholes. 

P.S. Oli also ordered Havaianas….which came 6 months after the deal was originally purchased…and after complaining to Livingsocial for months on end..

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9 thoughts on “On why you should boycott Livingsocial…

  1. Wow, i bought the same deal but have been too busy to use it.
    Gave it to my brother for lunch last week and he said the food was pretty good.
    Hearing your horror story i would not get another liviing social deal nor visit the restaurant in the future.

    • It’s such a shame…because I really liked my first ever dining experience at moo moo’s (not using the voucher)…and I’ve heard the same story coming from so many people who have bought the voucher!!!

  2. I also purchased a Social Event voucher through Living Social. I actually purchased two, one for myself and one for my daughter. It was to a “Tea at the Willard Hotel in DC”. Two days prior to our “Tea” date, I became ill and was told that I had a stomach flu. I was also told that it was actually a contagious virus and that it could be contagious for up to an additional week. Although I was feeling much better by the day of the “Tea”, I opted NOT to attend in order to prevent the possibility of spreading it to the others that would be there. When I contacted Living Social to explain this to them, and to request a credit — I was told “sorry, the terms clearly state that no refunds or credits are given to customers who miss an event date.”
    Seriously??? I opted not to attend in order to PROTECT OTHERS from becoming ill and Living Social has absolutely NO appreciation for that? I find that extremely revealing and hope others might keep it in mind when they consider purchasing any “social event” item via Living Social — obviously they care much more for the profits than for the well being of their patrons! Just saying…..

    • sorry for the late reply! I’ve neglected my blog for the past month because of wedding work. That’s very considerate of you Sallee! I understand that it’s probably beyond Living social’s jurisdiction to deal with extending the offer on behalf of the restaurant, but I don’t understand why the the restaurant itself couldn’t offer to extend it beyond the original date for exceptional circumstances..or even out of good will! (for the sake of protecting their own reputation!) Or as an alternative, why can’t LIvingSocial offer alternatives like credit back onto the customer’s account???

      As a service provider myself, I would definitely try to put myself in the client’s shoes and see if there would be anything I could do to help out. Especially where word of mouth is really the most effective double edged sword in terms of advertising a company’s reputation! And seeing as the living social voucher deal was probably entered into by the vendor in hopes of attracting new customers, they should really put in a bit of effort and think outside the square. One unhappy customer in the short term…is a long term detriment.

      • As a merchant who did a deal I have to say it was a bad decision. I am in the service industry and in all my years in business have never had so many poor experiences with clients. As a coupon buyer myself I see it from both sides but when I use a service, I tip on the full price as vouchers state. I show up on time. I am aware that the merchant is only getting a quarter of their regular price and appreciate it. 99% of coupon hoppers do not. As a merchant I have found the worst kind of client to ever walk in my doors in 22 years ! I did not need to do this deal, it sounded good at the time but the quality of customer this deal brought in was not worth getting a quarter of my normal price at all. Rude, late, complainers that think they are entitled to full price service at half the price. The restaurant was NOT making money from you. You were getting a deal and you did not appreciate it. Wait to go when you can at half price. Customers of these deals do not understand that business’ do NOT make money and they don’t care that we don’t. Go pay full price then complain but for you to have it in your head that you should get in before a regular full price paying customer is ridiculous !

  3. So I found this completely at random browsing the web and first I want to say that I am absolutely not attacking you or anything silly like that. I made the mistake of partnering my business with Living Social and unfortunately I found out the hard way that Living Social basically screws over their merchants AND their consumers. I’m not making excuses for the rude people you dealt with but so often Living Social oversells a deal, without the permission of the vendor, and without any concern whether or not that particular vendor goes under or not. Living Social has actually put a lot of small businesses out of business! So maybe they were so rude because they were just overwhelmed and losing money. I have no idea, I really don’t…they could just be total a-holes haha. But I know I’ve been on both sides of the coin, its awful that you ended up losing out and its awful that the restaurant probably lost a lot of money. Living social really isn’t any good for anyone. Sorry for the little rant, I myself am in a very bad situation where I am truly unable to please all the living social clients without losing money and unfortunately I’m damn close to going out of business. I feel horrible because apparently its damn hard to get a refund or a credit…so I’m just stuck, as are the people who bought my deal. So there’s one more reason to boycott Living Social! They are unethical and in the end the merchant gets the bad reputation and all the blame 😦
    Again, not saying anyone is forgiven for being rude! Just wanting to throw out another side of thing!

    • Hi jenny,
      Thanks for your comment- I don’t feel attacked at all, I welcome any comments 🙂 I was also approached by Livingsocial on numerous occasions to partner up with them for my wedding photography business. It sounded tempting at first, but I quickly realised that the clients I would be receiving from any Livingsocial deals would not be return clients, nor would they be the target market my business is aimed at. It’s awful what they’ve done with your deal…people who buy LIvingsocial deals are just looking for a cheap option, and so for the merchant they really lose out on quality clients. I hope you find a way out of your Livingsocial nightmare xx best of luck

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