In October of 2011, my soon to be wife and I received a wedding present from her best friend and their family. It was for $150 at Cookology. On Oct 8th 2011 about 10 days before it was about to expire my wife went online to book us a class. The first issue was the gift certificate code # was hard to decipher, as it was hand written it was either a 1086 or 1066. Now to go into
a bit more detail, the way their gift certificate system is setup is to take a four digit code and a dollar amount. My wife entered the first code and the system told her the gift card had $65 left on it, then she tried the 1066 number and it told her she had a different amount. Neither amounts being the $150 stated on the gift certificate. Not wanting to cheat the system, my wife decided to call the next day to straighten out the situation.
When my wife called, she spoke to a very rude lady who told her the gift
certificate had been used back in February of 2012 and there was nothing
they could do. [continued below]....
..... The conversation was going nowhere, so my wife called
back again and asked to talk to a manager who also told her there was
nothing they could do. When further questioned on who used the
certificate, the employee said they didnt have that information, only
that it had been redeemed and again said there was nothing they could
do. They never offered any kind of solution. My wife said, well,
whoever it was, it was not me, because I have the gift card in front of
me. At this point I called back and asked to speak to the manager. I
was told the same thing my wife was. I then asked to talk to someone
else and Maria Kopsida, the owner of the company, came to the phone.
She was less then helpful or sympathetic to our issue basically saying
someone redeemed the certificate in February and that is all the
information she had. When I mentioned how easy it was to type in a
random code and value in their system, her response was, we have one of
the best systems in the industry. At this point I threatened to contact
the BBB, her response was to go ahead and then she hung up.
After that I went online to check some of the reviews of her company and
I noticed a trend of most of the low scoring reviews all said the same
thing, that their customer service was horrible. I added my own reviews
at this time of what had just transpired. I also went ahead and opened a
case with the Better Business Bureau.
Next I contacted an attorney to see if there was any chance of getting a refund as I no
longer wanted to do business with this company. They received the letter
from my attorney on October 22nd, it asked them to contact me within 30
days. While waiting for a response I received an email from the BBB
stating they had made numerous requests to contact the company but never
got a response, so they would update their records that the company was
Over a month went by and I did not receive a response, so the other day, I emailed their CEO to confirm that they had gotten the letter from my attorney and if they were planning to reply.
Their CEO responded now stating that the gift certificate was only
partially used in February, (never told us it was partially used
before) and that she offered both my wife and I the opportunity to still
come to a class (which was untrue-she never offered us that option) as
well as she stated she told me who redeemed the gift certificate and I
stated I didn't know that person, (which was also untrue). We then
requested via email the name of person who redeemed the certificate and
still have not gotten a response.
The best spin that could be put on this situation is that they have no control over issued gift
certificates to insure that they are being properly redeemed. When
confronted with this, the CEO told untruth after untruth about what she
had told us and what she had offered us to cover herself. The worse
spin is that they are running some sort of scam where gift certificates
are issued and can never be redeemed for full value or at all.
We would just like them to give our friend back the $150 back which they
originally paid for the gift certificate. We have no interest in
utilizing the services of such an unprincipled company.